The Hostway Blog

Domain Name Aftermarket

If you're looking for a domain name right now, you've probably noticed that most of the good ones are taken. They're taken because they're short, simple, recognizable, and they end with the most coveted of domain extensions: .com. But like most things in life, you may be able to convince the owner to part with that domain name for the right price.

Almost as soon as domain names hit the market, people realized the potential for reselling desirable names. Today the domain name aftermarket is thriving. According to Zetetic, a domain name research and appraisal firm, it surpassed $111 million for 17,974 domain name sales in 2006.

How It Works

To buy a name that is already registered, start by checking the major aftermarket auction Web sites —  such as moniker.com, sedo.com and afternic.com — to see if the domain name is up for sale. It is a good idea to have some alternative names in mind because the cost of a domain name in the aftermarket can be quite high.

If your name is not up for auction, don't despair. You can look up the administrative contact in the Whois database and contact them directly to make an offer to buy the name.

Your other option is to simply wait until the registration expires and hope the owner doesn't renew it. This is a long shot and could hold up your Web site launch. You're probably better off choosing a different name.