Someone snatched up my website domain :(

32 replies
My website which I had for 8 years or so is now on sale for $800!
Which I can't afford, it was $15 last summer, I didn't renew it.
Apparently people scout for these pages that go offline
and assume business owners will pay the premium price.
How can I get it back? My business is a small dying business anyway.
And I have lost all my e-mails, is there anyway to get those back either?
Clients from 5 to 10 years can't get in touch, most people use e-mail
and don't call and I will miss the job.
This is just tragic.
I'm walking through bad luck.

Who could I write is there a registry?
I wrote them and explained I hardly make any money. They must think I'm a big firm that can pay $800 for the website.
#domain #snatched #website
  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    My website which I had for 8 years or so is now on sale for $800!
    Which I can't afford, it was $15 last summer, I didn't renew it.
    Apparently people scout for these pages that go offline
    and assume business owners will pay the premium price.
    How can I get it back? My business is a small dying business anyway.
    And I have lost all my e-mails, is there anyway to get those back either?
    Clients from 5 to 10 years can't get in touch, most people use e-mail
    and don't call and I will miss the job.
    This is just tragic.
    I'm walking through bad luck.

    Who could I write is there a registry?
    I wrote them and explained I hardly make any money. They must think I'm a big firm that can pay $800 for the website.
    Dang! I'm sorry to hear about that. Usually you have a grace period after your domain expires to renew it. How long did it go unexpired for before you noticed?
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    My website which I had for 8 years or so is now on sale for $800!
    Which I can't afford, it was $15 last summer, I didn't renew it.
    Apparently people scout for these pages that go offline
    and assume business owners will pay the premium price.
    How can I get it back? My business is a small dying business anyway.
    And I have lost all my e-mails, is there anyway to get those back either?
    Clients from 5 to 10 years can't get in touch, most people use e-mail
    and don't call and I will miss the job.
    This is just tragic.
    I'm walking through bad luck.

    Who could I write is there a registry?
    I wrote them and explained I hardly make any money. They must think I'm a big firm that can pay $800 for the website.
    This is sad, but it does not qualify as bad luck. This is lack of attention to detail and poor follow-through.

    All registrars start sending domain expiration notice as much as 30 days before the expiration date. I generally get 6 notices beforehand.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do except try to negotiate a lower price. Depending on the domain name, they may be content to get whatever they can from you, but they're not likely to turn it over without a profit. This is their business. They'd be content to sit on it for years, before surrendering it.

    Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

      This is sad, but it does not qualify as bad luck. This is lack of attention to detail and poor follow-through.

      All registrars start sending domain expiration notice as much as 30 days before the expiration date. I generally get 6 notices beforehand.

      Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do except try to negotiate a lower price. Depending on the domain name, they may be content to get whatever they can from you, but they're not likely to turn it over without a profit. This is their business. They'd be content to sit on it for years, before surrendering it.

      Thank you.
      Exactly what OptedIn has said. It's unfortunate but you have no-one to blame but yourself. I receive multiple emails from Namecheap as my domains approach their expiration date. You also have the option to select automatic renewal; something I always choose for my most important domains.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    This happened to me 15 years ago (hard lesson learned!) with a domain that was very valuable at the time.

    They told me they wanted to see how much traffic it was getting before they would sell. I made them an immediate offer and they accepted the same day. Worth a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Axl
    That's bad news alright. I'm sorry to hear it. This happened to me once. I just waited 6 months and they let it go. Went and bought it back.

    Best of Luck,

    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Unfortunately I only see two options. Either pay them to get the domain back or walk away.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    It has happened to many of us. When I do it I call it a "Stupid tax".

    Not sounding derogatory but it was something easily avoided so now you must pay a
    price ( or tax)

    Imo, just walk away.And in a few days or a week you will not even think about this. It is fresh in your mind right now but the frustration will subside.


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Its not bad luck it's bad management. Most of us are guilty, Its called paying school fees buddy.....
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi T,

    LIG - Let It Go - as I second the advice above.

    Robert said it; in a few weeks this will be old news as you are building a new, fresh, exciting domain.

    I totally get ya; this may sting, and you may wanna fight. But force negates. Meaning, the more you fight, the more you cling, and the more you refuse to let go, the situation becomes more stressful.

    But when you write it off as that tuition noted above - we have been there, all of us, pretty much - you walk away, find a better domain, start from an intelligent, effective space and you will succeed.

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    How can I get it back? My business is a small dying business anyway. And I have lost all my e-mails, is there anyway to get those back either? Clients from 5 to 10 years can't get in touch, most people use e-mail and don't call and I will miss the job.
    Approach the current owners with an offer you can afford, say $50 - $100, and see if they bite. It's possible the domain is only of value to you or has a specialist and limited appeal. If they believe it's your best offer, they may accept.

    If you get no joy, contact your old clients and explain you've changed your domain name. It's a legitimate reason to contact them, and you could even tie the news in with a promotion and benefit from this episode.

    Of course, if you haven't kept a list of your clients' emails or contact details, you have another issue. If that's the case, learn from these mistakes and start again a little wiser than before.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Everyone reading this should take 5 minutes today to make sure you're not posting the same thing tomorrow. At the same time, it's also worth making sure your domain registrar has your latest email address so you don't miss those all-important notifications.

    When this happened to me 15 years ago, it was a $5,000 mistake.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Thread titles like this are attention getting - but wrong.

    No one "snatched your domain" - you gave it up by not renewing it last summer. It sounds as if you didn't back up your site or your email list even though you have regular customers coming to the site.

    Of course you are angry - but it's at yourself. You don't say why you didn't renew - did you forget - or put it off - or decide not to do it?

    Because it is an old domain you may be able to retrieve some of the site through the wayback machine but doubt you can get to the email list that way. Have you checked with your host to see if they can provide a backup? That's assuming you still have hosting....
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  • Profile picture of the author Julio
    OP make sure on your next domain purchase that you set auto renewal ON and make sure that you get all types of emails from the registrar. They will send you an email when your domain is about to expire and when they charged your bank card.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    That means you didn't do any business for 30 days (grace period) so you haven't really lost anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    Who could I write is there a registry?
    Yes. You just posted on it.

    That means you didn't do any business for 30 days (grace period) so you haven't really lost anything.
    That's what I was thinking. If it's so valuable, why do they not have $800?
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  • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
    Yup, this happened to me too, but mostly with domains that weren't that crucial.

    Also, even after they have expired, there's at least a month's worth of grace period where you can buy them back for an extra $80 or so, depending on registrar.

    In a few cases I was able to reregister them again a year or two later.

    In a few cases, some Japanese porn sites bought them and - apparently always the same one - and I have to make sure I eliminate all the links I put in my ebooks etc. Yikes!

    This is especially important as I'm getting rid of a whole bunch of domains now that I used to use as redirects. Now that I have a new redirect software, I prefer to do my redirects for free - after going through my sites and ebooks to change them all.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    You didn't renew your domain, so somebody bought it. This isn't bad luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi tyices222,

    I recommend that you find a similar available name, perhaps shorter, or better in some way, register it and get a website setup. After your new website is online, then and only then, contact the new owner, tell them you are the former owner, but have moved on to a new domain name.

    Make an offer of around $100-$150. Tell them it is a one time offer and if they don't want to sell, no problem, you have already moved on to a new better domain name. You just might get a positive reply.

    Either way, you are dealing with a bad situation and getting on with your business. Don't get hung up on things that you can no longer control.

    HTH,

    Don Burk
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    My website which I had for 8 years or so is now on sale for $800!
    Which I can't afford, it was $15 last summer, I didn't renew it.
    Apparently people scout for these pages that go offline
    and assume business owners will pay the premium price.
    How can I get it back? My business is a small dying business anyway.
    And I have lost all my e-mails, is there anyway to get those back either?
    Clients from 5 to 10 years can't get in touch, most people use e-mail
    and don't call and I will miss the job.
    This is just tragic.
    I'm walking through bad luck.

