Frequently Asked Questions – Domain Names & Domain Brokers

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Staff Writer @ VPN.com

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Domain Brokers

What does a domain broker do?

Domain brokers offer a range of services that pertain to domain names. They can assist their clients with domain name valuation, buying or selling a domain, or managing a portfolio of domains. Some domain brokers also offer legal services to their clients.

The VPN.com team of brokers is capable to meet the needs of nearly any client, from small businesses to enterprise corporations and career investors. Additionally, our in house legal team is comprised of the industry’s top IP and trademark experts.

Learn more about what a domain broker does in this article.

Should I use a domain broker?

Yes. The advantages of using a domain broker generally outweigh any financial costs or perceived disadvantages. The only cost of using most reputable brokers is a modest commission fee that’s only charged once the domain transaction is completed successfully. Typically the financial gain/savings exceeds any commission paid.

You can read more about whether or not you should use a domain broker here.

Is a domain broker worth it?

Whether you’re buying or selling, working with a domain broker is usually worth it. There are rare situations where you may have ample market knowledge and the skills to negotiate a deal on your own, but the average individual will benefit from a broker for any domain that requires negotiating. Similar to a real estate agent negotiating the sale or purchase of a home, a domain broker can often get you a much better deal than you could have on your own.

Who is the best domain broker?

The best broker for you will have extensive knowledge of your market, a widespread network of buyers and sellers, and an aptitude for swift negotiation. These are a few of the best domain brokers to consider:

How does GoDaddy’s domain broker service work?

GoDaddy’s domain broker service is designed to make buying and selling domains easier. GoDaddy simplifies the process by providing a platform for buyers and sellers to connect.

Through GoDaddy, buyers can locate the domains they’re looking for or instantly purchase domains that are listed for sale with GoDaddy’s domain broker service.

Sellers can also benefit from GoDaddy’s domain brokers, as GoDaddy will assist in valuing and marketing of one’s domain name and handle the sale negotiations on their behalf while safeguarding their privacy.

GoDaddy makes sure that both parties are happy with the transaction by ensuring secure payment processing and providing customer support throughout the entire process.

How much do domain brokers charge?

Domain brokers work like brokerages in other industries, which means that they generally don’t charge a flat rate. Rather, domain brokers utilize commission-based pricing schemes. This might be a larger commission fee, or a smaller commission fee on top of a flat rate. The style of pricing as well as the exact amount will vary based on the broker you’re working with and the value of the domain you’re after. Before working with a domain broker, ask questions about their pricing and insist on transparency.

What is a domain broker service?

A domain broker service is akin to a real estate brokerage in that it works to facilitate the purchase and sale of domain names. The core of a domain broker service’s value proposition is industry-specific knowledge and skills. By offering this expertise to people who are interested in domain names, the brokerage finds buy/sell opportunities that the average person can’t. Then, it secures these opportunities at a more favorable price, profiting off of commission fees in the process.

How does a domain broker work?

A domain broker works by using experience industry knowledge and other relevant skills to offer high-quality domain name services. They bring value to every step of the process of buying or selling a domain name from the initial valuation to buying/selling strategy and negotiations. In exchange for offering clients the expertise that only time produces they profit by charging a modest commission.

How do I find a domain broker?

Experienced domain brokers can be found by doing a Google search. Look for domain brokers who specialize in buying or selling domain names similar to names you want to acquire. Never hire a domain broker without investigating the broker history and reputation.

 Should I use a domain broker for an unregistered domain?

Although you can search for unregistered domains on registrar websites and purchase them you may pay a higher price for an unregistered domain than you would using a domain broker. Of course the price you pay for buying domains on registrar websites depends on the value of the domain.

How much commission should I expect to pay a domain broker?

Most professional domain brokers charge between 15% and 25% for selling or buying domain names. Be aware, however, that domain brokers are primarily interested in procuring/selling domain names worth at least $10,000.

How can I recognize a domain broker scam?

Be wary of receiving “cold call” emails containing misspellings and odd word usage. A domain scammer will offer to buy or sell your domain name cheaply (5%) or pay you with Bitcoins or by a wire transfer.

How do I buy a domain through a broker?

