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Best Guide To Acquire Domain That is Already Taken in February 2024

Acquire Domain That is Already Taken

Staff Writer @ VPN.com

Last Updated:

Finding the perfect domain name for your new business or brand can be very challenging these days. With over 300 million domain names already registered globally, a lot of the good and simple .com names that are easy to remember are unfortunately taken.

However, acquiring a domain that is already taken can give your company a big advantage online if you get the right name. The trick is properly evaluating if a taken domain is worth the money and effort needed to buy and redirect it to a new owner.

There are legal steps and negotiations involved, so it pays to use a reputable domain name broker like VPN.com to handle transactions securely. VPN.com has specialized in domain appraisals, sales, purchases, transfers, and financing assistance, establishing itself as a top domain brokerage.

Acquiring a domain that is already taken can jumpstart your digital presence, but you need to understand the costs, benefits, risks, and how to properly value domain names to strike a good deal. This article will break down the context of the challenges of finding an ideal available domain today and why acquiring taken names may be a good solution.

Understanding Domain Acquisition

Understanding Domain Acquisition

A domain name like example.com works like a unique address that directs your web traffic. It gets visitors to the right website destination easily through a human-readable name vs a harder-to-remember IP address. 

Benefits of Established Domains  

Acquiring a previously registered domain that was active can provide valuable benefits called Domain Authority. Older domains tend to perform better in search rankings and have existing referral traffic and audiences. This gives you a faster way to build an online presence vs starting a website from scratch.

Evaluating Acquire Domains

Before acquiring a domain that is already taken, you need to objectively evaluate the pros and cons. Assess the upfront purchase costs and required investments compared to the site’s traffic stats, inbound links, search rankings, and other metrics to value potential benefits. Striking the right risk vs reward balance is key.

What Are The Legal Considerations For Acquiring Domain Name?

What Are The Legal Considerations For Acquiring DomainName

The legal transfer of an already registered domain name requires navigating terms of service and dealing with seasoned investors focused on ROI. Using a reliable broker like VPN.com simplifies transactions and ensures clear title ownership.

Reviewing Terms of Service

The previous domain owner likely had binding terms, policies, and contracts governing the domain acquisition transaction, which is crucial to acquiring a domain. Carefully reviewing these documents protects you legally when progressing with a transfer.

Leveraging Domain Brokers  

Seasoned domain investors focused on profits can be difficult to negotiate with. Experienced brokers like VPN.com act as neutral third parties to manage communications, paperwork, and payments smoothly while ensuring clear title ownership.

Understanding Escrow Services

Reputable brokers use secure escrow payment services to protect both buyers and sellers during the domain ownership exchange, a critical step to acquiring a domain that is already taken. Funds are held until all terms are fulfilled. This minimizes legal risks substantially.

Checking Trademark Restrictions

You must confirm the domain you want does not infringe on any active trademarks or intellectual property. Even if unintentional, acquiring trademarked names risks opening you up to damaging litigation. 

Conducting Multi-pronged Due Diligence 

Beyond trademark vetting to acquire domain, you need to dig into multiple aspects before purchase, including previous website content, inbound links, search traffic data, site architecture, source code, security vulnerabilities, hosting configurations, and more to avoid buying problematic assets that require heavy investments to fix later. Leaving no stone unturned protects your legal standing and investment value.

What Are the Benefits of Acquiring Taken Domains?

What Are Benefits of Acquiring Taken Domains

Acquiring a domain that is already taken can provide instant authority, traffic, and improved SEO. For startups, taking over an established domain with awareness can be a strategic shortcut to get to market faster.

Instant Credibility & Trust 

Acquiring a domain that is already taken transfers the trust and credibility associated with that name to your business. Older, established domains have had more time to build relationships through backlinks, social shares, citations, etc. This authority is hard to earn organically as a new website, so taken domains give you a major jumpstart.

Access to Existing Traffic

Inactive domains generally have recurring visitors that have built up over months and years. Taking over that domain allows you to seamlessly channel an already captured audience to your new business or brand’s website, saving tremendous marketing costs of attracting those visitors manually later on.

Faster Search Engine Rankings 

New websites face challenges ranking well in Google at first due to little initial authority and effects like the “sandbox” that temporarily limits how fast you rise in results. Acquiring aged, already indexed domains with backend link equity avoids these issues, allowing better search performance.

