Sneak Peak TRAFFIC WEST 2008

Morning Folks!!

In a few minutes I am off to Las Vegas and TRAFFIC. But before I go I would like to share the message that will be inside the printed show program. Whether you attend or not, it's something to readas we are going to have a very interesting 2008.
Hi Folks and Welcome to
Las Vegas and TRAFFIC WEST 2008.

This is the 13th year of
my 20 year plan. It may be a 20 year plan, but the finish line does not happen
the minute you hit 20 years. It is a process that happens over time and many
things have to fall in place for this to happen. As I see it, 2008 is THE most
pivotal year in this industry. The entire future of our space will be
determined in the next several months. If the domain industry rises to the occasion,
then the 20 year plan is right on track and it will be a great ride. If not,
the consequences won't be seen today but the ride to the 20 year mark will be
rough and unpleasant and you had better have loads of lawyers on staff.

This is the year that will
determine if your destiny is going to be in your hands or forfeit to those
predators that want what you have because the value of domains has
skyrocketed into the thousands of dollars, and in many instances in the
hundreds of thousands and even millions. Just because the market has
yet to recognize it does not mean that we can surrender what we believe
due to the ignorance of others. That ignorance will transform itself into
a monster unless folks grasp what is a natural phenomena. That is why you
have to look back at history to see what will unfold in the future. That was
why we had Steve Forbes as a speaker.  As an historian, he understands the
threats to take over our assets as has happened in the past. That is why we
will hear from Jim McCann who is a walking history and may have fought some of
the battles we are yet to see.

Some tell me I should
not say things like this. I am the most optimistic person you will
meet. That optimism does not mean I am blind to reality. Blind to threats.
Blind to bad weather just because the sun is shining today and all is well. I
know this industry is very charitable. If you want to continue to be able to
give and provide, then fortify your own livelihoods by supporting the
organization that may be the only thing between us and the predators that will
surely come to get our assets; not in the marketplace, but  rather resort
to the courtroom where they can outspend and out wait you while making your
lives miserable.

On the other front is
transparency. Payouts with no rhyme or reason. The numbers don't lie and
we are seeing things that are troubling. Like I have said several times in the
last few months....'We count our change when we give a $20 at McDonalds
and don't do the same things when BIG money is at stake. Personally, I think
that is insane and lazy and I could go on and on.

Recently someone posed
this question:

'When will all
these companies stop treating us like mindless 'traffic' and more
like 'partners' or at least offer those of us interested this respect?'

My answer:

'That's an easy one....When DOMAINERS show up and demand it. For years we have done nothing to protect
our assets. THIS is the chance to press for concrete changes. With a unified
mind and purpose, there is strength to demand transparency and
accountability.  Without it, there is no reason why any change to increase
our income should take place. Only domain owners themselves can demand their
fair share.'
So, while things are still good, we are entering some uncertain economic times.
We have real challenges and in the coming months we will see if domainers are
up to the challenge.

Thanks for coming to
TRAFFIC. Howard and I along with our wives and Ray will do everything we
can to provide the tools and relationships you need to achieve whatever dream
you carry with you. When you bring GREAT people together, GREAT things can

Rick Schwartz
CEO and Co-founder

7 thoughts on “Sneak Peak TRAFFIC WEST 2008

  1. E. Aram

    Mr. Schwartz,
    This remains the most insightful Blog addressing Domaining available online.
    Thank You.
    Wish that I could join you at TRAFFIC. Hope it is exceptional for all of you!
    Hmmm, perhaps I will register;

  2. Robbie Ferguson

    Hi Rick,
    Great Blog again, It just show that you know exactly what you are talking about, who knows what 2008 shall bring, we have the .ASIA domain open to everyone on the 20th of Feb and this another area where you are going to see thousands of new domainers try and make there millions but as you say you might need lawyers on board as most new domainer think that buying a typo or trademark name is going to make them money – Short term it might get them some decent ppc but as i know and many other good domainers you will get screwed by the big boys and they will come after you and shut you down. So lets see how 2008 shall go. Also on the other hand I am still looking for a broker to sell some of my names please email me if anyone is interested in 30% commission.
    All the best and keep making those millions,