Get in touch with a reliable domain broker, either an established firm or an individual in the business, and let them know you want to buy a domain. The domain name service provider will next inquire as to your exact requirements and offer ballpark figures for the price of a domain name.

How do I sell a domain through a broker?

To begin the process of selling your domain, just get in touch with a reliable domain broker. They’ll probe further to find out what sort of domain name you have before offering price estimations.

When should I use a domain broker?

Domain brokers save you time, money, and aggravation by procuring the exact kind of domain name you want. They can also get you the best price for a domain name you are selling. If you have a domain name you want to sell that you know is worth $10,000 or more, you should use a domain broker.

What are the pros/cons of buying a domain through a broker?

Domain brokers can get you a good deal on expensive domain names and do all the work of searching for and finding appropriate names. Disadvantages of using domain brokers to purchase domain names include charging commission for sending emails to client lists on your behalf and giving brokers exclusivity to buying a domain for you.

What are the pros/cons of buying a domain without a broker?

Domain brokers spend many hours negotiating with sellers and buyers, sending emails and calling domain name buyers/sellers. The biggest disadvantage of not using a domain broker to purchase domains on your behalf is the amount of time you would spend to find and purchase domains independently. The primary “pro” of not using a broker bypassing paying the commission.

Is it cheaper to buy a domain through a broker?

It might be the case sometimes. The price of a domain is established by the broker’s commission and the domain’s market value. Be wary of purported domain brokers that promise to work for less than a 15% commission on names worth less than $10,000.

Will I make more money if I sell my domain through a broker?

To receive the greatest price for your domain name, it’s best to engage a professional that is well-versed in the art of domain name promotion. In most cases, you will get less money if you try to sell your domain on your own rather than utilizing a broker.

Can a broker help me find out who owns a domain?

Yes. Domain brokers have access to tools that can find out the history of a domain name. Knowing background facts about a particular domain name may help you make improved decisions about creating domain names for your company’s web-based properties.

Can I become a domain broker?

Yes, anyone can become a domain broker. Consider taking free online courses about working as a domain broker before establishing your own website or seeking employment with a domain broker company. Keep in mind that the learning curve leading towards becoming a successful domain broker is steep and takes time.

Premium Domain Names

What is a premium domain?

Premium domain names are short, brandable and typically have a .com extension. Similar to a storefront on a crowded thoroughfare premium domains allow businesses to get their website in front of as many Internet users as possible. Examples of premium domains are cars.com hotels.com, insurance.com and the domain this website is hosted on, VPN.com.

It is important to note that premium domains are priced to reflect the value they bring to a website and as a result are the most expensive domains available.

Learn more about what a premium domain is in this article.

How do you know if a domain is premium?

The best way to know if a domain is premium is by asking a domain name expert such as a member of the VPN.com team. Assessing the value of a domain name requires a combination of experience-based skills that are hard for someone outside the industry to emulate. However you can generally trust that a domain is premium if it has a .com extension and a very concise, memorable and brand-worthy name.

How do I sell a premium domain name?

There are many ways that you can sell a premium domain name. If your information is available to the public on the WHOIS registries, you might be able to simply wait until a customer searches you out on their own.

However, you’ll have greater success selling if you’re more proactive. Many domain name websites offer marketplaces where you can list your domain names for sale, and it’s possible to sell by auction as well. Consulting a domain brokerage can help you find the best way forward and increase your chances of making a successful sale at a fair price.

If you’re interested in selling your premium domain, fill out this form to get in touch with one of VPN.com’s world-class brokers.

Should you buy a premium domain?

If your budget allows you should almost always buy a premium domain for your website. Premium domains are memorable convey a sense of trustworthiness and will help you gain more traffic and reach a wider audience. While there are exceptions premium domains are almost always the best choice for a website.

How much should I pay for a premium domain name?

It can be very difficult to determine how much you should pay for a premium domain name. We typically define a premium domain as one valued at more than $10,000, but many domains sell for six or even eight figures.

In fact, VPN.com was a million-dollar domain when it was purchased in 2018.

To get a premium domain for the best value, it’s recommended to use a reliable, experienced broker. They will make sure you don’t pay over market value and will handle the negotiations on your behalf.

Why are premium domains so expensive?

