How To Buy A Domain Name From A Domain Owner

Sometimes, as a brand and business, you might just have to buy a domain name from a domain owner. This, in fact is the present reality as most good domain names have already been registered.

Choosing the right domain name for your business isn’t something that should be taken lightly as a good domain name may be the one thing that you need to transverse the murky waters of e-commerce. READ 7 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A DOMAIN NAME.

According to Verisign, there are 332.4 million registered domain names. Of that number, only 172 million are active sites. This number usually fluctuates between  a value of 10-15% of all the websites in the world, which currently stands at over a billion. How about the rest? Well, this is where I officially welcome you to the world of the domain name aftermarket where deals are made every day.

So, even though your domain name may have been registered by someone else, do not worry as many people flip domain names for profit. This guide is here to give you steps and tips to follow if you want to buy a domain name from a domain owner.

1. Search for the name at a domain registrar

Chances are this is the point where you first discovered that your ideal name was already registered. When searching through a domain registrar like Godaddy or a marketplace like Afternic, if the owner of the domain you want has listed the name for sale, you’ll see a premium price next to the name.

This premium is only paid once. Once you gain ownership, the domain name can now be renewed at a normal price.

If this is the case and the price is within your means, you can easily click on the buy now button and fill out the necessary information to initiate the transaction.

After the deal has been completed with the seller fully paid and the name transferred to you, congratulations, you are now the official owner of that domain name. This is usually the easiest route to follow when trying to buy a domain name from a domain owner.

However, if you got the infamous, “This name is unavailable” and you’ve searched the different marketplaces and you couldn’t find a listing of the domain name you are interested in, then it’s time you girded up, as this is where the real work starts.

2. Go to your address bar and type in the domain name

Maybe, you searched for a domain name at a domain registrar and you can’t quite tell if the name is for sale. In this case, you’ll have to type the domain name into your browser and go directly to the address. Here are several outcomes to expect

  1. The domain name is on a developed site: If this is the case, try to contact the website owner via the contact page indicating your interest in acquiring his/her domain name. If there’s no For Sale banner on the website, chances of you getting a positive response might be slim.
Website For Sale
  1. The domain name goes to a parked page: Parked pages are one-page, no-content websites, filled with ads and a For Sale banner on the site. Clicking on the banner will either show you a Buy It Now (BIN) price or a contact form where you can send in an offer to buy the domain name from the domain owner.
Domain Name Parked Page
  1. The domain name does not resolve: What this means is that nothing comes up when you type the name. Mostly, this is as a result of the domain not pointing to any nameserver. If this is the case, it’s time to find the domain owner’s contact details.

 

3. Do a WHOIS search

If the domain isn’t listed for sale on a registrar or domain marketplace and there’s no link to contact the owner through the site or the name simply doesn’t resolve, it’s time to do a WHOIS search to find out who owns the domain.

WHOIS is a domain name directory that contains relevant information about any registered domain name. Here is how to do a WHOIS search

  1. Go to WHOIS.com
  2. Type in the full domain name into the WHOIS search bar. Make sure to include the extension without any space. For instance: example.com
  3. Click on search

A search through WHOIS and will result in the display of the owner’s name, email address, phone number and home address. Other information may include the domain name registrar where the name is registered, date of registration and expiry.

But, some people may have their info protected by a privacy protection service either by choice or by the recently passed GDPR by the EU. For instance, here is the privacy protection on Folio365.com when you do a WHOIS search on it.

Domain name privacy

You can see that instead of our contact information being displayed, you only see that of the privacy protection service, in this case, the contact email is a long string of chararcters  ending with @folio365.com.whoisproxy.org

So, to contact a domain owner who is using a privacy service to protect his/her details, you will have to go through the registrar by sending an email through the email listed on the privacy service. Once received, the mail will be forwarded to the domain owner.

4. Make contact and make an offer

So, you’ve finally gotten the contact information of the domain owner, or the registrar contacted him/her for you. Now is the time to make an offer to buy the name.

Sending an email to the owner, asking how much he wants for the name, without including your offer in the email, will probably get you nowhere.

This is because some domain name owners get inquiries every day and won’t respond to no-offer emails. In such cases, either the owner ignores you completely thinking you aren’t serious, or he sends you a ridiculously high price to get you off his back.

Also, making a low ball offer of $10 or even $50 for a name well worth at least $5000 won’t work either.

Make a domain name offer

Prepare to make a fair offer. For a domain name worth at least $5000, you can start negotiating from at least $1500 to $2000. Maybe, you and the owner may finally agree at a price point of $3000 to $4000. 

