It’s not impossible, but a big payday is unlikely for Peter Crowley, the owner of the domain RomneyRyan.com. In fact, he may have already missed his chance. There are three primary reasons for this.
Domains got cheap & Domainers don’t add value
At some point, the internet realized how cheap individual domains actually are. Your mileage may vary, but the average .com costs between $8 and $12 per year. That means Crowley has likely spent about $20 on the RomneyRyan.com domain name, far less than the roughly $800 he spent buying up potential combinations.
But because he’s not a web developer, he hasn’t added any value. He’s banking entirely on the name, and people aren’t willing to pay for that anymore except in special circumstances. This probably isn’t one of them.
.COM is no longer critical
Being in the .COM TLD is no longer necessary, and its decline will only continue. In other words, a web developer could pick just about any extension they want, and it wouldn’t matter much.
Granted, many of the combinations have been bought by similarly-minded speculators who are also throwing their money into a vast black hole, so the picking’s gettin’ slim, but as of this writing, if I wanted to create a site centered on the Republican ticket, MittAndPaul.co is available as are: MittPaul.co, MittRomneyAndPaulRyan.org and .co, and even RomneyRyan is still available for a significant number of ccTLDs. Taking a different tack, I could just scoop up RepublicanTicket.org and call it a day.
Why would I spend thousands of dollars to get a domain that won’t make much of a difference.
Domain Squatters Lose in Court
Perhaps the biggest reason not to buy Crowley’s domain is the development of laws and judicial precedent weighted heavily against domain squatters. When possession can be reassigned with a few clicks, it’s no longer 9/10ths of the law.
As I mentioned in my most recent 15 Minute Newsbrief, there is plenty of precedent to make a potential buyer wary. PETA managed to claw peta.org away from the owner who was using it to parody the organization. Similarly, Morgan Freeman won a case against Mighty LLC to gain control over MorganFreeman.com.
Who wants to spend thousands of dollars on a domain if it might get yanked out from under them anyway?
Crowley claims he received private offers of $1,000 and $3,000 in the wake of the VP announcement. He should have jumped on the latter offer. Every minute the domain sits at auction, his potential buyers are a minute closer to having some sense knocked into them. Crowley spent $800 dollars on domains. His decision to turn down a very good offer may leave him with nothing but a few local TV interviews.