Premium domains are expensive for the simple reason that they work. “Premium domain” is not a formal designation, but the informal recognition that a domain name has the qualities that will help a website succeed. There are many evidence-based ways that a premium domain name makes a difference, such as the memorability and trustworthiness value of the .com top-level domain. Additionally, premium domains are catchy, concise, and highly brandable in a way that will make them an asset to your company.

Premium domains derive their value from the price that webmasters around the world are willing to pay for them.

Why are .com domains so expensive?

The reason that .com domains are so expensive is that they’re proven to get better results than all other domain suffixes. Widespread use has made them the most familiar top-level domain around the world, which makes .com domains more memorable and reliable.

People often misremember domain names while looking for a website they heard about or saw advertised, and using a non-.com domain increases this likelihood. Furthermore, the higher price of .com domain names drives away the scammers who pollute cheaper domains, such as .biz. While alternative top-level domains can be great choices in specific cases, .com is most worthwhile extension for the majority of websites.

Who owns premium domain names?

Only ICANN, the international body that governs domain names, actually owns domain names. Companies such as BlueHost and GoDaddy offer domain names to the public as middlemen, but they don’t own the domains; they simply act as registrars that manage the commercial side of the domain name system.

When you lease a domain name, you don’t own it; rather, you possess the right to use it as long as you operate it in good faith and make your annual payments. As for leasing, though, many people from all walks of life own premium domain names, from webmasters to investors.

How do I find my premium domain name?

Picking a registrar to determine if they have your desired premium domain name is the first step. If no one else has already registered your desired domain name you can pay to use it.

In spite of this the market for premium domain names is cutthroat with many of the best domains already taken by investors. The onus is on you to track out the current owner of a premium domain name if someone else has claimed it.

You should start by looking through the WHOIS database. With any chance you may discover the owner using the information provided. If not visit the site of the desired name to see if you can find purchasing information there.

Contact a domain brokerage for more assistance if you are still having trouble locating the owner. Professional domain registrars like VPN.com have the resources to acquire premium domain names in the aftermarket that are unavailable to the general public.

What is the highest price I can sell my premium domain name for?

It has been reported that the domain name “Cars.com” was purchased for nearly $900 million in 2017. Demands for certain premium domains naturally ebb and flow. If you have a premium domain name you want to sell but offers are not up to your expectations, try waiting to see if the demand for your domain rises in the near future.

How long does it take to sell a premium domain name?

Trends and fads often dictate how fast you can sell a premium domain name. Also having a domain broker sell your premium domain may give you a quicker turnaround time since brokers have immediate access to interested domain buyers.

How much does it cost to buy a premium domain name?

Premium domain names can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on their history, traffic statistics keywords and other factors. Also, premium domain names containing phrases or words that pay-per-click advertisers compete for or words that can be incorporated into brand names will cost much more than non-premium domain names.

What is the best way to buy a premium domain name?

Hiring a domain broker is the best and safest way to buy a premium domain name. Brokers ensure you don’t pay any more than necessary for premium domains and also perform thorough background checks on the domain’s historical reputation.

How do I buy a premium domain name?

Searching domain selling services or hiring a domain broker are the two best ways to purchase a premium domain. Making “cold call” inquiries to domain owners is another way but can be time-consuming and expensive.

How much does a one word premium domain name cost?

Domain names consisting of one word are the most expensive domains to purchase. One word domain names are highly desirable because of their brandability and ease of recall. Consequently, expect to pay hundreds of thousands – if not millions – for a one word domain name.

How do I buy a premium domain name that is already owned by someone?

You can offer to buy the domain name from the owner and hope they accept the offer or search for another name similar to the one you want. A premium domain name broker can help you find the kind of premium domain name you want quicker than searching for one yourself.

How are premium domain names valued?

Short domains (one or two words), domains consisting of easily spelled/understandable words, domains containing meaningful keywords, and domains with a positive and reputable history will increase the value of a domain name. For example, the domain “footballbasketballbaseballchiropractor.com” won’t sell for as much as a domain called “sportschiropractor.com”.

What is the difference between a premium domain and a normal domain?

The primary difference is their worth. Standard domains may not have much of a history, attract minimal traffic, or contain problematic words. Premium domains are just the opposite – valuable, search engine optimized, and reputable.

