3 Ways to Find Out Who Owns a Domain Name
How to Find the Owner of a Domain Name
A WHOIS lookup provides details about that domain name, including the name of the registrar, the state or country where it is registered, and the name of the organization or individual who owns it. WHOIS tools also provide interesting details such as the date created, and the date updated.
For example, if you do a WHOIS search of cars.com, you will see the registration organization, registration country, that it was first registered on February 11, 1998, and that it was last updated on January 10, 2023. If anything is changed in the WHOIS it will change the updated date. That could be the middle initial of an owner or a change in registrar to a new server.
See below for an example of the information provided by a whois lookup on cars.com:
|Registrant Org||Cars.com, LLC|
IANA ID: 292
|Who is Server||whois.markmonitor.com, email@example.com|
|Registrar Status||clientDeleteProhibited, clientTransferProhibited, clientUpdateProhibited|
|Dates||9,223 days old|
Created on 1998-02-12
Expires on 2024-02-11
Updated on 2023-01-10
|Name Servers||NS-1005.AWSDNS-61.NET (has 56,656 domains)|
NS-1142.AWSDNS-14.ORG (has 51,259 domains)
NS-1879.AWSDNS-42.CO.UK (has 253 domains)
NS-285.AWSDNS-35.COM (has 1,699 domains)
|IP Address||184.108.40.206 is hosted on a dedicated server|
|IP Location||Washington – Seattle – Akamai Technologies Inc.|
|ASN||AS16625 AKAMAI-AS, US (registered May 30, 2000)|
|Domain Status||Registered And Active Website|
|IP History||121 changes on 121 unique IP addresses over 18 years|
|Registrar History||2 registrars with 2 drops|
|Hosting History||7 changes on 7 unique name servers over 21 years|
As you can see, WHOIS searches can provide a wealth of information. However, sometimes the information is blocked or made private by the domain owner. We have been seeing this more and more in the domain industry due to privacy laws such as GDPR. If the domain is private, the WHOIS will provide an email or a contact form to contact the owner.
Before you perform a WHOIS search and submit a message to the domain owner, keep in mind a few important things:
They know where to look, what to say, and might already have a relationship with the owner. They might be able to get you a better price in a shorter period. In the case of private domains, our brokers can use the communication options that are available or use other methods like looking back at past WHOIS history, in addition to many other tools of the trade. In the end, our experienced brokers will find the domain owner and buy the domain name at a fair market price.
We use tools and investigative skills to analyze the domain’s ownership history. For example, we may contact past owners to find out to whom the domain was sold and how to find the current owner. In other cases, it may take some extra time and effort to find the decision-maker at the company. Again, this is something that we are experienced and specialized in doing. To set up a consultation with one of our experienced domain brokers, click here.
Once you find the owner, the next step is to make an offer for the domain name. If you have not already done so, you may want to read my article on appraising domain names. When you’re looking to contact the owner of a domain name to make an offer, the first thing you should do is visit the website and look around. It’s important to determine how the company is using the domain (even if the appraisal tells you the domain is worth x amount).
If the domain takes you to a bona fide working business, the company’s livelihood is probably tied to the brand name of the domain, and it will cost significantly more than fair market value. Additionally, even if it’s just a landing page or a dead page, it might be in the company’s plans for a future project. If this is the case, the appraisal may be incorrect, or it may cost a little more to convince the company to change its plans or to purchase something else. Whatever the case, be prepared to negotiate the domain’s price by researching the domain before you contact the owner.
Need help with how to find out who owns a domain? Let us know!