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I want to buy a domain name, but it has already been registered and I am unable to find any contact information for the owner on the site.

How can I contact the domain's owner to inquire about buying the domain?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 3 '11 at 3:41

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If there are a lot of ads, it's perhaps a domain grabber (in case the domain was registered before) or one of those companies making profit from registering potentially interesting names and selling them off ... –  STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED Mar 3 '11 at 3:38

4 Answers 4

Normally a registrar can get the contact information. If you want to contact the person yourself you might try using the whois utility. You can use a Linux command line or a website like this one: http://www.whois.net/ This will give you contact information and by law the information must be accurate. Of course, that's no guarantee that the person wants to sell the domain.

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For whois on Windows, use the one from live.sysinternals.com ... the company making those tools has been bought by Microsoft years ago, so this is officially a Microsoft tool :) –  STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED Mar 3 '11 at 3:40

Have a look at Sedo.com. If a domain is publicly for sale it is most probably listed there. If not, the owner of the domain can still be interested in selling. Sedo offers buying services, and it works pretty well. Alternatively you can simply do a whois lookup and drop the owner an email.

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If you feel that the company will charge you too much money for the domain you want, simply register a domain with a slightly different spelling.

for instance: if mydomain.com is registered, consider registering my-domain.com

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If the website in question doesn't appear to have any real content, is filled with adverts/links or is telling you that it can search the web for an item related to the URL of the site then it is a domain grabber. Domain grabbers will buy domains and fill them with ads to gain revenue or to sell them on at sky high prices.

If the website isn't a domain grabber the owner is less likely to be thinking of selling it. However, in either case you can find out who the owner of the site is by going to WhoIs.Net and entering the domain in question. In most cases the information about the person that registered that domain will come up and you can then contact them about the sale. The problem is that (in some cases) the domain owner may have paid for that information to be hidden or the information of the domain provider may be displayed instead. In these cases, while you can try contacting the domain owner with any information present, it is unlikely that you will actually be able to get in touch with the owner.

In the case that you can't buy the domain you want it may not be a good idea to register a similar domain as users wanting to visit your site may accidentally stumble upon the domain you wanted to buy instead, which could put them off trying to visit your website altogether. If it possible to go with another name for which the domain hasn't been taken then do that, otherwise you're opening your potential vistors up to confusion, which is never a good thing.

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