When I buy a premium domain name, is it permanent?

To permanently own a premium domain name after purchasing it you must re-register the website every few years to continue owning it. Failing to re-register the domain means someone else can legally buy the domain. In addition once a premium domain name is established it cannot be changed. If you want to make minor changes to a domain name you will have to register and buy it as a separate domain.

When is a good time to buy a premium domain name?

Any time is a good time to purchase a premium domain name whether you are an entrepreneur or existing business owner. Premium domains add SEO advantages, instant credibility, and authority to your business and provide exact or close keyword matches for your services or products.

Should I use a broker to buy or sell a premium domain name?

Premium domain brokers can save you a lot of time and money if you know little about buying and selling domains. In addition, working with a professional domain broker means you do not have to worry about being scammed out of thousands of dollars by an unscrupulous seller.

How do I buy an expired premium domain name?

Expired premium domain names are routinely auctioned off on domain name registrar websites. When nobody bids on domain names being auctioned, these names can then be purchased by whoever wants to buy them. In most cases, expired premium domain names are bought during an auction.

Can I buy a .org premium domain name?

Premium domain names ending in .org typically belong to recognized or non-profit global organizations such as www.un.org (the United Nations website) or www.redcross.org. Most .org websites belong to cultural, religious, educational, charity, and medical websites that are long-established and highly trusted. However, anyone can buy a .org premium domain name that has expired or is for sale. You do not have to be affiliated with an organization.

Can I buy a .edu premium domain name?

Colleges, universities, community colleges, public schools and vocational schools (any institution whose domain name ends in .edu) are universally linked with education. To qualify for a .edu premium domain your school must be recognized by an official accreditation body. Unless you meet certain criteria registries that hold .edu premium domain names will not approve your purchase.

How do I find the best deal for a premium domain name?

Taking time to research the type of premium domain names you want to buy is one way to get the best deal available. An easier less time-consuming method is to simply hire a premium domain broker who has immediate access to thousands of domain names and to the individuals or entities who own them.

Domain Names

What is the best place to get a domain name?

When looking for the best place to get a domain name you should hire a domain broker to find the domain name for you that offers top-notch features and services.

From personalized domain recommendations to domain sales events and free domain redirects finding the right domain registrar starts with understanding what features are important.

With the right research you can find the domain registrar that best suits your needs now and in the future. With so many domain registrars offering different pricing options and features it is never been easier to find the perfect domain name without breaking your budget.

How do I find the value of my domain?

One of the quirks of the domain name industry is the fact that there’s no final authority on the value of domain names. As a result, there’s no singular place you can go to that will tell you the permanent, unchanging value of your domain.

However, experienced brokers can evaluate your domain name based on current market factors, the domain’s intrinsic value, the state of your website, and more. Remember that while a broker’s valuation is typically reliable, it doesn’t signify the exact amount a domain will be bought or sold for. For instance, a house valued at $200,000 will often sell for more or less after negotiations between the buying and selling parties. The same is true of domain names.

The purpose of a valuation is to give you an idea of the current market value of a domain. If you’re interested in finding out how much a domain is worth, reach out to one of our VPN.com brokers for a free domain appraisal.

How much should a domain name cost?

Depending on factors like how short and versatile a domain name is it is possible to justify an extremely broad range of costs. VPN.com for instance is a million-dollar domain name on account of the quality of the acronym and how memorable it is.

Not only is it easy to remember but it also has incredible generic value thanks to the overlap with the VPN (virtual private network) industry.

That said our domain name is not even the most valuable one that exists. Many domain names have sold for much more, such as when Facebook purchased fb.com for more than eight million dollars.

On the other hand most premium domain names have a much more modest value in the thousands or tens of thousands. Not to mention that sub premium domain names tend to have little value and most domain names in general are not worth the annual renewal fee.

How much is too much for a domain?

Domain names have a remarkably wide valuation range, with most being effectively worthless and some commanding million-dollar price tags. In general, there is no such thing as a price ceiling that a domain name cannot potentially justify crossing. When it comes to deciding whether a domain name’s price is too much, you need to evaluate what it means to you and to the success of your website. While it’s essential that you keep a maximum price in mind when shopping for a domain name, you’ll need to set this price on a case-by-case basis. A domain brokerage can help in this function, thanks to their professional domain valuation services.

