Early last week I ran into a domain name and after doing some digging, ran into some more interesting domain names listed for sale. Upon my further digging, I ran into the Afternic listing page for DnStinations.
DnStinations is a commonly used “generic” whois information for clients of corporate domain name registrar MarkMonitor, often listed as DnStinations Inc. in whois.
I reached out to Matt Serlin, VP of Domain Management at MarkMonitor early last week, but sadly he didn’t reply to my LinkedIn email message asking for verification if the domains listed on Afternic were “really” listed for sale. One trick that MarkMonitor does to “hide” domains registered for clients is to list them for sale but not do anything with the offers. This takes place mainly at Sedo, but they also often register or purchase domains and simply park them. I do not think this is the case with these domains.
Since MarkMonitor doesn’t have an agreement that I am aware of with an auction service to sell its expiring domains on the open market, they often allow many to drop… but clearly I wouldn’t expect the “gems” to simply be allowed to drop. Does MarkMonitor simply “take ownership” of some of these domains? All of them? Really hard to say but with the discovery of the DnStinations page on Afternic, some things kind of point in that direction.
Lets take one domain for an example and only using whois data as our guide, since Matt didn’t reply to me.
Nice 4 letter domain. Owned by the huge company 3M for many, many years according to whois records. The last public whois record showing 3M as the owners of HCES.com is September 26, 2014 with the domain registered at MarkMonitor. A September 30, 2014 whois record shows HCES.com transferred out of MarkMonitor TO Network Solutions and put under privacy protection. DNS also changes from 3M to the generic WorldNic upon the transfer.
HCES.com is listed for sale at Afternic on May 23, 2014 well before the transfer out.
So… if 3M “still owned the domain”, I question why they would transfer the domain OUT of MarkMonitor, where they keep the vast majority of domains owned? The domain wasn’t set to expire until December 2015 prior to transfer out and now holds a 2017 expire data after transfer out.
HCES.com is listed for sale on Afternic.com with a very reasonable Buy It Now of $800 for the 1998 created domain. Offers can also be made on the domain starting at $250.
So the questions remain… does 3M still own HCES.com or did they “no longer need” the domain? Did DnStinations purchase the domain from 3M and listed it for sale? Did MarkMonitor have another client purchase the domain from 3M? I’m sure I could come up with about 100 questions to what is up, but the facts are… HCES.com is listed for sale at Afternic.com with a BIN of $800, was listed on Afternic May 23, 2014 and transferred out of the MarkMonitor registrar on September 30, 2014.
Currently, 274 domain names are listed on the DnStinations Afternic page. This includes more 3M owned domain names and “other” company owned domains that use the MarkMonitor service.
One of those listed domain names is Phishing.com . Upon visiting Phishing.com, you will see a for sale lander contact form stating the domain name is for sale. The last public whois data showed Webroot Software Inc. as the owners of Phishing.com, dating back to March 30, 2009. From March 30, 2009 all the way through 2010 until October 15 “No Entries Found” is displayed in whois history records, which then displays “MarkMonitor Inc.” as the owners of the domain.
SippyCups.com a domain name once owned by Playtex (makes sense as they are an extremely popular brand of sippy cups). Playtex was displayed in whois records as the owner of SippyCups.com to January 26, 2013. A February 1, 2013 record displays “This Domain Is For Sale” in whois. SippyCups.com was listed for sale on Afternic.com on August 21, 2014 with no current asking price.
Exhilaration.com once owned by eXhilaration Incentive Management Limited and a last whois record on 4/14/2009 showing the domain registered at MarkMonitor.. all the way to 8/4/2012 whois records all show “No Entries Found” but upon the 8/4/2012 record DnStinations Inc is displayed in whois.
HLR.com which whois indicates Laerdal Medical AS as the owners and the whois updated on August 30, 2014 with admin details display This Domain Is For Sale but was listed for sale on Afternic July 18, 2014. Minimum offers of $10K according to the Afternic listing.
There are many domain names listed with $300 buy it now prices… some of those domains are SkinStapler.com (whois still shows 3M as the owners), DentalSealant.com, Finishing.org, Toners.org (all 3M displayed domains in whois) etc.
MobileApplications.com is a nice domain listed. DnStinations Inc. shown owned according to whois, parked at Sedo and also listed for sale via Afternic. Minimum offer on this one is $5,000.
Crossplatform.com is another nice domain listed. DnStinations Inc. shown owned according to whois. Contact for sale lander on the domain. Nokia owned the domain until March 18, 2013 according to whois records. $10K buy it now via Afternic.
I wasn’t sure if you were aware of the DnStinations listing page of domain name for sale, so I thought I would share it. There is still question if the domains listed for sale are “owned” by clients of MarkMonitor (clearly some currently would appear so according to whois records) but some may have been owned by clients and now appear MarkMonitor itself may “own” the domains. Not a huge landslide of great domain names for sale at great prices, but I think there are a couple in the group that may be worth purchasing if the domains are really for sale. If they do sell, it would be interesting to follow the money and see who’s pocket it lands in.
One big problem with whois, is that it is only part of the story and the data provided can easily lead one down a path that “isn’t true” based on perception, but it can lead to discovery with digging which often presents unanswered questions. Somethings will likely never be answered (where the money goes if any of the listed domains sell that once was owned by a client and “appears” to be owned by MarkMonitor now) or if any of the domains will even really sell.