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Held Hostage by Huge Domains. Advice?

Labeled as advice in Domain Expiration and Domain Drop Catching started by YpsiPete, Jun 9, 2017.

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  1. YpsiPete

    YpsiPete New Member

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    Hey everyone. I just found this forum and I'm posting to get some advice. I guess everyone has a sob story. Here's mine:

    I've been running a completely online small business since 2010 under a .com domain name. I spent a lot of time and money building the website, advertising on AdWords, designing logos/business cards, etc. It was a mainly a labor of love. Anyway, about a year ago I was diagnosed with a nasty form of cancer. As you can imagine, my mind was elsewhere and while I was undergoing immunotherapy, I forgot to renew the domain. Once I realized my mistake, it was too late. NameCheap (the register) told me to just wait until it was deleted and re-register. To make the story short, it was immediately snapped up by HugeDomains.com and they are asking a price that is nowhere near what I can pay. So, I'm wondering if I have any options.

    I was thinking about contacting HugeDomains, but I read on their website that sometimes they will increase the price if they know there is interest. I could say nothing and hope the price decreases and I find myself in a better financial situation down the road. I guess I could also chalk this whole thing up as a learning experience and start over with a new name/domain. I'd hate to start over because I'm having surgery next month and was hoping to make some extra money with the site while recovering at home, but starting over is looking like my only option. I'm not sure who else would want the domain since I have trademark rights, but I'm not sure that's relevant at the moment.

    Also, to make matters more confusing, I received an email from another company offering to sell me the name for almost twice the price that HugeDomains is asking. I found that rather strange. I can only guess that they would plan on buying it from HugeDomains and then re-selling it to me for a profit. I never realized how cut-throat this business is. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  2. Want2learn

    Want2learn Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP

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    Cut your losses. You don't need that kind of stress as you prepare for surgery. Register for multiple years and make them sorry for being cut throat! And when you get new site up lmk, maybe I can visit and purchase or help in some way.

    PS maybe one of us has the kind of domain you prefer . . .
     
  3. anantj

    anantj Active Member VIP

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    IANAL so please consult one.
    If you have a trademark and have been using the domain for a while, there _might_ be a case for UDRP. However, UDRP itself costs $1500 to file and lawyer fees are on top of that. So, depending on the price, it might be cheaper to directly buy it from HugeDomains. I don't know anyone you can reach out to for consideration, but from what I've heard, they do not typically negotiate.

    Also, unless the domain is listed as make offer, you should be able to buy it outright. I believe hugedomains also has payment plans so you can pay in parts to acquire the domain. You might wait for it until you have some funds going but you'll also run the risk of someone else snapping it up. This is not to pressure you into purchasing the domain; I'm just stating a possible risk.
     
  4. DomainBoxio

    DomainBoxio domainbox.io Gold Account VIP

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    I'm inclined to agree with @Want2learn in this scenario. There is probably a brighter future for your online business if you rebrand your web business and move to a new domain. You mentioned your branding/logo efforts. If the logo does not include your TLD (.com, .net, .org, etc.) consider looking at alternative domain extensions which would allow your logos and branding to remain relevant. Examples would be onlinebusinessname.com moved to onlinebusinessname.net. Fortunately, with all of the new domain extensions available, you may find something perfect for your business.

    Best wishes on a successful recovery from your upcoming surgery!
     
  5. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Theoretically there isn't much you can do. If you "let it drop" .. even under the most unfortunate of circumstances .. then for the most part they can own the domain as long as they are not infringing upon your trademark.

    That being said .. it completely depends on the specific domain. Definitely don't seriously consider anybody's advice (including my own) unless the person in question knows the domain. Unfortunately it also probably isn't the best idea to openly share the domain name.

    Maybe wait and see if any members here have dealt with HugeDomains on a more personal level and see if it would be worth contacting them directly or not. At the end of the day they are humans behind the screens .. and if you can prove your story to them and prove it was your domain (and that you are who you say you are), and you make a fair offer, then they certainly might be inclined to sell it to you for less. But some companies have been known to increase prices ... however I'm thinking it likely wouldn't change just to inquire .. at least after presenting them with this specific story.