What is the most expensive website?

The answer to the question of “what’s the most expensive website” varies by interpretation; the most expensive website deal in history was VacationRentals, which sold for $35 million in 2007. However, Gannet Co. Inc reported the value of their website, cars.com at $872 million for tax purposes. Likewise, the most valuable domain name ever sold was privatejet.com, which sold for more than $30 million in 2012.

How do I see who owns a domain?

Figuring out who owns a domain can be much easier than you would think. Performing a domain lookup is one of the best ways to find out who owns a domain.

You can do this by using search engines or domain registrars websites like WHOIS registry. This will essentially tell you the domain registrar, contact information and current ownership information on the domain.

It’s an easy process that requires minimal effort and in no time you’ll have an answer as to who owns the domain.

How do I get a domain name?

The way you get a domain name depends on the current status of a domain. If no one possesses the lease rights to it, it’s as simple as paying a registrar for the right to lease the domain name. If someone is already leasing the domain name, it’s much more complicated. You’ll need to purchase the leasing rights to the domain name from the current holder. Finding the holder, determining their attachment to the domain, assessing its value, and negotiating with them can be a difficult, expensive, and time-consuming process. For the best results, you should almost always reach out to domain experts such as the brokerage team at VPN.com.

How do I buy a domain name that is taken?

Buying a domain name that someone has already taken might be simple, or it might be impossible. If the current registrant is using the domain name and has no interest in selling, you’re out of options. Otherwise, you can use the Whois registry or explore the major domain sale websites in an attempt to contact the current owner. The surest way to buy a domain that’s taken is to reach out to a domain brokerage with the connections and industry knowledge to contact and negotiate with the domain owner.

What if a domain name is taken but not used?

If a domain name is taken but no one is using it, that means that the current holder is parking the domain. Typically, there are two reasons for someone to park a domain. First, because they intend to use it for a website, but haven’t started yet. Second, they’re only holding onto the domain name as an investment and intend to resell it for a profit.

In either case, you have good chance of being able to buy it at a fair price. That said, the buying process can be quite complex and it’s almost always advisable to hire a domain broker to buy it for you. They’ll be able to find the owner, create a buying strategy, and negotiate from an advantageous position thanks to anonymity and years of industry experience.

Find out more about what to do if a domain name you’re interested in is taken in this article.

Does GoDaddy own my domain name?

While you might lease your domain name through GoDaddy, they don’t actually own the domain name. However, you don’t own your domain name either. As the registrant, you own the right to use your domain name for the duration of your lease. GoDaddy is one of many organizations called registrars, which manage domains from a commercial perspective. These registrars handle marketing, relations with the public, and added-value services such as web hosting, but they do not own your domain name. Rather, ICANN and a worldwide network of registries own and maintain all domain names.

Who owns a domain?

When someone reaches out to a registrar such as GoDaddy to purchase a domain name, they don’t actually become the owner of that domain. Rather, they become the registrant – the person who holds the lease for use of the domain name. Technically, no individual can permanently own a domain name, and the ownership of all domain names goes back to the domain name registries and ICANN. This registry-registrar-registrant relationship is the foundation of the domain name ecosystem.

How do I sell a domain name?

The process of selling a domain name starts with an interested person contacting you and making an offer. They might do this by finding you through the WHOIS registry or through listings you’ve made on marketplace websites. Interest in domain names is higher than ever, and websites that operate with domain names typically offer marketplaces where you can list your domain name for sale.

After the initial contact, you and the prospective buyer will typically enter a period of negotiations over the price. If you come to an agreement, the final step is to find an escrow service that will guarantee the transaction.

For a hands off selling experience, you can use the service of a domain broker for promotion, negotiations, and escrow services.

How fast do domains sell?

The speed at which a domain name sells is hard to predict as it relies on market interest the difficulty of the negotiation and other factors.

A domain name might sell in a few weeks several months or longer. It depends on the ability of your broker to find suitable buyers and how willing you are to wait on the right deal. For reference at VPN.com we are confident we can sell most domains in less than 90 days.

How can I sell my domain fast?

