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Domain name sellers lose the plot

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Surfers seem to have lost the plot when it comes to trying to cash in on the domain name scramble.

Not only are they snapping up any old domain creation that sports a trademark - auctions this month on eBay included microsoftcriticalupdates.com and microsoftofficeupdates.com - but they also seem to expect to make a mint by pitching any URL with a TLD.

One optimistic seller was asking for $21 million for shoppinggirl.com, and $50 million for the domains genetherapies.net and genetherapies.org. "IF YOU DON'T HAVE A NATURAL BRAND NAME OR A COUPLE HUNDRED MILLION, DON'T BOTHER! The Domain Names "GeneTherapies.net, GeneTherapies.org" Is for sale," screamed the description on eBay. These domains are currently registered to Californian Tom Clark. Unsurprisingly, the auction ended with no bids.

The seller of the Microsoft domains, who called themselves "supermarketing" and pitched the creations at "the discerning businessman", was asking for between $10,000 and $150,000. No-one was willing to stump up the cash, probably just as well as the mighty Microsoft need only to get onto its lawyers or WIPO and the domains would be whipped away before you could say "cybersquatter".

Other blips in reality included the sale of the domain ijhj.com. Touted as a "rare 4-letter .com" - probably so rare that no surfer would ever accidentally find it - it went for the bargain price of $5.51. ®

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