The Ins and Outs of Buying Domains
Whether you need to purchase a domain for your new eCommerce website or you’re looking to get into the resale business, do your homework. There are millions of domains currently for sale, but not all domains are worth the headaches or the price. With a little knowledge, you can buy domain names for personal use or profit in just a few minutes.
Where to Find Domains for Sale
The first step to buying a domain is knowing where to find domains for sale. There are many sources from auction websites to private domain owners, but the best place to start with a domain registering website. You should look for one of the big names, and make sure that it is approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). That will make your domain easily transferable from you to another owner.
If you’re buying an existing domain to use for your business, make sure that you research its history to learn of any problems or sanctions by Google first. Buying without knowing the history make leave you holding title to a banned domain.
Buying for resale involves finding a potentially lucrative domain for a price that will lead to a good ROI. Search for a domain name that would give the purchaser value. Look at it from the point of view of the buyer and ask yourself:
- How would owning this domain help my business?
- Will it be easy for my customers to remember?
- Is it reflective of my business or service?
If you’re targeting certain market, industry or niche, know something about what would make a particular domain attractive to that buyer. The last thing you want to do is buy something just because it’s cheap or you like the name if there is no market for it.
How to Buy a Domain
Buying a domain from a register is as simple as finding out if it’s available and what its going for. The prices set on these websites aren’t usually negotiable. Auctions for domains work the same way as any auction. There are auction sites that also handle domain auctions and some dealers who specialize in auctioning web domains. A good name can become pretty competitive at auction, so make sure it’s one you really want. A last resort would be to make an offer on an existing, active domain, but that is rarely a way to get a good price.
Problems to Avoid
Before you settle on a specific domain, check the history. The first place to do this is on Google, since that platform sets the bar for search engine standards. If the domain comes up with no results after a search, it may be banned. If it does come up in a search, look at any commentary in the listings. What you don’t want to see is complaints from previous users. If the domain doesn’t come up after a Google search, check other search engines. Appearing everywhere but Google is another indication that it has been banned or sanctioned for some reason.
Other resources to check are WhoIs.com and Archive.org. WhoIs is a listing of all domains, there owners and whether they are active, available or retired. Internet archive is a database of search histories for virtually all know domains on the internet regardless of status. This site will let you see previous content of domains.