    Note I'm really not 100% on this next part: One thing to keep in mind is that by making them aware of your trademark .. in some cases they would also legally need to pass on that information to any potential seller (kinda like defects in a house you want to sell).

    Also .. if your trademark is international and very strong AND the domain is more of a made up brandable than a full keyword domain .. then there might or might not be a UDRP option open to you since they are actively trying to sell it for profit. but it REALLY depends on the actual domain name .. it might not be an option at all either.

    It's also kinda hard to say any more without knowing the amount it's being sold for ... I'd suggest getting a lawyer etc etc .. but at the end of the day a UDRP and lawyer etc could likely cost you more than just buying it back from them.

    At the end of the day it also might not be a bad idea to go with a new domain and just forget everything else .. because whatever route you take trying to get it back is likely to be stressful in some way and likely not what you need at the moment.

    Good luck with it .. come back and let us know.
     
  6. Kenny

    Kenny Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hello YpsiPete,

    Welcome to NamePros.

    Sorry to hear about your health issues. Lets hope for a speedy recovery.
    It's sad what happened with your Domain, but this happens more often than you would think.

    Some excellent advice has already been given by the members above, but really, more information is needed. I realize you don't / shouldn't post the Domain name here, however there may be a workaround, but first a few questions that may help us to help you.

    Is the HD price higher than your site makes in a year?
    How specific is the domain name to your content?
    Does the domain have a strong search result for your keywords?
    How long has the site been down?
    Is the site still ready to be published if you plugged a new name into it?

    We'll start with those and work from there.

    Peace,
    Cyberian
     
  7. canswift

    canswift Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I have seen over the years many complaints from people that "Huge Domains stole my domain" etc etc. This is sometimes a situation like yours where due to life circumstances, the name has expired and HD has quite legitimately acquired it. This has been misunderstood and that's where the complainants go ballistic with HD.

    Somewhere, and I can't find that link again, I did see a story about someone in exactly your position who approached Huge Domains, calmly and politely and laid their story out to them. I believe the upshot of this was that HD did indeed come to some arrangement with that person and they got their domain back for an acceptable price.

    As mentioned in this thread, HD are business people but they are human too. It wouldn't hurt to try. Good luck.
     
  8. YpsiPete

    YpsiPete New Member

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    Thanks everyone. The domain is currently for sale for about $2400. The online business was basically a labor of love, but I was hoping to focus on it full-time while recovering. I used to be a high school English teacher and I had many students approach me for help in writing/proofreading admissions essays. I was offering this service for a very reasonable price because I realized that many students didn't have the means to spend a ton of money on this type of service. I also helped many international students. Some of their stories were amazing.

    I can't justify $2400, especially since I will not be able to work for a least a few months. I'm having my bladder removed and this is a serious surgery. I'm also only in my mid-30's, so I haven't had the chance to put away much savings. I've been battling this cancer for nearly a year, and I'm scrapping the bottom of the barrel as it is.

    Unfortunately, my logo did incorporate the .com extension. I also referenced the website on my resume, business cards, banner ads, etc. I was rather proud of all the work I put into it. It's tough to let it go, but I have bigger problems in my life to focus on at the moment.

    Anyway, I think I will try to contact Huge Domains directly. I guess I don't have much to lose by asking. I'm not really blaming them because I think the process was automatic and I don't think anyone specially targeted me. If anyone knows any contact info, please share.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. Kenny

    Kenny Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hello YpsiPete,

    Canswift mentioned that HD has been approachable in the past.
    If you do contact them and they wont come down, or wont come down enough, you might ask if they would lease to own it back to you, or make payments.
    They would keep control of the domain, but allow you to use it while you are paying it off.
    That way all the work / investment you have put in wont be a waste.

    I know this isn't an ideal resolution for you, but this kind of thing has been done before (I don't know if HD has ever done it), and it may be an option to consider.

    Good Luck.

