Want to get a domain name that’s already owned or taken by someone else? You see that’s not used and inactive on any website? And you really found the domain great for your business and want to purchase it?
So, read the full guide, we’ll show you how to negotiate and get your best domain name without wasting time.
How important is a domain name for a website?
A domain name is an identification string that locates an organization or any other entity on the internet. For example,
www.arsenal.com locates an address for arsenal.com at the internet point 199.0.02and a host server named “www”.
The “com” part of the domain usually shows the purpose of the organization. For example, commercials in the above domain name, this is a top-level domain name.
One of the key aspects of establishing yourself online is choosing the right name for your website.
The domain must be eye-catching and easy to recall for anyone who sees it. However, there might be a glitch in that after picking your perfect domain name and selecting a hosting provider you find that the name is already registered by someone else.
If you are fixated on this name, then you will have to enter the world of after=market domains.
Speculators have been known to purchase registered domains with no website associated with them and to bank on making a profit by selling them later on to future buyers.
This makes buying an already taken domain name that’s not used a tricky process, however, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. In reality, it requires you to go about it in the right way to increase your chances of getting the domain.
We have come up with a step-by-step guideline that will help you increase your chances of getting a domain name that’s already registered and not available for registration.
Steps to follow to get a domain name that’s taken but not used
1. Brainstorm various names
This can be done by typing a list of the domains, however, the names that are short and better are probably expensive. You can use Dot-o-mator.com to look for word combinations.
After finishing up the list, you can go to GoDaddy which is one of the best domain registrars and upload it via the bulk upload feature on the menu. This will help you see the domain names from your list that are not taken.
2. Hit the Auction.
When you check a domain name’s availability, you get a clear idea of what you should do next. So, if none of the available names look good and please you, then it’s time to hit the auction.
There are various sites for this, for example, NameCheap is the cheapest place to buy domain names. Also, GoDaddy auctions are good places where you can search for keywords to find inactive domain names even if they’re taken.
Domain tools also have a good search that aggregates most auctions. In that auction site, you could be lucky and find great domains that are not used for only a few hundred dollars.
3. Shrinking the list
In this step, you will be required to go to each domain, for ABC go to abc.com. In shrinking the list you will be able to break it down into four categories. These include:
Investors pages: These pages are just links to other sites, so, they are used to monetize the location and hence are easy to figure out. They are almost always up for sale and there are the contact details.
Real business pages: These pages are nearly impossible to get. They should go to the bottom of your list because these names are pricier and a lot harder to purchase.
Construction pages: These pages are either owned by an amateur who registered the page and forgot about it or is holding it or the page is owned by someone about to put up a business at the site. These names can be bought though sometimes they may be unavailable for sale. This depends mainly on your negotiation skills and luck.
4. Contacting the owner of the domain name
Buying a domain name from someone is different than using a registration service.
This is an important step, you need to ask yourself a few questions before considering to approach the person with the domain name you want to purchase, these questions include:
How important is the specific domain name to your new venture?
The importance of the domain name should be the very first question in your mind. If the domain name is for a service or product that you are to launch, then a name of the product as a domain name may be very important. This is because it will be the primary and most intuitive domain name for the venture.
- You can also read our comparison of Hover and Namecheap
For example, if you are planning to launch a new product called “tasty” it may be important to buy a domain name matching this name.
That is “tasty.com”, this will help increase the traffic to your site as people will find it in the first position in Google and other search engines.
How much money are you willing to spend on this domain name
Before you purchase a domain name from the owner, you should consider the pricing as it’s important. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on nothing. In fact, that depends mainly on the budget of the entrepreneur or business.
For some, purchasing a $1000 domain name will lead to a great hit on its marketing budget. For a larger company, a $10000 domain name may be a bargain.
How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
A domain name that’s available for registration will cost around $10 and in many cases, it comes with free Whois privacy protection. On the other side, the cost of the domain that’s taken by someone else can be cheap or very expensive depending on many factors and the popularity of the name. Also, if you add the web host fees to start the site on that domain, that also needs intention.
How much does a registered domain name cost (if listed for sale)?
On Godaddy, a one-word .com is probably expensive, costing between $5000 and $200000. For two-word.com domain names the price is much less. Invented names, on the other hand, may cost even less than $1000.
