Buying a Pre-owned Domain Name – Full Guide

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Domains are crucial in the digital age. They help inform your online identity and presence.

But what if the domain name you want is already taken? Fortunately, you don’t have to change your business name just yet.

It’s possible your ideal domain is already registered, which means you can buy it from them.

This guide explains how to buy your perfect domain if it’s already taken. It covers the negotiation process and other technical steps you’ll need.

Understanding the Process of Buying a Domain from Someone

This section will discuss how to buy a domain name from its current owner.

What Does It Mean to Buy a Domain from Someone?

To buy a domain name involves transferring site ownership rights to a specific internet domain name from the current owner of the domain. It grants the buyer exclusive rights to use, manage, and control it.

This process can help you establish an online presence and expand your business.

If your chosen website’s address is already registered to an owner, it’s time to buy your chosen domain name. You can also scour domain marketplaces for a similar-sounding domain name.

The complexity of the process can depend on different factors. These factors include popularity of the domain name, the willingness of the domain’s current owner, and negotiations.

You can buy a domain name for a lower price by looking up the value of similar domains through domain name registrars.

NOTE: Odys Global is a premium domain marketplace for online businesses. They offer a smooth buying experience and have helped many domain owners find and sell domains.

Why Would Someone Want to Sell Their Domain?

Let’s cover the reasons for selling domain names you may encounter. It may be for quick financial gain, a business shift, a reasonable offer, or domain name flipping.

Selling a domain name can lead to financial gain, especially if a business has shifted its strategic focus or rebranded, then it may want to sell its current domain name.

A person may also want to sell their domain name to help with domain portfolio management.

Domain portfolio management involves assessing the value of each domain name in your collection and evaluating the worth of keeping each one.

Financial hardship can also be a reason for selling premium domains.

What to Consider Before Buying a Domain from Someone

Before getting into domain name sales, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Note that these tips typically apply to different web hosting services.


Determine your budget for the new domain name you want to buy. It includes the acquisition costs, transfer fees, registrar charges, and potential legal costs.

Domain Value

Factors like keyword relevance, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) potential, brandability, and market demand define the value of a domain name.

Legal Issues

Let’s say you have a great domain name in mind that’s already registered.

Before buying it, it’s a good idea to check if it has any legal issues, such as trademark disputes or copyright concerns. You want to avoid a site name that may lead to legal troubles.

Domain History

Investigate the domain’s history, including its previous website owners, how it has been used, and its reputation. A domain’s history can affect its value and SEO standing.

Ownership Verification

Make sure that the person claiming to own the domain is the legitimate owner of the domain. You can check the domain’s WHOIS record to confirm ownership details.

Beware of fraudulent sellers!

Negotiation Strategy

Plan your negotiation strategy, including your initial offer, maximum budget, and terms you will accept in order to get the domain.

Consider hiring a broker or consultant to help with buying the website if you’re not experienced in negotiations.

Payment Method

Decide on the payment method you will use. You can use a third party like

Hiring the services of a neutral third-party company can protect the buyer and seller during the transaction.

Transfer Process

Understand the process, including the steps required to transfer ownership of the website from the seller to you.

If you’re buying domains through a domain registrar, you’ll have slightly more work. Make sure you double-check their policies, procedures, and any acquisition fees first.

Rebranding and SEO Impact

Consider the potential impact on the branding and SEO of your website.

A domain change can affect your online identity and rankings, so plan for a smooth transition.

Renewal Costs

Be aware of the annual renewal fees associated with the domain name. Some domain names can have a higher price for renewal, so factor this into your long-term website ownership expenses.

Post-Purchase Plans

Have a clear plan for using the domain name after the purchase. This includes configuring DNS settings and developing site content and an active website.

NOTE: When negotiating to purchase an original domain from someone, it’s essential to agree on a fair price or amount of money for the domain name. It should be separate from any additional costs related to the top-level domain transfer and registration fees.

How to Buy a Domain from Someone

This section will delve into domain name purchasing for beginners.

Researching and Identifying Potential Domains

Defining your objectives is an important first step when considering a domain name.

It would be best to consider the target audience when buying domain names and whether it’s relevant to your industry.

Once you clearly understand your objectives, you can research potential domain names that align with your goals.

The research should involve a thorough keyword analysis and brainstorming. This will help optimize the domain you want for search engines and identify potential domain names that align with your objectives.

NOTE: Domains with popular keywords are more valuable due to their high search engine ranking on Google and other search engines.

Contacting the Domain Owner

Earning your dream domain requires knowing its owner and contact details, like their phone number or email address. It can be achieved using a domain search or WHOIS lookup tools.