Strategic Startup Shortcut  

For startups and new brands, time-to-market and bootstrapping growth is critical. Owning an established domain name out of the gates provides instant brand awareness and cuts months or years off the timeline needed to organically build credibility and an audience, effectively speeding up the process to acquire domain name. The headstart unlocks access to customers, investors, and other key resources faster.

What Are the Methods To Acquire Domains That Are Already Taken?

What Are Methods for Acquiring Taken Domains

Taken domains rarely expire, so purchasing them requires engaging brokers or marketplaces connecting buyers and investors. Sites like VPN.com provide domain appraisals and facilitate transfers using escrow payments. 

Leveraging Domain Brokers

Expert domain brokers like VPN.com connect buyers and sellers through managed acquisition services encompassing appraisals, negotiations, legal paperwork, secure payments, and ownership transfers. Their expertise streamlines deals. Establish accounts with leading brokers to access their domain inventory pools and buyer-seller networks.

Utilizing Domain Marketplaces  

Large marketplaces like Sedo, Afternic, and GoDaddy Auctions contain extensive lists of domains being sold by individual and bulk investors. You can search available names, study metrics like traffic, and make offers directly or via brokers who list on these platforms. 

Building Investor Relationships  

Domain investors with large portfolios are difficult to access and negotiate with. Putting in relationship-building efforts over the long term provides future pathways to get deals done. Being involved in domain communities and consistently making fair offers improves investor rapport for brokerage opportunities when premium names become available later. 

Understanding Aftermarket Data 

Looking at recent sales of website names can help you figure out how to bid for the opportunity to acquire domain name. To decide how much to offer for a name, look at past sales of similar .com names with words like the one you want to acquire.

Also, think about things like how many other sites link to it, how many people find it through search engines, and how old it is. These factors are crucial in understanding what constitutes a good offer when you are trying to acquire domain name you really want.

What Are Alternative Strategies To Acquire Domains That Are Already Taken?

What Are Alternative Strategies For Acquiring Taken Domains

If upfront costs of acquisition are prohibitive, then alternatives like short or long-term leasing agreements spread out payments over time. There are the following alternatives:

Domain Leasing Agreements

If outright purchasing established domains is not affordable, then leasing agreements spread costs over time without massive upfront payments. Short-term leases test domains temporarily. Longer multiyear leasing eventually leads to full ownership in some cases. This provides flexibility when budgets are tight.

Financing Domain Acquisitions

Domain investors and specialized lenders provide financing for buyers who qualify. Gradual payment structures attached to assets in their portfolios build towards full ownership transfer upon completion of payments with interest. This helps with large premium name costs. 

Building Unique Brand Domains

Creating an entirely new domain with a unique or made-up name avoids acquisition costs but does not transfer any of the instant trust or authority benefits. Distinctive branding allows shaping perceptions fully but is riskier for customer conversions and requires extensive resources to promote awareness.  

Comparative Assessments 

Thoroughly examine domain purchase costs, multi-year lease payments, financing program interest rates, and brand-building investments side-by-side. Evaluate speed, risks, retention potential, and profitability under each model to determine the ideal customer acquisition strategy matching short and long-term business goals under budget constraints. 

What Are Some Tips For Valuing And Negotiating Domains?

What Are Some Tips For Valuing And Negotiating Domains

Appraising domain values requires assessing metrics like search traffic, inbound links, length, extensions, age, keyword relevance, and more as they are discussed below. 

Factors for Appraising Domains

Comprehensively assess metrics like age of registration, length under 20-30 characters, keyword and brand relevance, search traffic rankings, backlink profiles, website content, and engagement metrics for accurate valuations. Reference recent sales of comparable domains in assessing reasonable offer amounts.

Utilizing Sales Data

Perform searches on venues like NameBio to uncover actual sales prices for domains with similar characteristics that have been sold recently, a crucial step in the domain acquisition process. Factors like keywords, age, length, traffic levels, and backlinks make some domains more valuable than others during domain appraisals.

Creating Attractive Offers  

Open negotiations around 60-70% below a domain’s appraised value even if budgets technically allow higher. This conservatism impresses sellers with the upside. Highlight marketing plans to unlock future value if acquired, describing growth as more valuable than selling to another buyer. 

Structuring Creative Payment Plans

Multi-year installment plans with 10-30% downspread costs over time, working within budget constraints. Payment milestones tied to lead goals and traffic growth also incentivize sellers around shared upside. Defer larger percentages of payments to backend years on graduated plans.  

