Better domain name results in stronger brand, better customer recognition and retention, direct traffic, more cost effective advertising, wider possibilities for expansion and growth, more trust from business partners and investors…just to name a few. But how do you go about getting a premium domain? Here we shortly describe the process of acquiring a premium domain name. Note not all cases are the same but those are the most common steps.
Locating the owner
Given that there are only so many words in every language that are brandable or/and generic and that every business owner strives to have their name known globally as it grows, the number of domain names that are genuinely good, timeless, easy to spell and pronounce across languages and then applicable to your industry is not at all high. This is why your ideal domain name is very likely already owned by someone. Finding that someone is not always easy - from intentionally hidden identities to people simply forgetting they own that domain and not leaving trace to their contact details and anything in-between.
Locating the owner of a premium domain name is a job of its own and can often take days or even weeks of research, using tools and connections, social media, calls, digging through archives - every case is different and requires a unique approach.
This is a very important step as it can make or break a deal. It is also likely to affect the price of the domain name in question. The value of a premium domain is not a set number, it depends on many things from the type of domain through the current circumstances of the domain owner to who the buyer is. You have to take a lot of care in accessing the domain owner in order to contact them in the least intrusive and most respectful way, fitting their situation and personality. Ideally you should keep your identity confidential to avoid it having any reflection on the price or decision to sell the domain name.
If you are lucky the domain owner is willing to sell the domain name and you can enter negotiations for the price and conditions of the sale. If not - try your best to reason and pin down the why - is the owner looking for higher offer? Does the name have a sentimental value to them? Do they have a future project in mind? Is it a legal issue (bankrupted business, not clear ownership, joint ownership etc.)? This way you can work on addressing the issue in order to get your domain name. One of the most famous cases of a world-known company failing to secure their domain is the Nissan Motors vs Uzi Nissan case.
Don’t assume that just because you have chosen a certain name for your business or even branded yourself with it for some time, the owner of the domain is obliged to just surrender it. Domains are digital assets governed by regulatory bodies and laws so unless you own a registered trademark and can prove someone is infringing it, you are better discussing a fair deal with the current domain owner. Just like you wouldn’t walk in an Armani store and shout you own the place because your great-grandfather was called Giorgio, don’t make claims to domain owners that may cause you to simply pay more or worse - never get to own the name. As with the cases above, using the services of a professional negotiator can save you a fortune.
So you’ve done the hard part and you are one step away from getting your perfect domain name. Make sure you verify the seller of the domain name really owns it. That may sound silly but scammers put aside (that happens too, so be careful), you may have cases where the owner thought they have control over the name but don’t, they have lost some login details, the name is owned by a company they had with someone else etc. A useful tip - ask the domain owner to disable their WHOIS privacy so you can verify they own the domain. You should also make sure that the domain is not currently involved in any legal disputes that would cause you trouble after the purchase. For making the payment it is best to use escrow services like Escrow.com giving you extra security. They hold the funds until you receive the domain name in your account and verify everything is ok. Depending on the situation you can also explore more creative options for payment - pay in instalments, lease the name, offer the domain owner equity in your business - there are many ways to strike a deal where everyone is a winner. A Buyer Agent can do all the due diligence for you and advise you on all the available options.
Now that you are one step away to your dream domain there are few more technicalities to go through. If you have a Buyer Agent they can deal with all that for you. Shortly put, depending on the owner’s registrar and yours the transfer can take some time, they will need to unlock the domain, get a transfer authorisation code, you will request a domain transfer and the current domain owner will get an email to approve that transfer. Important note - before all that, make sure the domain seller has all their details up to date since if they have an outdated email linked to the domain name in question, they won’t receive the transfer request mail!
I hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat to someone about the process, book a free consultation using the form below. We are always happy to hear from you.
Written by Tatiana