So you have a great idea for a business and have come up with the perfect name. You go online to a domain registrar (Godaddy, eNom, Name.com, etc) only to find out that when you look for the name that you love so much, someone else already owns it. So what do you do? You need this domain name.
At this point, you are probably typing, “how do I find the owner of a domain name” into Google and are directed to a WhoIs lookup tool. You type in the name that you want into the lookup tool and voilà, you have the email of the domain name owner. You craft a very polite email inquiring about purchasing the domain name and BAM, you have walked right into a trap.
Domain name investors are waiting for you. You are what is called an “end user” and are seen as a cash cow in the world of domain investing. It is typical for you, the end user, to supply the owner of the name that you like with too much information in your first email, inquiring about the name. It is typical to mention that you are starting a business, that you really like the name and this puts you in a position of weakness in negotiating right off the jump.
The owner of the domain will most likely look you up on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc and determine exactly how much you could pay for the name, forcing you to the highest price (normally, far out of the price range that you envisioned). This is after all how they make their living.
So how does someone like you buy a domain name at a fair market price? Well, you can spend weeks even months checking out aftermarket domain trading sites such as Afternic, Sedo, NameJet and Flippa researching what is fair market value for the name you are interested in or you can contact a domain brokerage firm to do the research and negotiating for you.
Just like in the world of real estate, in the world of domain trading the buyer doesn’t pay anything to the broker, fee’s are paid by the seller so there is no risk in enlisting a broker to help you. Your broker understands the market and can negotiate a fair price with the seller. Your broker protects your identity so the seller can’t inflate the price of their domain name based you who you are. That is why when it comes to buying a domain name that is owned by someone else, you want to enlist a domain broker that specializes in brokering domain names to be your advocate.