Previously, Michele wrote about acquiring domain names through third party domain acquisitions specialists and gave tips on how to smartly and effectively work with them to get a domain. However, there is more than one way to skin a domain name, and if you decide to acquire a name on your own there are several things to keep in mind to ensure a safe, headache free transaction.

Observing the etiquette of a domain transaction is very important. Many people forget that the same rules apply when conducting business online as they do in the physical world.  However, it is important to keep the lines of communication open and conduct yourself in way that won’t get your virtual kneecaps broken.

Once you have identified the domain name you want and determined the current owner of the domain, the next step is to reach out to inquire if the domain is for sale.

Keep in mind that whenever two people who have never met in person try to transact business it can be a tricky situation at best.  When approaching a domain owner it is important to:

  •  Be friendly

Remember, the domain owner doesn’t have to do business with you.  Exercising patience and courtesy is extremely important. Also, the Internet is truly International and the person you are contacting will likely be in another country. Expressing sensitivity for time zone differences, holidays and other cultures is necessary for conducting business online.

  •  Be honest

It is likely the domain owner will want to know why you want the domain. Giving an honest, straightforward answer builds confidence in the transaction. You don’t have to tell them your life story but being open will create an atmosphere of trust.

  •  Be cautious

If you don’t know the domain owner, be honest and friendly but don’t disclose any information you aren’t comfortable giving out.  A seller will not need your bank details, identification numbers or home address.


While affability and honesty will get you in the door, a good rapport with the owner doesn’t mean the transaction will go smoothly. When communicating online any number of miscommunications can occur.

To minimize miscommunication when it comes to the actual transaction, it can be incredibly helpful to use an escrow service. The use of a reputable agent to handle the transfer of funds and goods goes a long way to giving both parties peace of mind. An escrow service will also prompt both parties to complete the steps of the transaction as it progresses. It is important that both parties are open and comfortable with the process.

At the end of the transaction, you much choose a registrar to which you would like the domain to be transferred. You may also choose to keep the domain with the same registrar (although we recommend transferring names to Blacknight). Once the domain shows up in your account it is imperative to release the funds immediately to the party from whom it was purchased.

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