Domain names become hot biz at online auctions

Cyber squatters may have made their life a tad difficult, but enterprising individuals have managed to make an honest living selling domain names – with auction portal eBay India alone recording one sale every eight hours.

Though shell sites named after celebrities and popular businesses like sharukhan.mobi or www.googal.com continue to appear now and then for sale, domain names are fast rising as a separate category of products being sold and purchased on the web.

Sale of domain names is a thriving business in the US and other western countries.

“There has been a significant surge in the sale of domain names on eBay India and at any given point in time, there are over 120 domain names for sale and we even have a dedicated category for listings of domain names,” eBay India’s Corporate Communications Manager Deepa Thomas said from Mumbai.

Paruchuri Sridhar, an eBay seller specialising in domain names with over 100 transactions to his credit, said business is improving every day while forseeing creation of a niche market in the next one year.

On whether cyber squatters pose a problem for genuine domain sellers, he said: “I have not faced such problems and squatting itself is no longer a big issue, as original owners of a brand or trademark have many address options like .in, .org, .net… earlier there used to be just the .com address.”

Talking about squatting, some of the cyber space properties that are for sale on eBay include shakrukhkhan.mobi and kareenakapoor.mobi for Rs 25,000 each. Also for Rs 25,000, one can buy adult domain name NakedNews.co.in — with the seller apparently hoping to ride on the popularity of Canada- based Naked News.