How to Buy a Parked Domain Name

By Chad Buleen

There are few things more frustrating than thinking up a great website name and then finding out that it has already been purchased. Thankfully, you can buy a parked domain name. A parked domain name is a URL that has been purchased, but is not currently being used by the person who owns the domain name.

Step 1

Find the domain name. A person can visit a domain registrar to find out if the domain name has been purchased. If it has not been purchased, then everything should be easy. However, a person who finds out that the domain he wants has already been purchased needs to be prepared to negotiate. The easiest way to find out if the domain name is being actively used or is simply being parked is to type the domain name into a web browser to see where the URL takes you. If you arrive at a page that includes nothing but a few generic links or an "under construction" message, this likely means the domain name has been parked and may be available.

Step 2

Visit a domain registrar to see who has the rights to the domain name that you seek. Type the domain name into the search engine on the page. The search engine at a site like whois.com will bring up a result of the person who owns the domain, as well as contact information. It also may bring up technical information about the domain.

Step 3

Contact the owner of the domain. Sometimes domain registrars will offer phone numbers, e-mail addresses, physical addresses and more domain names owned by that owner. Other times there is only a little contact information available. A simple email to begin the negotiation process would be best. Don't mention a price in the email. Simply mention that the domain is one of several that you may be interested in. Let the owner of the domain be the first one to mention a price. Don't be too aggressive. Many people buy a lot of different domain names simply for the purpose of selling them to somebody later on. When contacting a person who has purchased the domain name you want, it is advisable to not be overanxious about buying the parked domain. Buying a parked domain from a person is kind of like buying a car. If the domain owner knows that a person very much wants the domain, the price for it will undoubtedly skyrocket.

Step 4

Use counter proposals and counter arguments. There is a good chance that the first asking price to buy a parked domain name will be unreasonably high. Do not assume that the price is immovable, even if the seller says that it is. If a person plans to buy a domain name that is somewhat obscure, it is best to use the argument that a URL such as chocolatecoveredturkeys.com is not worth as much as he might be asking for.

Step 5

Check the history of the domain and comparative sales using the link provided below. These tools can let a person better understand how to negotiate. For example, if a person paid $2,000 for a URL one year ago and you are offering $25, chances are you won't get the site. Likewise, you will want to make sure that you do not offer more for a parked domain name than you need to.

Step 6

Use an escrow service. It is likely that the person from whom you will buy a parked domain is not somebody you regularly do business with. If this is true, it may not be wise to pay the owner of the domain before the rights are turned over to you. An escrow service can act as a third party that only will transmit money and rights after both parties have met their obligations to transfer a parked domain name.

Step 7

Create the website. As soon as the URL has been purchased, the new website can be created. Remember to use search engine optimization techniques to ensure that the money spent on the parked domain name goes to good use and that the site is properly marketed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your options open. There are likely similar domain names to the one you want. If you are not able to buy the name you want, try another similar name.
  • Do not buy a parked domain name simply because it sounds cool. A good domain name that includes often-searched terms can significantly increase the amount of traffic directed toward a website.