How to Negotiate a Domain Name Purchase

Written by Domaintive
Last updated Jan 22, 2023
How to Negotiate a Domain Name Purchase - Domaintive

What's in a Name?

It's challenging to obtain a preferred domain name these days. Not long ago, if your preferred domain wasn't possible, you'd receive a “close enough” list to choose an alternate. Or you could also choose the preferred domain with an alternate extension, such as .net or .org. These days domain names have become big business, which means competition.

Large companies have purchased thousands and thousands of inexpensive $2 and $3 domain names to develop their online marketing empires. Like house flipping, these companies would buy profitable sites and resell them for $5 to $7 each. This cost is still appealing to new customers creating a quick resale. 

Move ahead 10 or 15 years to today. You'll have problems not only trying to locate a .com or .net variation of your preferred domain name option, but you'll even be hard-pressed to grab a less popular extension like .us, .me, or .media. 

Why You Should Go with a Domain Name

The online marketing world is competitive, to say the least! Do you have the chops to handle serious SEO and online marketing directly, avoiding site traffic confusion and redirects if you don't have a .com domain name? An alternate domain name extension has perks, but one major flaw is your .com competition, especially if they have a strong SEO game.

In the end, you might discover it's between you and a parked domain name reseller waiting for you to wear down enough to fork over $10,000 for the .com. Before you fork over the money, you can also join the fight, particularly if you cannot conceive a creative alternative domain name. It is possible to sidestep third-party sellers, significant fees, and resellers trying to bleed you dry. 

Read on for helpful pointers on how to negotiate a domain name purchase.


WHOIS Search to Find the Owner

The WHOIS is the authorized directory that contains details about site operators. The WHOIS directory has details such as:

  • Website owner's name
  • Website owner's contact information
  • Registration location of the domain name
  • Registration date of the domain name

Unless the site owner selects the privacy option during the purchase and registration of the domain name, this information will be easily found. Using the Whois lookup tool, type in the domain name in question. Again, as long as the privacy filter hasn't been selected, you will receive the owner's information to contact them and make your offer. If the owner has chosen to remain private, keep reading.

Domain Look Up Directly

As noted earlier, some site owners purchase and park the domain names to try and sell directly, hold on for later use, or plan to attempt a reseller flip. If a direct sale, it's feasible that when you visit the parked domain page, it will have an owner's message with purchasing contact information. If you find the domain has been available on the reseller's site for a while, the owner might be willing to accept your offer and cut their loss with that domain. But should you discover the domain is parked or linking to a third party, it's time to continue to the next step.

Auction Websites

There are great deals of sites that auction off domain names, similar to public vehicle auctions. You can purchase a more affordable domain name at a public auction than you would certainly at a third-party vendor. Alternatives consist of:

Attempt to Lease the Site

It might be a little unique, yet the site owner might be interested in leasing the domain name for a specific time if they aren't ready to sell. Furthermore, you can discuss the option of a rent-to-own agreement, but make sure the terms are agreed to and outlined in contract form. 

Hopefully, these steps will lead to a successful purchase of the perfect domain name for your business. But just a few more things you should bear in mind once locating the site owner:

  • Use NameBio to better understand the domain's market price before making your offer. 
  • Use a service like Escrow to populate a binding contract between you and the site owner, ensuring no misunderstanding or price change.

The team at Domaintive is here should you have questions about choosing a domain to empower your brand.

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