Bunny Bows: An Easter Story

On Easter Sunday, I won back at auction bunnybows.com, which I lost in early 2008. There’s something appropriate to reclaiming the bunny domain on Easter. I would have blogged then, but bunnybows.com wasn’t officially released to me until today.

Backstory: In mid-November 2006, I tested Microsoft’s Office Live small business online service. Part of the setup process involved choosing a domain. I asked my then 12 year-old daughter if she could suggest one. She looked down at her rabbit Daisy, with whom I shared office space, and said, “bunny bows”. Sure enough, bunnybows.com was available, so I used it for my new Office Live site.

That was a mistake. I didn’t think through what the free registration meant. Microsoft, and not me, came to control the domain, for which Melbourne IT was registrar. In December 2006 Microsoft Watch post “Why I killed Office Live”, I explained how the domain could only be released to me by the cancellation of the online account. The blog post details the miserable process of gaining control of the domain and unlocking it for transfer to my registrar here in the United States. [Editor’s Note: Ziff Davis Enterprise later wiped Microsoft Watch of all posts, so the one referenced is gone; original link is removed.]

The post ends on the happy note of my putting in for the registrar change. But the story had a postscript. Because of an ICANN-imposed 60-day waiting period, the registrar transfer failed. So I repeatedly tried again in March 2007, without success. I’m seasoned at this kind of thing, having registered my first domain in 1995. Not before or since had I so much difficulty moving a domain. Nearly five months into a new job, I was too busy to fuss with bunnybows.com, even though I had registered the .net and .org variants in December 2006. I decided to let the domain expire and later pick it up when released.

Big mistake. I didn’t understand how squatters typically snatch expired domains, as someone did with bunnybows.com. I lost it. Fast foward to January 2010. While preparing to renew cusper and cuspers domain variants, I did a WHOIS search on bunnybows.com, which was up for renewal in late February. So I put in a backorder request should the domain owner let it expire. On March 1, GoDaddy sent email that the expiration date of the domain had changed from Feb. 28, 2010 to Feb. 28, 2011; so much for my getting back bunnybows.com.

Then something strange happened. On March 25, I received an email that the domain had gone to auction after all. Following a small bidding war, I won back bunnybows.com on April 4, Easter Sunday, for $30. I’m undecided how I will use the domain or its variants. I don’t squat domains. BunnyBows could be used lots of ways, including for selling something.

Someone else thinks so, too. In preparing to write this post, I Googled “bunny bows”, finding handmade products Website—you guessed it—BunnyBows off domain bunnybows.us. Near as I can reckon from the WHOIS record, bunnybows.us was created in Spring 2008, when I held the .net and .org variants and someone else the .com. Lucky for me, the BunnyBows online store owner didn’t backorder the dot-com variant. Although, for all I know, she was the other bidder, as that information wasn’t released to me. But I do feel a wee bit guilty, even though I only discovered the BunnyBows store just this evening. Mmmm. Perhaps I can quash my guilt with a purchase.

Update, Easter Sunday 2015: I set up bunnybows.com in 2013, as Bunny Bows Press, for promoting my ebooks. I no longer need feel guilty about driving that small business to bunnybows.us, which was let go and is available for registration. I’ll pass. For me, dot com, net, and org are more than enough.