    Who could I write is there a registry?
    I wrote them and explained I hardly make any money. They must think I'm a big firm that can pay $800 for the website.
    I'm about to help you big time. Life changing stuff, go ahead and print it out,

    Go into your bathroom if you have a mirror and then read this:

    "I'm a goofball. I must be. Who but a goofball would let a domain or web host slip away because I couldn't afford to renew it? It is time I quit pretending. I just got a great wake up call.

    It is time to quit goofing around, time to get serious about my business, time to define what I want from it and what steps I'm going to take the next 5 years.

    It is obvious (look in mirror) that I am a goofball. I'm silly. No one is sad for me because I am pathetic. I don't want to be pathetic. I don't want to be a loser, just because I lost my domain because I can't afford it...I want to change.

    I don't want to repeat my last five years of goofiness. Starting today, right now, I'll plan my business and work my plan. I'll save any profits to insure I have my expenses covered before I take any money from this business. If I can't do that, I have to examine what I'm doing, and why?

    Losing my domain was the best thing that has happened, NOW I am forced to face reality, to grow up and quit pretending and to make a commitment to my future. I feel sad today, but tomorrow is going to be different because I'm done goofing around."

    Read it several times.

    GordonJ and you're welcome too.
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    • Profile picture of the author mich800
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      I'm about to help you big time. Life changing stuff, go ahead and print it out,

      Go into your bathroom if you have a mirror and then read this:

      "I'm a goofball. I must be. Who but a goofball would let a domain or web host slip away because I couldn't afford to renew it? It is time I quit pretending. I just got a great wake up call.

      It is time to quit goofing around, time to get serious about my business, time to define what I want from it and what steps I'm going to take the next 5 years.

      It is obvious (look in mirror) that I am a goofball. I'm silly. No one is sad for me because I am pathetic. I don't want to be pathetic. I don't want to be a loser, just because I lost my domain because I can't afford it...I want to change.

      I don't want to repeat my last five years of goofiness. Starting today, right now, I'll plan my business and work my plan. I'll save any profits to insure I have my expenses covered before I take any money from this business. If I can't do that, I have to examine what I'm doing, and why?

      Losing my domain was the best thing that as happened, NOW I am forced to face reality, to grow up and quit pretending and to make a commitment to my future. I feel sad today, but tomorrow is going to be different because I'm done goofing around."

      Read it several times.

      GordonJ and you're welcome too.
      Brutal honesty. Not everyone is cut out to be their own boss or own their own business. After reading the OP's other posts they did not learn their lesson the first time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Perry Bernard
    Whoever bought it and is holding it to ransom probably discovered it has some domain equity like backlinks. Does it? If not, let it go and start again.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyices222
    Thanks Frank sounds good to try to send an offer over.
    They probably think I'm some huge firm, I'm not, it's a tiny home business.

    It's called cybersquatting!!!!
    I found an article.
    Thanks everyone for writing. Appreciate it.
    You have to trademark your website, (how?)
    and then you can file a claim with WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, located in Geneva

    I think also Godaddy might have some buying service to help, I don't think they are gung-ho about it wonder if there is anyone else. Who do you even write to try to buy it?

    I had a window of a few days or a few weeks! It was parked for a while and I couldn't buy it, I saw it for an instant, last summer was hectic, and it was gone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Window? You had the domain for YEARS and you didn't know you had to renew it last summer? You had a 30 day grace period where you could pay a hefty penalty and the $15 and reclaim the domain - and you didn't do that.

    You say "summer" - but this is mid-winter! It's been 6 months or more?

    You are looking up terminology and defining it to suit what you want it to mean. You have no claim to that domain - you had "first dibs" and you didn't pay the renewal fee.

    I think GordonJ got it right above.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    Looks like they pulled the ole okie doke on you

    You must have not thought it was that important because you get about a two week grace period to renew it, even after if expires. There is no way to get it back, you have to buy it back at their price. They will probably keep renewing it until you pay their price.
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    You've let the domain sit there as expired for half a year and now you complain that someone else bought the domain?

