Why I Don’t Want to Contact a Hosting Company

My article yesterday morning about finding a domain owner begs the question, “why don’t you contact the hosting company and ask them to put you in touch with the domain owner?” Nobody asked this question, but I’ll address it because it covers an interesting topic.

When I am trying to buy or sell a domain owner (buy in this case), I don’t want an intermediary unless I select the intermediary, such as a domain buyer broker. I want to

There are three important reasons why I don’t want to engage a hosting company, web developer, or someone else whose name is listed as the Whois contact but is not the owner:

1) If the contact person has control over the domain name but is unfamiliar with domain name values, I do not want to give him a reason to take possession of the domain name. Perhaps he was holding it in the name of a client or there is some other reason the Whois record is showing this person as the contact, but I don’t want to give them a reason to purchase, steal, repossess, or otherwise take control of the domain name.

2) I don’t want to pay an intermediary a brokerage fee. Whether a person is a domain broker or not, if they are tasked with passing an offer along or sharing an offer

3) I don’t want to rely on a third party to contact the domain owner on my behalf. There may not be any incentive for the third party to get in the middle of the transaction, and they may not pass my email along. If I hope the contact passes the email offer along and they don’t, I might not know where I stand. I may drop the name off my acquisition target list unnecessarily if I don’t hear back.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


    • Yes, but in the article you referenced, that is when I choose to use a domain broker. In that case, I would use a professional broker I trust, give them my offer price, and hope they can close a deal The broker would be working entirely on my behalf to get me a deal.

      In the article today, I am referring to an intermediary who simply happens to be listed as the domain contact. These people (often web developers or hosting companies) are not professional brokers, wouldn’t be working on my behalf, and may simply try to take a cut for passing along my email. They aren’t necessarily acting as a broker in this type of situation, but they might expect to be compensated much like a broker. Additionally, they most likely aren’t working on my behalf with my interests in mind. They may have their own interests in mind or the interests of the domain owner, depending on the relationship.

    • I understand the differences, It’s funny that on the flip side of that, the intermediary of the host wants to get the best possible price for his client.. Personally I don’t care for domain brokers or any 3rd party involved in one of my domain transactions, it complicates the transaction, takes up more time and can be quite frustrating, Nothing better than dealing one on one.

      All good points to consider though, If I wanted a domain bad enough and had no other choice than going through the host, I’d likely go with option 3, asking the host to put me in contact with the domain owner, providing my phone and email address, I wouldn’t tell him I was interested in the domain, I’d come up with some other reason, based on the web site and the not the domain itself.

      BTW, what happened to the Likes and Dislikes?

    • “I wouldn’t tell him I was interested in the domain, I’d come up with some other reason, based on the web site and the not the domain itself.”

      >> That is a very good idea.

    • That is a very good idea, but I would add that make sure it is a true reason, not just a made up one. You don’t have to reveal your primary reason, but your given reason should at least be true. Some might think it makes no difference, but it does.

  1. You don’t know who the website hoster is on the other side, you could put yourself in a serious legal issue. The guy could be a habitual gambler down on his luck, you send him a $5K offer on a corporate domain that is parked, and the owners are clueless to it, and he sells it. Auditors later realize domain is gone, hence the legal battle. There have been a few cases where disgruntled, or web hosters who have not been paid, have kept, or sold domains in hostage.

  2. You don’t want to deal with an intermediary because your goal is to find an uneducated buyer/seller.You obviously don’t want someone to tell that buyer/seller that he/she is overpaying/underselling.

  3. Well I might click dislike for that last comment, but the like/dislike buttons have been gone for me for a few days now. Is this for everyone, or just selected ip’s? The very last time I used them I added many likes so I doubt my ip could be considered an like/dislike abuser. I only use them honestly and not for personal reasons if I don’t really like or dislike what I’m clicking for.

    • After careful consideration, I decided to remove them.

      I would rather people comment than passively like or dislike. Frankly, I think the dislike was used more than the like, and I don’t want people to worry about others passively disliking their comments. I think just about every comment is appreciated, except when people are rude for the sake of being a jerk.

    • I would have left the “Like” function and removed the “dislike”.. No likes are sometimes just as good as a dislike.

      The problem is the timing of the removal, we all know theirs one particular poster who has a record number of dislikes here, mostly because he’s not well liked in this industry, so when you removed the “Likes and Dislikes” it gives the appearance your protecting or providing cover.

      I don’t think removing the “Freedom to express” will bode well for you, but only traffic will tell.

      I would have waited until the heat was off.

    • “The problem is the timing of the removal, we all know theirs one particular poster who has a record number of dislikes here, mostly because he’s not well liked in this industry, so when you removed the “Likes and Dislikes” it gives the appearance your protecting or providing cover.”

      In all candor I was thinking the same thing, but I never intended to say anything. I don’t even need to ask who you’re talking about because you can be sure I did not go unscathed during my time at DNF some years ago.

      I had actually campaigned fervently to lose the “dislike” button in the past, but I grew to like it. I will admit, however, that I don’t like when it’s used dishonestly and just for personal reasons. Your idea of keeping the like button and your rationale is very good, however. Since there may be some concern about FB, it could be modified a bit.

    • P.S. He’s definitely one of the reasons why I left the forums to begin with, so if anyone wants to “protect” him, why that would be so is beyond me…

  4. Very sorry – I just made a big “oops” there. My name is John but I inadvertently typed in the name of the person whose comment I was referring to above. So 6:02 PM should be for me, John.


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