Before commencing the process of acquiring a premium domain, you need to check whether or not it currently has an owner.
The first step is to search for your desired domain URL to see if it is addressed to what’s known as a ‘parked’ web page.
Sometimes, when a website owner is no longer interested in hosting a website, they populate their home page with links (usually affiliate) or Adsense elements and forsake, or “park” their website.
This is a vain attempt at getting at least some value via advertisement revenue from what obviously is an abandoned website.
If you come across such a website, its great news for you – the website owner may consider selling you their domain name.
The first step will be to initiate contact with the website owner.
If the website has a contact form, you could initiate a conversation via a form submission.
If, however, there is no contact form, you will need to try to find the owners details via a domain directory such as whois.
Searching on WHOIS
Every domain is registered by a particular person or business. Those registration details are usually (not always) publically accessible via the online directory whois.
Whois also provides information such as domain expiration dates – which is very useful information for premium domain purchasing.
You do not need to worry about registrants providing false or misleading contact information; it is an offense under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Doing so will result in one’s registration being canceled.
Some registrants of new websites purchase additional domain privacy protection in order to prevent their contact details being publicly available on whois.
When this is the case, you will see the name and contact details of the domain host on the whois record, or the words “Registration Private” rather than the details of the domain owner.
You can search on whois either online or right from your windows computer.
Searching on WHOIS online
To search online simply type “whois search” in Google and click on the first results (should be whois.icann.org).
When the webpage is opened you will see a search bar you can use to perform the search.
Here is an example of whois search results for the domain Microsoft.com
Here are the registrant contact details:
Figure 1: whois.icann.org
Here are the domain expiration details (note the creation date of the domain – 1991 wow!!!)
Figure 2: whois.icann.org
Searching On WHOIS Via Command Prompt
If you are feeling particularly geeky you can also search straight from your command prompt window.
The steps are as follows:
Download the whois.exe file which can be accessed here
You can also download and install the Sysinternals Suite from Windows which will include the whois.exe file.
Save the file in a memorable location – Desktop is best.
Open the command prompt terminal (if you can’t find it just search for “command prompt”
You will then need to set the command prompt directory to the folder you saved the whois.exe file in (let’s assume it is the desktop).
If you are running Windows 10, type the following:
If you are running Windows 7, type the following:
You can now perform the whois search.
Type in your query in the following format:
If you are running a 64-bit you would need to type:
So, for example, if you wanted to perform a WHOIS search for Microsoft.com and you were using a 32-bit system, you would type the following:
Here is an example of whois data for the domain techjunkie.com
Figure 3: techjunkie.com
Now let’s discuss the process of negotiating for your preferred premium domain.
The process of negotiation is difficult and highly delicate – you could scare the domain owner off if you’re not careful!
If you are not experienced in this field we highly recommend that you leave it up to the professionals that specialize in domain buy service (more on that later).
Negotiating With a Premium Domain Owner
You should aim to speak directly with the owner unless you have a professional 3rd party acting on your behalf.
Find the contact details of the owner either via a whois search or, if available, use the contact form on the premium domain website.
When making contact it is important to be polite and also straight to the point (don’t write a long winded email).
Advise the owner that you are interested in purchasing the domain and ask if it is for sale, also ask for the desired selling price.
Reveal as much information about yourself as you like, however, avoid giving the impression that you are very wealthy otherwise the owner may respond with an overwhelming selling price.
If the owner asks you the amount you are willing to purchase the domain for, respond by asking for the owner to set the selling price.
Avoid suggesting a value first for it might be much larger than the website owner would have initially set, instead, keep pushing (delicately) for the domain owner to suggest a selling price first.
Once the owner provides a selling price, begin negotiating.
If the selling price proposed by the owner is affordable, you need not worry because, as per the nature of negotiations, the price can only decrease from that point.
If, however, the initial selling price is much too high, you would need to convince the owner that they should sell it for a lower price.
If the domain is parked and not in use, you might mention that the domain is not providing much value to the owner and that he or she is forced to pay renewal costs for a redundant website.
The domain owner might mention that they are receiving an income from the website via affiliate links and Adsense elements – your strategy would then be to prove that your offer is sufficient to cover the income generated by the website (this is a very difficult process).
Approximating the income generated by a website is difficult, not only because of the many advertisement revenue variables but because you would then need to convince the web owner that your approximations are correct and their quoted numbers are wrong.
A tactic you could use is to find a similar domain (length or word combination) that has recently been sold and then use that selling price as a starting point for negotiations.
You could even supply the web owner with proof of this selling price.
But how is it possible to find this information?
DN Journal generates a domain sales report that is regularly updated.
You could search through this list for domain names similar to your desired premium domain and find their corresponding selling prices.
Here is an excerpt of their report (notice how you could use the provided selling prices as proof to justify your negotiations).
Figure 4: dnjournal.com
Should You Use An Online Marketplace?
Another way to purchase a premium domain is via an online marketplace such as godaddy.com or hover.com.
If a premium domain does not have an owner, you can purchase them from these marketplaces at their set pricing.
If a premium domain currently does have an owner, you can make an offer to purchase the domain via the marketplace.
Purchasing a premium domain via an online marketplace is not a good idea for this simple reason:
You may not receive the best offer possible.
Making an offer via these marketplaces is very similar to bidding on eBay – its just a mechanical process without any human negotiation elements.
Having a professional, skilled in the fine art of sales and negotiations, representing you will increase your chances of purchasing a premium domain at the best price possible.