Domain name purchases aren't always easy – top 5 tips

It’s harder than you think to get your domain name purchase right.

Purchasing a domain from someone else is a simple idea and relatively simple process when the price is low.  But as the price or importance of the domain goes up, so does the attention to the process.

Here are our top 5 tips in domain name acquisitions.

What would you add?

1.       Use an escrow agent, even an online one. Domain name transfers are not instant and not guaranteed.  There is some time between clicking “transfer” and the transfer occurring and both parties will feel uncomfortable about the other having hold of the money.  Best place to keep it is with an escrow agent until the transaction is complete.

2.       Transfer the domain between accounts at the same registrar. You might save a few dollars getting cheaper renewals elsewhere, but the timing of paying the purchase price and the various mechanics to transfer a name between registrars is too big a risk.

3.       Domain transfers are usually done on a pull mechanism – the buyer requests the transfer and the seller approves it.  Make sure there is an obligation for the seller to approve the transfer.

4.       If you’re in dispute don’t resolve the dispute without acquiring the domain.  Never settle with the domain name be cancelled (it’s even better to settle with the other party retaining by agreeing not to use the domain name).  Cancelled domain names are picked up quickly (and mostly automatically) when they become available.  You’ll quickly find yourself back at square one with a new person on the other side, or worse a new person with a legitimate right to use the name!

5.       Make sure you consider past and future use of the domain name.  Like a trademark assignment, once the domain name is in your hands the previous owner shouldn’t continue to use it in any branding.

Any other tips or war stories out there?

3 Comments on “Domain name purchases aren't always easy – top 5 tips

  1. Interesting article. An further consideration in a domain name purchase strategy is the economic realities of obtaining every (and an ever expanding list of) gTLD for a prefix. Sure you don’t want someone misusing a similar domain to yours but can companies other than Big Brand owners justify large scale defensive purchasing.

  2. Hi – Thanks for the comment.

    Everyone needs to look at the landscape and best position themselves with budget. Small companies generally don’t do large scale offensive activity let alone large scale defensive. So no, it generally isn’t the highest priority. But if you can pick up a great name at a reasonable price, it sure beats the cost of trying to get it later when you’re famous!

  3. Pingback: Online Global Week in Review 5 November 2010 from IP Think Tank

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