At what point are you a serial trademark infringer?


Good Afternoon folks!!
At what point are you a serial trademark infringer? I think that is a fair question.

I have heard every excuse in the world for owning trademarked domains. That
is what they are, excuses.

Now let me tell you how I view it. When you have thousands of domains there
are going to be a small percentage that could eventually be challenged. But the
keyword is SMALL PERCENTAGE!

So if you have 100,000 domains and 10,000 (10%) are questionable, you ARE a
trademark infringer.

So if you have 50,000 domains and 2500 (5%) are questionable, you ARE a
trademark infringer.

So if you have 10,000 domains and 500 (.5%) are questionable, you ARE a
trademark infringer.

Now let's work it backwards and see. I think it is possible for a TINY amount of any
portfolio to possibly have a few questionable domains. It is the nature of the business and you never know who will challenge what, but some are in your face obvious.

10/1000? Ok and THAT is even high!!

But as a rule of thumb, that would make a portfolio with 100,000 domains
have 1000 possible infringements. I believe that number is still high and unacceptable. 1000??
Come on! There is no excuse for that. What number is realistic? Maybe 100. 1 in
1000? 2 in 1000? THAT is where I would say a portfolio should max out. Really,
anything more and you could be labled a serial infringer. 1 or 2 in 1000. 3? 5? What is an acceptable rate from where you sit?

Newbies are coming in and all they do is buy this garbage. They make us
look bad and put themseleves in lots of legal jeopardy that has the potential to blow up
in their faces.

Why is this important? Because 'Ambulance chasers' have found a more
rewarding and lucrative pass time. They can mass email domain owners and rake in domains and
dollars like a casino clearing the craps table.

Be warned just how widespread this is about to be. If you are a serial
trademark infringer, it's gonna ruin your day. At some point we are all in the
same cesspool when anyone from the outside looks in and that is why everyone
should care about this. On the other side there is a lot of over reaching. Those
that think they are entitled to what you own. But it is FUELED by the
infringers themselves for making this such a fertile ground of TM
abuse.
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz.

The Domain Industry’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed

Morning Folks!!
Which dirty little secret do you want to hear first? How many do you know first hand? Actually there are dozens of dirty little secrets. I don't have the time or inclination to go through all of them, but there are many and I see it growing. Trust is definitely going to be an issue going forward. The worst kinda scams are from the people you know and trust. Just ask 'Bernie.' So we are entering a phase that others have talked about. Except this phase may be pretty ugly in what goes on.
I think the last phase could be labeled the abuse phase. Starting at the beginning was the 'Geek' or 'Free' phase 1994. That was followed by the 'Dark' phase 1996 where domains had gone from free to $100 a pop certainly was a dark period with still such little understanding of what existed on the net.
That was followed by the 'Adult' phase in 1997. That was followed by the collapse. 2001/2002. Then we enter what I would call the 'Frank Schilling' phase. This is the post collapse phase in which drops and ppc and mega portfolios emerge. This becomes the domain industries first big boost. That leads into the mega sale phase when we have the Men.com mark the end of the collapse and the biggest rush we have seen to date. 2004. That lead to the trade show phase 2004/2005. Which led to the formation of an industry. 2005. That led to the 'Cut their nuts off' phase. 2007. Which led to the 'Auction Phase' ($12.5 Million T.R.A.F.F.I.C./Moniker auction) 2007 which leads us to the 'Abuse' phases where many took advantage and we are paying the price today. 2008
So here we are in 2009. The next phase. What is it called? I don't know yet. There are other phases. I could and should have mentioned the Marchex deal. The VC phase. There are so many. Like chapters in a book. Perhaps this is 'Book 3' of it all. Or book 4? We can each sit down and name our own personal phases. Maybe the 'Steve Forbes' phase. Whatever you want to call it I call it lifting an industry from obscurity to front and center. A rising tide helps all of us. We can all assist in raising that tide. It happens one contact at a time. Like making a million dollars. You don't make a 'Million' dollars. You make a dollar, 1 million times.
Have a GREAT day!!
Rick Schwartz

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Will 2009 make you Stronger or Weaker? Here is a Roadmap to Avoid the Latter

Afternoon Folks!!

