How To Buy A Domain Name

Wondering how the purchase and transfer of a domain name from me to you works?
Here is your handy guide!

How Domain Name Transactions Work

Most of the time I sell through marketplaces such as Undeveloped, Sedo or Afternic (these are the three largest domain marketplaces in the world). The marketplace accepts and holds your payment for the domain while I hand control of the domain name over to them. They then give the code for transfer of the domain name to you and only release payment (minus their commission) to me after you have confirmed possession.

In other cases the domain is for sale on a registrar marketplace (such as Dynadot, GoDaddy, Namecheap or Epik). Again they accept your payment, but in this case they directly transfer the domain into an account you have at that registrar (if you don’t already have one they are free to set up). The marketplace only release funds to me after the transfer is complete and the domain name resides with you.

Transfer Options

When you buy a domain name the transfer can be by
push (meaning it is pushed to your account at the same registrar where it is currently held) or by auth code (which means the previous owner has provided you with a code allowing you to move the domain name to any registrar you select.)

The auth code route allows you to select any registrar you want, but normally you need to pay your selected registrar for one year of additional registration on the domain. Note, however, that is added to the existing registration period.

I have published at a detailed article on how transfer works and the various options.

Who Pays Commission?

I pay the commission so the price that you pay will be the price you see (plus an extra year registration paid to your registrar if you choose the auth code transfer route). There are no other charges added by me to the domain price.

Some Examples

  1. You purchase one of my domain names that is listed at Namecheap Marketplace. You will need an account (free to set up) at Namecheap. When you purchase the domain name almost instantly and automatically ownership transferred to your account, and you can start using it. You do not pay for an extra year of registration, and the registration expiry date will be the current one. While I used Namecheap as the example, the process is similar for other registrar marketplaces I use such as Dynadot, Epik or Namesilo.
  2. You purchase a domain name I have listed at Dan. You pay Undeveloped the purchase price through one of their payment methods. I unlock the domain name and they obtain the auth code from me, and then give that auth code to you. At your selected registrar (after setting up a free account if you do not already have one) you start a transfer process using the domain name and auth code. Your registrar will charge you the fee for one year registration as the transfer fee, and will add that time to the domain name registration period (e.g. if previously it was registered until Nov 18, 2019 now it will expire Nov. 18, 2020). After the transfer of the domain name has been completed Undeveloped will release payment to me.
  3. Certain domain names (it depends on registrar and extension and some other factors) are approved for fast transfer at marketplaces like Sedo and Afternic. What this means is when you purchase a domain name listed through one of those sites, if the domain name is fast transfer activated, my approval to release the domain name has been given in advance to my registrar, and the transfer can be done automatically. Note however by no means all domain names at these sites are fast transfer activated. Just ask if you want to know if a certain domain name is fast-transfer, or could be.
  4. You prefer to work directly with me rather than use one of the marketplace options. We can communicate in advance regarding how payment and transfer will work, but normally we can complete the process within the day. I did a transfer last month and the domain name moved from one registrar to another in 21 minutes!

How Fast?

So you’ve decided on a domain name, and you want to get it fast. I understand. Fortunately the process can be very rapid in the vast majority of cases. With registrar marketplaces since they are essentially moving the domain name from one account to another at the same registrar, the process is automated and typically completes in minutes. Depending on your payment method and verification status there may be a slight delay but in almost all cases you will have the domain within the hour.

At Undeveloped currently the process is handled by personnel, so there is a slight delay as they wait for responses. Many find having a third-party person involved in the transaction makes the tiny delay worthwhile. And at Dan they state that 98% of the domain transactions are complete in less than one day.

Various factors affect how rapidly a sale is completed at Sedo and Afternic. Ask personnel from those sites if you would like an estimate for a particular domain name. Throughout the domain industry transaction times are much faster than used to be the case.

Almost all (95%) of the domains I have sold have transferred in less than a few hours, and all within just over one day. That being said occasionally a transfer could take as much as 5 or 6 days, depending on the two registrars involved.

How Soon Can I Start Using The Domain Name?

Once it has transferred to you, it is possible to immediately redirect it to an existing website or to begin hosting a new website on it. You can have email and your website working immediately, if you already have a web hosting service. Note that the way the internet works the DNS pointers you set will take some hours, or even a day, to propagate to all parts of the web, so during that period your site may work for some users and not others.

Is The Price Fixed?

At some venues I sell on, such as the Namecheap Marketplace, the price is fixed and offers are not accepted. However almost all of my domain names are listed at Undeveloped, and you can make an offer through them (or for domains I have listed at Sedo). Even if you want to buy through Namecheap Marketplace, you can contact me and try to convince me to lower the price there!

Here is how the offer process works at Undeveloped. You decide on one of my domain names, but it is listed, say at $788 which is outside your budget or what you are willing to pay for the domain name. I have set a minimum level for an offer at say $128. This means you can on the Dan/Undeveloped site submit your offer as long as it is more than that. So perhaps you submit an offer of $148. That is conveyed to me by Undeveloped and I either accept it or reply back with a counter offer. Maybe I will offer to sell it at $588. This process continues until one of us accepts the offer from the other, or until you stop making offers. Usually this all happens fairly fast, with each response usually taking less than half a day.

Note that while offers are common in the domain industry, there is no guarantee any offer will be accepted. Also, there is no guarantee that the domain name will not be purchased by another person who is willing to pay the full buy it now price.

Do your diligence and be sure a domain name is the right fit for you, but remember if you really want or need one particular domain name there may only ever be one opportunity to get it.

I Work For An Institution - Are There Other Options?

I understand that organizations and businesses may have their own processes re delivery of goods and services and payment. If you are an authorized representative of a recognized major business or organization, and need a process such as purchase order, domain transfer followed by invoicing and payment get in touch with me.

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FAQs! Or why not simply contact us?