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Buying Domain Names

How to Buy a Domain Name That is Owned by Someone

For a domain investor, buying a domain name is second nature. Investors hand register domain names, purchase domain names via expiry and private auctions, and acquire domain names owned by others via private acquisitions. For people who aren’t in the domain name business, acquiring a domain name can be confusing, frustrating, and challenging.

When I want to buy a domain name owned by someone else when the landing page or website doesn’t provide information, the first thing I look at is the Whois record. Among other information, public Whois data provides the domain registrant’s name, location, email address, and phone number. Domain registrars like GoDaddy have Whois lookup tools, as do third party services like DomainTools. Oftentimes, the registrar where the domain name is registered offers the most detailed information.

CEO of NFT.com Shares Domain Name Acquisition Learnings

Jordan Fried is the owner of some exceptional domain names. A few of the domain names he owns include NFT.com, PuertoRico.com, and Fried.com. This afternoon, Jordan posted an insightful Twitter thread offering some learnings from his domain name acquisitions. I think he offers some very good advice to people who are in the market to buy domain names, and it is well worth a read.

The target audience for the tweet thread is probably other Founders and CEOs, but domain investors can use it to understand a high end domain name buyer’s perspective:

Check Archive.org for Historic Pricing

This afternoon while doing some acquisition research and due diligence, I came across a domain name that is for sale. The “for sale” landing page looks somewhat dated, as if it was created quite a long time ago. Within the messaging was the asking price of the domain name along with some other (unappealing) domain names that the registrant also seems to own and wants to sell.

I then visited the Internet Archive – Archive.org – to get an idea of the domain name’s history, time on the market, and asking price history. Archive.org shows how different websites looked over the years. You can enter in a particular domain name, and you can see many entries from past days, weeks, months, and years.

How to Buy a Domain Registered to Domains by Proxy LLC

Domains By Proxy, LLC (DomainsByProxy.com) may be one of the most prolific domain registrants. Domains By Proxy isn’t actually the owner of most domain names registered to the entity. Domains By Proxy, LLC is the Whois privacy service operated by GoDaddy.

Customers of GoDaddy who do not want their contact information shown on a public Whois record may use Domains By Proxy as the Registrant Name for an additional fee. By using Domains by Proxy, a domain registrant’s name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and other private contact details are not shown in Whois lookups. Earlier this year, GoDaddy began offering Whois privacy by default on most new registrations and inbound domain transfers, but some people still pay to use this service.

“Meh” Domain Names Are The Toughest to Acquire

Because of the niche nature of the domain investing business, I am regularly asked by friends of friends for advice about buying domain names. I don’t do any domain consulting, but I will try to give some advice if I think I might be able to make the acquisition process a bit easier for them. Buying registered domain names is not always easy, and it’s nice to be able to help someone if I can.

Friends of friends usually find me after they’ve made an effort to buy a domain name but failed. Sometimes this happens when they can’t get in touch with the domain registrant and other times it happens when they could not close a deal. Either way, the acquisitions I am called in to help on aren’t usually as simple as buying a domain name via GoDaddy or Sedo.

3 Biggest Factors When I Evaluate Domain Names

I spend quite a bit of time evaluating domain names to buy. Domain name auctions happen around the clock every day. Tens of thousands of domain names are up for auction at any given time, and new platform listings are added daily. Continuing to improve and grow my portfolio is critical, and evaluating domain names is essential.

There are many factors I consider when buying .com domain names. Tools I use daily – like ExpiredDomains.net and Dropping.pro – have many different search categories and filter options. There are a handful of search options I value more than others. I think the three most important factors I consider are these:

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