Owners of "official-sounding" Hillary Clinton domain names are hoping to cash in as the campaign season for the Nov. 8, 2016 U.S. presidential election draws nearer, with the price of one website domain going as high as $295,000.
That's the cost of getting ElectHillary.com. Another domain name, ReElectHillary.com, costs $275,000. USAHillary.com is being sold for $99,999 while VoteHillary.com has a minimum bid of $50,000, according to a CNN report.
"In the world of website domains, Hillary Clinton's name is prime real estate," CNN commented.
The said domains are participating in an auction at popular web hosting company Go Daddy, or GDDY. As of the time of the report, no one has submitted a single bid.
Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential hopeful, already uses one website: HillaryClinton.com. It is owned by Friends of Hillary, the campaign committee created for her senatorial campaigns back in 2000 and 2006. When she ran for president in 2008, she also used the said website.
Some of the domains that come with huge tag prices are anti-Clinton, one of them being HillaryNotPresident.com, which costs $295,000. WomenAgainstHillary.com and WomenAgainstHillary.org each goes for $50,000.
CNN tracked down the owner of these costly domain names capitalizing on Clinton: Janet LaCelle, a 66-year-old retired factory worker who used to build weaponized missiles at the General Electric plant in Syracuse, New York. With a forward-thinking mindset, she purchased the domains ElectHillary.com, ReElectHillary.com, and HillaryNotPresident.com more than a decade ago for just $15 each and renews them yearly. However, she forgot to pay the fee for PresidentHillaryClinton.com.
"I lost a good one," she was quoted as saying by CNN.
LaCelle did not sell domains during the 2008 when Clinton competed against Barack Obama and still blames herself for not more aggressively marketing them. But she still hopes to turn her $45-investment into a $865,000 windfall, and she does not care who buys the domains as long as she gets cash out of them.
"It has nothing to do with caring really who's going to be president," said LaCelle, a registered Republican who vowed to vote for Hillary if she runs for the top government post.
"I would sell it to either or. It's just a domain name," she said.
On the Republican side, there are domain names like PresidentChrisChristie.com and ChrisChristiePresident2016.com, each selling for about $49,000.
Rand Paul already bought RandPaul.com and RandPaul2016. Other similarly-named domains are "dirt cheap," said CNN.
Unfortunately for Jed Bush, JebBush.com is already registered to Fabulous.com and is priced at $250,000.
A computer programmer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, named Chris Christie already snatched ChrisChristie.com ahead of the New Jersey governor.
This common practice of name-claiming started since the early days of the Web in the 1990s. Some people purchased website names they hoped would become popular, treating domains like real estate.
Not all speculators, however, cash in. Powerful companies often send speculators "cease and desist" letters to make them give up domains referencing to brands, said CNN. In 1999, the U.S. Congress passed the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
One famous case cited by CNN is WhiteHouse.com, a former porn site that unsuspecting students doing research were lured into entering instead of the official WhiteHouse.gov. The .com website now just shows a photo of the presidential residence and workplace.