  3. bgmv

    Mr.Schwartz Please, Please read this, registrars are taking advantage of us. Domainers have to unite, we are being taken advantage of. Please read this, myself and countless others would appreciate this.
    Everyone please Digg this, here is the link: [url][/url] . If there is public awareness about what is going on maybe something will happen.
    Recent events have made it very evident that both PayPal and GoDaddy support and protect internet scamming, identity theft, and fraudulent account activities. PayPal and GoDaddy are giants in their respective market segments and domainers have been using both for years. Domainers trusted their domain sales and transfers in the hands of these two corporations, but I do not think that trend will continue much longer.
    Recently there have been a lot of scammers going on to forums and initiating sales and purchases of (4 letter .com domain names.) What happens is the scammer either creates a new username at a forum or he somehow hacks into a preexisting username and emulates another user. The scammer then sends out private messages (PM) to users that have posted their domains for sale and offers to buy them. Once negotiations have ended and a price has been established by both the seller and scammer, the scammer sends payment. Currently these scammers only pay via PayPal and only buy names that are registered at GoDaddy; of course, there is a reason for that.
    The scammer sends payment via a STOLEN or HACKED PayPal account, assuming the identity of that person. Once the seller receives/confirms payment via PayPal he or she transfers the domains registered at GoDaddy to the Scammer. In order to complete the transfer of the domain the buyer (scammer) must provide the following information: Name, Complete Address, Country, Phone, and Email corresponding to the GoDaddy account where the domains will be transferred to. Usually, the account information is manipulated to match the identical information as the stolen PayPal account, preventing suspicion. Now the seller transfers the domains to the scammers GoDaddy account. Once the domains have been transferred a confirmation PM is sent and the scammer of course says everything is perfect. The seller goes to sleep happy and the scammer is grinning ear to ear because within minutes the scammer initiates a Chargeback on the stolen PayPal account. A chargeback occurs when fraudulent activity or unauthorized purchases have occurred and PayPal immediately reclaims the funds, without question. After the chargeback is completed the funds in the sellers PayPal account are $0.00. At this point the Scammer has the seller’s domains and the seller has neither the money for the domains nor the domains themselves.
    This is where both PayPal and GoDaddy facilitate and condone the scammer’s getaway. The seller calls PayPal and asks,” What happened to my money?”
    PayPal responds with, “We are sorry sir but the funds you received for the following transaction were fraudulently acquired and the TRUE owner of the account denies initiating the transaction.”
    The seller then asks, “Well, do I get my money back? What about my domains can I get those back?”
    PayPal responds with, “Actually sir because domains are an INTANGIBLE item they do not comply with the Seller Protection Agreement and are not covered by PayPal, only TANGIBLE items are covered against charge backs. We recommend contacting your registrar to see if they can help you.”
    Seller says, “Ok, so the TRUE owner of the account gets his money back, the scammer gets my domains and I am left with neither! I don’t understand how this is possible. Can you provide me with information that you uncover about the scammer so I can contact him or her?”
    PayPal representative, “Unfortunately there is nothing we can do for you on our end. Any information that we find can only be obtained by SUBPEONA. The only thing you can do is take legal action against the perpetrator.”
    Seller says something along the line of, “This is unethical and you will hear from my lawyers, I will never use your services again,” and then hangs up.
    So that’s step one in the Scammer’s getaway. PayPal is concealing the identity of the scammer; they can easily track him or her down via a reverse IP lookup to see who initiated the transaction. They protect the TRUE owner of the account and the thief but they do not protect the seller? The seller is the one that has to pay the 3.2% fees, for what, what are those fees going towards if they cannot even protect you. If a transaction is for intangible goods then you should not be FORCED to pay their fees, there is no point.
    Here comes step 2 in this disappearing act. By now the seller is feeling agitated but still feels that their is light at the end of the GoDaddy tunnel. The seller checks the information for the stolen domains and sees that they are still registered to the THIEF and remain in the GoDaddy system. Surely it would be easy to reverse the transfer; it should not be that hard, you have the GoDaddy email along with all the other contact info to which the domains were transferred to…WRONG! You decide to contact GoDaddy and see what they can do. After explaining your situation to the representative they respond with this, “Unfortunately, GoDaddy does not get involved in third party disputes. This is why we have TDNAM, so you can sell your domains safely.”
    TDNAM is an online auction site OWNED by GoDaddy wherein the seller must pay a yearly fee of $6.95 and Escrow fees.
    Seller says, “WHAT! These domains were stolen from me and they are in your system. They were just transferred hours ago and I can’t get them back?”
    GoDaddy, “I’m sorry sir, but since these domains were not transferred via TDNAM we have no responsibility to the buyer or the seller. Once the account change is initiated and accepted we are not involved.”
    You go back and forth with the GoDaddy representative but get nowhere, there is nothing you can do, and you just got SCAMMED.
    The only way to get your domains back is by legal action or reporting the problem to Or by the grace of God you find out who the scammer is and harass them to the point of forfeiture. Other than that you are shit out of luck and there is nothing to be done.
    That is how I and countless other sellers got scammed and all we can do is sit here holding the bag. The scammers know every angle, they choose GoDaddy and PayPal because they know that they do not pursue or amend fraudulent transfers and charge backs. The next step is to file a class action lawsuit against PayPal and GoDaddy . All I ask is that anyone that has had this occurrence please email me at [email][/email], I will compile a list of victims and their situations.
    Thanks to anyone in advance who decides to help out, I know I’m not alone.

