So you found the perfect domain name for your company or brand but see that someone else already owns the asset. What should you do?

The first step is to understand the history of the domain name in question. You will need to do a comprehensive whois history search to understand the current ownership and whether they might be a good fit for your potential acquisition.

Unfortunately, accessibility to domain owners has really taken a hit with GDPR. Increasingly, registrars are adding more privacy to comply with GDPR regulations—making it difficult for some folks to reach the rightful domain owners.

This can make the process much more cumbersome, and sometimes; the buyer will be forced to target a different acquisition for their brand(s).

Whois accessibility can alter the strategy for any potential domain acquisition. This is a critical step in determining the viability of acquiring a targeted asset or brand.

Once the Whois is determined, the next few steps would be taken to identify whether it makes sense to continue with the discussion.

Buying a Domain Name, Target the right contact person.

Equally critical, is the point-of-contact. Establishing the Whois, is just the start of the connection. Some domain owners are very large, corporate power-houses that own hundred, or perhaps, thousands of domain names. They are your communication or, “bridge” towards a potential deal. is a perfect example. Let’s dig a bit deeper in a simple case study. Amazon owns more than 41,152 domain names in their portfolio. Many of their domains go unused, and do not resolve. How do you find the correct person within Amazons’ 647,500 employees?

Is it the project manager around that brand? Would it be marketing, CMO, Legal, Business Development, Webmaster, Technology etc?

It’s a vital step to connect with the correct person, or division within the Company so you don’t spend time spinning your wheels.

After contact is established, you need to determine whether the asset is indeed available—is it within budget and Scope? What’s it worth to you?

Negotiate without emotional attachment

Whatever you do next, don’t become emotionally attached to the asset, or transaction. Ultimately, this would add headache, stress and more money to the equation. When buying your domain name, you must not become emotional with any owner. Emotions should be checked at the door when entering into any active negotiation. Remember that a negotiation is a give-and-take and should always try to create a win/win for both buyer and seller.

Once you agree on terms; in most instances you would then either enter into a contract or Purchase and sales agreement with the prospective seller, or simply move right to one of the formidable escrow providers such as or Escrow.Domains.

Contracts and documents can become tricky and need to be completed diligently and professionally if necessary. You will also need to have proper legal representation to make sure you are protected accordingly. Documents can get stuck in legal, or need board approval and can certainly slow down the overall acquisition process.

Domain Transfer of Ownership

So now you have made proper contact, negotiated a price, handled the paperwork and setup the Escrow transaction. The buyer has agreed to terms, and funded and now you are ready to transfer the domain name.

Domain transfers can sometimes be tricky but typically follow two forms for completion. The easiest way to transfer a domain name is by, “pushing” the domain name within the current registrar.

Alternatively, you may also choose to transfer your domain name to another registrar. To complete this, you will need an authorization code from the seller. Make sure the domain name is unlocked, and privacy removed before you try and transfer the domain name.

Once the transfer has been completed, you can release the funds to the seller and mark the transaction complete.

The entire process for a domain name transaction can be completed in as short as 3-5 days, however; most transactions take longer. Some transactions take months to come to fruition.

Hire An Expert To Assist With Your Acquisition

Simply put, a Buyside Broker or Expert is the best way to save money, remove the emotion and find the correct point of contact. There are very solid buy-side brokers in the domain space. A Buyer-broker should understand the buy-side needs and provide insight, recommendations and alternatives ideas (when necessary) to help buyers make an educated and meaningful decision for their brand.

We always welcome your buy side questions and comments. Please get in touch today to learn more about our Buy-Side acquisition services at

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