So, be ready to negotiate if you really want that domain name especially if it’s a common phrase, name or word as those run into really high premiums ranging from some hundreds of thousands to well over several millions.

Shop our portfolio for a creative domain name for your brand

5. Use a brokerage service

Like I just mentioned, some names come at really high premium prices. For instance, Slots.com sold for $5.5million while Carinsurance.com sold for as high as $49.7 million.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with such high priced names, it is advisable to hire a broker. Ideally, a broker will help you negotiate better with the domain owner. Some brokers charge a fixed price while others may insist on a commission.

While you may incur some additional cost going with a broker, the benefits are totally worth it. You will save both time and energy. And what more, you are more likely to get a better deal with a broker than without.

6. Always use an escrow service for payment

Payoneer Escrow Service

Never ever pay for a domain name via a wire or bank transfer especially for high value domain names. There are several escrow services around like Payoneer Escrow, Escrow.com. Even domain name market places like Undeveloped, Sedo, Afternic all offer escrow services.

With an escrow service, you pay a third party to oversee the transaction. The simple mechanics of how an escrow service works is

  1. You and the domain owner reach an agreement
  2. You pay into the escrow account. The escrow service notifies the domain owner of payment.
  3.  Domain owner transfers the domain name to you and notifies the escrow service of the transfer.
  4. You notify the escrow service once you receive the domain. The escrow service releases payment to the domain owner.
Payoneer Escrow Steps

Alternatives:

Well, like all things in life, nothing is ever sure. We are all victims of time and chance. Maybe after trying all these steps to buy a domain name from a domain owner, you still met a dead end. Don’t give up. It’s time to consider some alternatives.

1. Wait for the name to expire and place a backorder

Fact of life: Domain names expire every day. Another fact of life: Not all of them are great. This is simply because people safeguard the great domain names they have with auto-renewals. But once in a while, some gems make it through the crack. And this is where backorders come in.

A backorder is a way to put in a request for a domain name, should it ever expire. There are several backorder services like Namejet, Dropcatch etc. who can help you backorder a domain name (for a small fee).

It’s important that you understand that backordering a domain name doesn’t necessarily mean instant success. This is because domains don’t just drop the day they expire. There are several days of a grace period given to the owner to renew the name before it becomes open to the public. And more often than not, the name gets renewed (especially if it’s a great name).

So waiting for a name to expire and backordering it is what I call the wait and see approach. And the chances of successfully getting a name this way is slim to nothing as people rarely allow good domain names go.

2. Go for an alternate domain name extension
.com or new extension

I am a proponent of .com. I strongly believe that it’s the king of the domains. But, if you really must use a specific domain name because it fits your brand or business and you can’t get your hands on the .com, you can register the name with a different extension.

For example, rather than homeloans.com, consider registering home.loans (those examples are already taken by the way). HERE IS HOW TO REGISTER A DOMAIN NAME

Buying a domain name from a domain owner can be done. The question is, “What’s a good name worth to you?”

AUTHOR

We are a team dedicated to ensure that you have an all-round great experience on our website. From helping you pick a great domain name from our portfolio, to guiding you through the payment and domain transfer processes, we will be with you every step of the way.

How to choose the right name

Choosing the right name for your business in 7 steps

The branding process for any business or organisation SHOULD START with choosing the right name and ensuring its availability. Initially, when starting out, some people make the mistake of focusing on everything else but the name like location, advertisement, funding etc. Only for them to find out later, that the name they had in mind is no longer available either as a trademark or as a domain name.

As humans, ours is a culture that believes in the giving and receiving of names. A name can be a harbinger of goodwill or that of doom to your brand, business or organisation. This is why in 7 steps, I’ll guide you through the process of choosing the right name and domain for your business. 

 

1. NAME ORIGINALITY

There are businesses and companies that prefer the exact match type of naming protocol. For example, such companies come up with Arizona State Power Bikes as their name and by extension their domain name. Nothing wrong with that.

However, this type of naming convention can prove to be quite restrictive as such brands become successful and expand in the future. What if the brand is opening up another branch at say, New York or Tokyo or somewhere in Nigeria like Enugu? The name, Tokyo Arizona State Power Bikes will definitely be an overkill. 

 

Ours is a culture that believes in the giving and receiving of names
FOLIO TEAM

Sometimes, to be original, you may have to forget the keyword entirely or use it creatively. Think Google or Yahoo or even the Greeks who coined the word, Alphabet.

These brand names work because they‘re original. Originality means that you can do just about anything with the name. Hence, Google can decide to go into space navigation or even sports and the name, Google, will still work.

