Imagine you’ve drafted a well-articulated strategy for your million-dollar business, the first thing you want to do is give the perfect brand name that goes well with your brand ideology. After brainstorming for a couple of days, finally, you set your heart on a name for your brand. You look for purchasing the domain, only to live your worst nightmares.
Your domain name is already taken by someone else!
What will you do now?
Are you wondering what should be your next move to get hold of that name?
Well, to be honest, the easiest and practical solution is to forget the name and look out for other alternatives. But this may not be feasible always.
Being a part of the industry for quite some time now, we have collated a series of tried and tested approaches to acquiring the desired domain name.
So, if the domain name is crucial to your business and you’re willing to give it a shot, you are in the right hands. I will handhold you through our sequential process of acquiring a domain name that’s already taken.
1. Visit the existing domain and Check its utility
Before jumping to any conclusions, go and check the existing domain that you wish to acquire for your business. Check if there is an already active business running with that name. You may also want to cross-check if they are actively generating any business or have zoned out of sight after the initial warm-up. This will help you to evaluate your chances of getting possession of the domain name.
If your domain is held up as a placeholder by some domain owner, who buys and sells such domains regularly, then you can reach out to the owner with an upfront proposal expressing your interest in the domain. If the owner is waiting for the right bid and you fit the spot, boom! Your dream business is all set to take off.
Here’s a way to think about it,
When the domain already has a business website in place, you may want to re-think the proposal. Do you want to acquire only the domain name? Or you can purchase the website as well. But you need to check the status of the website. Is it an attractive sales funnel that can help you generate leads or a stereotype webpage made out of compulsion. So that you know, buying a complete package will be more expensive and will be accompanied by legal liabilities overhead.
Pro-Tip: If you’re purchasing a complete package, don’t forget to include the email list and their social media accounts as a part of the deal.
2. Check for ownership details
Now that you know about the two options of going about it, let’s consider them one at a time.
- If a business is already active and you decide to privately contact the owner, you have an edge over others because you can eliminate any third-party interference in pricing and close the deal on a mutually beneficial alliance for both parties. One way of doing this is by looking for a Contact Us form on the website. More than often, this turns out to be the best way to reach out to the owner instantly. Alternatively, you can use the Domain WHOIS tool. You may find some contact details mentioned along with the owner details and domain-related information.
- The other approach is to look for the owner details or domain details in domain marketplaces where owners put out their secured domains for auction. All you need to do is research if your domain name is available for sale or not. You can check for the domain name on sites like Domain.com, Sedo, or Flippa but if you don’t see the name there, probably it’s not available for sale at the moment. If you want it bad enough, you can wait until the lease expires and you can place your request to purchase the domain. However, it is not advisable to wait because you never know when it will be available and even if it is, the first preference will always be given to the existing user.
3. Determine factors that compliment the price
Assuming the price of your preferred domain is not a good idea. Since there is no standard for domain name pricing, sellers autonomously decide the price that suits them best and it’s totally up to you as a customer to decide if it’s worth the amount.
Before that, you need to evaluate a few factors that matter when buying a domain name that’s already taken. Let me help you with this-
- Keywords– Keywords enhance the ability of domain names to rank high on search engines. You can use verbs or catch phrases along with keywords.
- Length– The shorter the domain name, the more its value. 3 letter domains usually cost you much more than a random word or a mix and match of words.
- Brandability– Brandability plays a vital role in the naming convention. Memorable names that are easy to spell have the power to build a brand around easily.
- Generic Value– Domains that can be used by any brand within a particular industry has huge potential based on their generic value. Eg: digitalmarketing.com
Taking into consideration these factors, look for similar domain prices. This will help you estimate the price of your domain, so you can decide whether you wish to continue or not.
And, if you take the conversation further, be very specific about the base amount you’re willing to offer and the maximum you can stretch up to. A word to the wise- Don’t go all out and offer all your fundings in such cases, rather start at a lower price and be prepared to close the deal midway.
4. Draft the perfect proposal
In Step 2, we’ve covered the aspects of finding the existing domain owner details. Next, you need to draft a compelling email proposal that the owner cannot deny. Express your interest in buying the domain, or the website if you plan to grab the package. Write a brief email but don’t forget to mention who you are and why you are interested in buying the domain. These email conversations can be time-consuming, so include your initial offer in the first email to speed up the negotiation process.
Also, ask for the email recipient’s contact number and speak with them over a phone call. The last trouble you want to invite is- handing over the money via transfers only to know that the domain was stolen. Beware of fraudulent hackers, they can rip you off your money as well as the domain.
If you’re completely new to this domain buying sector, it’s better to proceed with the help of a broker who will do the negotiations for you. This will incur some overhead fee but at least you will be sure of domain delivery.
Note- No matter what, do not get carried away with the thought of using a different TLD like .net or .org, instead of the .com domain extension. Not everyone remembers these extensions, eventually landing up at the wrong website. Moreover, you may face legal issues if the .com owner throws a claim that you’re trying to infringe their brand name by registering a similar name.
5. It’s time for some negotiation
Starting a business has a lot of backend responsibility attached to it. So, you must be smart and rational in making all the financial decisions, including this one. After you send the proposal, negotiate the terms of purchase with the owner. And to hold your ground in case of any unanticipated outcome, don’t get too attached to the domain name. Be open to alternate suggestions and look for a competitive name in your favor. This will ensure you don’t end up paying hefty money for an average name.
In case of a go-ahead, consult an attorney and include relevant details about the price, how the domain will be transferred, and which region’s law will apply to the transfer procedure. The purpose is to ensure safe financial transfers and secure domain transfers.
6. Ensure safe and secure delivery
I am sure you don’t want to end up paying a considerable sum of money in return for no domain. The best solution for this is to use sites like Escrow.com to transfer your funds securely. You, as a buyer, can deposit the funds first, and Escrow holds it securely for the owner to see that you’re prepared to pay. The transaction is authorized later when you confirm the receipt of the domain name. Undoubtedly, there is an extra fee that needs to be paid but believe me, it’s worth not taking the risk of making payments before receiving the domain.
This chronological sequence of buying a domain that’s already taken will help you land in a better position of naming your business. Wanna bet?
You may also want to check out our Guide To A Perfect Domain Name For Your Business
Author- Dhruvisha Jain
Dhruvisha is a freelance content writer and copywriter with expertise in writing blogs about Robotics and Automation, Branding and Marketing, Educational Courses, and many more topics. Dhruvisha helps businesses build a strong online presence by communicating their brand ideology effectively.
You can follow her on LinkedIn.