Buying Aftermarket Domain Names

by sam Dec 14, 2010

So you found a business name that you really like but the domain is already taken! There are some steps you can take to try and purchase that domain.

Domain Tools ( - listings of domains that are up for auction.

Research the Domain

You can get an idea of whether the domain is for sale by visiting it on the web.

If there is an active business there you can probably give up now. People will generally not part with domains they are actively making money out of. You can make these guys an offer but most likely they will want a lot more money.

If the page has an SEO link page you should be able to purchase it.

If the page is under construction then you can check the whois records to get an idea of how long it has been under construction. If it has been owned for quite some time there is a good chance you will be able to buy it.

If there is no site there, then it is likely the owner is not making money off the domain. This doesn't mean they are looking to sell however.

Find the Owners Contact Details

Now that you have done some basic research you need to contact the owner. If there is a site in place at the domain, look for the contact info there first.

Whois records are the next place to look. You can find these for a website by searching at There is a high likelyhood that the details are out of date, private or simply false. Note that you can also try a historical search at

Contact The Owner

If you have a history of success online it is a good idea to contact the owner using a free email account. If they smell money on you, they will charge more.

Generally you should offer 30% less than what you are prepared to pay as most likely they will want more than the original offer.

When valuing the domain think about the following:

  • The less letters in the name the more valuable it is.
  • The less words in a name the more valuable it is.
  • The easier it is to pronounce and spell the more valuable it is.
  • The more natural search traffic it will get the more it is worth.

When you reach an agreement with the owner, you should use an escrow agency such as to ensure the domain name is safely delivered.


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