Using these lookup tools to find domain name owner information and contacting them directly is the best way to get the domain.

Find out who owns the domain and contact the owner. Once you have this data and find out who owns the domain, you can contact the owner and initiate discussions about buying the domain you want.

After you contact the owner, check to see if the domain is being used for an active website.

Domain brokers have experience negotiating with domain owners. They have access to additional resources to help you get your desired domain.

If the domain you want fits your business but isn’t for sale, consider registering a different extension or TLD (top-level domain).

Negotiating the Purchase

Identify the owner and start negotiations. You should have a set budget. You’ll need to agree on a fee, and finally, you’ll need to pay for the domain name.

If buying a domain directly proves difficult, you can start considering professional domain brokers for help.

When you make an initial offer, be realistic, but it’s not a good idea to reveal your maximum budget. This gives you room to haggle for the price of the website.

Be prepared for a counteroffer from the domain owner. They may ask for more than you are willing to pay, but this does not mean the negotiations are over.

Ensuring Secure Payment

When buying a website name, it’s crucial to prioritize the safety of both parties. One way to achieve this is by using an escrow service to handle the deal’s financial aspects.

Escrow services act as a neutral third party that holds the payment in a secure account until the transfer is completed. It is recommended for managing domain sales.

This ensures that both the buyer and seller are protected from fraudulent activities. The transaction can be completed without issues. Avoid eTransfers and wire transfers.

By using an escrow service, you can have peace of mind knowing that your transaction is secure and protected from potential risks.

NOTE: You can purchase a domain through platforms like GoDaddy and Flippa. Take advantage of their user-friendly platform and domain registration services.

Transferring the Domain Ownership

Transferring a domain from one website owner to another involves several steps as follows.

  1. The seller unlocks the domain at their registrar. Before a domain can be transferred, the seller must unlock it at their registrar. This allows the domain to be transferred to a new owner.
  2. The buyer provides the seller with their registrar’s information. Once the seller has unlocked the domain, they must provide the buyer with info regarding their registrar.
  3. The buyer requests a transfer with their registrar. After providing the seller with their information, the buyer must start a transfer request with their registrar. This request triggers the transfer procedure.
  4. The seller confirms the transfer request. Once the transfer request has been initiated, the seller will receive a notification and must confirm the request.
  5. The registrar facilitates the domain transfer to the buyer’s registrar. After it has been confirmed, the registrar where the domain is already registered will ease the transfer to the buyer’s registrar.
  6. The domain now belongs to the buyer. Once the domain transfer has been completed, the domain is under the buyer’s ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about buying a domain name from a domain owner here.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Domain From Someone?

The cost of buying a domain name from someone varies. It depends on domain cost factors like the domain’s perceived value, negotiation, and the seller’s asking price.

Remember, domain name ownership isn’t permanent. It’s more like a long-term lease.

Expect to pay around $10-$20 per year. Note that premium domain names will typically cost more.

How Do I Approach Someone to Buy Their Domain?

To buy a domain, identify and contact the domain’s owner. Send a polite inquiry, express interest, and start the negotiations.

How Long Does It Take To Buy a Domain From Someone?

The time it takes to buy a domain from someone can vary.

It depends on factors such as negotiation speed and the responsiveness of both parties, as well as the domain transfer process and any legal or technical complexities.

It can take a few days to several weeks or even longer.

Can I Buy a Domain Without Disclosing My Personal Information?

In most cases, it is challenging to buy a domain without disclosing some personal information.

Domain registrars must have accurate contact details like your contact number and email address. This is mainly to comply with ICANN regulations.

However, you can mask your personal information in public domain registration records through WHOIS’ privacy services.

What Should I Do if the Domain Owner Is Not Responsive or Refuses to Sell?

Suppose the domain owner is unresponsive or refuses to sell.

In that case, you can consider seeking alternative domains. Wait for a change in the website owner’s stance, or use a domain broker to ease negotiations.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much recourse if the domain’s owner simply doesn’t want to sell. If this is the case, it’s time to look for a different domain name.


The art of buying a domain name from someone else is a process fraught with intricacies and opportunities.

From diligent research to thoughtful negotiations, you should know how to buy a domain name from another owner at this point.

Effective communication, transparency, and respect are the pillars of this venture. As we conclude, we urge you to take this newfound knowledge and embark on your domain acquisition journey.

The journey towards a successful online presence is filled with possibilities and potential. This allows you to explore the domain market and bring your digital aspirations to life.

Odys Global Founder and CEO

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