Over here at Actors Webmaster we have had a lot of people calling us because the domain name that they want is owned by somebody else. Often times the only thing on the site is a search engine, and a link to the person that owns your site. Well we have some advice to keep this from happening, and to repair this once it has happened.

There is one way and one way only to keep people from buying the domain name that you want: BUY IT NOW!!! Buy your name, buy your nickname. Anything that is close to your name, buy. Almost every actor has the dream of making it big some day. You want to be famous, but with fame comes those that don’t like you. So buy yourname*explitive*.com as well. Buy the .net’s, buy the .tv’s. Because the only way to keep people from buying these sites is to actually own them yourself.

Now that I’m done with that little rant. The fact is, most people don’t buy their sites, they start to get name recognition, and they realize that they could really use a website. By then it’s usually already been bought buy someone trying to make a quick buck. The only way to get it back in this kind of situation is to buy it from them.

There are three big questions to ask when you go into the process of trying to buy it back.

1. How much is it worth to you?

How much money will you lose if you don’t have the name? How much money can you make with the name? Will a substitute website name work? Once you answer these questions and probably several more, you will have a good idea of just how much money the name is worth to you. This can be a tricky question, so it might be worth asking a professional to help you determine this. What ever this baseline amount is, you need to remember it during negotiations. Never agree to a price above this.

2. How much is it worth to them?

If your name is visited 100 times a day, then in all likely hood, the person who owns your site is making about $350 a year in revenue. So if you have any name recognition, you can expect to pay at least this much. If you are incredibly popular (Hey Tom Hanks!), the amount of money they make is probably closer to the couple of thousand range. You can generally calculate this amount based upon an estimate of traffic. Average Visits per Day * .1 = average income per day. If you have 100 visits * .1 = $1 a day = $365 a year.

3. What is the psychology of the negotiation?

Now that you’ve figured out how much they’re making, and how much the site is worth to you, it’s important to think of the nature of the negotiation. Sure, the person who owns your site is making a few hundred a year off of it. But in almost every situation, they person is hoping to sell it to YOU! You’re the person who finds the most worth from the site, and the reason they bought it in the first place is to sell it to you. So in their mind, you’re the only customer. They would much rather make a quick buck than be stuck with the domain. What this boils down to is a classic game of brinkmanship. If the sale happens, both parties gain. If it doesn’t, both parties lose. Bearing that in mind, here are a few tips to help you succeed in the negotiations:

  • Avoid conveying any sense of “desperation” to get the name. If you do, the speculator will take you for every penny you can afford. So don’t rush to reply to emails, and most importantly, always give the sense that you are prepared to walk away from the deal if pushed too far.
  • Most speculators will bid high to start — they may ask for 10 times what they’re willing to accept eventually. Be calm and patient in the knowledge that you can get the name for much less than the speculator says he is looking for.
  • Stay polite and be professional. Even though you may be overwhelmed by negative feelings about the speculator, they will believe that what they’re doing is legitimate. If you start to insult them, chances are they’ll walk away and you’ll lose the name forever. This is particularly true of speculators from Eastern countries who will not tolerate direct conflict in business situations.
  • Remember at all times – the speculator has as much to gain from the deal as you do.
  • Considering employing an experienced negotiator or domain broker. (Hint hint)

There is one other way to get the domain name, but that requires arbitration in front of the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. It’s not pretty, trust me.

Now that you understand the process, give us a call. We’ll help you buy your domains, and if you need to, we’ll help you get your domain names back. We’re awesome like that.


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