If you are really jazzed about a particular domain name that isn’t for sale, you should do your best to keep in touch with the domain owner in the event that circumstances change and the domain name goes on the market.
I’ve been looking to buy a particular domain name for several years. It’s not an amazing domain name, but it’s a pretty exceptional category defining domain name, and there are thousands of professionals in the field. The domain name has never been developed (or parked), and it is owned by an end user who thinks he will use it eventually, although it appears unlikely.
Every few months, I send the guy a friendly email to check in and see if anything has changed with respect to the domain name. I’ve made multiple offers, but lately, I’ve kept firm on my final offer to ensure that he doesn’t think that by holding out he will continue to see the offers grow. After a few inquiries, I asked him if he minded if I check in with him, and he told me he didn’t mind at all and appreciated the fact that I have continued interest.
If you do this, I recommend using the same email chain so that he can quickly see the discussions you’ve had over the years. I am not pushy towards him, and I remind him of my continued interest in the domain name. My feeling is that sometimes people’s circumstances change, and I would like for him to remember my interest if he decides to sell, either because he needs the cash, decided to not move forward, or received a more compelling offer.
When it comes to exceptional domain names that have been owned by people for 10, 12, 15+ years, it can be difficult for them to sell. They’ve either become attached to the domain name or attached to their idea for the domain name. If you maintain contact with some people, your patience may pay off down the road with a nice off market deal.