How do I buy a domain name?
Dave, I'd like to buy a domain, but I discovered that it's already registered by a bulk domain buying company (just check negres.com). I tried to contact them but I have received no answer.
Do you know how much these companies charge in average for a domain? Or are they focused on the traffic and clicks and will not let it go?
Any recommended approach to bid for the domain?
This is a tough one because domain names, unless you have a legal claim on them, exist in a pure commodity marketplace. What I mean is: the value of a domain is defined solely by its perceived value to the buyer.
If you wanted to buy one of my unused domains (for example, "BABY.NET" which is for sale, actually) then I might ask $20 for it, or I might ask $200,000 for it, or, who knows, $2mil. What's it worth? Well, that depends. If you're a huge company with a massive marketing budget and are passionate about obtaining this exact domain then $500,000 might be a fair market price for it. But then again, maybe $100 would be more than it's worth.
Economics books talk about pricing strategies where you charge "what the market will bear", and you can see where in domain names, well, that's almost impossible to figure out without a specific buyer involved.
There's no third party, no standards organization, no reference point for what domains are worth. I've bought domains from others for $200 and I've paid $8000 for one domain. My most recent domain purchase, BLOGSMART.COM, was about $500.
I should note that I have never bought a domain from a scalper (some people call them "squatters", or "domain squatters") or domain resale agency, however: My impression is that domain resellers encourage domain owners to set unrealistic prices and hold out. For the individual domain owner who doesn't know any better, it seems like a good deal and if offers at lower price-points roll in, well, they're easily ignored.
Then, three, four or even five years later, the domain owners with dozens or even hundreds of domains suddenly realize that they really aren't worth much after all because it's clear at that point that the market isn't valuing the domain the way that the reseller is.
But even without that disconnect, domains aren't typically worth what you may think they are. To see what I mean, pop over to AfterNIC, one of the top resellers in this space, and browse their 'recently sold' and 'featured' domains lists.
A few tips on valuation, before we get there, though: '.com' are worth more than other top level domains, dictionary words are worth more than multiple word amalgamations (think 'car.com' versus 'myfavoritecartodrive.com'), and that domain names with hyphens are worth less than those without. Further, remember that if you get a singular name, you need the plural, if you get a hyphenated name you need the unhyphenated too, and so on.
Unsurprisingly, the closing bids for "tiny-treasures.com", "yourbetterhalf.com", "onenet.us" and "2EB.com" aren't very impressive, but there are a few that shine as particularly good domains: "america.org" (sold for $20,000), "maple.net" ($5,000), "x360.com" ($5,000), "itoldyouso.com" ($15,000) and "searchme.com" ($15,500). Based on that, "baby.net" should certainly be worth at least $20,000, don't you think?
I believe that the best domains change hands in private transactions, however, and that if you've a third-party involved, it will unquestionably complicate the situation.
Anyway, back to your specific situation, I would try one more email message to the domain owner, and if they don't respond, well, it's probably time to do some creative synonym brainstorming and come up with a different name entirely. If they respond, but are asking for far more than you're willing to pay, keep dickering: I've been surprised how quickly potential buyers vanish, when I'm just negotiating a price.
Good luck to you!
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Reader Comments To Date: 45
What is the going price for four letter domains such as sasr.com?
That's almost impossible to answer, Erik. If it's a four letter word that's a dictionary word then it could have significant value. If it's a acronym like SASR, well, that's going to be less valuable for most. As a shot in the dark? A few thousand dollars, perhaps.
How do you register a domain by using http://iwantaname.com (not really that url) without the www?
I have seen several sites that now do that but I haven't been able to find out how.
Can a search engine find you without the www?
I want to buy a domain name that is apparently not yet owned. Where is the best and least expensive place to do that? Do I have to go through a reseller and buy Web space at the same time, or can I just reserve the name now before it disappears?
This site talks about my predicament. Someone, apparently not a big company owns a website I want. It's registered with GoDaddy but is "parked."
I want to negotiate but not pay a ton of money. The problem is that GoDaddy and Sedo or Selo(?) want $70 just to negotiate! For all I know they could want $20,000 and I'm offering $200. As far as I can tell there is no way to email the site. Or, is there a way to look at the page source and figure it out?
