Whois Email is Not Always Accurate


I thought I would share a tip to help people acquire domain names in private. Sometimes the Whois email address is not accurate and an offer or inquiry email will not be received by the intended recipient.

It can be frustrating to email a very good offer to a domain registrant and not even receive a response to the email. I understand that what seems like a very good (reasonable and/or fair value) offer to me may be low to the domain owner. I also understand that some people have no interest in selling a particular domain name regardless of how good the offer is. I think it is courteous to reply, so not receiving a response can be frustrating.

One thing that could prevent a reply from being made is if the domain registrant did not receive the email. Many domain registrants have a credit card on file at their registrar so their domain names are renewed without having to be reminded via email. They may never receive emails about their domain names, but since the domain names automatically renew, this isn’t something they even notice.

Yesterday morning I was doing some email follow-ups when I received an undeliverable email notice. The registrant email was firstname.lastname@companyname.com. After receiving the returned email, I did a Google search for the person’s name and saw that he left the company over a year ago and was working elsewhere. I did some sleuthing to find a decision maker and sent an email to a few people at the company who would either be the decision maker or be able to put me in touch with the decision maker. Fortunately, I found the right person at the company (a co-founder and head of biz dev), but unfortunately my offer wasn’t enough to entice the company to part with the domain name. At least I have an answer about my offer though.

An inaccurate Whois email can be frustrating, but I love those returned email notices. I would imagine a large % of domain name buyers receive this type of email and simply move on to other domain names. These emails indicate that others likely stumbled when trying to buy a domain name, and if I can do more research, I can likely get in touch when others could not.

Whois email addresses are not always accurate, but buyers should not give up.


  1. Excellent advice! Sometimes an email account has so much available space that it will store thousands of contact attempts even though the owner never checks the email anymore. Or the email was just a throw away used for marketing campaigns that just gets purged and never read. I think sleuthing is an excellent approach for anyone that’s waited over a week or two with no response, just in case those are a factor.

  2. I am breaking my head since 1 month trying to find the email of this lady. The current email-box doesn’t even exists… (all emails are bouncing) and the same email is listed as admin/contact for many of her domains. There is no working website, the phone number doesn’t work. She doesn’t have a social profile. Lives in a European country where English is not the first language.

    My only hope might be her ex-colleague whom i found on linkedin. Hope to get to that person through him.

    Wish me luck.

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