How to Contact a Non-domainer to Buy a Registered Domain Name

Not every domain name owner is a domainer – an individual who buys, sell, and monetizes domain names for profit. Many businesses have purchased domain names as part of their past marketing activities and many are not being used. This could be an opportunity waiting for you.

The two main obstacles a domainer will experience when contacting a non-domainer are:

  1. Determining whether the domain name owner is interested in selling the domain name, and
  2. What price it will cost to secure the domain name.

You may think a non-domainer has little knowledge about a domain’s value – think again. Don’t let the non-domainer label fool you. Ignorance may cause a non-domainer may ask an absurd amount for a domain name. You must be prepared to withstand a non-domainer challenge.

This article and sample letter will show how to contact a non-domainer to purchase a domain name. For the purpose of this article, we’ll use the example domain name speechless.com, which — on the date of this article publication — is a domain name that is active with a website holding page but unused and without advertising or parking.

(Note: This article is for educational purposes only. No letter was sent to the domain name owner, and the owner has not been contacted in any way before article publication.)

A check on DomainTools.com reveals that the registrant owns about 65 other domain names, which indicates they are most likely not a domainer.

Domaintools.com Whois Reverse Whois

The domain name was first registered on 25-Mar-1997, and is due to expire (if not renewed) on 26-Mar-2012. At the time of article publication, the domain name owner has only registered the domain through the next year which may be an indication of their willingness to sell it.


Step 1: Determine The Price You Are Willing to Pay for the Domain Name


Determining the price you are willing to pay is based on many factors that are out of the scope of this article. For the purpose of this article, we will only use an estibot.com valuation.

Estibot.com Valuation Speechless.com

In this example, the EstiBot value is $13,000 USD, so we will set our offer price at one quarter of that value, or $3,250.


Step 2: Check the Whois Ownership Contact Information


Clicking on the estibot.com “Check Whois” button will reveal the registrant information for the domain name. In this case, the contact information of the registrant is protected by Network Solutions Private Registration service as the email address listed is ae28p95r4ff@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com.

Estibot.com Whois Speechless.com

Instead of sending an email to this address — which may or may not be redirected to the domain name registrant — we will search for an alternate email address for the domain name owner.

Searching the company name, Swat Fame, Inc., on Google reveals their main company domain name: swatfame.com. A couple more clicks, and we can easily find their contact page with the following email address: info@swatfame.com.

We will use the email address associated with the domain name to contact the domain name owner. Now we are ready to contact the non-domainer to purchase the domain name.


Step 3: Email The Domain Name Owner


Dear [Name] [(or) To Whom it May Concern],

My name is [Your Name]. I located your contact information in a domain name whois lookup and understand that you own the domain name Speechless.com. I understand that you have owned the domain name for the past 14 years. I am interested in buying the domain name from you.

I would like to briefly share my background. As a former film student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I never explored the value of the Internet. Last year, I discovered the domain industry. I purchased a few domain names, and then began researching the domain industry even further. While I’m no domain expert, I realized that it’s time to secure a domain name to take the next step -– to accomplishing my screenwriting goals — and I think Speechless.com would be useful.

In the domain name industry, there are many appraisal tools that people use to estimate the value of a domain name. However, these domain valuation tools are only to provide a domain owner and or a website owner with a ballpark figure. On one domain valuation website, a domain may be worth $90, but on another the domain appraises for $2,500.

In order to demonstrate my interest in Speechless.com, I want to make you a serious offer. If you’re willing to sell Speechless.com, I can offer you $3,250 for the domain name. I believe the price is fair because I respect that you retained the domain name for the past 14 years. We both know the domain deserves more than a small offer.

In my current situation, I’m looking to establish a blog to write about screenwriting. I conducted research on many different screenwriting domain name variations, discovering that Screenwriting.com, Screenwriter.com, Screenwriters.com, and Scriptwriters.com are all active websites.

I decided to contact you regarding Speechless.com because your domain is not an active website or a parked domain. Your domain name is currently registered at Network Solutions. I have a Network Solutions account also. If you accept my offer to purchase your Speechless.com domain name, we can complete the transaction quickly.