We both could split the $70 fee!
What if the domain name belongs to someone who has died?
I wish to purchase a dot com and have contacted the owner. If they agree to sell, how does that dot com become mine?? What's the procedure and how do I know I'm going to actually get it.
Gunna, the best advice I can give you is to work with a company like escrow.com to ensure that your payment isn't forwarded along to the seller until the domain ownership is transferred to you. Be careful!
Hi, I am interested in buying a domain name that is currently not being used. Where is the cheapest place to buy it from? Is there a government agency? Also, I plan on using a name that includes another company's name (e.g., ebaycomments.com). Do you know if it's a problem- can the other company sue me for using part of their name? Thanks!
I would like to buy a domain name that has not been purchased for my website, which is not designed, yet. What are the steps I need to take and who to contact for the domain name for my website? Thank you.
how do i get paid if i buy a domain name
i do the owner match.com get pay
Why do i have to buy a domain, if no other site has used this domain why do i have to buy it and why cant i just use it... probably a stupid question just new to this...
Just building a web site for fun on microsoft web expression 2 and was woundering if my web site has many pages with hyperlinks do i have to buy a domain name for every page.?? would appreciate the help..
Hi, I'm looking to a buy a domain name that doesn't seem to exist anymore. Looks like it expired in August 07. When you try to go to the URL it says 'Page not Found'. Is there are way of making a domain exist again?
Kristen, you need to go to a domain registrar and look through their database. Just because nothing "comes up" when you try to go to that site with your Web browser doesn't mean that it's available. A lot of people use 'em just for email, for example, or to own so that a competitor doesn't buy. Some are owned by domain speculators too, where they buy the domain with the express intention of selling it later for more money. Try going to http://www.mydomain.com/ and searching for your desired domain to see what it says.
I'm interested in buying a number of specific domain names which I believe are not yet taken or registered. From where do I buy these domain name? Whats the stores out there that sell these domain names or help you in reserving them?
I am starting a business and I was advised that I should really get my domain name. I am not 100% sure how to do this. If I google a certain site and it doesn't show up at all does that mean no one owns it yet? Also, how do I go about securing the site for my business.
I have a question about your advice on acquiring domain names. When you say, "Remember if you get a hyphenated name, you need the unhyphenated one, too." I have no idea what you mean by this and am considering registering a hyphenated name. Please help. Thanks so much!
Janet, my thinking here is that if you were to get, say, cool-gadgets.com that you would remember to say 'cool dash gadgets dot com' but many people would probably hear and write down 'cool gadgets . com' and end up typing in coolgadgets.com, thereby going to the wrong site. The solution is to try and register both the '-' domain and the non-'-' domain if you can get them. Make sense?
Will my son still be consider a 3rd if i change the middle name?
Edward James Buck Jr
i want to change it to
Edward Dario James Buck Jr 3rd
I have a question, can I buy a domain name right now without having a site for a web host for my web site. I have not yet choose the web host I want to go with, but i want to be able to get my domain name in the new phone book. This I need before Feb. Thank you...
I have a domain name registered thru Auctiva for my internet business. After 1 year, my "ownership" expired and was not notified for renewal. My domain name "reverted" to eNom. Fortunately, I was able to get my domain name back. My Question is this... Is there such a thing as true "ownership" of a domain name or just the whole renewal once a year thing? I have big plans for my internet business and would like to have "possession" of my domain name. I do not want to build some massive internet business only to lose the domain name in the future for any reason. Please advise. Thanks, Brian
Mary, yes, you can buy a domain name before picking what hosting company you want to use. Just about every registrar I can think of -- including godaddy, for example -- tries its best to sell you all sorts of additional things, but you can opt out of them all.
Brian, you're right. At some fundamental level, all we're doing is "renting" a domain name from the domain name authority. Having said that, most reputable ones send you plenty of notice so you can renew prior to any issues arising or it becoming available for a different buyer.
Here's my secret, though: you can renew for more than a year at a time, so if you're going to build a serious business, renew the domain name for TEN years. You can do that right now, even if you just renewed for a single year. My main domains I have renewed for many years into the future just so I don't have to freak out and worry about it.
I have a strong website I bought over 4 years ago when the company was just coming to light. I bought it (big corporation worth billions and fixing to launch in America) and now after 4 years I just got a formal letter asking me to cease and desist. This is a major company and I can't say it due to it's power. Please Dave, email me back.....I have only 7 days to comply with the certified letter....Looking for advice. Thanks!
I want a domain name- I tried to contact the owner - no response. It expires in September. It does not appear to be in use. How do I position myself to buy it when it expires? It seems the owner, based in England, bought it 10 years ago. Thanks.
ok my finance has just died.. i want to take over the domain... he has me listed as his contact person for bills tehnical as well as i ma his administrator what should i do .. many in the industry know about his death want to out right take ownership and protect it..
I paid for a domain site 3 days ago. I bought it through thumbtack.com. They advertised $10.00 a year and they do the rest. So when I went to the next page it was now $20.00 a year and they do the rest. I have a permanent listing now with thumbtack.com now and I also have links with twitter and facebook and several testimonials. But I haven't heard anything back from them about my domain name, stoysknives.com ,I assume they are registering it or what ever they are supposed to do. I have e-mailed several times and called both their Phone numbers with no responce. Should it take this long? What do you think I should do? Any suggestions? Stoy
do you know how I would go about getting an '.edu' domain name registered? I'm not finding the answer readily, if you can help that would be great -
Thanks in advance for your help!
for how much can a .com exact match long tail
with 1000 google
volume ( NOT
TRAFFIC ) and 0.25
ppc be sold at
50$ , less or more ?
If you want a domain, go to http://www.whois.sc and enter the information, you will get the e-mail contact of the owner.
Send them an e-mail stating you are looking at a few dozen domains and the one they owned was one of them that beared some interest for you. Then ask if they are interested in letting go of the name, and let them know it's not that important and if they have development plans not to worry about it.
This puts you in the place of being able to negotiate better when they reply they want to sell it, most likely with an asking price. Then, it's off to negotiation.
Also, a lot of the time you will get a "Buy this domain" when you search there linked to Sedo etc where you can put in an offer of $60 and see what the seller's response is.
Best of luck !
Hi - I'm interested in buying a domain name but I notice that name has been previously owned but this has recently expired. I'm assunming he/they don't want to use it anymore. Am I entitled to go ahead and buy it and ask the hosting company to delete any website with that name I find?? Or is that considered too "hostile"?
Hi there. if I were to purchase a domain name that was previously unbought, let's say for example "http://justandexample.net", and then I sold it to a company, is there any way for them to find out when it was bought and by whom?
i already have 4 domains :D
registred to http://dreamname.net
it's simple and they have low costs!
Does it cost more to rent a domain name for an extended period than it would have to re-rent for the individual sub-sequent periods?
Or if you are able to re-register your domain name before it expires, then why do so many people have issues with important domain names to themselves being bought up by a domainer when it expires (why don't they just re-register it to themselves say 2 months before it expires)?
Interesting question, Kunjee. I think it's because a lot of domain registrars have either flawed or broken renewal systems. With the prevalence of spam, it's also very possible that a legitimate "time to renew so you don't lose your domain name" email gets lumped in with the junk and the user simply doesn't see the warnings until it's too late. Meanwhile, domaineers have lists and applications that they use to scan the just-expired domains so they can scoop up good ones. Not a pretty picture.
Why do you have to pay to an organisation, to buy your own web address, isnt the internet for everyone and why should you pay a monthly fee for a domain name that only you could create, why
Is it true that domain names with "The" in the beginning are less valuable? I suppose this makes sense, but was curious as to why? Is it a short and sweet type deal?
I also stumbled across this while I was searching youtube for some tutorials on domain name tips. Thought it was pretty decent!
I also want buy an old domain but was not sure how to proceed. Thanks for the tips!
I have bought a domain from DomainKa and I am satisfied with their service and assistance. So you can try there.
Great advice. I’ve just gotten into the world of domains, and I would like to try buying domain names at domainka.com. I look forward to following the steps listed above!
I have found this thread very helpfull.
please can i get peoples advice on my first domain purchase it is www.plentyofhotels.co.uk
any feedback would be greatly recieved
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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