Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Web Secret #103: Buying Domain Names

Ever tried to buy a great domain name, only to find that someone else already owns it?

It's especially frustrating when the owner hasn't even built a website that uses it.

For years, I have been trying to acquire It has always sat vacant, with the words "Nouveau site en cours de construction", French for "New site under construction" on the home page.

Fortunately, it is now much easier to buy a coveted url.

Option number 1: Make an instant Certified Offer through Network Solutions. What's great about that? Buying is easy and secure. Certified Offers allows you to remain anonymous, and Network Solutions supervises the entire transaction from presenting the offer, transferring the domain into your account, to paying the the Seller.

How do you do that?

Simple: Just go to Network Solutions and enter your coveted domain name in the search box, then click “search now”. If you get the answer "Sorry. The domain is not available." just click on “make a certified offer”. It only costs $19 per Certified Offer. The seller is immediately presented with a certified binding offer by email. If the offer is accepted, you will be charged the accepted sales price plus a 5% transaction fee via your credit card.

But how do you know how much to bid? Network Solutions provides an instant Free Value Assessment based on the length of the domain name, existing traffic to the site, and a few other factors.

Needless to say, you can also use this method to sell a domain name you own.

If you are willling to be patient, try this:

Option 2: In this scenario you place a back order on a domain and get the opportunity to register it when it expires. There's no upfront fee. You pay only if your back order is successful. There is a minimum bid of $69.

To do this just go to and enter your coveted domain name in the search box, then click “search”. You will be given very simple step by step instructions to place your bid. That's it. Done in a matter of seconds.

Good domain hunting.

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