Choosing a domain name is one of the most exciting and crucial steps during the website development process. Imagine a name exclusive to you and your brand that represents your identity, values, and services. Isn’t it fascinating how a single name can play multiple significant roles?
Now think about this; You are on Google, tapping the top result for domain registrar, and as soon as you search for your desired domain name, the results show, “This Domain is Not Available.”
Now that’s a bummer!
We are sure your first thought after the search hits would be, I wish I could get this domain name.” What if your wish could come true, and you can get the domain name from the person who has currently acquired it?
Yes, you read it right! You can buy a pre-registered domain name from someone else, and we will tell you how.
Why Do Individuals or Businesses Sell their Domains?
There are plenty of reasons why individuals or businesses sell their domain names, including gaining profits. Let’s say you want a XYZ domain name. However, an ABC company has already had it. Since you are adamant about obtaining the XYZ domain name, you connect with ABC company to purchase the same. They are ready to sell it to you but at a higher price than the original one.
Now if you are ready to pay their stated value, they make a profit. Meaning they would have got the domain at ₹499, but when they sold it to you, it would be greater than its actual value.
Many people leverage this way to generate significant returns over time, and this practice is widely recognized as Domain Flipping.
Other reasons include shifting the business or rebranding, financial needs, website development or launch going on hold, and evolving market trends.
Now that you know why people sell their domain names. Let’s walk you through the steps of buying a domain name from a third party.
1. Researching the Desired Domain
The foremost step to acquiring a pre-owned domain is researching. Let’s say you searched for a domain name, but that domain is already owned by someone else; the next step would be to find information about who is the owner. For that, you need to go to a domain lookup service or WHOIS lookup.
In the tool, add the URL or domain name, and the search results will list the entire domain profile, including details like who the registrar is, their status, name servers, IP address, IP location, ASN, IP history, registrar history, hosting history and other related information.
Once you have gathered the data of the owner, you can contact them, but before that, we recommend evaluating the domain value, determining the budget you are willing to invest in purchasing the domain, and whether there are any alternatives if you are unable to get this one.
2. Contact the Domain Owner
The next step is to initiate communication with the owner. Now there are two ways to go about it – Email and domain brokerage services.
➢ By Emailing the Owner
This is a direct and the most common method, where you search the owner’s information from the WHOIS lookup, and after you have collected the details, you can reach out to the owner by drafting a polite and professional email showcasing your willingness to buy their domain name.
Start by drafting a straightforward subject line – Inquiry for Purchasing the Domain Name. Later you will add the greetings and the reason for mailing the concerned person.
Ensure to keep it professional yet genuine while acknowledging their emotions, as it will increase the chances of the owner selling the domain to you. Finally, sum it up by sharing your regards and expressing your hope for a positive response.
➢ Use a Domain Broker Service
You can utilize this solution when your schedule constrains you, you wish to keep your identity anonymous, you are unfamiliar with buying and negotiating, or the website owner has encrypted his information under the Domain Privacy Protection on WHOIS.
The hired broker will crack the deal on your behalf. Right from pitching to negotiating and acquiring the domain, the agent will take care of everything and ensure completing the arrangement at your budget.
The cost of employing a domain brokerage service can vary based on the complexity of domain negotiation, the value of the domain, and the reputation & experience of the service provider. They work on a commission basis, and their average percentage ranges from 10-30% and sometimes more.
The domain brokerage domain services can be a beneficial investment as you don’t have to guide them or go through the hassle of single-handedly orchestrating and wrapping the agreement. Just state your needs and budget; the rest will be dealt with from their end.
3. Negotiate the Price with the Owner
A sign of a wonderful deal is closing it at your expected price. For that, you must have amazing negotiation skills and patience. We suggest you pitch your initial offer during the first interaction with the domain owner.
Make sure your offer is not over the board and unreasonable. It should be fair for both parties. Rolling out an aggressive offer might turn unfavorable as the owner would lose interest in talking to you right from the start.
Another vital factor is to keep calm. Be patient and open to communication & negotiations. Some arrangements are a breeze, while others can be slow-paced and a formidable challenge. Don’t forget to prepare counteroffers to acquire the domain name at the best price.
Also Read: Do Domain Extensions Impact SEO?
4. Ensure A Secure Transaction
Let’s assume the existing domain owner has agreed to sell the domain name. You might think you will pay the owner, and they will share the ownership with you. That’s it! The job is done. But no! The owner must officially transfer the domain name; you must pay.
While some would agree to this agreement, others can ask for the payment first and then transfer. Such scenarios can be risky, although leveraging leverage Escrow Services is a great solution.
The main agenda of using Escrow Services is to ease up and safeguard the transaction & transference process. Basically, they act as a mediator between the seller (domain name owner) and the buyer (domain name seeker), where the buyer deposits the payment to the mediator and asks them to hold on until the seller transits the complete ownership of the domain name.
5. Complete Domain Transfer Process
Before moving forward, be thorough with the ‘Owner Transfership Agreement’ and the clauses stated in it to avoid fraud. You have to focus on the selling & payment terms, timeline for the transfer, and legal obligations. If the agreement is outlined as both parties discussed, you can begin the transfer procedure.
The next thing is to officially add the ownership under the buyer’s name. It is advised to seek legal guidance from the expert prior to proceeding with the domain acquisition. The professional will determine the best course of action to navigate the challenge if there are any trademark or legal concerns, such as preceding disputes.
Now, the buyer and seller registrars will come into the picture, where they will kickstart the process by seeking an authorization code known as EPP or a transfer code from the seller.
When you get the code, see that the domain is not locked from the seller’s end. If it is, ask them to unlock it. Thereafter, add the authorization code and confirm the request.
Succeeding the domain transfer process, the mediator will pay the deposited amount to the seller. Now wait a few days for the confirmation, and then you can change the domain’s DNS settings according to your hosting needs.
Let’s have a recap of what we learned about the process of buying the domain from someone with an infographic below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few scams related to purchasing a domain name from individuals online –
➔ Stolen Domains
➔ Fake Ownership
➔ Pressured Pitching for Impulse Purchases
➔ Non-delivery of Domains
➔ Escrow Scams
➔ Domain Squatting
Below is a list of steps you can take to facilitate communication with an unresponsive domain name owner –
➔ Contact on multiple platforms
➔ Send follow-up emails
➔ Use domain brokerage services
➔ Offer a fair deal
➔ Monitor the domain’s status
Yes, you can buy a domain name regardless of their location. Purchasing a domain name is not limited to your country. However, you must adhere to legalities, create a comprehensive agreement, consider involving a lawyer, domain broker, and utilize Escrow Services for a safe transfer.
Buying a domain name might seem overwhelming, but it’s pretty simple when you carefully consider the legal, financial, and logistical aspects. Be patient and diligent to avoid falling prey to a scam.