Since the price of the domain name is more than I usually spend, I would like to use Escrow.com to complete the transaction. I want to ensure the safe delivery of the funds to you. Furthermore, since this is our first time conducting any business, I believe that using a third-party escrow service can provide a safe, well defined process. I can pay 100% the cost of the escrow service.

I really hope we can work out a deal on Speechless.com. Please feel free to contact through email or by telephone. My cell phone number is [Phone Number]. I’m looking forward to your reply.

Best regards,
[Your Name]
[Contact Information]


Domain Name Offer Letter Analysis


When you contact a non-domainer, you want to be as respectful as possible. You have no idea whether the domain name owner wants to sell the domain or if they want four or six figures for the domain name.

Before making an offer, you should decide the highest amount you would be willing to pay for the domain name. Whereas the domain name owner is most likely not be an active domainer, the $3,250 offer is respectable enough to consider.

In the second paragraph, presenting your background shows that you respect the domain owner enough to share your personal information. It also is a step toward allowing the domain name owner to get to know you, and a step in building a relationship.

No appraisal value is mentioned. The domain’s performance statistics, links, search quantities, and CPC information that domainers are well-versed in are left out. If you provide too much information, such as statistics and domain appraisals, the domain owner may become overwhelmed and it may complicate the deal.

The transaction will be handled by Escrow.com, which lends credibility to the offer and will provide confidence to the domain name owner. The owner will likely visit the Escrow.com website to familiarize themselves with the services.


Conclusion


To be successful in business, you need to build relationships. Demonstrating respect, providing enough information — but not too much — and informing the non-domainer you’re interested in purchasing their domain will improve your chances of closing a deal.

This article is merely an example of how to contact a non-domainer to purchase a registered domain name. If you feel confident about the domain name owner and the deal, you can use PayPal to transfer funds and a push service at the registrar to transfer the domain name. You should customize the letter to fit your needs and business relationship with the domain name owner.

[Photo credit: Fletcher Prince]

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13 Responses to “How to Contact a Non-domainer to Buy a Registered Domain Name”

  1. Also, no domainer knows an exact value of a domain. There are many factors to consider. I recently contacted a person who overpaid for a domain. He realized his mistake. The owner who sold it originally wanted double that amount. I can honestly say this company gouges the end-user for whatever their worth.

    I’m sure a new person appraises that domain at a few hundreds will not pay 30 times that amount to buy that domain. I can guarantee you a quick reply will turn into a longer letter the second time around. I contacted another female owner who overpaid for an education domain in an auction. She admitted it. I wouldn’t even pay 10% of the price she paid for the domain. Moreover, she has 300 valuable domains all pointing to her site which only generates 700 unique per month. I can generate 4 times that traffic without hardly trying with one domain.

    Sometimes it may be good to be honest and upfront about your intentions. Any intent to buy a domain will show the domain owner you want their domain for a reason. Usually, a non-domainer will ask far more for a less than appealing domain. When you apply for a job, you don’t present a resume with 3 sentences, or a cover letter with 2 sentences.

    There are many different strategies to consider. I’m sure I can use the sample above to get results as well as a few-liners to entice an owners. I rarely contact people to buy.I once contacted the owner of a one word domain that appraises for around $85. He wanted $15,000 for the domain. I didn’t make an offer because I figured he would want more.

    I rarely make offers. Why sell yourself short? What if I could have purchased for domain for 40-50% less? I find it better to inquire about the domain, and then discuss the price after. An owner will eventually ask the buyer what he intends to do with the domain. If the buyer mentioned a business, that information will have an impact of the final price. Thanks.

    JAG

  2. @Chip
    @Ed
    @Atilla,

    The letter is only a sample. I can get results in 1-3 sentences. Mike, the owner of Domain Market, asks people their intended use of a domain. That is how he judges an offer. I don’t think telling a non-domainer about your use of the domain is going to jeopardize the price. I didn’t mention I was going to sell screenwriting software or brand the domain.

