You did not hear it here, but some domain name registrars have been accused of pumping extra money out of indecisive domain name registrants. How it works is this. You, as the looky-loo registrant go to a domain name registrar and query to see if the domain name is available. You are in luck! The domain name is available. You tell your people, get approval to buy and return to the registrar the next day to buy. What? Now the name is “parked”. You can still buy it, but now at a greatly inflated price.
This scenario appears to be happening far too often to chalk up to coincidence. More likely, the registrar, seeing someone is interested in the domain name, parks it to reap a tidy profit when the interested party returns. If the registrar is a bit sneakier, the registrar might just slip your desired domain name information to a third party for a fee. The same net result, but the registrar claims ignorance.
Does this problem merely reflect the collective unluckiness of a multitude of would be registrants, or actual deviousness on the part of one or more domain name registrars? Does it matter? If you are interested in purchasing a domain name, is it really worth taking the extra time and trouble to be prepared to make the domain name purchase upon your first visit? The real question is, given the low cost of new domain names and the exorbitant cost of “parked” domain names, can you afford not to?