Have you ever felt screwed because someone on the internet owns your beloved domain name? I can honestly say that I can sleep a little better tonight, since I acquired SEOgadget.com, the .com brethren of my beloved UK TLD, SEOgadget.co.uk.
How to buy a domain through using domain brokerage
I used SEDO, but there are a number of other recommended domain brokers to choose from. In the past, I’ve worked with services from Godaddy and Snapnames.com. I’d love to write about them all, but I only bought one domain this time so here’s how it worked with SEDO.
First, you have to register and get your email address approved. Once you’re done with the account activation process, head to the domain brokerage page and fill out the domain search form:
If a domain is already registered, complete the domain brokerage application, including any details of previous contact with the domain owner.
The more info you can give to your broker, the better – particulary (failed) attempts to acquire the domain on your own.
Next, comes the fun part. The wait, followed by a torrent of emails explaining that your request has been received, followed by an acceptance and confirmation that the brokerage process has begun.
According to the email you receive:
A broker has been assigned to your account and will begin efforts to establish contact with the owner. Your broker will provide periodic updates via the Brokerage Status page as additional progress is made. Please keep in mind that this can take several weeks. If the broker is unable to negotiate an agreement within your current budget, he or she will contact you for further consultation.
Within a week I received another email announcing that a message awaited me in the brokerage status control panel at SEDO.com. This was the message confirming the purchase had been agreed:
Time to make your agreement
At this point you have to reply in writing (by email) to an agreement which looks a little like this:
1. I agree to buy seogadget.com for xxx USD
2. I understand that I, the Buyer will also pay the Sedo fees (10% of the final sales price).
3. I understand that Sedo reserves the right to disclose and publicize the sales price and domain name (otherwise an additional fee of 2.5% will apply to the requesting party).
All of which seems pretty fair. You have to sign the email with your name, address and contact details, making the email reply pretty much a formal contract. No pulling out now!
I’ve agreed and paid, now what?
Once the payment has been sent through, and your domain is held in Escrow, your domain transfer manager asks you to initiate the transfer process. By the way, they (Sedo) accept payments via Paypal. Very handy indeed! Initiating a domain transfer request on your side is really easy too. Login to your existing domain management account and initiate a transfer from there.
The domain owner is contacted by the registrar (usually via email to the administrative contact on the whois details) and, provided the domain owner has unlocked the domain for transfer and provides the AUTH code given by the current registrar, the domain transfer process begins.
How long does it take?
This domain transfer took a week, making the whole domain brokerage process from start to finish take almost exactly 1 month:
It’s (amazingly) simple.
This was my first experience of a domain brokerage and I have to say, it was much, much easier than I thought. So, if someone else owns the domain name you’ve been longing for, why not make a move and acquire it for yourself?