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A few years ago, I purchased a .org domain. Presumably, the .com version was taken by a domain squatter because it was registered the day after I registered it and it only hosts one of those typical ad pages.

I recently decided that I want the .com version as well if it's cheap, and I'd like to know: What price do they typically charge, and are there any ways to get them to lower this price?

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1) A lot, 2) Not usually –  Mark Henderson Oct 28 '10 at 3:10
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+1 for question, though I'd be surprised if there is actually a way to avoid being gouged if the squatter is financially motivated. (I've sold domains in the past and dealing with individuals who happen to have registered a domain will be vastly different from dealing with intentional squatters and their ilk) –  danlefree Oct 28 '10 at 3:54
    
+1 Good question. It really sucks that your desired domain was squatted. To be sure it doesn't happen again use a respectable domain whois search provider to check a name next time. I've addressed this here webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/287/… –  Evan Plaice Feb 6 '11 at 14:22
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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you're visiting the domain you want to buy, and it's hosting ads. IMMEDIATELY STOP VISITING IT. Domain squatters are able to determine value based on traffic. If the site is getting zero traffic and you come in and say you want to build a website about your pet cat on that domain, odds are good they'd be willing to sell it cheap to recoup the registration fee they paid for it.

However if they are getting even a few clicks on the ads, showing regular traffic from you visiting it, and you make the mistake of saying you're going to build some huge awesome website that will make you millions, good luck getting it for anything less than $500.

Keep in mind, the squatter is always willing to wait longer than you are for the deal to go through. Also odds are high about you being ripped off if not using a 3rd party to verify the transfer.

If you're the unfortunately soul that purchased your domain through goDaddy and noticed your .com version is being squatted, odds are it's the goDaddy squatter team and you're in for a very very expensive situation to get it from them. I would just give up and look for a new domain unless you have some deep pockets.

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Which is why I recommend not purchasing domains from squatters or auctioners, resellers, brokers, etc. period. You're just contributing to the problem of domain squatting. –  Lèse majesté Oct 29 '10 at 8:51
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The price would depend on the greed of the domain owner and perceived value of the domain. I've seen instances in the past where domain squatters have demanded anything from £1,000 to £10,000 for a .co.uk domain (they cost £6 for two years). Needless to say we have found alternative domains.

If you can prove a trademark on company name/product/brand it does change the game a little since you can legally take back a domain name that infringes on a trademark. However in practical terms it would cost a lot of time and money to release a domain that you felt was being held unethically by using your company name/branding in order to sell. If you care to read more search for "trademarks and domain names".

Practical advice: it is likely the person holding the domain will demand an unrealistic price initially to test the water. Have a maximum price in mind before hand and never go over this value. Wait for the initial price demand from the domain owner and if it is in excess of your figure (almost certain to be), make your offer and wait a while. If they have no other offers on the table their greed may get the better of them and they may come back and accept the offer. Otherwise, get another domain name.

It would be great to see domain squatters stopped, but unfortunately this is unlikely to happen any time soon.

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Just from personal experience, if it's a larger organization that bought the .com you're probably looking at a minimum price of a thousand dollars or more with no real room to talk them down. Then again, we had the same thing happen to us with a .com but it was bought by some kid working out of his house. We reached him on his personal cell phone and had talked him down from $500 to $120 or so within a week. The domain in question wasn't getting much traffic and was probably of little value to anyone but us.

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I have bought many domains from investors. The best thing to do is reach out and find out how much they want. Explain your budget, and ask them to meet it. If they can't, then they can't.

It's that simple. In my experience, I will usually find a good domain for free or $500 or less.

I would pay top dollar for a domain name like rodeodrive.com, googlechrome.com but not for a general domain name for a new startup. It's easy to find.

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