A great domain name is the cornerstone of your web-based business. The right domain name identifies you, communicates (ideally) what your website is all about, and tells potential customers where to find you. So it makes sense to spend the money necessary to get it right. But how do you go about buying one—and what happens if someone already owns the domain name you want? In this guide, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade for buying the perfect domain name for your website.
Buy Domain Name from Its Owner
If the domain name you want is taken but not currently in use, try contacting the owner directly. There’s a chance, perhaps a very good chance, that the owner doesn’t have any set plans for the domain and will sell it to you for a fair price. Look up the owner’s contact information in the Whois directory. Then send an e-mail expressing your interest in purchasing the domain name.
Of course, it doesn’t always go smoothly. The domain name owner might not respond to your inquiry at all. Or they might respond, but just to say, “No thanks.” Even if the owner is interested in selling, he or she might demand a price that is far beyond what you think is reasonable or can afford. And what if the domain name is owned by a large company? It might be difficult to identify and reach the person with the authority to make a deal.
Still, for the short amount of time it takes to send an e-mail or make a phone call, it’s worth a try. You might just get the domain name at a very reasonable price.
After the Agreement Is Made
If you and a domain name owner do come to an agreement, what’s the next step? After you make payment arrangements, you’ll have to get the domain name ownership transferred to you. It’s a little like buying a car. You have to get the registration records changed to reflect the new ownership.
How do you do that? Each domain name registrar has a slightly different procedure, but in most cases, the process can be handled online. If you can’t find the instructions for transferring domain name registration on the registrar’s website, contact them.
Using a Domain Name Broker
Another way to purchase a domain name is through a domain name broker. These are companies that specialize in selling domain names on behalf of their clients. In fact, if you have a domain name for sale, you can list it with one of these companies and they’ll attempt to sell it for you in exchange for a percentage of the final price.
There are several domain name brokers online. The most popular are:
A domain name broker website operates much like a registrar. On the front page, there is usually a place where you can type in a desired domain name or keywords associated with your website. The obvious difference is that instead of a $10 to $15 registration fee to grab an available domain, you have to pay a price to buy it—and that price can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over one million bucks!
When you purchase a domain name from a broker, they typically take care of all the details regarding payment and transfer of ownership.
It’s expensive to purchase domain name from a broker because most of these companies focus on highly sought-after names that lots of web-based businesses are clamoring to get their hands on. It may very well be worth spending $500, $5,000, or even $25,000 on a domain name that will play a key role in the success of your web-based business. But don’t spend a cent until you’ve considered all other domain name options first.
With these tips, you’ll be able to buy that domain name and get your web business started! Good luck!