Finally, you have the idea of your perfect website, you know all your products and marketing strategy and pricing, and then you spend the whole day looking for a specific domain name. Several sites on Google will offer you a list of domain suggestion tools. After your initial research, you must have figured out the perfect name for your site.
The final step is to register that domain name and associate it with your business. But during the registration of the domain name, you might realize that someone has already taken up the domain name you had chosen. So before you give up on that idea of the domain name, there is a way to find out the availability of registered domains as well.
It is believed that people often invest and register domain names for various reasons. It can be to start a website on that domain or sometimes purely out of investment reasons. Sometimes, the owner had visualized a complete business scope and plan, and maybe it did not work out the way they envisioned, so the domain was registered but never used.
If you are interested in a particular domain and the owner does not actively use it, he will be ready to sell it to you. Also, in some cases, the domain name might be in inactive usage, but the owner will be ready to sell if your buying price seems attractive to the owner.
You can place your bets on a particular domain name instead of starting from scratch if you think this is something your company or brand needs or it goes along with your vision.
How do you Find the Domain Owner?
So before jumping the gun, we need to find out if the domain is available for purchase or not. To know that information, you need to figure out who you should reach out to i.e. who is the domain owner. The following set of procedures will guide you through this process of finding out a domain owner:
1. Go to the Website
It is believed that domain owners provide their contact details on a website if they are looking at prospective customers to buy the domain so you can start your research from the domain itself. You can go through the site and try to figure out how to contact the website or the domain owner from the contact page or site details.
It can be specified that this domain is for sale. It might also have the contact information of the owner in the Contact or About Us page on the website. If this helps you reach the domain owner, you do not need to follow the next steps. Otherwise, continue reading.
2. Visit WHOIS
Every single time a person registers a domain, or it is bought or sold, the records are tracked in the WHOIS directory. It is estimated that several businesses, eCommerce organizations, and government companies get hold of and register domain names each year.
WHOIS keeps a record of the individuals or corporations that engage in the domain transactions, and each detail is stored in the WHOIS directory. It is the storehouse of all these new domains and businesses.
Often people who are coming up with a new site or domain usually look into the WHOIS directory to check if any other company already takes it up. In the future, there are no other issues while you go ahead registering the domain name.
If you do not find a domain’s contact information on their website, you need to check the data and do a thorough data search on the WHOIS directory. It is like the Google of all the domain names where you can find out about a particular domain name you are looking for. The following screen illustrated a quick domain name lookup.
In the Enter, a domain name search box, enter the name you are interested in. It will reveal a list of data based on your search, and you can scroll down through the list and check out all the domain details.
In some instances, it might contain the name of the domain owner or to whom the domain currently belongs. This is the detail that you need to look up. This also includes the domain registrar and expiration date. It will let you know if the domain is available for renewal soon.
This will be easier if you want to wait till the expiration period, and then the domain can be available, and you can get it in a much better deal than negotiating it with the owner. The WHOIS directory, therefore, helps you in your journey to go to the next step.
3. Reaching Out to the Domain Registrar
However, in these days of cybersecurity attacks, several domain registrations come with a domain name privacy. This is done to ensure cyber safety protocols for the domain name owner. Often hackers might try to get the domain owner’s details and misuse the licensing or purchase information of a site.
To protect that domain name, privacy regulations and the GDPR legislation make it difficult to find the exact domain name owner details from the WHOIS directory. So though you cannot know the domain owner directly, you can always find out who registered the domain name.
Once you have the domain registrar’s name, you can visit the registrar’s website using Google. Reach out to them via call, mails and express your interest in the specific domain you are looking for. You can also ask them to reach out to the domain owner on your behalf and let them know about your interest in the website.
The registrar has all the domain owner details, and they can help you out in your search for that perfect domain name. They will also share your interest in this particular domain with the owner so that it attracts the owner to respond to your offer.
4. Next Steps
I. Reach Out to the Owner
Once you have the owner’s details, you can draft out a professional letter that will be sent by you or your organization to the domain owner expressing the interest behind their domain.
Draft this email to tell them how important it is for you to get this name along with your organization’s vision and offer them a price or a quote that can allure them to negotiate with you on this deal.
If the domain is not actively used or is in business, then usually, the domain owners are ready to sell the same at a good price. Often, if it is a running domain that is used, but the selling price looks more attractive than the regular profits, the owners are ready to part with the domain name as well.
The initial conversation with the domain name owner should look equally legal and professional to make the first impression as an upcoming organization. It looks all the more formal and professional if you have an official email address or a Gmail account, for that matter. The things your mail should focus on are:
- Contact details: If you are sending out an email to the domain owner, make sure you include your contact information for emails and phone so that you are reachable anytime they want to communicate. In this virtual world, do drop in all your available mail, texting details so that it is easier for them to revert.
- Mail content – If you do not want to offer a genuine price and want to negotiate a deal, then make your mail look like a legit business proposition with the idea that you are ready to purchase, and you can start a conversation regarding the domain purchase.
- Formal – Make sure that your email address or your social media links, for example, your professional profile on Linkedin is mentioned. This gives them an idea that this is not a fraud or a scam and this is some genuine interest and a business possibility.
There are often many spam mails, so organizations will carefully scrutinize these details if they want to go ahead with a transaction. They will surely respond if the initial look and feel of your conversation appears legit.
II. Use a Domain Broker
There are big names in the domain brokerage business like Sedo and Brannan’s that help you to negotiate deals with domain owners. It is a very professional field, and you do not want to lose your options, so it is better to take the help of professional services to strike that perfect deal, which can help you get your domain.
Since most of us do not have prior experience in buying a domain name so these organizations can help you in getting the domain name at a good deal and help you to get a reasonable price to request. They can also reach out to the right person to contact, and seamlessly channelize the purchasing process so that all the parties are happy.
III. New Domain
Often, however, you might not get the desired domain even after trying through all the avenues. There is no point in giving up. Once you find out a domain name is taken or the owner is not willing to sell it and needs a higher price, you can come up with some alternative domain names and different name extensions.
So you can go for .net or .co and accordingly try to replan and revise your brand strategy and marketing around the new domain name and go ahead with it. At the end of the day, a domain name should not deter you from your vision.
In this world of e-commerce sites and upcoming virtual markets, the domain name has become an extremely important aspect of the business.
Every day thousands of eCommerce sites are launched, and the uniqueness of a domain and its association with the brand is a huge aspect of promotion. So these domain brokers and sellers harp on this aspect of selling you a domain closest to your vision.
This article details how to get hold of a domain owner and how to strike a purchase deal. In the end, if a particular domain is out of reach, then you should envision a plan and have some alternatives. This will help you to work out a deal confidently once you have so many options.