How to Buy a Domain Name When It’s Already Taken

by Joe Uddeme

Domain Buying Guides

Do you have a business idea and are ready to buy a domain name to start dominating online with your business? What if the dream domain name that you want is taken?

Maybe your name is already registered to someone else, and you’ve found decent alternatives, but it’s not really the one you want. You’re probably thinking about how to buy a domain name from someone else.

From a marketing perspective, having the right domain is especially important and you don’t want to settle for an unworthy alternative.

Don’t worry! You might be able to buy your ideal domain name directly from its current owner. Here’s how the process works for how to buy a domain name from someone that is already taken.

How To Buy A Domain Name From Someone

At Name Experts, we deal with buying and selling domain names on a regular basis. Domain broker Joe Uddeme has successfully sold and brokered over $80M in domain names – and he’s committed to making sure you get exactly the domain name you think will help your brand grow.

Let us walk through the process of buying a domain name that is owned by someone else.

Start By Evaluating Your Goals

We know that a lot goes into finding the right domain name. The first step is to think about your long term goals for your company and make sure that your domain is equipped for business growth.

When you work with a domain broker like us, we’ll help you evaluate the best strategy to make sure that the domain you want – even if it’s owned by someone else – is the one that is right for your business.

First, evaluate the current domain. Is there a real working website there? Has it been updated recently? If it is, then most likely the owner won’t be interested in selling. However, if it’s really outdated or is just a placeholder website, then you can approach the owner with confidence.

Sometimes owners of certain domains are just waiting for the right buyer to come their way and make an offer. Investigating the domain you want is crucial is making sure you’re about to pay the right price.

Find Out Who Owns The Domain You Want

Now after you’ve thought long and hard about the domain name you want, the next step is to find out who owns it. There are a number of different websites that can look up that information for you, and typically the information is standard.

A registrar will tell you when the domain name you want was registered, who registered it, and hopefully how to contact that person or company when the current ownership expires.

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.

Don’t shy away from a great opportunity if the domain you want is taken.

Though it seems like a complicated process, at Name Experts, we help you find and capture opportunities rather than sit around and wait for them.

Knowing when to make a move and when to move on is our specialty, and we love making deals. From contact to negotiation, we’ll do the hard work for you.

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?

Partner With A Broker and Decide Your Spending Limit

Before you even start the negotiation process after you’ve found the owner, you want to think about the budget you have in mind. Make sure you think about what the owner went through. If they are actively using the domain and spent time and money to acquire it, then you’ll want to make them a fair offer. 

We suggest not taking a bargain-basement approach, and instead partner with a domain broker who can tell you what the domain is actually worth. We’ll tell you what the fair price is and can help you make a great offer they can’t refuse.

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

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.

Name Experts Can Help You Buy A Domain Name Anonymously

When it comes to how to buy a domain name from someone else, we know it can feel a little overwhelming. But at Name Experts, we’ll take the time to go over each part of the process with you so that you can secure the right domain name for your company. Working with successful brokers like us can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle when it comes to getting the domain name you want. 

When you work with us, you’re getting an experienced broker who has the knowledge of current market insights and the chops to negotiate and compromise on your behalf. Let us help you get the perfect domain domain name today – reach out to us and let us help you grow your business. 

We’d love to answer any of your questions about our services and get you feeling more confident when it comes to buying and selling domains.

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