Building Rapport with Sellers

Personalized, good-faith communication builds trust with sellers well before negotiations. Comment thoughtfully on domains listed for sale to establish familiarity. Being involved in domain communities and acting reliably when deals come up strengthens relationships with owners. This smooths the domain acquisition process substantially.

What Are Cost Considerations?

What Are Cost Considerations

What you will pay to acquiring a domain that is already taken can differ depending on the domain’s quality, how many people want it, and your ability to make a deal. Setting a reasonable budget to acquire domain name is key so you don’t overpay and end up with a good purchase in the end.

Domain Purchase Price Range

Domain acquisition costs are highly variable, ranging from a few hundred dollars to millions based on desirability. Premium one-word domains can fetch extremely high sales. VPN.com sold for over $700,000 as an example. Average prices for good-quality domains still hover in the mid-thousands.

Key Factors Influencing Valuations

The main drivers impacting domain valuations and aftermarket sales prices are age, traffic history, relevancy of the name, character length less than 20, and extensions like .com over others. Collectively, these show authority and impact.

Clearly Defining ROI Goals 

With premium domains costing a wide spectrum depending on their metrics, it’s critical to clearly define the business goals, target customer acquisition costs (CAC), and projected return on investment (ROI) for a domain before purchasing decisions. This guides justifiable offer amounts in negotiations by grounding value in realistic performance upside. 

What Are The Drawbacks of Domain Acquisition?

What Are The Drawbacks of Domain Acquisition

Buying someone else’s domain can help, but it also has downsides to think about. Higher prices, possible legal fights over ownership, and messy negotiations with owners are tough issues compared to just registering a brand-new name yourself.

High Upfront and Hidden Costs

While some domains are affordable, premium names can require massive upfront payments that strain budgets. Additional investments in site content, security fixes, link building, and technical issues also add costs after domain acquisition that must be planned for.

Complex Negotiation Hurdles

Seasoned domain investors use varied tactics, placing profit first, which can be challenging to navigate for non-professional buyers. Without professional guidance, negotiations carry risk despite best efforts. Many legal complexities also complicate transactions if not properly addressed.

Analyzing Misleading or Inaccurate Data 

Previous domain owners may exaggerate traffic, link profiles, and other metrics to boost valuations in the domain acquisition process. Identifying legitimate data requires skills in separating facts from persuasion tactics. False information leads buyers to overpay for underperforming websites.

Vetting Rightful Ownership  

Disagreements about who owns a website name can pop up in the domain acquisition process, especially if it was registered a long time ago before strict rules by ICANN. Checking who has rightful ownership and ensuring no one’s trademark rights are violated is really important. This helps avoid lawsuits later on from the people who first claimed the name.

FAQs 

What are premium domains?

Valuable, typically one-word domain names are considered prime online real estate for marketing purposes based on high search traffic potential. Examples: loans.com or attorneys.com.

What is the average sale price for premium domains?

Sale prices vary greatly but average around $15,000. Ultra-premium domains can sell for millions, while non-premium names can be hundreds. Assessing individual metrics and sales data is key for accurate appraisals.

How can I finance domain purchases if upfront acquisition costs are too high? 

Domain brokers like VPN.com provide financing options that break payments into installments over longer periods. Building relationships with owners to negotiate leasing or graduated transfer agreements over time also aids affordability.

What are the risks associated with acquiring previously owned domains?

The main risks include outdated or technically problematic websites you acquire, disputes over rightful ownership, misleading traffic or link data from past owners, and challenges justifying higher premium domain values post-purchase if goals are not reached.

How can I increase the long-term value after acquiring a domain?

Creating fresh, search-friendly content, building legitimate inbound links, monitoring SEO metrics, purchasing related domain names for expansion, and interlinking internal pages help establish real authority, increasing resale values over time.

The Bottom Line

Acquiring old domain names that have lost their owners gives businesses big quick benefits if they study the details and risks very carefully first. Looking into past sale prices and figuring out legal stuff and technical challenges helps make the process smooth when acquiring a domain that is already taken.

Companies like the domain specialists VPN.com are the easiest route since they handle checking the history, negotiating payments, transferring full ownership, and everything for you behind the scenes. This frees you up to just build an awesome site people want.

With some planning, buying someone else’s domain instead of starting a new one can be smart to get ahead online faster and better. The internet keeps changing, so companies have to be flexible and grab opportunities using specialists in domains like VPN.com to set themselves apart. That split second someone types in your perfect name can determine whether they turn into lifelong customers.

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