Have Your Eye on a Parked Domain Name? How to Make the Dream a Reality

Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Domain Tips and Tricks [ 0 Comments ]

There is nothing more disappointing than having a domain name in mind only to discover it isn’t available or for sale. The typical next step is to email the owner and see if there is something you can do to purchase the same, but this isn’t always possible (can you tell I’m speaking from experience?). Many domains that are not properly maintained simply don’t offer contact information or updated contact information. Once you get to this point, you have that dreaded moment: Now what?

Fortunately, just because the domain name you want has been purchased doesn’t mean that you can’t have it. In other words, if the domain name isn’t currently being used by the owner, you still have a chance. This domain name is called a “parked domain.”

How to Make Your Move on a Parked Domain

There are a few steps you will need to take in order to learn more about how you can gain access to a parked domain:

1. Type in the domain name into Google search to see if it is available.

If you get an “Oops!” from Google when you type in the domain name and extension into the search box, chances are the domain you’re looking for is available. If you see a website, no matter how good or bad, you are probably going to have to go through a few steps to gain ownership of the domain. The website is considered “parked” if there appears to be little action or maintenance done on the page.

2. Visit a domain registrar.

If there is no contact information on the webpage, you will want to visit a domain registrar such as GoDaddy.com to gain information about the owner. All you need to do is type the domain name into the search box on the page and then view a “whois.com” listing. This will give you the name and email address of the person in charge. You can then try and contact the editor about possible purchase.

3. Utilize a “Domain Busy Service” if available.

The most popular domain registrar is GoDaddy.com, and this site allows something called a “domain buy service.” This is a service that actually lets you get the name you want even if it’s registered to someone else. A link will take you to a webpage that lets you add this service to your cart for $69.99. It may seem like a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things it is worth it because it helps you get the domain you want. You will sing a service agreement, get a certified appraisal and will be contacted by a domain buy agent within one to two days, the agent will work with the owner to get you the site for the price you are willing to pay, and the site is yours if the owner accepts.

4. You may want to check and see if you can bid on the domain name you want.

The Go Daddy domain registrar allows you to bid on certain domain names. If you click “domains” in the toolbar you will see an option for an auction. Once you click and get to the auction page, you will have the ability to sort through all of the domain names that are being auctioned off. You can sort by the names that are most active, those on sale, or alphabetically. You can then bid on the name and wait to see if your bid wins.

5. Check the history of the domain name you’re interested in purchasing.

If you do get ahold of the owner, you will want to know how much the owner paid for the site when it was acquired. You can then determine how successful the site has become since the initial purchase, and then you can make sure you negotiate properly and get a fair deal.

I have learned from experience that you should not get your hopes up when it comes to a domain name. You want to be open minded to different ideas and possibilities. Sometimes the coolest domain names are the most expensive, but there is no reason to let this discourage you from following your dream of owning your own website. Ultimately, readers appreciate great content more than a great domain name.

Have you ever tried to buy a parked domain? What were your experiences?

Photo Credit: countryclubservicesinc.com

Christina Jones is a writer and marketing for Credit Card Compare where she gives small businesses and individuals advice regarding purchasing decisions. You can learn more about how to protect your credit score and avoid credit card fraud by visiting CreditCardCompare.com.au.

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