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How to Buy a Domain Name That’s Already Registered

Finger Presses Orange Keyboard Button Domain Name Registration.

Just because a domain name is already registered doesn’t mean you can’t buy it. Many people offer their own domains for sale, and often it’s cheaper than you might expect.

If the domain name you want is already taken, here’s what you can do.

  1. Search on Namecheap to see if it’s listed for sale.

Many domain owners list domain names for sale with services linked to Namecheap. If the owner of the domain you want has done this, you’ll see that the domain is available for purchase at a premium:

fruitcobbler.com example pricing

You only pay the premium price once for .com domains. The domain renews for regular prices after that.

Buying a premium domain on Namecheap is secure and the domain name is transferred to your account almost instantaneously.

  1. Check if the domain name has a contact form.

You’ve probably come across many “parked pages” on domain names. These are usually one-page websites that are full of links or ads.

People who register domains for later sale will often ‘park’ them while they wait for a buyer. These parked pages sometimes have a link that says “Buy This Domain.” Clicking this link will show a price or let you make an offer on the domain name.

If you really want a domain that is already registered, it’s a great idea to visit the domain to see if it’s being used for an actual website or is just parked. If it’s parked, you can contact the owner from there.

  1. Find out how to contact the owner through Whois.

If the domain isn’t listed for sale on Namecheap.com and there’s no link to contact the owner through the site, it’s time to turn to a domain search (WHOIS) to find out who owns the domain.

WHOIS is a directory that tells you who owns a domain name. You can search for a domain on WHOIS and get the owner’s address, phone number and email address.

From there, the easiest way to contact a domain owner is through email. Just send them a friendly email asking if they are willing to sell their domain name and if so, for how much.

Some domain name owners won’t respond to emails about buying a domain because they get a lot of inquiries. Try calling the domain owner if you don’t hear back a few days after sending the email. If all else fails, do it the old-fashioned way: write a letter and send it via snail mail. You’d be surprised how often this works!

  1. If all else fails, try registering a different extension or top level domain.

If you really need to use a specific domain because it matches your business or personal name, but you can’t get the owner of the .com version to agree to sell it to you, consider a different top level domain. For example, rather than fruitcobbler.com consider registering fruitcobbler.recipes or fruitcobbler.cooking.

Don’t give up!

There are lots of ways to get a great domain that fits your website. Be sure to search Namecheap.com the next time you have an idea for the perfect domain, and we’ll be sure to show you all of your options!

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Andrew Allemann avatar

Andrew Allemann

Andrew is the founder and editor of Domain Name Wire, a publication that has been covering domain names since 2005. He has personally written over 10,000 posts covering domain name sales, policy, and strategies for domain name owners. Andrew has been quoted in stories about domain names in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and Fortune. More articles written by Andrew .

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