How To Buy An Existing Domain Name

Buying an Existing Domain

If the domain you want is already taken, there’s a good chance that you can buy that domain from the owner.  Again, I don’t mean going to a domain registrar like and registering a new, never before registered domain. This is something you should and will do most of the time. I mean buying a domain name that someone else has registered but they are selling the name.

If, when you go to the domain, there isn’t a live site you can go to and find out the owners contact information and then contact them directly about buying the domain.

Sometimes you will type in a domain name into a browser and then see a live website but in reality it is just a parked page and there actually will be a link on the page that says “This Domain Might Be For Sale”. You can click on that link and then make an offer on the domain. You may or may not get a response but this is how I purchased my last domain.

Advantages to Buying an Existing Domain

I see two main advantages to purchasing an already existing domain. First, if your heart is set on a certain name and you don’t think that you can do business with any other name then you should try to buy the domain name from whoever owns it.

The second reason to buy an existing domain name is to take advantage of any previous link popularity the domain has. Many domains that are up for sale used to be active websites that were promoted by their webmasters.  Many of these old websites obtained many links pointing to their site and although the site has since shut down, the links remain. That leaves the opportunity for you to build a new website and take advantage of the old links pointing to that domain. Keep in mind that you need to put up a new site that is similar in nature to the previous website or the links will hold little to no value to you.

Use the Yahoo link feature I explained in step 9 of the section “Buying an Existing Website” to check if a domain has links pointing to it.


Here is a list of some good websites to buy or sell domain names. has hundreds of prime domains for sale. another good list of domains for sale. has a big selection of domains as well. is a good place to find a very large selection of domain names for sale at a cheap price.

Adam White is a 20+ year entrepreneur having built and sold 18 internet businesses. He currently runs JustReachOut and SquidVision, a new type of landing page optimization software for SaaS companies, and does SaaS and SEO consulting at He lives in Tennessee with his wife and kids and in between SaaS businesses he writes and directs feature films.

8 comments On How To Buy An Existing Domain Name

  • Indeed is great article there are pleanty of advantages when you buy an existing domain. But why if the domain name was used for spamming, you may get banned by google after you buy. Am I correct??. Also is a good option to buy expired domains like in , I think they have the same advantage like you buy an existing domain name,

    Anyway, nice website, I’m attracted by many articles in this website, I definitely come back,



  • This doesn’t really tell you “How To Buy An Existing Domain Name”. How do I actually do it? How is a second-hand domain name transferred from one owner to another? Google searches on “Domain transfer” just assume the same owner wants to transfer their domain to another registrar.

  • I have the same question as Ian. What are the functional steps for the actual transfer of the domain name? They are different from getting a new name, through one of the usual registry services.

  • You missed the BIGGEST reason for buying an existing domain: SEARCH ENGINE RANKING (SEO). It takes months/years for a Domain to be indexed by Search Engines and work their way up the list of sites that “comes up” when a term is “Googled” (or searched in another browser). Existing Domains that were properly SEO-optimized will have far better “ranking” in searches than a new domain.—— As for the mechanics of “how” to transfer a domain: several steps are involved. These steps vary slightly depending upon the Domain Registrar/Web Host company. If you intend to keep the domain with the SAME Domain Registrar & Web Hosting company, then check with their customer support for instructions. If you intend to to move the Domain and Hosting to a new Domain Registrar & Web Hosting company, then check with the NEW company’s customer support for instructions. IN A NUT SHELL: The existing Site Owner must first “unlock” the domain in their Domain control panel. You will then have to obtain “codes” that may have to be entered on the existing Registrar’s Domain control panel and on the new Registrar’s domain control panel (some Registrars do this part for you). Best bet is to check with your new Domain Registrar company’s customer support to make sure you don’t miss a step!

  • I recently received an email from a lawyer telling me that my domain was trademarked. In fact it is because its brand was very different from mine. So if you actually are not such a good idea to get into legal trouble when you want to start a business

  • Just want to say I appreciate all of this awesome info on buying an existing domain name. I can tell
    you are an expert on this subject. Thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the enjoyable work.

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post because I have been wanting to buy a domain name but was scared to pull the trigger.

  • There is really nothing to worry about. It is a process that has been in place for many years. If you’re really concerned go to where you will be 100% protected.

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