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You’ve got an amazing-with-a-capital-A business idea and you want to buy a domain name to go with it and start a new web empire. Or something like that.
But what if somebody else has already registered your dream domain and, while you might see some agreeable alternatives in the search results, you’re bummed that “your name” isn’t available. What can you do?
Let’s look at a few steps which will give you the best chance at walking away with that name.
1. Find out who owns your dream domain
The first step in buying a domain someone else owns is finding out who the other person is. You can do this by using WHOIS. This is like the white pages of a phone book. Many times the name, email and phone number of the person who owns the domain name is listed there.
The WHOIS directory is like the white pages of a phone book.
There are times, however, when the person uses a privacy service or the information is out of date. Privacy on the WHOIS acts like an unlisted phone number; it adds other information on the WHOIS to guard the owner’s personal information. The privacy email information almost always forwards to the real owner’s email address, so it is still possible to try and contact them through the private email listed in the WHOIS directory.
2. Get contact info for the decision-maker
Once you have the email contact, do some basic research to learn more about the domain’s current owner. You want to get in touch with a decision-maker. Chances are, if you email a company’s website administrator, they will ignore you.
You’ll have better luck if you can get in touch with the business owner or a domain investor.
If you can only find the general email box of a medium- or large-sized company, dig around some more for ways to contact the decision-maker of the company about the domain.
3. Start negotiating
Now the fun part begins: negotiation. Negotiation is an art and a science, so it’s in your best interest to read up on the topic in advance. It is always better to start out asking if the name is for sale and, if so, what the seller would consider letting it go for.
4. Pay for and transfer ownership of the domain
Next, you’ll need to pay for the domain and transfer its ownership. We cannot stress enough the importance of using a third party to facilitate this process. You want to feel protected when you are paying for the domain and actually walk away with the domain you worked so hard to obtain. The seller wants to know they can trust your payment.
Ready to buy a domain?
As with anything else in business, getting started is often the hardest part. Even a “no” from the current owner doesn’t mean you have to give up; situations change, so it’s always a good idea to check back in from time to time to let your dream domain’s owner know you’re still interested.
The Journey is what everyday entrepreneurs, like you, need to follow in the pursuit of online success. Our experienced GoDaddy Guides are here to take you through all the steps, both big and small, that you encounter every day.
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