So if you’re going for originality, avoid trends. Brainstorm with your team. Don’t just think outside the box; do away with the box entirely. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a team, brainstorming can be a little hard to do just by yourself. Fortunately, you can always use sites like SQUADHELP, where freelancers can help you come up with some great names for your business.

Shop our portfolio for a creative domain name for your brand

2. KEYWORD MATCH

Like I said before, there’s nothing wrong with exact match names. But you’ll have to use it the right way. For SEO purposes, keywords are key to the success of a brand’s website as they help bring in traffic. For this reason, it’s important to include a keyword in your name and website.

However, there are rules. When choosing the right name based on a keyword match, the keyword has to fit. You’ll have to ask yourself two critical questions:

  1. Does this keyword explain what my business is all about?
  2. Will it still be relevant in the future should things change?

For instance, if you offer data services to the farm and agricultural business, an exact match name like FarmData will be a great keyword name. However, if your customers include other industries either now or in the future, then you might have to rethink the name. 

 

3. RADIO TEST

radio test your name

Your brand’s name and domain name should pass the radio test. A name is said to pass the radio test if it spells as it sounds. If you heard the name over the radio, you should be able to write it successfully. Most long, complex, and misspelt names usually fail this test.

Ultimately, when choosing the right name, ensure that it passes the radio test. This way, your name will easily roll off the tongue when people talk about it. 

 

4. SHORT AND MEMORABLE

Long names are hard to remember. Lengthwise, the rule is to stick to names that aren’t longer than 15 characters or are made up of more than three words. You don’t want to be stuck with a wordtoolongforpeopletoremember.com on your hands. The fact that Google bought the domain name, abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com, doesn’t mean you should.

For a memorable business name and domain name, remember to Keep It Short and Simple (KISS). 

 

5. TRADEMARK AVAILABILITY

At this point you have that awesome, original name that’s easy to spell and people can remember. Before you run off and start printing t-shirts, it’s imperative that you check for the availability of your name for registered trademarks. If you overlook this step, it can prove to be an expensive mistake as there might be legal repercussions to deal with.

Here are different online portals where you can check for trademark availability.

6. DOMAIN AVAILABILITY

.Com: King of the domains

If you’re still undecided on whether to get a domain name or not, HERE ARE 7 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A DOMAIN NAME.

In choosing a domain name, .COM is still king. Despite the introduction of various other extensions, none has quite the impact that .com has.

Picking a non .com domain name should be a last resort. If you must, you can go for legacy extensions like .org or some CCTLDs like .de, .au or industry relevant extensions like .loans, .app, .art etc. 

7. BUY OR REGISTER THE NAME

If a name is available, register the trademark as soon as possible. If the name already has a trademark (especially for the same class you want to do business in), here are 2 possible outcomes:

  1. Negotiate with the owner for a trademark transfer (assignment). Here is HOW TO CHANGE TRADEMARK OWNERSHIP
  2. You can’t reach the trademark owner, or he/she isn’t interested. In this case, it’s time to pick another name by restarting steps 1 to 6 of this guide. 

For domain names, here are 3 possible outcomes: 

  1. The name is available. Register the name as soon as possible at a good domain registrar like DYNADOT. READ OUR GUIDE ON HOW TO REGISTER A DOMAIN NAME. 
  2. The domain name is already registered but it‘s for sale and you’re willing to buy it. READ OUR GUIDE ON HOW TO BUY A NAME THAT IS ALREADY REGISTERED. 
  3. The domain name is already registered. It’s for sale but you don’t want to buy. Or you want to buy the name but the owner doesn’t want to sell. In this case, it’s time to pick another name by restarting steps 1 to 6 of this guide. 

Remember, be original. Keep it short and simple. And if at first you don’t find that name, try, try and try again.

AUTHOR

We are a team dedicated to ensure that you have an all-round great experience on our website. From helping you pick a great domain name from our portfolio, to guiding you through the payment and domain transfer processes, we will be with you every step of the way.

domain name digital identity

7 Reasons Why You Need A Domain Name Today

What's in a Name? That which we call a rose by any other name will smell as sweet​
Juliet says to Romeo
in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

To Juliet, a name might not mean much but in the domain world, a name means everything. A domain name is what sets you apart from the crowd; it’s the start of your digital identity. With the ever flourishing and thriving online culture we have at the moment, the importance of a domain name can’t be overemphasized.

Any person, business or corporation planning to have an online presence, should start by investing in a domain name. There are many diverse reasons why you should register or buy a domain name. However, I’ve taken the time to articulate most of these reasons in 7 points.