When you’re selling a domain name, the most important thing to be is patient. Waiting for the right buyer might take months, years, or decades, but the annual upkeep cost is low and ROI can be astronomical. However, it is possible to sell a domain name fast through premium pricing and auction-style selling. In this case, you’re not targeting the ideal customer who wants to use your domain name for themselves. Rather, you want to sell to an investor who collects domain names with the intent of flipping them at a high profit later. By running an online auction for your domain name, you can identify the price the market will bear right now and sell faster.

Where can I buy the cheapest domain?

Many registrars offer extraordinarily cheap domains that use unpopular top-level domains, such as .biz. Additionally, registrars such as GoDaddy frequently advertise promotions such as domains for 99 cents a year. NameCheap is another registrar that has readily available, inexpensive domains for sale.

Does a domain name expire?

Domain names do not expire in the sense that they cease to exist or become inaccessible. However, your right to use a domain name is always based on a temporary lease rather than permanent ownership. Once your current period expires, you need to pay to extend your lease or else you’ll lose the domain.

While some registrars offer extremely long leasing periods such as a decade or even a century, this isn’t actually how it works. Rather, you still have one-year leasing periods, but the registrar automatically pays the lease for you. If you take out an extended lease with a registrar and that registrar goes defunct, you’ll lose all but the current year’s leasing periods.

Find out more about how to register a domain for as long as possible in this article.

How do you negotiate a domain?

Succeeding in your domain name negotiations starts long before the actual negotiations begin. You need to go into the negotiations from a position of knowledge with an accurate evaluation of the domain name price.

Then you need to be prepared for what the client is likely to ask for and consider whether they might try to upsell you. Finally it is necessary to have a maximum price threshold which you are willing to reach but will not cross.

Once you have this strategy worked out domain name negotiation is not fundamentally different from other types of negotiation. However it can be difficult to negotiate if you are not familiar with domain names and cannot defend what you believe the correct value is. This is why it is almost always a smart move to outsource your domain negotiations to a domain broker.

Is domain flipping hard?

If you already own a highly desirable domain name, domain flipping may be simple for you. The ideal buyer may take some time to discover you, and this might be a problem. Even yet, settling on a price takes negotiating. Domain name flipping is a very simple process that largely requires patience, however generating a career through domain name investment is quite challenging. A premium domain brokerage like VPN.com is the ideal option if you want to sell several domain names quickly and easily.

Can I buy a domain name without hosting?

While many registrars bundle domain names with web hosting, there’s nothing requiring you to accept this bundle. Most registrars will allow you to buy a domain name without any added features. However, it’s common that they’ll opt you in to such services prior to your purchase. In this case, what you need to do is simply opt out.

How can I get a free .com domain?

There is no consistent way to get a truly free .com domain. Many webhosting websites offer complimentary domain names, but these are typically proprietary, not .com. Likewise, a registrar may offer a promotion advertising free .com domains, but there’s usually going to be fine print that entails paying more in the future. After all, you never own a domain and will always have to pay the annual renewal fee to maintain use of it.

What is the .com part of a domain called?

The .com part of the domain is called a top-level domain whether it is .com or a different extension such as .net or .gov. Top-level domains play a critical role in creating the value behind a domain name as certain domains convey greater trustworthiness and are more consistently memorable in the public consciousness. Premium domain names usually have the TLD .com, .co, .net, .org, or a country code.

What is the longest domain name?

For now, the longest domain name doesn’t exist. The way that the domain name system works allows for the creation of a domain name that’s up to 253 characters long, but no one has created such a domain name yet. Considering that the purpose of a domain name is to make a website easier to access, this is unsurprising.

While there’s no 253 character domain name in use, there are some fantastically long domain names. In particular, llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk currently holds the world record for the longest domain name that actually exists. While it may defy comprehension for many, it’s actually part of a campaign to generate tourism within Wales.

What is the most expensive domain name?

Many domain names have sold for millions of dollars throughout the years. As of 2021, the most valuable domain name sale of all time was the 2012 sale of privatejet.com. This premium domain sold for more than $30.1 million. In 2019, the $30 million sale of voice.com was a close second.

How do you flip a domain name?

