Have you ever been looking for a new domain, found it is available, then the next day you’ve gone to purchase it and found it has been registered? I’ve noticed this happen a few times recently and think you should be aware of this practice as it isn’t talked about that much. This is called ‘domain tasting’.
It seems a number of whois services are infiltrated or run by companies who will go ahead and register certain domain names if they are checked on whois and turn out to be available then try to extort a lot of money from you.
A loophole with COM NET and ORG domains (maybe others, haven’t checked) mean that a company can actually register a domain then drop it within a 5 day grace period and get their money back. To get around this I suggest you use only companies that you trust to check for domains.
Wikipedia states “In April 2006, out of 35 million registrations, only a little more than 2 million were permanent or actually purchased. By February 2007, the CEO of GoDaddy reported that of 55.1 million domain names registered, 51.5 million were canceled and refunded just before the 5 day grace period expired and only 3.6 million domain names were actually kept.”
Remember, this does happen quite frequently – be careful when you are searching for your perfect domain name and don’t give these people a penny.