Blacknight - the Domain Name AftermarketChoosing the right domain name for your business is, arguably, one of the most important decisions you will need to make.

If your business domain name isn’t easy to remember or easy to spell, then you will lose traffic. If you lose traffic you lose sales.. no sales = no revenue etc., etc.

Choosing a “clever” domain name might not be a very intelligent choice.

If you can get a good domain name that is available for registration, then you probably don’t need to read any further, but unfortunately it’s not always possible. Sometimes you need to pay a little bit more to get the right domain name for your business.

So what are your options?

If you do a search over on our domain name suggestion site you’ll find available domain names that are semantically related to the keyword(s) you’ve used ie. they should be meaningfully linked to the concept that you were interested in. So if you searched for “winter” you’d probably get back domain names that included terms like “frigid” or “cold”.

But what if the domain name you really want is already registered?

There are several options. Companies like Sedo list domain names for sale with prices starting below €100. Depending on what kind of domain you’re interested in the prices will vary greatly, but if you’re buying via Sedo then you can feel very confident that the transaction will be smooth and secure. We’ve acquired domains through them several times in the past and their service is very good.

Of course the “holy grail” is getting *the* domain name of your dreams. Contacting the current registrant and negotiating a sale can be quite a complex and potentially dangerous process. If you agree to acquire a domain name on your own there are no guarantees and things could go wrong. For example, I acquired the domain michele.me via Sedo a couple of years ago. If I had contacted the registrant directly they might have hiked up the price, as it’s obviously worth more to me than to someone called John.

The solution is, of course, to use a domain name broker. These are professionals who broker domain name sales and acquisitions for a living. They’ll work with you to acquire the domain on your behalf and then help transfer the domain securely to your registrar of choice.

Why use a broker?

A broker is a neutral 3rd party. When they’re dealing with a domain seller they’re able to approach the entire transaction objectively. They’ll know what kind of prices domains are achieving, so they’ll be able to advise you whether the price is right or not.

Once you’re able to agree on a price for the domain name then the broker can act as a “go between” the seller and the buyer (you) to make sure that the transaction is as painless as possible.

Buying a “previously owned” domain name will cost you more than registering a “fresh” one, but the benefits are obvious. An older domain name might have existing traffic, backlinks, pagerank etc., as well as being easier to market than the options you have available for “fresh” registration.

How much you’ll pay will vary considerably, but domains can go for as low as €50 to as high as several million (think sex.com!), though the average price is going to be in four figures.

Questions? Let us know via the comments.