 

1. BRAND CONSOLIDATION

A great brand is one that is versatile. It is on the constant lookout for more ways and channels to consolidate its brand’s authority. Invariably, companies like Google, Viacom and Facebook etc understand this concept. That’s why they are all great brands.

Some of these brands may have started out with the traditional business model of having physical locations all over the globe. But with the introduction of the internet, things have changed. Subsequently, proactive brands (both then and now) are establishing an online presence by having domain names and websites that are tied to their businesses and brands. These companies understand that it’s either you grow and flourish or you stagnate and die.
Hence, to expand your brand, it’s time you took it online and it starts with getting a domain name today.

Shop our portfolio for a creative domain name for your brand

2. TRADEMARK PROTECTION

Another reason for a brand to have a domain name is to protect their copyrights and trademarks. Google is a great example of a company that does just that. Google has over 18000 domain names including different variations to their brand registered in almost all TLD extensions. Some of these names are hilarious like googlesucks.com (And yes, they have it in .net and .org too).

Mostly, Google redirects some of their names to their official site, while others are domains for products that they have already developed. Protecting your brand like Google ensures that your competitors won’t be able to trade and ride on the back of your brand’s success. 

 

3. E-COMMERCE

The internet has changed the way we do business. Hence, this has led to the revolutionary world of e-commerce. More people are looking online to get products that were once exclusive to brick and mortar businesses. Historically, this trend was born out of the need to save time as well as to avoid the hassles usually associated with physically going to a shop to pick up an item. In some cases, a product isn’t even available locally. Some companies who saw the light then, diversified their investments to take advantage of the e-commerce storm.

Today, we have online businesses without a single physical shop available thanks to things like dropshipping . And the number is growing everyday. So to capitalize on this, consider selling some of your products and services online. To do so, you’ll need to get a suitable domain name. READ OUR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

Online Shopping

4. GLOBAL EXPOSURE

Who is on the internet? Everyone. Unlike a brick and mortar establishment, businesses that are online are better exposed globally. A domain name and by extension a website helps you take advantage of this vast audience. The world is literally your stage.With a domain name and website, you can share updates about new products, new locations and generally new developments within your business or organisation. Hence, a website serves as your showcase to the world.

All these benefits of course, starts with a domain name as the right domain name can attract both type-in and walk-in business. For instance, if you register an exact match domain name related to your business and what your business does, internet users searching for those keywords will easily find you. Ultimately, a good domain name will go a long way towards generating traffic to your website which can easily translate to walk-in business for your offline shop. 

 

With the right domain name and website, the world is your stage
FOLIO TEAM

5. ACCESSIBILITY

Just like you are better exposed to the rest of the world, the rest of the world can easily reach you now. No longer will you be restricted to the 9 to 5 working hours that is obtainable for most offline businesses. A domain name and website will ensure that you are available 24/7 all year round.

Additionally, with most websites having a blog these day, the gap between brands and customers have been further shortened. Consequently, this has led to an increase in brand loyalty. This is because having a blog alongside your website helps your customers connect to your brand on a personal level. 

 

6. PROFESSIONALISM AND CREDIBILITY

Generally, having your own domain name, website and email addresses will give you and your business a much more professional look especially, when compared to using a free email service like yahoo or gmail.

For instance, which looks better: sales@amazon.com or amazonsales@yahoo.com?

The first example looks both professional and credible while the second one looks like spam at best and fraudulent at worse. Hence, if you want people to take you and your business seriously, it’s time you got a domain name.

 

7. FUTURE INVESTMENT

Domain Investor

As a future investment, it’s a great idea to register the domain name for a business you want to develop later. This helps you safe guard a particular domain name from being registered. Eventually, you can then develop it later when your business idea or project becomes ready.

You must have heard of domaining, domainers or domain investors. In case you haven’t, domaining is the practice of investing in domain names with the hopes of selling it for a profit in the future. Yearly, domain names are become increasingly valuable. Hence, domainers who register good names now, will be sitting on piles of gold in a few years’ time, something akin to domainers who registered one-word dictionary domain names some 15- 20 years back.

In conclusion, don’t get left behind. Buy that domain name today. Build that website now. Who knows? Maybe your idea is the next big thing that we’re all waiting for. We’ll never know if you don’t start. 

AUTHOR

We are a team dedicated to ensure that you have an all-round great experience on our website. From helping you pick a great domain name from our portfolio, to guiding you through the payment and domain transfer processes, we will be with you every step of the way.