When starting up a business or organization, it goes without saying that challenges and obstacles are ubiquitous. From setting up financial frameworks, to deciding what you want your business to specialize in, almost every step of the process has the potential to be time-consuming and arduous. The thing is, considering all those other tasks that must be completed, marketing your internet property should be the one thing that comes relatively easily. In this article, we’re going to tackle a scenario that many businesses face when branching out online—what to do when someone else owns a .com domain name that you want to use (you can check the availability of a .com domain at 101domain.com). While this may seem specific in its nature, it actually occurs a lot more frequently than you might think. Thankfully, there are practical and reasonable steps you can take to help you win the domain that you've always wanted, even if that means bargaining your way for that vital marketing resource.
There can be several reasons behind someone wanting a particular domain name. For many businesses, brand cohesion is at the top of the priority list and a unified presence across all platforms is just one of the many facets in achieving this feat. A common problem among businesses that have maintained a specific name over a long period of time occurs when they begin looking to refresh their marketing and branch out into the cyber marketplace. These businesses are usually determined to get access to the domain name that they want by any means possible, and the steps laid out in the rest of this article are often how they proceed with doing so. There are a multitude of reasons for someone to want a specific name, even if it is as simple as wanting the name because it sounds “cool.”
Are There any Other Options?
Before we dive into how to go about getting that vital domain name, there is one question you should ask. Will another domain name work, or is this domain the one you most definitely need? Domain names can be unavailable for a myriad of reasons, including someone else having ownership of the name to it being placed on Google’s Blacklist. These are all good reasons for you to first check to see if another domain name might work better for what you need. That being said, if the answer to the aforementioned question is still a resounding “yes!”, then the rest of this article is for you and your business.
Figuring Out your Budget
Now that the formalities are out of the way, the first step in actually trying to get that domain name you desire is figuring out your budget. When it comes to doing this, there are very few situations in which you should consider partaking in anything other than a perfectly fair deal for both parties. Oftentimes, the domain that you want to buy is currently being used, but as the old saying goes, “everyone has a price.” When you find that price and have the research to support you in your proposal, then you can open the door to negotiations and hopefully reach an agreement. But again, the ideal scenario here is one in which the transaction is a fair one, since the fair price for the specific domain name can be determined with a little bit of research.
Contacting the Domain Operator
After you determine your budget and know the domain name you wish to buy, the next step is getting in contact with the owner of that specific domain. Regardless of which registrar they are using, the majority of domain owners’ information can be found using WHOIS. WHOIS is a public database of all the people who have registered domain names. While there are ways that owners can stay anonymous and avoid interaction with possible buyers, the majority of domain registrars have an option to forward proposals of those who are interested.
Make an Offer
Now that you have a budget and hopefully the contact information of the domain owner, the next step is presenting your offer and giving it time. Especially when it comes to domain purchasing and transference, it may take a decent amount of time for the owner to receive your offer, process it, conclude on the best course of action, and then begin the process of transferring ownership. So if you are crunched for time and need to have a specific domain by a certain time, ample preparation and execution far in advance is a crucial element of making this process as painless as possible.
Buying the Domain
After all of the steps discussed are complete, it’s time to actually buy the domain. If the owner has accepted your offer and you are ready to pay, finding a third-party broker would be the immediate next step. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have an impartial third-party facilitating the whole process. When dealing with purchases as big and complex as domains have the potential to be, the ideal end goal is for both parties to walk away feeling as though they got something fair out of the transaction. The last thing you want to present in the payment is distrust. When working with a third party, the majority of these problems and worries tend to disappear, since the party would ideally be an unbiased one.
While it may be hard to find that specific broker to facilitate the purchase, a popular choice is the broker services found within massive registrar sites like 101Domain and GoDaddy. These have proven to be reliable to many owners and purchasers in the past. But again, there are other avenues that you can take in making sure that all parties involved are getting a fair and reasonable proposal being offered to them.
Enjoy your Domain
If all goes well, then that perfect domain that you have been hunting down for so long will finally yours. Sometimes, however, it is simply impossible to get the domain that you really want, regardless of your budget or negotiation skills. If this happens, don’t be discouraged. You still have plenty of options besides purchasing the domain from its owner. Check out some of our other articles if you would like to read more about other avenues to explore if a domain owner is unwilling to sell.
As a side note, it is also good practice to test out the domain name before you actually purchase it, just in case it pops up on Google’s Blacklist or has a history of being affiliated with content that you do not wish to be affiliated with.
Overall, especially when it comes to starting up a new business, domain name purchasing is always a bit of a wildcard. Since you are working with people and managing processes in a field based around competition, there is really no ridgid step-by-step solution to the problems that might arise when buying a domain for your growing business or organization. In fact, there are about as many situational variations as there are domain names. That being said, there are practical steps to take in order to increase your chances of getting the domain that you want, whether that be for an up-and-coming business or an organization that is now seeking to expand its marketing into the online community.