Two of the biggest practitioners, Oversee.net and Demand Media Inc., are based in the Los Angeles area and have collectively received more than $450 million in venture capital investment to fuel domain name buying sprees.
The bidding paddles flew Tuesday and Wednesday in the hotel ballroom at DomainFest. Individual speculators and deep-pocketed companies snapped up domains such as Porn.net for $400,000, Bookmarks.com for $300,000, Alimony.com for $75,000, Butcher.com for $50,000 and Satinpanties for $10,000.
The more than 600 people who paid as much as $995 to attend the conference also got to hear from one of the “domainer” idols: college dropout Frank Schilling of the Cayman Islands, who started buying Internet addresses with credit cards and eventually amassed 300,000 addresses valued by some would-be buyers at more than $100 million.
Schilling works out of his beach house, where he watches what was until recently the largest TV in the world, and clears about $20 million a year from sites as varied as Homeforeclosure.com and Crosswordpuzzles.com.
The article touches on the ad revenue domainers collect from parking their sites. A parked site–like Crosswordpuzzles.com–has no content, just ads.
“Intuitively, people believe you make more money putting up a building than you do leaving something as a parking lot,” Oversee Executive Vice President Jeff Kupietzky said. “But you can usually make more from parking lots.”