Flipping a domain name means registering it and later selling the use rights at a profit. The first step in flipping a domain name consists of identifying domain names that people want to buy, and then registering them yourself. Afterward, you’ll need to seek out interested buyers, either other investors or potential users. There’s no consistent way to flip a domain name in a short amount of time, so the best approach to domain flipping is to be patient.

What does it mean when a domain name is parked?

When a domain name is parked, that means someone has registered it but isn’t using it. There are a variety of reasons for a domain name to be parked, such as the owner intending to use it in the future. However, domain name investors also park large numbers of domain names with the intention of selling them in the future.

Can I lose my domain name?

As long as you operate your domain name in good faith, it’s difficult to lose your domain name. There’s no mechanism that exists to force a person to relinquish a domain name without that person violating IP law or ICANN policy. However, you can lose your domain name if ICANN finds that you’re violating someone else’s intellectual property, they can revoke your domain name. You can also lose your domain name by forgetting to pay the annual fee for the lease.

Do you have to register a domain every year?

Once you register a domain name, it’s yours to use so long as you stay within ICANN regulations and renew the domain. The details of the annual renewal process vary from one registrar to the next. Many make this process as simple as possible, and allow their clients to automatically renew their domain name. In this case, the registrar will place an automatic charge to your associated credit or debit card. You do need to pay for the continued use of your domain name each year, but you do not need to re-register it from scratch.

How can I make money from my domain name?

You can monetize a domain name either by using it or by selling it. If you use your domain name as the foundation of a successful website, you can profit via advertising, donations, product sales, etc. However, the only way to profit directly from your domain name is by selling it. If your domain name is valuable and you offer it at a reasonable price, interested buyers will eventually approach you. If you want to monetize your domain name now, then you can sell it at an online auction.

Should I buy all similar domain names?

There’s a good case to make for buying domain names that are similar to yours, such as domain names with logical mispellings and alternative top-level domains. People often mispell or misremember domain names, which results in lost web traffic. If you can identify the domain names that people are visiting when they mean to visit your website, you can purchase these domain names and reroute them to your website.

In such cases, the annual renewal fee and the cost of the new domain are easily justified by the guaranteed increase in traffic that comes with it. There’s also value in buying valuable domain names that are similar to yours as to preempt malicious cybersquatting. While you can seek litigation against cybersquatters, it’s preferable not to become a victim in the first place. However, there are so many different domain extensions that it’s practically impossible to buy all similar domain names. Prioritize the most likely misspellings and the most similar domains.

Legal

Is domain squatting illegal?

Domain squatting, also known as cybersquatting is illegal and has been for decades. Domain squatting is the process of deliberately using a domain name that resembles existing IP as to profiteer off of this idea. While it might seem clever or even harmless to the person perpetrating the crime, domain squatting violates the right of the original IP holder and threatens to damage their brand.

If you suspect that you’re a victim of domain squatting, you have two choices of recourse. Many nations have laws that enable a lawsuit to punish this practice, and ICANN itself can step in. While working through ICANN will not enable you to collect damages as in a lawsuit, it can result in the offender losing the domain name they’re using to squat.

Can I sue for a domain name?

If you suspect foul play pertaining to domain names, then you can file through ICANN to make the case that someone is violating your IP rights. For instance, imagine that your famous website is “allaboutcars.com,” and then someone else starts hosting their website at “allabotcars.com” and “allaboutcars.co.” In this blatant case of intellectual property violation, ICANN can revoke the offending domains and award them to you.

However, filing through ICANN is different than a lawsuit. You can sue someone who’s using a domain name to steal your intellectual property, but the details of the process and your purposes will be different. National courts don’t have the ability to give you the domain name, but they can force the offender to pay damages and issue an order to cease and desist.

Is domain parking illegal?

Domain parking the practice of registering a domain name without using it to host anything is entirely legal. There are multiple reasons for domain parking and the most common one is that the current registrant is not interested in using the domain. Rather their goal is to flip the domain which will remain parked until someone purchases it.

Can a domain name be stolen?

It’s possible for someone to steal your domain name on account of the way the domain name system works. When you lease a domain name from a registrar, you make an account on their website from which to manage the domain name. If someone is able to gain access to your account and lock you out, then they’ll have full control over the domain. However, you can minimize the risk of domain name theft by following best practices for staying secure online.

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