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I want my old domain name but it is owned by some web hosting co in Japan, I can't understand their site. I don't know why they would want my name except that it is still very well indexed with lots of links pointing to it on the internet. It was a little jewelry business that I let go 7 years ago. I would like to just grab my domain with all those links that will then go right to the site. I'm sure they'll charge a big price, if I change just a couple letters or add to the name, then I lose all those nice directory links I worked to get a few years ago. My old customers are still mentioning the site on the internet as well. How can I get it back without paying very much? It was a small, very small business for pete's sake. I have a Japanese friend, she could try to intercede for me, but what should I look out for to protect my interests?

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Sorry, but chances are very good that you don't have much of a claim here. You let the domain expire, someone else bought it, they get to set the price on selling it; that's just how this works. Their reasons are irrelevant, though generally they boil down to "sell back/to someone else at profit" and here you are. If you can prove bad faith(and have a trademark) your situation starts getting better, but there's not enough information above to start pursuing that line. –  Su' Jul 15 '11 at 0:10
    
@Su' I think you ought to make that an answer! –  paulmorriss Jul 15 '11 at 7:56
    
What do you think is a reasonable price to sell back to me? It isn't some huge corporate business. I realize I don't have a claim as I was short-sighted when I dropped it. Just want to approach the buy back with enough ammo to not get taken. What else should I know? I don't want them to sell me hosting, I just want to own my name (and it is part of my name). –  Harriet Duncan Jul 15 '11 at 14:10

1 Answer 1

From my experience with web host registrations and registrars, one of the first things I tell clients is never to use the "free" domain included with their web hosting plan because unlike when you buy direct from a registrar, buying a bundled domain in some cases is retained by the hosting company so if you decide to go elsewhere for hosting, the prior host will either wipe your domain or hold it ransom.

As for getting your domain back, usually registrars will let you buy your domain back at an inflated rate (usually $80) for up to 90 days post expiration/lapse, but for a name 7 years old, it's unlikely you can buy it back cheaply.

Your best bet is probably to go through a broker like Sedo or GoDaddy (they usually charge $80 plus commission on final price) since they can handle the process of negotiations and transferring the domain.

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Thanks for the info. I could easily change the name around a little, but wanted to take advantage of all the links for the original site. I have recouped much of the copy from the wayback machine archive & just have to get new product. Just don't want confusion when people click on what they think is my site & be directed to japan at www.auntharrietsattic.com . Again, thanks for your input! –  Harriet Duncan Jul 15 '11 at 21:09

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