  4. DomainerPro

    So why doesn’t any domain parking company set up a totally transparent system? Seems like they would be able to pull in some major partners (domainers) who are tired of the same old-same old.

  5. William

    Rick, thank you for telling the truth. I just wish I had read your posts a few years ago in which case I would have run from the industry the way I d run from small pox. Indeed unless an owner of a good name is a billionaire he should feel like a beautiful naked woman locked up in a small cell with a dozen serial rapists. for 1 gets the impression that domains r such vulnerable, precarious, stressful assets and come with so many ifs and buts that unless u have ur own army to defend tham u shouldnt come within 100 miles of them. Currently there r so many warnings abt cybercriminals, domain thefts, blood-sucking lawyers and wut not and the picture is so full of doom and gloom that
    it is simply not worth one’s while to enter this industry. Honestly, I have yet to come across an industry where ur asset can b taken away just becoz some1 can outspend u. I just hope a lot of aspiring domainers are reading all these posts about the horrible dangers associated with domaining ( although I doubt they r, but I ll do wut I can to spread the word). It seems the situation is hopeless unless ur a billionaire with 2 armies to protect u. 1 army consisting of laywers to protect against’ outspending’ folks, 2nd of IT experts to protect against devious, menacing cybercriminals lurking around every corner. Consider this scenario: a small businessman/ individual buys a good name in secondary market for 7k. Next day some1 who can ‘outspend’ him demands the name wut should the owner do? Simply give away the name, right? Surely ur not saying he should spend 10k trying to defend 7k asset, right? Take another scenario, some1 registers a name which becomes valuable few yrs down the road, and alas, again our outspending friend arrives. And even if u cud somehow evade the outspending folks there r these cybecriminals who currently seem to fancy iran as their origin as it gives authorites in west good excuse not to be able to track /em. Phew!! I am already getting a heart attack writing all this and ur telling folks domains r lucarative business. Wut good is a multimillion dollar asset if it can be taken away from u in a blink. As for making peanuts thru parking, if 1 put their money in savings a/c they cud still make peanuts but with 1 advantage: no effort or risk. In fact if they spent all that time they d otherwise waste in front of comp. learning, reading, tracking peanuts at 7 eleven they d be far better off. As 4 supporting organizations like ica. Wut would they do? Would they protect domainers from any1 or shud they be financed for some theoretical lobbying which may or may not have some effect in distant future. I reckon they r total waste of money for an average domainer and they ll actually do nothing. Only those who r already making 10s of million shud donate 2 them. I think all the blogs/forums etc of this industry should show a big warning sign on top of them. Something like BEWARE OF DOMAIN NAMES, they are the only asset type in the world which can be taken away from you if some1 can potentially outspend u., failing that they will be stolen. Unlike stocks and other speculative assets they can be and will b stolen, hijacked, snatched leaving u with lot of stress and ‘sleepless nights’. So with that thought firmly placed in the front of ur mind enter at ur own risk, fully aware that next day a fortune 100 lawyer ll b dragging u in court and’outspending’ u and making ur life so miserable u ll wish u were never born. I think this type of honesty is badly needed now that the success stories of domainers r appearing in mainstream media and god only knows how many unsuspecting, naïve joe blokes r entering the industry which guys like uand me know is so full of dangers. I am a single guy with no responsibilities and aimless life so it doesn’t matter all that much if I get hurt but I feel for those family men who may get lured into this pit unknowingly. I can use my story to spread the message more convincingly, but if those guys lose their hard-earned savings and waste the quality family time learing this game and creating something valuable only to find it can b taken away from them so easily, they wont even have time to complain.


    Sneak Peak TRAFFIC WEST 2008

    We will reach out and touch ‘The Domain King’ soon. Rick Swartz is an industry Icon that we really respect a lot and know he’s been busy with TRAFFIC West. We will hold our analysis until results are posted. Hopefully


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