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discuss Trying to sell the "superior version" of current domains



New Member
I don't know if there's an official term for this -- maybe "Reverse Typosquatting"?

Although, it's not really squatting though, because this is technically the original name that was copied by others. But I'm hoping that folks here can provide some useful advice. If not, it's at least an interesting anecdote regardless. :)

So, a work colleague owned a private company up until recently and he had a couple domains registered in 1999 that have only ever been owned by him. I recognized that one could be valuable, which is why I am investigating Domain Sales recently.

I'm using an example domain name (sorry, I know people hate that), which will make more sense WHY once I provide additional background information. Before revealing too much, I think it's important that I understand my options and potential issues in this specific case. So let's say that the domain is called ECOSALES dot COM. But, there's a company using the more "inferior version" named ECO-SALES dot COM. Theirs was a domain hack but there are also many other variants worldwide.

You may also hate me for this, but the first thing I did was contact the ECO-SALES company and asked them if they wanted to domain. I told them I would give it to them for free but they would likely have to pay for a transfer fee through their registrar. They weren't interested and were rather rude about it.

As a next step, I decided to simply sell the domain instead. I noticed that there were some variants of this domain name sold in the past, like "EKOSALES dot COM". Both were acquired for over $15K, and one was put back up on auction for $30K. (Real sales, fake domain name.)

To make it easier to contact potential buyers, I launched a mail service for the domain. I quickly discovered that I was receiving a TON of email that was meant for ECO-SALES instead. They were likely going nowhere for over a decade too. These emails contain daily sales orders, vendor POs, RFPs, financial forms, and so on. Even their own employees had used the improper "ECOSALES dot COM" domain on official signed forms, vendor accounts, personal services, courier notifications, etc. Seeing emails containing scanned credit cards really pissed me off.

(Note: This all goes to show how important it is for companies to acquire domain names with typos in them, and to create names that can't possibly be confused with others.)

I contacted ECO-SALES right away, from the new "sales at" account, and told them that I was accidentally receiving a "significant amount" of their confidential mail and sales inquiries. They ignored me. So, I started forwarding incoming mail to their sales team (as proof) with instructions to inform their clients that they were emailing the wrong domain. I also noted that their dated homepage needed to be corrected to avoid further confusion. I contacted multiple managers, their CEO, sales directors, board, and left voicemail messages. They told me to stop contacting them. No thanks either.

So, then I started emailing back their clients directly instead and told them to use "SALES at ECO-SALES dot COM" and not "SALES at ECOSALES dot COM". Most of the clients/vendors made the correction, but none of them thanked me either. Unfortunately, the mail kept coming. It became way too much work to handle and I wasn't going to spend hours every day re-forwarding all of these emails. I wasn't just getting emails from "ECO-SALES", but also other similarly named companies too (e.g. ECOSALES dot US, dot CA, dot UK, etc.)

What I didn't tell ECO-SALES was that they were probably losing over $500K per year in missing these emails. Probably millions. It was an older Construction business, with many RFPs & sales inquiries for very large projects. I should also note that I was very careful in my communications, because I didn't want them to feel that I was threatening them in any way. I was just trying to help them. However, they were very disrespectful and derogatory in response to my attempts to help them. Most of the cruelty was from their Sales staff in fact.

Now, the other main issue with this company is that because they were very old fashioned, they primarily used phone calls and fax machines for most sales. I'm 99% positive that they don't have a dedicated IT Support team, and probably outsource to a company like Staples Geek Squad despite their significant revenue. I don't even think the senior Sales Directors that I contacted understood how domains and internet sales worked, and they saw no value in acquiring the domain name and didn't like me trying to "tell them how to do their jobs."

In the end, I spent months trying to inform their staff, Sales Management team, Directors, and even their CEO as professionally as possible. Mostly ignored but the ones who did respond were very impolite. Despite how they treated me, I still want to find a good buyer (ie, a good person) who can be responsible with this domain in their care.

Based on your experience, do you have any unorthodox or genius ideas that might help get their attention, or where I should go about trying to sell the domain elsewhere? There's also a concern about the vast amount of confidential email that the domain receives. They're fully aware of it, but they just don't care. Should this information be disclosed to potential buyers? Any other ideas?

There are many different interest groups where a group of individuals see the value in something whereas the vast majority of individuals have no such interest. Most individuals in this forum see some value in short, memorable domains which can be used to promote a customer's products or services. Some developers and business people recognize a value in such domains but oftentimes see domains as easily replaceable. Convincing them otherwise can be a difficult task. I have seen divisions of companies spend low five figures monthly on Google Adwords campaigns yet despite reviewing many thousands of invoices and expense charges for numerous clients have never observed an aftermarket acquisition. Domain sales are relatively rare as the vast majority of the world is concerned with other things.


New Member
I'm guessing based on the responses that I shouldn't be concerned at all about the large volume of confidential emails that are being sent to the wrong domain name? :)

I suppose this probably happens way more often than people admit. At first, I thought that it could be an issue. But I suppose as long as they're fully aware of it, and I've done everything I can to help them free of charge, it shouldn't be a problem. Their employees are still submitting the wrong email domain even on official government documents (e.g. customs documents) right now. Sharing passwords, you name it.

They have no idea how lucky they are that I'm the one looking after it.


New Member
They don't need the domain. Stop harassing them.

Another member already said that. But I believe this is pigeonholing into a stereotypical group based experience and tenure.

My definition of harassment differs. If I alert an employee to unintentional mail receipt, contact a separate department two months later, try another department three months after that, and help a few external clients know the correct contact information, I don't believe that qualifies as harassment. This wasn't something that happened within a 24-hour period, it was over two years. It's been several months now of no activity, so I figured I would ask the experts to see what options were available (while telling an interesting anecdote) to try again.

My question was about unique and interesting ideas. Tactics that don't require communicating directly. And, discovering potential uses for a domain unrelated to this specific company.

However, this answer is analogous to visiting a Car Support Forum, finding "Brake Repair Support for Honda Vehicles", making a post that you have an old Honda Civic and that you have replaced the rotor but the new brake pads won't fit so you would like to know tools or methods that would be ideal. The professional mechanics respond with only "Sell that hunk of metal and buy a new Tesla. It's easy."


Top Contributor
Tbh you did almost everything wrong. They could easily get that domain via udrp if they wanted. You don’t contact people you want to sell a name to about large amount of email coming your way. You don’t contact their clients. It won’t be viewed as helping. It will be viewed as extortion.

Put the name on a for sale lander and wait for someone to contact you. Don’t contact them again. Good Luck.