9 Tips For Buying a Pre-Registered Domain Name

Buying a domain for your website is not easy. Deciding which domain to buy can take massive time and effort alone. If you’re focused on starting off strong, chances are someone else already owns your primary option.

If you then try to buy that domain, you make the initial contact or offer and usually have to negotiate. If you manage to reach an agreement, you arrange payment and transfer of the name. Breakdowns can happen at any stage and few inquiries turn into completed purchases.

These tips can help you avoid some of these breakdowns and give you the best chances of buying the name you want:

1. Direct contact is best

If you found your ideal domain at a marketplace like Afternic or Sedo, great. Consider however that names are often priced higher due to the 10-20% commission those marketplaces get. Direct contact also offers more personable negotiation, which can help you reason more with the seller.

You can find the owner’s contact details on the whois record of the domain. Even if they are using private registration, the email address will forward to them. If you don’t receive a response within a couple days, try calling the phone number listed.

2. Consider making a reasonable offer in initial contact

“Whoever gives a number first loses” as the popular negotiation saying goes. Making an offer gives you a better chance of the seller taking you more seriously. Some domain sellers don’t even respond to inquiries that don’t include offers.

Including a lowball offer may upset the seller which then might counteroffer a higher amount than usual. Making a reasonable offer on the other hand earns respect and the seller may simply accept it instead of bothering with negotiations.

3. Don’t make your first offer your highest offer

Realize that most sales involve some level of negotiation and most sellers expect it on every inquiry. Some sellers never accept the initial offer even if it’s good figuring you can offer more. Then even if you indicate you won’t offer more, they may play hardball and not sell.

Leave negotiation room for at least 2 decent offer increases. Then even if the seller hoped for more, they’re more likely to believe you can’t pay more and may accept the offer.

4. Consider foregoing negotiation yourself and accepting the seller’s price if reasonable

Accepting a reasonable price can also help ensure you get the name at the risk of paying more than you needed. Sometimes sellers give their bottom price upfront and if you don’t accept, they move on. If you’re absolutely sure about the name and can afford the price, ending negotiations helps prevent someone else getting the name instead.

One of the biggest mistakes I see from buyers is negotiating when the price is already extremely good for them. I have been that “someone else” getting the name many times due to buyers not accepting a good price right away.

5. Consider a payment plan

Sometimes the seller’s price may simply be more than what you have. Rather than give up, if you are willing to pay off the name over time, offer that scenario to the seller. Always make sure to put together a contract or use escrow in this case to protect yourself. In some cases, you can get a loan from a company like Domain Capital and make payments over time that way.

6. Use escrow to ensure a safe transaction

The major marketplaces use escrow on every transaction and for good reason. Every domain transaction has risks for both the buyer and seller. Sellers typically don’t accept PayPal or similar services for 4-figure or higher due to scamming buyers who use compromised accounts. Other options like bank wire allow a scamming seller to not transfer the domain after payment is received with no recourse for the buyer.

Escrow ensures a secure transaction for both sides for a small fee. Usually you the buyer are expected to pay it, but it’s worth the expense for peace of mind. Note that since minimum fees are usually $25, smaller transactions are often done through PayPal instead.

7. Consider receiving the domain via push instead of transfer

A domain push is when you receive the domain at the registrar it’s currently at. A transfer involves you purchasing a transfer at a different registrar. Transfers not only take longer, but with more steps involved, communication can break down and cause massive delays. A domain push is usually instantaneous and you can always transfer the domain to your usual registrar later on.

8. If you don’t reach an agreement, don’t dwell – move on

Many times your range and the seller’s range simply don’t meet at all. In that case, move on to other options. All domains are unique, but most domains are similar to others that you may be able to get. You might even consider lining up options to begin with so you’re ready to move on if and when a deal falls through.

9. Consider using a domain acquisition service

Tips 1 through 8 are for handling a purchase yourself. It’s tough to remove emotions from initial contact, negotiations and the transaction as a buyer. Using someone with more experience with domain purchases can ensure everything goes smoothly. You might even get a lower price from better negotiating and staying anonymous to the seller.

At Domainate, we can save you the time and effort of buying a domain on your own. Our extensive experience buying domains helps us make the right moves to get the domain at the best price possible. Contact us to get assistance on your domain purchase.

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4 Comments on “9 Tips For Buying a Pre-Registered Domain Name”

  1. […] given tips both on how to research a domain you want and how to buy the domain. Your research might show the domain is close to expiration however. The average person generally […]

  2. […] first thing you should try to do is buy the domain from its owner (here are some tips for that). If it’s not for sale or is well beyond your budget, then you have a decision to […]

  3. […] discussed tips on buying domains in the past, and one of those tips was to make contact directly with the domain seller to purchase […]

  4. Sharon Hayes says:

    Reblogged this on Sharon Hayes Dot Com.


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