My dad used to say that if your neighbor was unemployed it was a recession.
If you were unemployed, it was a depression. Can't argue with that. Perception
is everything. This is not my first recession and I had one depression in my
life. That lasted for 3 weeks. It was awful. Losing what you love to do is like
a death. A romantic death.

But it was those 3 weeks that would point me into my life's direction.
Through adversity great things are inseminated. The seed of almost all great
success came from the greatest adversity. That is a pretty interesting
phenomenon. Have you experienced the same?

So I want to know how things are in your area? Are stores closing? Are you
living in a tourist area? Are you seeing indications of decay or expansion? The
best way to really find out the state of things is to ask a lot of people and
listen to what they report.

So while we are going through this storm, the good news is most will come
out stronger. The strong will get stronger because they get great strength from
adversity. They rise to the occasion. They work better under pressure. The weak
do just the opposite. They either get weaker, or some will get stronger because
they get great strength from adversity and they may not have known it. It takes
a real disaster to see what folks are really made of. Most rise to the occasion.
Weak or strong, most will find their soul and dig deep when it really counts.
THAT is the difference between everything. The true test.

So as we go through 2009 and what is coming, know you will come out of it
much stronger IF you can understand it and harness it. Harness the mood. Harness
the fear. Harness the energy that times like this produce. There are always new
ways to make old money. There are always old ways to make new money. There are
always ways.

That brings us to us and how lucky we are. We have been challenged before
and come out stronger each and every time. This will be no different however you
can position yourself for the rewards to be much bigger and much sweeter.

If you posses the right mind set, you will sit back, relax, observe, engage
and excel. But knowing where you are at in this down cycle will have a great
impact, if you act too soon, you could be at risk. If you wait too long you could
miss great opportunity. So observing is the key and when the TIME IS RIGHT (and
EVERYTHING is about timing) then you can swoop in and make the deal that can
change your life. It only takes one deal. The right deal. If you are busy making the wrong deal, then you will likely miss it.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

What does”Word of mouth” Really Mean and How do you Make That Happen??


Morning Folks!!
Let's start from scratch. The fastest way to get the word out of something
you have is word of mouth. You want to motivate somebody not motivated to take
an action by telling someone else. That is the essence of great marketing. So we
can talk about development but we are not really developing anything. We need to
create businesses. But in that creation the key is attracting people by having
them tell their friends. It's about hitting critical mass. It's what youtube.com
is about. It's about what all the social networks are about.

So what can you do to make someone as lazy as me to take action? That is
the key question when we develop or open a business. Finding a niche. Tapping
into an energy that we ourselves must create. It is hard to grow a business on
the Internet unless you tap into it in one form or another.

Blogs are a great way to create an audience. But there are millions of
others on their soapboxes and their megaphones. All wanting to do the same
thing. Strike gold. Tap into a gusher. Everyone out their screaming ME! ME! ME!
Soon nobody will be out there to even listen. So getting folks together looking
for similar things is a task that will be getting harder in the future not
easier. That is why I believe domain names with traffic will just become more
and more valuable,

Bottom line, we are all searching for what works. Most things will fail,
but you know it only takes one spark to light the world on fire. One item, one
vehicle, one idea. So folks either spend too much time chasing failure or not
enough time chasing success. That TIME is really the key along with the timing.

Let's say you know a train is going to come in 3 days and is an express
from Miami to NY that takes only 1 day. Is it foolish to do nothing for 2 days
while folks that may not know about the express leave 3 days earlier on a train
that makes 100 stops and takes 4 days to get there? What if I told you that the
local with 100 stops cost 3x as much. What if I told you that the on time record
of the local with 100 stops was 42% and 50% of the time it was a day late? At
some point there is enough info and pitfalls to make you realize that the local
with 100 stops is just kinda silly and the express is much easier, cheaper and
more enjoyable. Sometimes doing nothing can make you more. Especially when you
know the real info. On the express you get in all refreshed. On the local after
4 days and an extra day late you are dirty and tired. It's a tough route. You
still get there, but if you had it to do over again probably enjoy a few extra
days on the beach. So it isn't about working, it is about working
smarter
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz


If I started Again Today in the Domain Business


Morning Folks!!
If I had to start again today it would be much harder. But that is why I
did not start today and why I said in 1996 that THIS was a 'Unique opportunity
in time' Now maybe folks really understand wtf that meant. But if I did start
again today and I believe you can, I would do the following.

First, decide how much you want to INVEST in domain names. $5000, $10,000,
$100,000.

Let's pick $10,000

Assuming you know what constitutes a good domain name (90% still have no
clue) then I would try and buy domains from $100-$1000. I would buy as many as I
could that are SALEABLE. That mean something. That could have value to someone.
Then start selling. Put yourself out there. Find a domainer that you can feed.
That is a domainer that you know can turn your domain into cash because YOU did
the legwork. Oh, did I mention you have to WORK?? Yes, you have to get your lazy
ass and actually do something. 8 hours a day? Come on! 12 hours a day? closer.
16-18 hours....ok, now you are talking. You got to dig baby! You got to dig! You
got to be smart. You got to be creative. What you can't do is what I hear the
most....WHINE! The answers are all there for you and most are just too lazy to
read it. They WHINE!

Go out and find a great domain before the next guy. You may even find one
that produces income and did not cost a lot. But you got to dig. Do research.
Pay attention. Hand register. There is still more opportunity in the domain
business than any other business I see. Do I want to do it again? No. I put in
my 18 hour days then so I would not have to do it now.

So there is a simple roadmap but YOU have to put in the sweat and tears.
Nobody in this business made it without hard word, long hours and sacrifice.
Nobody made it without making mistakes. Nobody made it without a lot of things.
So if you have yet to make it....STOP Stop in your tracks. Stop moving
backwards, Stop moving. Stop. Go to the beach. Just stop what you are doing,
take a deep breath. Think what you want and realize the way you picked ain't
making you the $$$ you should be making. It is more important today than ever.
Just because you have years invested in the wrong path does not mean you can't
get on the right one. But you got to change the music for a different
result.

There are just so many ways to climb this mountain. Have no money? You can
be a broker and sell a domain for someone. But do it smart and you will make it.
Do it stupid and you will be laughed at. It only takes ONE DEAL to get you
fueled. Imagine making a deal to sell a domain. If you know who and how and
where, you could take a domainer, approach them. Say I will sell your domain and
I want my 10% commission. On top of that, if I sell it for over $100k, we split
that portion 50/50. Now here you just laid the groundwork for a big payday and a
way to fund your entire enterprise with just one deal. But you gotta WORK!! Got
to have contacts. Find end users. Do all types of stuff but nobody can do it for
YOU! I just gave you a couple ways I would approach it. One with $$$ in my
pocket and one where I was flat broke.
The second example would be my choice
because all you need is brains and ideas and hard work and the money will come.
But you can do both without a heck of a lot of head wind. But it takes time and
patience and hard work. Find something that works and repeat, repeat, repeat. That is the secret. It's just too simple for people to discipline themselves to do so they run 20 different directions at once instead of focusing on something tried and true..

The 80/20 rule exists because only 20% or less are willing to do the hard work to
get to results. The remaining 80% spend their lives whining. YOUR
CHOICE!!!

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


How much is a domain really worth?


Morning folks!!
How much is a domain really worth? That is the key question in our business and beyond. But first you have
to ask yourself some questions.

