So after countless hours of scrutinizing the suggestions of friends, creating mind-maps and even asking for the pizza man’s advice, you’ve finally come up with the best business name.
The business name registrar confirms that it’s available.
You’ve ordered your business cards.
But what about registering a domain name?
You rush over to your computer and perform a quick search.
But there is hope!
You notice an option to purchase this domain directly from the owner.
Your optimistic smile, however, slowly dissipates when you notice the astounding selling price.
At this point, many give up and discontinue the pursuit of their desired domain name.
But you should not let the obstacle of pricing or ownership prevent you from landing the domain of your dreams – there are options available for you.
We have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you purchase the premium domain name you deeply long for.
What Is A Premium Domain?
Premium domains usually consist of words (or a single word) that form a short memorable message.
They can end in a variety of extensions, although “.com” is the most common.
Here are some examples:
Due to their simplistic and memorable nature, these domain names drive a lot of traffic to their corresponding web pages, which makes them more valuable and therefore ‘premium’.
Domains with a high branding potential are also sometimes classified as premium – such as vitaminstores.com
How Can You Tell If a Domain Is Premium?
If the snappy name isn’t a giveaway, the price will be.
The value of these premium domain names could range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If your ideal domain name is a premium, and you do not have the funds to purchase it, consider registering it with a different extension. Simply changing the extension could save you thousands of dollars AND still land you the domain name – win, win!
Where Do You Search to Check If a Domain Is Premium?
There are online marketplaces that provide the option of searching available domain names.
The steeper pricing of the premium domains will make them readily identifiable in the search results.
Godaddy.com and hover.com host such search engines.
How Do You Get a Premium Domain?
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.
Using a Broker to Purchase a Premium Domain
Working with a broker is the safest and most reliable option when purchasing a premium domain.
Hiring a domain buy service provider will ensure that your premium domain is purchased in the safest and most effective manner.
When contacting a domain owner the greatest risk lies in the transaction process.
If you provide your credit card number, they cannot be trusted with it.
If the transaction is made via PayPal the owner could offer a link to a faulty PayPal gateway which will deplete your PayPal account.
The best possible method is, therefore, an escrow service.
With an escrow service the payment of the buyer taken and held securely by a trustworthy third party.
Payment is released only when the transaction has successfully taken place.
Reputable domain brokers utilize an escrow service for all their sales transactions, so you can rest assured that your payment details will be safe and secure during the entire exchange.
Using a domain broker will also ensure that you actually receive the premium domain you are purchasing – there is no guarantee that the domain owner you contact will hand all paperwork and login details over to you after the purchase.
The escrow service implemented by domain brokers will ensure that the domain is successfully transferred over to your name – otherwise, the seller will not receive their money!
Finally, the main benefit of hiring a domain purchase broker is the fact that they will be exercising elite sales and negotiation skills on your behalf.
Domain buy service brokers provide a fair market assessment and accurate valuation of the domain in question – so they will have data-driven evidence to provide domain sellers.
And to top it all off, all conversations and negotiations will be performed by the broker, so you will have complete anonymity and protection at all times.
Do not let the unavailability of a premium domain prevent you from owning it.
Enlist in the helpful services of an experienced and qualified domain purchase broker to ensure a smooth and problem-free transfer of domain ownership.