Letting some domains expire

I think I’m going to let some of my domain names expire. I own or manage hundreds of domains. When competion entered into the domain name market place and the cost of domains fell to under $10, I started buying more of them. I bought a lot of them that were cool or that I thought would be neat to have to some sort of future development.

Since I was used to paying $70 or more for domains, it seemed reasonable to buy the .com, .org, .net, .etc. domains as well – to protect them from malicious registration. Buying them all was still less than I used to pay for a single domain, so why not protect them? There was also the evil spectre of people who would register your other names just to mess with you. That doesn’t seem to happen as often as we thought. Even more fun, case law supports the Lanham act and helps prevent malicious use in commerce.

Now that I have a large collection of domains, the registration fee is running into the thousands of dollars a year. Really, if I’ve had a domain for 4 years and haven’t developed it yet, will I ever? At what point is it work laying off it? I think that point is now. Having had enough registration fees to declare them in their own deduction category on my taxes, I think they have developed into a habit almost as expensive as Starbucks. I think it’s time to start pruning.

It’s also interesting to note that there are now more domains that expire each year than are registered. Hmm. Food for thought. I think I’ll keep most of the .com addresses, but drop the .org and some .net addresses – especially for those that I don’t have the .com address. Realistically, everyone assumes that you have a .com. Except for really limited internal use, other TLDs are pretty useless these days.

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