1. Is your valuation as an asset?

2. Is your valuation as an income producer?

3. Is your valuation as a collectible?

4. Is your valuation as a commodity?

5. Is your valuation for a NEED?

6. Is your valuation for a WANT.

7. Is your valuation for a project?

8. Is your valuation for an idea?

9. Is your valuation for its' uniqueness?

10. Is your valuation based on more than one of these or all of
these?

I can add more to that list and so can you. Like future value. Like value because a huge
company has a hit website and you have the singular version. The point is like a
diamond, there are so many ways to measure value in a domain name and the value can change. There is also
a value if you are forced to sell it right now today because if you don't make
your $3500 mortgage payment you are in foreclosure. So the biggest one in
valuation is and has always been Circumstance. So if you can
avoid circumstance, you can also avoid selling low. The minute you put a time
frame on selling a domain you are going to get less than it may be worth. I look
at each domain as a planted seed. If you harvest it before it is ready, you
don't get much reward. There is no fruit.

I have never really let a domain drop. If I bought it, it was to keep. The
only ones I let expire are the ones that are time sensitive. Not much of a
market for ClintonEdwards2008.com or such type 'Perishable' domains. So the
point is those getting hammered with registration fees may want to look at the
business differently. I run into guys all the time that have tens of thousands
of domains and are lucky if they break even. If I look at 10,000 domains that
don't have much meaning and don't earn reg fees I am looking at a business that
is wasting $80k a year. $800k over 10 years. That's a liability, not an
asset. Dumping the crap to buy just a handful of premium domains is the map to
their survival. I often say that my most important purchases were my early ones
because they gave me the fuel and luxury to take risks and experiment.

Some say you can't hand register domains anymore. I do all the time. The
domain market merged with advertising is not static. New opportunities
materialize constantly. I hate redundant domains. What is a redundant domain?
A domain that says the same thing twice and sounds stupid and has no meaning.
But they litter the highway there are so many out there.
FixedLockedMortgageRates.com. I'll have to add some more. Usually the first 2
words have the same meaning. Worthless in my book. Let's face it, it is easy to
buy a crappy domain. So in today's economy building income is more important
than ever. Buy domains with income. So damn easy compared to everything else.
Just look for someone with a circumstance that wants to cash out and you are an
instant winner. At least your investment is going to pay dividends while your
asset or collectible or whatever you want to call it goes up in value. Last time
I looked domains are still in great demand. If you open a business today the
domain name is no longer an afterthought. THAT is a HUGE sea change. We may not
see it. But believe me it happened. I will close with what I have said from day #1 and I have never wavered. 'Domains will go up in value faster than any other commodity ever known to man'. (But let me exclude worthless domains that will continue to be worthless.)

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz


Doom and Gloom and a Pot of Gold

Morning Folks,
In the past couple weeks I have tried to articulate the perils we face. I
believe this is where we are at. It took me a long time to figure it out. I
think things can get dramatically worse and if another attack were to come it
would be economically devastating.
But the one thing I keep coming back to, if I had ONE asset to get me thru
whatever we are going to face, it is domains. Income producing domains. The most
versatile asset ever invented.
You get on a plane to another country and they ask you if you are carrying
more than $10,000 in cash and other instruments? Domains worth millions are
invisible to the naked eye. You can take them wherever you go and when you get
frisked, they won't find them. You don't have to hollow out your heel and fill
them with diamonds.
So a 'Unique opportunity in time' has now turned into a 'Unique Asset in
time.' So all I can say is with everything we are about to face, few will have
the luxury of being as nimble as we are. You can operate an empire from an
iPhone.
So I will say this about buying domains in 2009. If
you can't get stats and daily earnings and a really good projection of how many
years to get your $$$ out of a mid price domain, pass and find one you can. Each
purchase is important from here on out. Buy assets not liabilities. There IS a
difference.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


Rick’s Incredible economic plan…….Let’s give them Seattle

Good Morning Folks!!


Let's give them Seattle. You heard it right. You heard it here
first! This is no joke. Well kinda. Let's give them Seattle. They are
'Sleepless' in Seattle anyway, so let's give Seattle to China. See I
figure the value of Seattle would pay off the debt we owe to China if
we do it by midnight tonight. That would solve our economic problem.
Outrageous you scream! Come on Seattle, get a sense of humor. I thought
about Wichita but that would not pay enough of the debt. Los Angeles
was an option but so many of the parking companies are there. San
Francisco would give us a credit from China but I don't trust them to
pay it back. So Seattle for now. But we must do it by midnight or we
have to throw in Tacoma if we wait until tomorrow.
New York was a consideration and we will probably be forced to give them
New York City in about 3 years. Now if we wait 5 years San Francisco won't be
enough. We will likely have to give them the entire state of California. So I
say act now before we get swallowed up completely and have to give them the
entire Louisiana Purchase.