    I can write quick responses to get a response. I already received a response from the owner of a domain that is article is reflecting. He is more of a domain investor that think his domain is worth 6 figures when it’s probably not even valued at percent of that amount. I only wrote 3 sentences in that letter.

    The goal is to show how one can communicate to another. I can easily write, I noticed that you own Speechless.com. I would like to make you a serious offer of $3500. Please let me know. Thank you for your time. Regards. Will that be enough? It really depends on the owner. Most people who operate in a business usually reply with how much do you want or what do you want to offer. You have to adjust to their tone.

    The price seems to be fair to potential buyer. Who knows the market price of any domain? Should VisitBerlin.com have sold for $230,000? Probably not. The owner knew to ask that amount, especially rejecting the travel agency buyer several times. I can tell you that I presented domains worth 100 times more than that domain at 10 percent of the price, only to get rejected because they feel its too much. Even people who have the money to spend will contemplate any price. They will feel can get a cheap price.

    Thanks for the constructive feedback. I don’t normally write long letters. For the most part, the letter is a sample to demonstrate a different strategy to contacting a non-domain. I’m confident enough to state my claim right away. Thanks for reading.

    JAG

  3. Attila says:

    yep, too long of an email. I would skim through most of it and look for taglines that standout. Best bet is just to write that you’re looking to make a serious offer on their domain if they’re willing to sell. However the truly best is, to get the domain owner to name the first price. This way you know his ideology on what his own domain is worth.

  4. Ed says:

    I concur with Chip’s comment, this is unnecessary lengthy.

    “I believe the price is fair because I respect that you retained the domain name for the past 14 years.”

    That sounds to pretentious, what you deem a fair price is irrelevant.

  5. Chip says:

    I would caution on the overall length. For a first time contact, this might be a little long and takes until the forth paragraph to get to the offer. Get to the point, be professional and state your case. The goal should be to engage the seller in the discussion.

  6. @Chuck

    Thanks for the comment. This strategy is also a good way to sell a domain. Once the non domainer makes contact, any domainer can build a rapport with the owner. I think since I write many types of pitches, I find different results.

    The short, direct pitches also work in inquiring about a domain and when trying to sell a domain. Thanks again for reading.

    JAG

  7. @Trish,

    Thanks for comment. I would look at the age of the domain, the niche, the extension and the stats to possibly make an offer. Estibot is more an example since the system is accessible. Most domain owners from the 90’s will want high amounts.

    It seems that you can find a better deal in the domaining circle than reaching out to a non domainer. There are some 90’s domains that are appraises for 6 figures, and an end-user will not even pay 5 percent of the value.

    I would make an offer above $100. It seems $100 is a common amount owners expect from random prospect. There are many domains that are worth too much on appraisal systems, and then there are many worth far too low.

    Comparitative sales in the niche is a good way to find a price to offer. You can offer 5% of the Estibot price on an older domain to test the waters. Make sure it’s a domain that’s worth the money.

    Thanks again.

    JAG

  8. TLD says:

    I think once a domain owner sees that you want to develop the domain name he sees you as an end user (more so then if you didn’t mention your use for it) and that registers dollar signs in their eyes. They think that now the domain is more valuable since you have a business plan for it.

    1. That’s a good point, TLD. I have had that situation occur to me. Just presenting an idea for it can potentially increase the value, even if the domain owner already knew that potential existed. That’s why I try to stick with domains that are already priced, rather than making an unsolicited offer.

  9. Chuck says:

    I get this question a lot from my non domainer friends. This is perfect. Ill just link them to this article.

  10. zara58 says:

    Would you be interested in speechless.org?

    1. @Zara: As stated in the article, “This article and sample letter will show how to contact a non-domainer to purchase a domain name. For the purpose of this article, we’ll use the example domain name speechless.com…”

  11. Trish says:

    Love the letter. It seems genuine to me, and in a world where online communications tend to be fake and anonymous, I appreciate this approach.

    Jason, how do you determine how much of the estibot.com value you offer?

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