How to Buy a Domain Name That is 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 the domain 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. Using a different TLD (Top-Level Domain) can also confuse potential website visitors who might try to visit the .com when you own the .net version of a domain.

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 and have helped many clients buy their ideal domain.

Here is the 6-step process we follow when someone is interested in buying a domain name that is owned by someone else.

  1. Evaluate your desired domain name
  2. Find out who owns the domain
  3. Target the right contact person
  4. Determine your spending limit
  5. Negotiate without emotional attachment
  6. Transfer ownership of the domain

1. Evaluating Your Desired Domain Name

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 desired domain is a good fit for your business and what you intend to do with it.

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.

Once you’re sure that the domain you want is a good fit, you’ll need to evaluate the website currently on the 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 However, if it’s really outdated or is just a placeholder website, then you can approach the owner with the confidence that you might be able to make a deal.

Sometimes owners of certain domains are just waiting for the right buyer to come their way and make an offer. Investigating the domain is crucial in making sure it is available and allows you to determine if buying a domain that is owned by someone else is a realistic option.

2. Find Out Who Owns The Domain

Once you decide that the domain name you’re after is the one 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 the most common method is through a Whois lookup.

Entering your desired domain into one of these sites will return information about that domain, including  when the domain was registered, who registered it, and the contact information for the person or company that currently owns the domain.

Unfortunately, accessibility to domain owners has really taken a hit with GDPR and some registrars offering advanced privacy protection services. By adding more privacy to comply with GDPR regulations, and additional measures to hide contact information, it can make it difficult for some folks to reach the rightful domain owners.

Conducting the step of a Whois lookup can alter the strategy for any potential domain acquisition making it a critical step in determining the viability of acquiring a targeted domain.

If you are able to determine the domain owner’s contact information through the Whois lookup, the next few steps can be taken.

3. Target the Right Contact Person

In some cases, the Whois lookup is just the start of the process. Some domain owners are very large, corporate power-houses that own hundreds, or perhaps thousands of domain names and the contact information shown may not lead you to the correct person. is a perfect example. They own more than 41,152 domain names in their portfolio. Many of their domains go unused, and do not resolve. How do you find the person who manages these domains, much less the domain you’re interested in, 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 and this is where working with a domain broker can be beneficial. They can do the research to identify the owner of the domain and establish contact.

After contact is established, you need to determine whether the asset is indeed available – and if it is, will it be within your budget?

4. Determine 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, too. If they are actively using the domain to promote their business and have spent their time and money building a website, then you’ll want to make them a fair offer that reflects the domain’s value.

If you partner with a domain broker they can tell you what the domain is actually worth. They’ll conduct a valuation of the domain and can provide you with their estimate of a fair price. You can then use that to make a great offer the domain owner can’t refuse.

5. Negotiate Without Emotional Attachment

Whatever you do next, don’t become emotionally attached to the asset when you start negotiating a price for the domain name. 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.

6. Transfer Ownership of the Domain

So now you have made proper contact, negotiated a price, handled the paperwork and set up the Escrow transaction. The buyer has agreed to terms 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, but when it is complete you will be the new owner of that domain and you will have successfully purchased a domain name that was owned by someone else.

Name Experts Can Help You Buy A Domain Name That is Already Taken

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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