Expensive domain registrations

I’ve recently had a few people ask for advice regarding sales calls where a company¬† states that another company is trying to register a domain name similar to their own. The individual is then given a chance to purchase the domain first at an exorbitant fee.

This is an old scam and fortunately I don’t know anyone who has fallen for this recently.

However, today I feel that maybe I fell for something similar a few years back.

In 2000, before I moved to South Africa, I wanted to register some .co.za domain names for my wife’s business, Better Beginnings. I forget how I came across Internet Solutions in South Africa but I contacted them and they quoted for the domains.

Whilst sorting through some old paperwork today I came across the quote and realised that I had been quoted and paid R500 + VAT for each domain. Domain’s have come down in price in recent years but looking back at the records it seems that IS would have paid R200 inc VAT.

That’s 185% markup. Not a bad profit margin!

I would be very interested to find out if R500 + VAT was a fairly standard price back in 200o or did they just take advantage of a poor unfortunate foreigner who didn’t know better.

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