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How to Buy a Domain Name from Someone

This may be the pettiest and most savage move a person could make in the domain world… and we applaud you sir.

Sometimes our perfect name is already taken and sometimes it’s stolen out from under us, either way this doesn’t mean you have to accept the loss as final. If your domain name is taken there’s still a chance you can get it. Figuring out who registered the name and for what reason will give you an idea about the type of roadblocks to expect when trying to buy a domain name from someone. Here are some example scenarios you may run into when buying a domain name from someone:

Scenario #1: The domain is an investment 

There is a good chance that a domain investor owns the domain name you want to buy and is waiting for the right buyer (ie you) to come along . If this is the case, count yourself lucky because right off the bat you know your dream domain is for sale. Domainers are typically fair in how they value domain names. Domains are valued based on a few elements, including the domain ending and how good of a name it is (one word and two/three character domains being valued much higher). In this scenario you are likely to score your dream domain.

Scenario #2: Someone owns the domain name but has no real attachment to it 

Best case scenario you’ll find out your domain is registered but not being actively used. When you go to the website it doesn’t propagate or you see that it hasn’t been updated recently, there are no current blog posts or relative content, all of which is a very good sign. These are usually the easiest names to acquire because there is no personal sentiment to the name and the owner is willing to let go of the domain for a very reasonable price (mainly because they do not know the value of a domain name). Challenges in this case is getting in contact with the owner, either because their contact information is protected with WHOIS Privacy Protection or because they are dodging your inquiries as spam or unwanted solicitation. In this scenario there is a great possibility that you will get your name.

Scenario #3: Domain has been registered for years

There is a not so funny story about two Heidi Powells. There is Grandma Heidi Powell who has been the owner of heidipowell.com for 12 years since her husband gifted it to her as an anniversary present and Heidi Powell the fitness trainer who trademarked her married name in 2014 for her fitness brand. Heidi Powell the fitness guru tried to purchase the domain from Grandma Heidi Powell who used the domain name primarily for having her own name as an email and as her online identity, and not for the traditional purpose of building a website. The domain has a significant meaning to Grandma Heidi who was not interested in selling it. Fitness Heidi did not want to take that as an answer and Grandma Heidi decided she wasn’t going to let go of it without a fight. In the end after an extensive, time-consuming and expensive process Fitness Heidi used a loophole in bankruptcy law to seize the name.

Cases like these are the most difficult to navigate because emotions are involved and our emotions drive 80% of the decisions we make. Most of the time if someone is attached to a domain name and not interested in selling there isn’t much of a chance you will end up getting the name, but if you decide to pursue the name like Fitness Heidi you’ll need a team of experts to help you.

Domain Concierge 

Now that you have an idea about who your buyer may be, it is just as important to note that they will be very interested in who you are. Perhaps if Grandma Heidi didn’t know it was famous Fitness Heidi Powell that wanted her domain (and was willing to make any and every dirty play to get it) she would have been more willing to consider an offer.

Our Domain Concierge service allows us to track, engage with and negotiate the domain name on your behalf while your identity remains anonymous. Our industry reach and network poses an advantage in reaching out to domain owners who otherwise would not respond. Just because someone owns your perfect domain name, doesn’t mean it’s not for sale.