How to Buy a Domain That Is Taken

Written by Web Hosting Expert

November 30, 2021
How to Buy a Domain That Is Taken

If you want to buy a domain name that’s already been taken, you might be wondering what you should do in order to get a hold of the domain name. The easiest thing you can do is look for another domain that is suitable for your website. However, this isn’t always the best option.

We’re here to tell you that you’ve come to the right place if you want to buy a domain that is taken.

Steps to Buy A Domain That Is Taken

In this article, we will discuss the steps of buying a domain that is taken.

Check the domain you are looking to buy

The first thing you should do is check the domain you want to buy. Has the website been updated in the past few years? Is there a real website behind the domain?

If you answered with “yes” on both of these questions, chances are, the domain owner is probably not looking to sell the domain. You’re likely to get the domain if there is a real website, but the site hasn’t been updated for a few years, even though there’s still a chance that the owner will decline to sell it.

You can confidently approach the domain owner if you see that the website is simply a placeholder. The domain owner might have a page linking to the domain buying service they prefer to work with if they buy and re-sell domains regularly.

Check the domain name isn’t a registered trademark

You could find yourself in a situation where you have to take your site offline completely in the future if the domain name is a registered trademark of a business that already exists. To check whether your domain name is already being used by another company, you can check the US trademark database and local databases as well.

Find the owner

Find the owner of registered domain

The next step after determining that the domain isn’t being used for a website is to find out who owns the domain. Using the WHOIS service is the easiest way to do this. For this type of search, you can use a number of sites, but these sites usually give a set of standard information such as:

  • Who the domain is registered by

  • When the domain was registered

  • How to contact the company or the person

  • When the current ownership of the domain expires

Other information related to the purchase will show up; however, when your goal is to buy a domain, the thing you need to look for is the owner of the domain.

Assess the domain and decide on the price you want to pay

Before you contact the domain owner, you need to determine how much money you’re ready to pay for the domain. Some things you need to keep in mind when buying a domain from an owner are the following:

  • Length – The domain name is more valuable if it’s shorter.

  • Age – What is considered more valuable when it comes to domains are domains that are older.

  • Brandability – Memorable and short domain names that are easy to spell and remember are the easiest to build a brand around.

  • Generic value – A domain has generic value if it can be used by any business in a certain industry.

  • Keywords – Due to their ability to rank high on Google and other search engines, domain names that contain popular keywords are more valuable.

Choose the maximum amount you’re willing to offer and the base amount you’re willing to pay before you approach the domain name owner.

Browsing through a domain marketplace such as Flippa’s can help you get an idea of what prices are since there isn’t a value that is agreed upon when it comes to domains. Look for domains of similar age, generic value, similar keyword value, and similar length, which can help you estimate the price to a certain level.

Reach out to the domain owner and discuss the price

There are two ways you can get in touch with the domain owner, and those are by using a domain buying service or by reaching out to the owner directly. If you’re using a domain buying service, the domain owner will be contacted by a broker who will do the negotiation process instead of you.

If you reach out to the domain owner directly, use the information you found, and politely ask to buy the domain through email. In the email, you can include some information about why you want to buy the domain and tell a bit more about yourself.

Domain transfer

Lastly, the platform or the seller will initiate the domain transfer to you. If different domain registrars are used by you and the seller, the process can be more complicated. You might need to ask for the support of the registrar in this case, so they can initiate the transfer of the domain on your behalf. You will be able to update the settings of the domain once the transfer is over.

What Can Be Done If the Domain Name You Want Is Taken

The process of buying a domain can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, and it is definitely not an easy process.

If the process we mentioned above isn’t possible, you can always backorder the domain. Backordering means that you wait for the expiration of a domain’s ownership, and once it becomes available, you purchase it. You can use a backordering device instead of keeping track of the expiration date of the domain yourself. Some services you can use are Dropcatch and CatchTiger.

Some other alternatives you can use are the following:

  • Use abbreviations – for instance:,, and so on.

  • Add a verb to your keyword – for instance,,

  • Extend your brand with a keyword – for instance –,


We hope that this article helped you learn the process of buying a domain that is already taken. We encourage you to jump into getting the domain that you’ve always wanted.

Once you’ve found the perfect domain for your website, it’s time to find an amazing hosting provider, as well as a hosting plant that will fit the needs of your site.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular domain marketplaces?

Popular domain marketplaces include BrandBucket, Efty, Namecheap, Sed, and Flippa.

What is a top-level domain?

A top-level domain is the last part of the domain name, so it’s everything that goes after the final dot in the domain name.

What is a second-level domain?

The top-level domain is complemented by a second-level domain, and it is located on the left side of the final dot in the domain name.

What is a registrant?

A registrant is a person that wants to register a specific domain name. A registrant is basically the end customer.

What is a registrar?

A registrar is an organization that is accredited and responsible for the registration of domain names and the whole process behind them.

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