When Selling Domain Names to End User, Use the Whois Email Address

I’ve written extensively about selling domain names to end users, and one thing I want to recommend is that you use the registrant email (or phone number) found in a Whois lookup as a means of getting in touch with the proper person.

Oftentimes, a business website only offers a contact form to contact them. If the company is larger or if it’s a company that would need a customer service contact (ie an ecommerce company where most people are writing to check on orders), your email may be lost in the process or reviewed by someone who doesn’t know how to handle your request.

Instead of taking a chance and sending the email via form that may not be read by a decision maker (or calling the wrong department), use a Whois service like Domaintools and find the email address on record. Chances are good that it’s a person in the executive offices or possibly the actual business owner.

I’ve also found the History tool to be helpful, since many companies change the Registrant email once they grow sufficiently enough that the owner/founder is more hands off. The History tool costs $15/month as part of the Silver membership, and if you are serious about buying domain names and need to check on a domain name’s history, it’s an essential tool.

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


  1. It’s time consuming, but I usually email the person listed in the WhoIs, as well as any email addresses I can find on the actual website. For larger companies, the WhoIs email is sometimes a domain/IT manager.

    No matter what, some of the emails aren’t going to be read, either because the addresses are outdated, or they’re intercepted by spam folders, or just plain ignored. I’ve had about a 33% open rate on the emails I’ve sent out.

    You’re right about comment forms – I have a feeling those usually go to customer service agents who rarely forward the emails to anyone higher up.

  2. Don’t you worry that in a larger company it’ll end up with some low-level IT person, or IP attorney/gatekeeper that won’t forward it up the chain of command?

  3. I also email the whois address as well as the email addresses that I find on the website itself. I do not use comment forms at all.

    But my best percentage of sales seems to be from the whois address. I am not sure if I just wind up getting an decision maker on the first try or what.

    My record is a customer that replyed by phone 8 minutes after I emailed. In less then 30 minutes I had a sale for 80% of my asking price on a freshly dropped domain.

    My second fastest was an email to the IT contact (of a very LARGE company) that resulted in an email (2 hours laterstating that they did not normally respond to email solicitations but wanted the domain if I would accept their offer. Their offer was about 90% of my asking price so I took a quick profit on another fresh drop.

    Joey Starkey
    Memphis Domain Broker

  4. I usually use contact forms. I suppose that there’s a better chance that the message will be processed at all in that case instead of going into the spam folder.
    But I guess that I often miss the opportunity to contact the right person through the whois email as well. What bothers me, if it is fine to use both contact form (or email found on the website) and whois email? Won’t message duplicating for different recipients inside one legal entity look spam-like for them?

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