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Domain name acquisition

Domain name acquisition

February 11, 2012 by

Have you ever seen webpage that looks like this when you type in a domain name you want?

Chances are, if you see a webpage similar to the image above, someone owns that domain name and is holding it for potential profit from its sale. Obviously their goal is to invest very little in holding the domain name(s) in the hopes someone becomes interested in purchasing it for many times their investment. If you're interested in aquiring the domain name obviously you'd like to purchase it for a reasonable price. Typically when an owner is holding a domain name they have no interest in using themselves, they're only interest is to sell it for as much as they can. They've only invested $10 a year pear each domain name they hold, and are often asking anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. This is price is most often driven by your own interest in the name, especially when a domain name owner finds out they're holding a domain name that matches your company name exactly. 

So how can you get that domain name?

There are basically two strategies to aquiring your desired domain. Hire a domain name agent to negotiate for you or contact the owner directly and negotiate a deal yourself.

1. Using a Domain Name Agent

Using a domain name agent can be a great way to insulate yourself and your company name from the domain name owner. Using an agent keeps you and the owner of the domain name anonymous from one another. We often recommend that people hire a professional domain name agent or service such as Godaddy.com's Domain Buy Service.

What does a domain agent or domain buy service cost?

In the above link, Godaddy.com's Domain Buy Service costs $69.99 per domain name + commission. The commission is 10% or $10.00 whichever is greater, once the name is successfully purchased. This fee is non-refundable, so it's definitely a consideration, especially if you have a very limited budget set aside for aquiring the domain name you're seeking.

Their Domain Agents will:

  • Complete a Certified Appraisal within 2 business days of service purchase.
  • Attempt to contact current domain owner, to determine interest in selling their domain.
  • Negotiate the sales price of your desired domain (if the owner is willing to sell the domain)
  • Help facilitate the sales transaction (if a sales agreement is reached).

2. Negotiating a Deal Yourself

This can be difficult if you're not at all sure what the domain name you're seeking is worth, but knowing you can negotiate their asking price down significantly is sometimes all the ammunition you need.  Remember they don't make anything if you say no to their price, and often the name is specific enough that you may be the only one out there interested in aquiring the name. Haggling over email is common, but you may find that dealing with an owner directly can be a lengthy process, especially if an owner doesn't reply to your emails in a timely manner. 

If you're fortunate enough to agree on a price, use a service that specilizes in domain name escrow so you don't lose your money. A few examples are Sedo.com & Escrow.com.

Afterwards and the Money Spent

It's important to think about how much the domain name you want is worth.  A certified appraisal of the domain in question can help, but ultimately it's your business, and your online presence that are at stake.  Usually it's worth more than you think. Here at 3plains we've assisted many customers with obtaining their perfect domain name.  Sometimes that's as easy as registering the domain in their name for them. But when it involves negotiating the sale, we're well versed, and enjoy helping our customers obtain the domain name they deseerve whether they need advice in negotiating for themselves, or they'd like to use an agent to facilitate the process.

Posted in: Branding, Domains

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