If you’;re starting out in business and want an internet presence then you’ll want to start with the right name. It speaks volumes about you and your business. Memorable domains can also be used to create a more personal e-mail or blog address. Problem is (of course), the shorter, memorable and more descriptive domain names have all but gone so buyers wanting a great name for business or personal use have little option but to go to the domain aftermarket
Names to avoid. Do not buy a domain that is trademarked or a misspelling. You will at some point lose the domain.
Are you looking for a .com, .net, .org; or a country-specific domain such as .co.uk?
Look up the Whois record for the domain. It will tell you the registrant’s name, address, administrative contact, when the domain was registered and when the registration expires. It will also give you the Registrar.
It may be easier and quicker to transfer the domain name with the same Registrar rather than transferring both the registered owner and the Registrar. Most have hosting services.
Ask the seller for a price range rather than a specific price. Find out the lowest price the seller will accept. If the domain has got little or no traffic you could ask for an appraisal. Dealers (or domainers) will buy on traffic and that’s how most appraisals are done. An undeveloped domain will be worth less. The appraisal may well be below the seller’s asking price. He may think the appraisal does not reflect the full value given the name. Ask the seller the reason for selling. Make sure the domain has no third party interests or is in dispute. Again, ask the seller. And always remember: “let the buyer beware”. You’re not buying a TV that you can take back to the shop with consumer protection and product guarantees. That said, most people are honest.
If you offer a ridiculously low price the seller will think you are time wasting. You do need to show you are genuinely interested. Being polite costs nothing and may earn you a discount. You could even ask if they would licence the domain to you.
If you are not using an escrow service the seller probably has an invoice/agreement. If the seller does not have an agreement you will need one. Put what you have agreed in writing and get the seller’s confirmation. Make sure as much as possible is covered. That will be your contract.
The Domain Name
Current Registrant/Seller/Transferor Name, Address, e-mail
The Purchaser/New Registrant/Transferee, Name, Address, e-mail
Price. The amount of Payment and Dates (Any Time Limits)
Payment Method or Escrow Agent/Financial Intermediary/Lawyer
Determine who pays the incidental costs. Escrow agent, transfer to a new Registrar
Payment terms; ie, 50% on agreement; 50% when transfer completed
Proposed date of transfer; ie, is it the same as the agreement date
A date when the transfer is to be completed by; ie, within 14 days
New Admin, Billing contact with e-mail
Renewal date for the domain
Process to Transfer to a new registrar
Confirmation that the transfer is in within the terms of the Registry and the Registrar. ie, for European Domains ending in eu that you are based one of the EU countries
Buyers should make sure that they agree with the Registrars terms and conditions. You are signing up to them. (Yes I know – most people don’t bother to read them all)
Make sure you have all legal rights to the registration. All rights to the domain pass on transfer to the transferee
No legal or domain disputes; ie, trademarks or third party interest over domain
The Transferee is responsible for all future renewals
Any other special terms and conditions; ie, separate account set up with password