    At first I've thought they are snatching domains, as per the topic name. But when you leave a domain not renewed for half a year, what do you expect?
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  • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
    I am going to look at the other side of the coin here ! maybe the OP hit bad times or is a student using some site like fiver? take the advice this time , you have a business so treat it like one

    Going half arsed is going to cause you problems like you have now and I think you should move on lesson learned

    Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    My business is a small dying business anyway.
    And I have lost all my e-mails

    NO, this is not tragic!

    It's a wake up call for you. We all need these occasionally.

    Consider yourself lucky.

    You spend 8 years on your business and what do you have?

    Your words . . . "a small dying business"

    Now you are not encumbered with anything and can make a fresh new start. Now you can take the lessons you've learned about what not to do and apply them to a fresh new business.

    The first item on your agenda for your new business is this: make a large poster and hang it on the wall in front of you. Look at it every day. On the post write the following:

    1. Register a new domain name and set it up with auto-renewal.

    2. Focus on getting subscribers and back up my list data base weekly (or even nightly if you have a rapidly growing list).

    3. Back up the business web site and all assets weekly.

    4. Sloppy business practices are not bad luck.

    5. I am solely responsible for everything that happens in my business.

    6. Never eat yellow snow.

    The very best to you,

    Steve



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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      NO, this is not tragic!
      Nope. Where I come from it's referred to as, "Being put out of your misery."

      Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    This thread is like one of those places with yellow crime scene tape all over the place where a crime didn't actually happen and a cop tells all the rubber necks to move along, nothing to see here. Turns out to be a Justin Bieber concert and nobody cares once they figure out what's going on.
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  • Profile picture of the author javrsmith
    Microsoft didn't renew a domain in 1999, "passport". Then in 2003, they did it again with Hotmail.co.uk. It happened to me as well so I feel for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author wentzco
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    My website which I had for 8 years or so is now on sale for $800!
    Which I can't afford, it was $15 last summer, I didn't renew it.
    Apparently people scout for these pages that go offline
    and assume business owners will pay the premium price.
    How can I get it back? My business is a small dying business anyway.
    And I have lost all my e-mails, is there anyway to get those back either?
    Clients from 5 to 10 years can't get in touch, most people use e-mail
    and don't call and I will miss the job.
    This is just tragic.
    I'm walking through bad luck.

    Who could I write is there a registry?
    I wrote them and explained I hardly make any money. They must think I'm a big firm that can pay $800 for the website.
    Originally Posted by tyices222 View Post

    Thanks Frank sounds good to try to send an offer over.
    They probably think I'm some huge firm, I'm not, it's a tiny home business.

    It's called cybersquatting!!!!
    I found an article.
    Thanks everyone for writing. Appreciate it.
    You have to trademark your website, (how?)
    and then you can file a claim with WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, located in Geneva

    I think also Godaddy might have some buying service to help, I don't think they are gung-ho about it wonder if there is anyone else. Who do you even write to try to buy it?

    I had a window of a few days or a few weeks! It was parked for a while and I couldn't buy it, I saw it for an instant, last summer was hectic, and it was gone.
    Well let's be clear - it stopped being your website domain when you let it expire. You decided to release it back into the free market because of poor business management. It wasn't bad luck.

    Yes - domain investors do scout for domains that have expired and are free to register. Often they pay domain backorder services to grab up expired domains that may have value or traffic. Yes - I am a domain investor.

    Now here's my advice & I know it's to late because it appears you wrote the new domain owner already telling your sob story. You should have just made a $100 offer & told them nothing. If they paid a backorder service to acquire the domain - they already likely have $60-$70 into the domain so $100 won't likely be accepted.

    Unless you own a trademark on the domain or it is your own personal name - it isn't cybersquatting. It a legitimate business of domain investing.

    Just register another domain & don't make the same mistake again.
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