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Company Launches Domain Name Auctions In Two Languages

By Mary Hillebrand
Oct 22, 1999 12:00 AM PT

Operating on the assumption that all good domain names will soon be taken, Solutionhome.com, Inc. has opened a buying, selling and trading hub on the Internet to profit from individuals and companies who are willing to pay for a specific URL.

Company Launches Domain Name Auctions In Two Languages

The company launched online auction houses for English and Spanish-language domain names, as well as a chat room to enable domain name shoppers to discuss and negotiate deals with other name holders online.

The Spanish name auction started with about 50 names, some of which the company hopes will land bids in the millions of dollars. For example, the company is particularly optimistic about Tiene.com, Hace.com, and Necesita.com, which mean "have," "do" and "need" in English.

Domain Names Now Big Business

"The value of these names are very high because of the exponential growth of the Internet in Latin America," Solutionhome.com president Mike Magolnick argues.

The English site lists such names as FastRefill.com for $90,000 (US$), RoastBeef.com for $350,000, DebtMarket.com for $75,000 and EyeExamination.com $40,000.

Many of the list prices are based upon Solutionhome.com's domain name appraisals. The company offers that service to help name owners determine the potential resale value of their plots in cyberspace. For a $5 fee, Solutionhome.com will appraise any name, using the opportunity to urge the holder to then list the name on its auction sites.

Solutionhome.com says it has received more than 5,000 requests for domain name appraisals and added more than 2,500 listings.

Magolnick argues that the domain name resale business could bring savvy cyber-squatters big bucks. Names such as 411.com, 611.com and 911.com, all of which have been listed on the company's site, are expected to garner up to $10 million each, he claims. Based upon Solutionhome.com's appraisals, the site lists names that together are worth more than $50 million.

Squatting Alert?

Domain name resale sites have quietly popped up in recent months, despite concerns about the potential for cyber-squatting as the Internet becomes more crowded with people and companies looking to make a quick buck.

Cyber-squatting is the practice of registering various domain names with the intention of reselling them to the highest bidder, rather than launching a business using the name.

The U.S. Congress held a number of discussions and hearings on the issue earlier this year, as intellectual property holders complained some of the names have already been claimed use trademarked, well-known brand names.

Alhough a few bills were introduced on Capitol Hill this year to try to further define acceptable use of domain names, if not curtail the resale business altogether, none of those bills are expected to pass during the current Congressional session.

The Internet Commission on Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which was given the job of privatizing the domain name registration business, has also claimed a watch-dog role over cyber-squatters.

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I'd do it -- flights are pretty much entirely automated anyway.
I'm skeptical but open minded, especially if fares would be much less.
I would try it if there were *someone* on board to take over in a pinch.
It's the wave of the future -- I'm resigned to it.