Sad ain't it?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Test, Experiment, Test again, Experiment, Test, Test, Test

Morning folks!!
How often do you test and experiment and change parking companies or other
ways to monetize with the traffic you have? Do you just leave your traffic at the same place month after month? Maybe even year after year. Show me someone who does not test and I will show you someone that is making much less than they should.

It always amazes me how little testing many domainers do. I started testing 14
years ago and I have never stopped. Ya know how you expect higher prices for the
same merchandise at different stores, well parking companies are the same. You
have to know which ones will eat your traffic and not spit out revenue. The
variance in payouts is staggering. It is not uncommon for it to be 2x, 3x, 4x
and even more. Some companies consistently pay lower. Some just on certain names
or categories. Some pay higher. Do you know which ones?

The best way to earn without the hard work is a direct deal with an end user. That trumps
anything you can make on ppc and many times anything you can do yourself. Now
that the net is getting more sophisticated and end users are beginning to
understand that a million visitors with no sales is not as good as 5 visitors
with 1 sale. So while PPC is not what it was, the end user is finally worth
contacting. The point is you can never really rest. You need to watch those stats and you need to understand that your day job is squeezing as much revenue out as possible. How much money are you leaving on the table?
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz.

Do you ask the RIGHT questions when buying domains? My top 20 Right Here!


Afternoon Folks!

If you want to buy great domains you have to ask the right questions to see
if it qualifies. If you don't ask the right questions it is virtually impossible
to buy the right domain. What is the right domain? One that will be in demand in
the future for starters. Some focus on the tools out there and that is all well
and good. I would give that part of the equation the least amount of weight.
That will change if you are focused on the future. So zero today may mean
hundreds or thousands tomorrow.

Here are just some of my top categories.
1. Is it easy to spell? I mean EASY! The masses can't spell.

2. Is it easy to remember?
3. Will it look good on a billboard or in a commercial?

4. Will it pass the radio test?
5. Is it commercial or social?


6. Does it mean something just standing alone?


7. Can the domain go up in value by 100x? by 1000x 10,000x?


8. Is this a retail price or a wholesale price?


9. Are the other extensions taken?


10. Does it get ANY traffic or make ANY income consistently?


11. Is it a plural when it should be a singular? Or is it a singular when
it should be plural?


12. Will there be mistypes? If you buy a .net and build it without owning
the .com how much traffic will you lose?


13. If I decide I don't want the domain anymore is it good enough to be
liquid?
14. Are there other related domains that would help or hinder?


15. Is this the best domain I can find for the money?


16. Can I use the money in a better way?


17. Does it add value to your overall portfolio?


18. Could you open a business around that domain name?


19. Is the traffic type in or is it coming from any other way?


20. Could you envision a large company using that domain in a national ad
campaign?

These are just a FEW of the questions I ask and most take a split second to
figure out. You need gut. The best way to build gut is guessing the traffic
before you find out the actual numbers. If you master this, you will be way
ahead of the curve.

I still believe most great domains are bargains and priced between $500,
$5000 and $10,000. I can't afford all the bargains out there. That is also why
if you have large portfolios, dumping your crap is essential to survival. 10,000
names making no revenue is worth cutting loose and buying 80 $1000 names. There
is about to be a glut of shit domains on the market. So the drop game is about
to change once again. This one will be like peeing on an electric fence because
anyone picking up those drops will merely be buying a liability at the worst
possible moment.



I am sure you have your criteria as well. Some are more focused. Some are
more general. Some are with different extensions. How ever you do it, 2009 is a
year where folks can not afford to make mistakes.

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz