Let’s face it, most of the really good domain names were taken a long time ago. So it is highly likely that the domain name that you wanted for your website or blog has already been taken. But did you know that you MIGHT stand a chance of getting it after all?
It’s a very slim chance but if you have some information, information I didn’t have a few short weeks ago, you might just be able to pull it off.
The first thing to do is go to a domain registration site like the one above (I have NO affiliation with this company, I’m only using it for demonstration purposes) and type in the domain you want.
I’ve used the domain I own for the example.
You can see that this domain was already taken. Just to the right of that there is a WHOIS link.
If you click on it you’ll find out a lot of information about who owns that website. In fact I was a little startled with how much information about me was listed.
(Side lesson: check the WHOIS on your domain to be sure you aren’t sharing information that you don’t want to share. You can have this set to “PRIVATE” but this outfit charges you. I’m planning to transfer my domain- a topic for another day. )
You can also see when the registration expires.
Your best bet for getting the domain name you want lies on this page. By looking at the website itself you can determine weather or not it’s being updated regularly or recently. If the website or blog hasn’t been updated and it’s nearing expiration the user MAY have no intention of renewing the registration.
This is where you’ll want to play it cool. Send out an email to the address listed in the WHOIS. Simply say that you’ve noticed the registration is coming due and you MIGHT be interested in it. Don’t name a price, just express mild curiosity. Be cool.
Often, you’ll get a reply that the owner had intended to renew but just hasn’t gotten around to it yet but you may be quite surprised to find out they are willing to sell it to you.
Now you have to decide how much you’re willing to pay and by that I mean, you have to determine how important that web domain is to the business you’re trying to build. Let me give you a word of advice here, if the owner is willing to sell a domain name that you REALLY want you should get it.
Here is what happens if the domain expires:
- It’ll be another 75+ days while it goes through a process of being deleted which you can read more about here.
- Companies whose only business is going around snatching up web domains WILL get it before you do. 100% of the time. They have computer programs that do this for them.
- They will auction the domain off to the highest bidder. The minute you tip one of them off to the fact that you want the domain you’ve pretty much doubled the price you were willing to pay had you sent the email out in the first place.
All of those steps can quite easily end up costing you $300-$500. Seriously.
Do yourself a favor and send the email. If your domain can’t be had right now come up with a suitable alternative. Make sure to buy all of the .biz .net and dot whatever versions of the name (the one you are using and the domain you REALLY want). You never know, you might get an email from someone willing to sell the one you REALLY want to you or it could be something you can get when the domain gets ready to expire again. That is if the big domain buying companies aren’t interested in it.
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess