Domaining is the business of buying, selling, developing and monetizing Internet domain names. Such domain name portfolios often include cleverly chosen and highly marketable generic domain names, or domains whose registrations had lapsed yet still retain reasonable traffic. There is sometimes no actual intent to use any of the domain names with the exception of generating advertising revenue through domain parking. Domain names are the addresses of the web and come in a wide variety of extensions (.com being the most popular).
Domainers are individuals whose profession is the accumulation and dealing of generic internet domain names. Although controversially compared to cybersquatters and ticket scalpers, Domainers claim to differentiate and legitimize themselves by avoiding trademarked names and potentially contentious domain names, and refraining from typosquatting. They consider their conduct in buying, selling, and developing domain names to be in the same spirit as real estate investing. Domainers generate revenue via domain parking, through the resale of domain names and by developing domain names into fully functioning websites. Domainers are also sometimes referred to as domain investors and commercial registrants.
As of December 2006 there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 individuals globally who make buying and selling domain names a part of their business. USA Today reported that many Domainers prefer to remain anonymous due to the competitive and controversial nature of their business.
A report in USA Today states that known sales of 5,851 domain names generated $29 million in 2005, compared with known sales of 3,813 names for $15 million in 2004. Like the tip of an iceberg, the number of reported sales is estimated to be 5-10% of the broader secondary domain resale market.
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