You don’t need that domain name they’re offering

I’m sure that from time to time, you get emailed offers from people trying to sell you domain names which might be of interest. This is a perfectly legitimate business, albeit one which hardly contributes to the development of the human race. But if you’ve ever thought: “Hmmm, I make blue widgets, and somebody’s offering me a domain name with ‘blue widgets’ in it, should I buy it?”, do make sure you’ve got a good reason to do so.

In my mind, there are three reasons you might want to own the domain. the first is the worst: “If I don’t buy it, my competitor might”. Yes, but is it any use to you? If not, let them waste their money on it.

The other two make more sense. You could use the domain to build a specialist website, perhaps to talk about one aspect of your company’s services. I discuss that in more detail here. However, I’m not convinced that many companies can get a lot out of that, unless they already dominate the Google results and are just trying to make it even harder for competitors.

You could also use the domain to track visits from a print advert or other non-online promotion. This is a more interesting idea, which I’ll take a look at soon. Basically, you only use the domain on a certain print advert, or in a certain postal mailing, so you can count the responses. But even so, you can always find a suitable domain name which hasn’t been used and which will cost just a few pounds, whereas I assume anyone who wants to sell you a domain name will want much more than that, to make it worth their while.

The verdict then? You don’t need that domain name they’re offering.

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