    Peace,
    Cyberian
     
  10. johname

    johname Planet Futbol VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    First of all $2400 is around a standard price level they would slap on anything. I wouldn't tell them your story it just leads to them think you actually can afford it. Pick a number you can afford. Say $700 and after getting them to first answer the age old question "Whats the lowest you will take?" Then say "the most I can give is $700." And stick to it, but keep taking to them. The bottom line is they do this to make money and you will have to part with a chunk of money to get it from them. Good Luck
     
  11. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TLDInvestors.com TheDomains Staff PRO Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    First of all best wishes on your surgery and I hope you have a clean bill of health once you are finished with everything medically.

    The scumbags of the world have unfortunately made things difficult for someone in your situation currently. So many have made up fake illness or other bad situations that most big domain portfolio owners get stories every week about how they forgot to renew etc....

    The one thing you have to figure out is can you pay something ? Like if you don't even have $300, it might be best to just move to another name that makes sense.

    @Rebies Andrew Reberry (Huge Domains) is a member here, maybe he will check in and respond to you and see if you can reach a deal that makes sense.
     
  12. hookbox

    hookbox Active Member VIP

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    I think you spent to much time branding the site that it would suck to give up on it. I would take the monthly payment route to get the domain back. All of your hard work is worth a couple hundred bucks per month
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  13. maksimfa

    maksimfa Active Member VIP Trusted Contest Holder

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    Honestly if you can rebrand... rebrand.

    Ask them politely. It cost them no more than $100 to acquire the site, offer a few hundred and be done with it. Anything more and you are only feeding the giant.

    It's almost like negotiating with terrorists whose business model is built upon catching domains of developed sites and hoping to capitalize on someone's misfortunes.

    Are they doing anything illegal? No
    Ethical? Questionable.
     
  14. I Heart Noise

    I Heart Noise New Member

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    Tried negotiating with them following article I saw online

    They said - "buy it now and we'll give you a 100$ discount" lol

    Very generous considering that overall price is 1,895$
     
  15. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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  16. Kenny

    Kenny Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    OP has not logged in since June 14, '17

    xynames, thanks for adding that link to continue the related discussion.

    Did you make a counter offer?

    Could you link us to the Article?

    Peace,
    Kenny
     
  17. I Heart Noise

    I Heart Noise New Member

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    Did not make a counter offer - I'm not sure if there's a point, honestly, given what their reply was

    "Thank you for submitting your offer request on Ihrtn.com. Our current asking price for the domain is $1,895 and the best and lowest price we are able to accept is $1,795.

    We also have the option to allow you purchase the domain using a payment plan of up to 12 months to help make the purchase more manageable. If you decide to use a payment plan to purchase the domain we will grant you access to start using the domain once we receive the first payment. However, the trade-off to using a payment plan is no reduction in the list price. So any payment plan will be based on the list price of $1,895 and on a 12-month plan that would make your monthly payment $157.92.

    We have updated the buy it now price online and this special discount will only be valid for 3 days. Simply navigate to this domain name or search for this domain on HugeDomains.com and complete the purchase using either the Buy Now or Start Payment Plan option."
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  18. I Heart Noise

    I Heart Noise New Member

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    They clearly stated there's little room for any counter offers
     
  19. Kenny

    Kenny Member Services, NamePros Super Moderator Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  20. I Heart Noise

    I Heart Noise New Member

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    Yup!

    And I'm being slammed in it like there's no tomorrow - but that's a different story
     
  21. maxtorz

    maxtorz Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    @YpsiPete welcome to the forum.
    I urge YOU to focus on your health as it's the most important.
    As far as the domain goes, You can always get a better name :xf.wink:
     
  22. Superstim

    Superstim New Member

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    No way they can do this under law and you’d easily win this if you write to them and explicate the legal basis.

    You’d need to pay a lawyer but it won’t be $1800 for sure.

    HD wouldn’t resist as they’d then be liable for his legal fees for something which, after all, is no longer of value to them.
     
  23. CryptoInvestor

    CryptoInvestor Experienced Investor

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    They absolutely can and did do it under law. Its not illegal to legally purchase dropping domains lol this thread is a year old btw.

    Hope OP is doing well
     
  24. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi

    if you could show you were incapacitated during the expiration time, perhaps they would be compassionate

    but please note: we as domainers get plenty of sob stories from folks wanting an expired name.

    Good Luck

    imo...
     

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