How many times have you searched for a domain name, only to find that someone else has registered it already? If you’re looking for a .com TLD, this has probably happened a lot. But suppose the taken domain in question isn’t just the address you want – it’s the one you need. It’s perfect and you must have it.
The good news is that you aren’t without recourse. Let’s take a look at 5 addictive ways to pick up a domain name that’s already taken.
#1 – Offer to Buy It
This is the obvious choice to snag taken domains, and the one that’s most likely to yield results quickly.
A few considerations: if the domain name is currently in use (i.e., the registrant has an active website on the domain), be prepared to get a flat-out “no,” or a relatively high offer. In either event, don’t be afraid to haggle. It’s all part of what is called the domain aftermarket.
It can sometimes be a challenge to find the taken domain owner’s contact information. Start by checking the WHOIS database. If you’re lucky, they won’t be using a WHOIS protection service like FYNE Contact Privacy and you’ll have full access to their contact details.
Pro Tip: If they do have privacy enabled, check the historical registration records of the domain. Occasionally you’ll find that the owner only enabled WHOIS protection after owning the domain for a while.
Be sure to read this post to the very end where we’ll discuss some advanced tactics for convincing a registrant to sell their domain.
#2 – Do You Have a Legal Case?
On the off-chance that you have a solid legal argument that you should be the rightful owner of the domain, strongly consider having your attorney contact the current owner. You don’t want to say the wrong thing and damage your case.
- Such an example scenario could be that you have a federal trademark for your product or service and the domain violates your rights. It could be trademark infringement or dilution, and cybersquatting.
- Or the taken domain name is a letter or two different than your existing website. If clumsy fingers are sending business away from you, that’s called typosquatting.
If a candid discussion between your counsel and the domain registrant doesn’t yield results, there’s always binding arbitration. Such proceedings take place at what’s colloquially called “domain court”.
Everyone who registers a domain agrees to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy or UDRP. A panel of judges hears your argument and the respondent’s. The winner gets ownership of the domain. Be prepared to shell out about a few thousand dollars in filing fees, in addition to your legal costs.
#3 – Seriously Consider Your Alternatives
Pause for a moment and seriously consider how valuable this specific domain name is to you, and how much you genuinely need it.
Also take into account the audience that the domain will be targeting in the future. While it’s true that .com is the “gold standard” of domains, younger, tech-savvy internet users are becoming more and more used to seeing non-.com domains for their favorite websites.
In fact, some speculate that with ICANN’s introduction of over 500 new generic TLDs last year, the relevancy of .com may decline over time.
Domain registrars like FYNE will provide you with a list of auto-generated alternatives when you search. If you haven’t already, it’s definitely worth taking a look at your other options.
#4 – Watch Taken Domains Like A Hawk
Keep a serious eye on the domain’s expiration date. If the owner doesn’t re-register it, snap it up as soon as the redemption period ends. Set a reminder in your calendar for the expiry date and about 45 days after that, which is when redemption ends.
This next one doesn’t happen very often. Companies go out of business, experience name changes, or merge. In these instances, domain names are infrequently dropped by the registrant. The eagle eye will catch such an event and pounce.
#5 – When All Else Fails… Go Nuclear
Pro Tip: “Domain Blowout”
If you can tell that you’re probably going to have a hard time convincing the owner of a domain to sell it to you, you might want to consider our “Domain Blowout” method. In a nutshell, it means that you purchase every other major TLD for the name. For example, if the taken domain is a .com, register the .net, .org, .biz, and so on.
This way, you can approach the owner with a serious upper hand – by owning all other TLD instances, you’ve essentially devalued their .com to such a degree that they might consider a sale after all.
Getting a domain already registered by someone else can be a tough nut to crack, but the key is perseverance. Let us know in the comments if you try any of these tips. Feel free to share your own tricks, too!