How to Buy a Domain From Someone

Your online presence is crucial for business success. One of the most essential components of it is having a distinctive and appealing domain name. 

But what if someone else already owns the domain you want? That doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch – you still may be able to buy it.

Not sure how to buy a domain from someone? In this guide, we’ll cover everything from researching the seller and finding the right name to negotiating with the seller, confirming the sale, and transferring ownership. 

Owning a powerful domain can benefit your business, including increased credibility, authority, and visibility.

The Power of Owning a Unique and Attractive Domain Name

A unique and attractive name can do wonders for your company. Not only could it help increase brand recognition and awareness to make it easier for prospects to find you, but it could enhance your industry credibility and authority, giving you a competitive edge over others.

However, buying a domain name from someone requires careful consideration and due diligence. You need to negotiate the price and evaluate the potential purchase based on domain age, keyword relevance, and backlink profile to ensure the long-term benefits of investing in a high-quality domain name.

Stand Out from the Competition and Increase Authority

One major benefit is the potential to be distinct with a special and unforgettable domain name. This can help potential customers easily remember and find your website, ultimately leading to increased traffic, higher search engine rankings, and improved brand awareness.

Additionally, owning a powerful domain name can establish credibility and authority in your industry. 

More Consumer Trust

Consumers are more likely to trust professional-looking websites, increasing sales and revenue. Purchasing a premium domain is a long-term strategy for building a strong presence and enhancing brand reputation.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Boost

An established domain name already has a proven track record of traffic and backlinks, making it easier to rank in search engines. This means your website can benefit from the previous owner’s SEO efforts, potentially resulting in increased organic traffic and better rankings.

Existing Brand Following

Additionally, an established domain name could have an existing audience and brand recognition. It can help save resources compared to building brand awareness from scratch, which is crucial when launching a new business.

That said, you must research the domain name’s history to ensure it doesn’t have any search engine penalties or negative associations.

How to Buy a Domain Name From Someone

Find the Ideal Domain Name for Your Website or Blog

The first step to finding the right domain name is to search domain marketplaces. If you find the perfect option, it may not be what you expect. You still have to conduct due diligence to be sure you’re getting something worth your investment.

icann lookup

Start by checking the domain’s history with a Whois lookup to avoid a negative or spammy past. If Google blacklisted it before, you’d never have any success with it. You can use various online tools to appraise the value and negotiate with the owner of the domain for a fair price.

Keep in mind any intellectual property, such as trademarks or other legal issues related to the name, and transfer ownership correctly after purchase. It’s worth spending time upfront to secure a memorable and fitting brand name for your business.

Working with a Broker

Working with a domain broker can simplify the process since they handle the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

Domain brokers are industry experts who can help you find the perfect domain and negotiate a fair price with the current owner.

They leverage years of experience to provide valuable market insights and can set your expectations for negotiations.

Reputable domain brokers can also assist with transferring ownership and ensure that all legal requirements are met, saving you both time and money in the long run.

Research the Seller

When buying an established domain name from someone else, it’s vital to research the seller and their portfolio. A reputable seller should have a track record of successful sales and positive feedback from previous buyers. Because there are so many scammers on the internet, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate owner with the legal right to sell the domain.

domain tools homepage

You can use tools such as DomainTools or Whois to research the seller’s past sales, domain name history, and expiration date. 

Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media channels to validate the seller’s identity.

Read reviews or testimonials from previous buyers. Look for any red flags that may indicate a problem, such as negative feedback or unresolved complaints. Beyond verifying legal ownership of the domain, make sure that there are no outstanding legal disputes related to it.

Consider using an escrow service for more security and peace of mind during the transaction process. Take your time. Do your due diligence to ensure a successful purchase and transfer of ownership without any issues down the line.

Negotiate with the Seller

When negotiating with a domain seller, it’s crucial to do your research and have a clear budget in mind. It’s not necessarily about the money you spend on the domain itself, but the value that web address brings to your business. 

A formal domain appraisal can give you an idea of value, which helps you with budgeting and what you’re willing to offer. 

When you find a domain you want to make an offer on, remember: premium domain names (keywords, easy-to-remember, etc.) can easily sell for tens or hundreds of thousands. But it’s possible to purchase many domains for under $100.

Regardless of what you’re looking to buy, have a budget in mind before you begin negotiations. This saves everyone’s time.

Actionable Steps for Negotiation

Follow these steps to help you achieve the desired outcome:

  • Research the seller’s history and previous sales to give you an idea of what to expect as you negotiate.
  • Determine a budget and make an initial offer that is lower than your maximum budget to give you room for negotiation. The seller may be fielding multiple offers, so you want to grab attention but avoid going straight to top dollar.
  • Be respectful and polite in all communications with the seller. If you’re rude, you’ll get skipped over in favor of another buyer.
  • Consider offering additional incentives, such as a quick close or a testimonial can sweeten the deal in your favor.

Remember that successful negotiation often involves finding a win-win solution for both parties involved. You’re also free to make multiple offers on different domains, so you’ve got options. 

Confirming the Sale and Transferring Ownership

The seller should initiate the transfer process, which requires them to unlock the domain and provide an authorization code. You’ll need to give the seller your name, email address, and other contact information. Names registered within the last 60 days cannot be transferred per ICAAN rules, so be sure you know which registrar you want to use ahead of time.

Some registrars may require additional steps to transfer ownership, such as confirming your contact information or verifying your identity. The easiest way to ensure you get a smooth domain transfer is to familiarize yourself with your registrar’s requirements. If the domain is already with the registrar you want to use (it’s already with GoDaddy, and you plan on using GoDaddy, too), the process isn’t as tedious.

What Should I Look Out For During the Process?

Unfortunately, the internet is full of people looking to take advantage of unsuspecting business owners. To protect yourself:

  • Examine historical records to see what kind of website used to be associated with the name.
  • Verify the authenticity of any documents or agreements the seller provides before making payment. 
  • Use an escrow service to provide an extra layer of security during the transaction and ensure a smooth transfer process.
  • Once the sale is confirmed, update the domain’s contact information and transfer ownership as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you buy domains from people?

Yes, you can buy them from the current owners. It is up to the owner to set the price and market the domain for sale.

How much does it usually cost to buy a domain name from someone else?

Various registrars set prices for new domains, with the TLD determining the cost. Existing domains cost more and vary depending on age, keywords, backlink profile, etc.

How do I permanently buy a domain?

You cannot permanently purchase one. You can register it for up to 10 years at a time, with one year being the minimum. The cost is based on the registration length.

How do you get a domain name that is taken but not used?

You must contact the owner and negotiate the sale. Brokers can help you reach the correct person or company.

Helpful resource: What You Can Do if Your Domain is Taken Already

Buying a Domain Name That’s Taken

Buying a domain name from someone else can be a tricky process, but the payoff is worth it. With a unique and memorable domain name, you can significantly boost your brand’s recognition.

Whether you’re looking to buy a premium domain or take advantage of an aged name with lesser value, research is key. Using the right approach, you can secure a great name and take your online presence to new heights.

If all else fails, you can purchase a new domain name with a different top-level domain (TLD) or opt for a different name on the same TLD. 

At, our broker experts can help you track down the perfect domain name for your business idea. We’ll take care of contacting owners, negotiating to get you the best deal, and transferring the registration to you. We’ll conduct a thorough search, including marketplaces like GoDaddy, Sedo, and Flippa, to help you find the right option for your needs.

Need help with buying a domain name? We can contact and negotiate with sellers on your behalf. Contact us today to get started.