I noticed the domain name GameCoins.com was in an expired domain name auction over at GoDaddy Auctions after it expired on May 5, 2015.
The domain name has a very interesting history.
For starters, GameCoins.com sold at Sedo.com for $10,500 on September 3, 2009 and the buyer was Ian Swanson of the company Sometrics.
According to an article on AdWeek.com published October 12, 2010:
Sometrics launched a site called GameCoins.com in March that allows users to earn virtual currencies in their favorite online games by writing game reviews, completing offers, installing toolbars, and other tasks for third party customers. And now it’s expanding the program to Facebook, allowing any user to exchange their earned “Game Coins” currency for its new site-wide virtual currency, Credits.
The site was pretty popular according to Archive.org with the GameCoins’ Facebook page having some 362K likes.
Moving forward less than a year later to September 20, 2011 according to an exclusive TechCrunch.com article, Sometrics was acquired by American Express for $30 Million dollars.
After being acquired by American Express, AMEX filed 3 trademarks relating to Game Coins and those trademarks remain active today.
After being acquired, the Sometrics.com and GameCoins.com domain names remained at GoDaddy under the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and were not transferred to CSC Corporate Domains as the majority of AMEX’s domains are.
At some point, likely between the point it was acquired in late 2011 to 2014 the service was discontinued or not promoted by American Express as the Archive.org records continued to be less month after month.
The Facebook page for Game Coins which had 362,000 likes, simply doesn’t exist any more.
Going forward to May 5, 2015 and the domain name GameCoins.com expires at GoDaddy and follows the expired process and reaches expired domain auction on the 25th day after expiring. A 7 day auction takes place and the winning bid of the expired domain auction was $2,938 which ended on June 9, 2015. After the 5-7 day after auction period the past domain owner still had to renew the domain, it was not and transferred ownership to a Sai Pola of India.
This would appear to be a “forgotten” domain on American Express’s part? or they simply felt they didn’t need it any more?
It is always important to research a domain name before you buy it.
Having active trademarks on a term and purchasing the term as a domain name may lead into legal troubles. It also makes sense, even though it was not the case here, to know the past history of what the domain name was used for. Although GameCoins.com was purchased for $10,500 and the company behind Game Coins was acquired for $30 million, the domain expired and is now no longer owned by Sometrics / American Express. GoDaddy pulled in a profit of nearly $3K on the expired domain auction.