How urgent is it to have this specific domain name
It is important to note that being in a better negotiation position when trying to buy a domain name is very essential. This can be achieved by ensuring that you have more time to source and buy a specific domain name.
Waiting till the last minute to purchase your domain after you have already made a public announcement on the product you want to provide will squeeze you to a corner. This is because you will have put yourself in a situation that drives the domain’s price up.
Can another domain name work for you? (Plan B)
Having a plan B helps you save time and money, this is essential, especially where the domain name you want is not available for sale. In reality, when you buy an owned domain, you need to make sure it is worth your investment.
After considering the above questions and analyzing them fully, then you can contact the owner. To contact the domain owner, you may need to do the following things that will help you locate and communicate with them.
a. Check if their contact details are listed on the site
To find out who owns a domain, you can use different options and tricks. Most sites have a “Contact US” link, you can use this to contact the owner of the site. You may also use the Internet archive to look at contact details and old pages on the owner. That can give you an idea about domain ownership.
b. Use “Who Is” directory if there is no Contact US link
You can use domain tools for this, about 30%-50% of the time, the information about the real owner of the domain will come up. Other times, the info is either dead or private.
For private info you can send an email to the address provided will probably reach the owner. If the standard “Who Is” doesn’t work you may attempt the historical “Who Is”.
Additionally, anonymous domain registration doesn’t mean that you can’t contact the registration service. So, even if the domain is hidden behind a registration company, you still be able to send an email to the registrar which will forward it to the owner.
5. Approach the owner and ask if the name is available for sale
It is important not to make an offer at this stage, you may consider using the following approach methods:
Contact the owner directly
You should contact the owner of the domain directly only if you have no documented success. This means, if one googles up your name, then they will find no search results. For people with documented success, contacting the seller directly will raise the prices incredibly.
Hiding your info
This can be done in two ways, and they are:
- The pricy way- This can be done using a service that will allow you to mask yourself when contacting the owner. You can use GoDaddy or NameCheap to do this. Using this means will help the owner not to jack up the price as they see they are being contacted by a real entity.
- Cheap way- This will involve you registering a new Gmail or yahoo address. You should ensure you don’t give up any personal information. However, this lowers the chance of getting a reply from the owner as they may view you as a scammer.
6. Valuation and figuring what to spend
This is another important step you should consider before you buy a domain that is already registered. Valuation is difficult as there are no comparable to go by. This means that the domain name seller determines what they want to sell the domain for.
As we mentioned above, the number of letters in a name will determine the worth of the domain name. Three to four-letter names are the most expensive, and if the name is easy to spell, then it may cost more.
It is also important to check if the domain names go naturally together. The more naturally they go, then the higher their valuation will be.
For web hosting options, read our list of monthly hosting providers that should work hand in hand with reliable domain name registration.
7. Negotiation is key to buy a domain from someone
These are some of the responses that you may get when you contact the owner.
I. “I don’t know, what do you think”
When you get such a response, it means that the owner is willing to sell. For this type of response, you may consider going in at 20-30% below your budget’s bottom range.
II. “I am willing to sell it for $600000”
When the owner gives a ridiculous offer, you should typically go back with the amount you were willing to offer in the first place, for example, $100000. If the owner declines the offer, then you should probably move on.
III. “$1000” When you think it is worth over $20000
This means you have a price already, however, it is necessary to be cautious since you may spook the seller into thinking they underpriced their domain. Therefore, you shouldn’t say a direct yes to their offer.
IV. “$15000” When you think it’s worth around the same amount
For this type of response, there is no need for being cautious as your range matches the owner’s amount.
8. Get the domain owner to agree
If the seller says yes, to your price, then you are already in a contract that is enforceable in a court of law. Therefore, you should make sure to get a yes in writing, and after that open an escrow account.
Funding the account fast will give you a better chance of completing the purchase.
Purchasing a domain name for a blog or website may be challenging. However, its success will depend on how you will do your homework on the above steps.
It is essential you give yourself as much time as possible. Buying an already registered name is a great investment that will bring you loads of benefits in the long run.
We hope you learned a lot about how to buy a domain name from someone else, Following these steps will help you in purchasing the domain name that you want and believe will boost your new venture.