If you are reading this post, I am guessing you are a business owner that has had their domain registered by a squatter. I have sold thousands of domains over the years and these are my tips for buying a domain from a stubborn domain squatter. The only difference between a squatter and a flipper is usually the price. They tend to be more mercenary than flippers and will try to get as much money out of you as possible.
Open a dialog
This is the first step. If the domain is being sold through a broker like Sedo or Uniregistry then this is a lot easier. If the domain has not been listed with a broker you need to find out who owns the domain and email them. You can do this using WHOIS. A database of domain ownership along with contact details.
Find out who owns the domain and fire them off a friendly email.
Research your seller
The WHOIS lookup database also enables you to find all domains registered to an email address. If you find the owners email you can also find any other domains that they own. This will help you establish if this is a domain flipper with 1000s of registered domains or a private seller.
A private seller may not be aware of the value of the domain that they own and are likely to sell for less.
Do you own a trademark?
If you own a registered trademark for your business name you may not have to buy it at all. Nominet, the UK domain authority have a process where you can dispute a domain registration by a squatter. This process can be lengthy and can cost around £750. It’s worth weighing-up if it’s cheaper to just buy the domain from the squatter than go through this process.
Offer a reasonable price
The thing about domain squatters is they all think their domains are worth millions. In reality they are not. A domain is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. When offering a price I would start low and always work within your budget. If you offer £500 and the squatter comes back with £50,000 then you will have some negotiating to do. Domains are hard to sell. I know this. As the buyer you have a lot of power. Domains are cheap to register, a squatter still makes a profit if they sell for £50 or £500,000.00. Never forget that.
Look at alternatives
If you have offered a reasonable price and the squatter still will not sell then you need to look at alternatives. I would first check to see if the .uk version of the domain is available. This is a new domain extension for the UK and is just as good as .co.uk. There a also whole host of new domain extensions coming to market for industries like .design, .plumbing, .builders, .financial. These are a brilliant work around if you can’t get your .co.uk. They will appear in Google just as a .co.uk or .com, but may be more expensive to register.