How To Buy A Domain Name That Is Already Taken




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Website investing goes hand in hand with domain auctions, but sometimes you might want a domain’s literal name rather than its internet traffic.

This can be particularly annoying if you have had a brand for a while and want to create a website to direct traffic to, but perhaps someone else has taken that specific domain name. 

Theoretically, you can buy a domain name that is already taken by going directly to its owner, but the nuances of this can change significantly. The other option would be to use a domain broker or a domain auction company.

In any case, in this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks you might want if you plan to try to snap someone else’s domain up. 

Keep reading to learn more about domains, domain names, and what you can do to buy a domain name that someone already has. Find out more about these topics below!

How To Buy A Domain Name That Is Already Taken, written in white on a blue and black background

What Is A Domain?

A domain, or domain name, refers to a series of integers that we use to refer to a website. This is often a word or combination of words that is usually the company’s name but can be a unique website name.

It’s like owning a house on a monopoly board, and it’s your own area you own the rights to and can sell or dissolve as you see fit.

In another way, a domain name is the legible version of an IP address. On the other hand, an IP address is a long series of numbers that are hard to remember and distinguish between.

So in many ways, domain names are very human-focused. We remember these names and words more than we do numbers, so when we want to search for a website we know of or have heard of, we only have to type in its domain name.

Domain names are unique, and their value comes from this. Each domain has a specific IP address that search engines can direct to and recognize, so there can’t be two of them.

For instance, if two domains were listed as ‘’ as you searched for this website, the search engine would not know where to send you. 

If a domain name is not taken, these are becoming rarer and rarer these days; literally, anyone can buy it. They are usually auctioned, where their value is decided based on demand. As a result, if someone has a domain you want, it can be a little harder to get your hands on it.

How To Purchase A Domain Name That Someone Already Has

Perhaps you have started a company and registered the name as a business, but the exact domain name you want is already taken. 

This can be an issue; it means you might be a little harder to find on a search engine, and if someone searches that specific name, you both could come up.

This can be exasperated if that domain is in the same niche or industry as you are, and they could theoretically steal your traffic, albeit not on purpose.

Here are some potential ways you could get that domain.

Go Direct To The Owner

Just like if someone owns a building you want, you can probably buy out the owner if you have the resources. However, if you don’t already have an established domain name, you may just be starting and might not have these resources.

Although, there’s basically no knowing how this can go. The person might be looking to sell and could be really reciprocal, or they may be more established than you and might ask for a lot more money.

As this type of sale is going to happen outside of a chartered auctioneer for websites, the person who owns the domain has all the cards. In other words, they could charge you through the roof if they chose to.

If you have the resources, you might be able to buy them outright, and it not be an issue, but be prepared for some bargaining. But, again, it’s important to note this is not how these domain sales usually go.

Legal Action

If the owner chooses not to sell to you or is charging a high amount, your only other response is to try to enact legal action, but even this can be pretty hard and specific.

For example, if your business or company already trademarks the name they are using in the domain, you could take legal action. But conversely, a domain name may be taken by someone after your business already exists and is trademarked legally.

Both you and the person who owns the website might not even know about the other. In the latter situation, a legal remedy can likely be found. 

Legal action itself will cost money, a large amount, and if you can’t afford these legal fees, you might run into an issue. But, on the other hand, you could contact the person and try to work it out with them amicably.

What To Do If You Can’t Get The Domain Name You Want

In most situations, if someone has the domain name you want, you might not be able to get it back from them for whatever reason. There are tips on how to deal with this. 

Change Your Business Name

If you can, you can simply change your business or company name to something else while you still can, ideally something unique.

Use A New Domain Ending

If the .com of a website is taken, you could try the .org or your regional TLD, perhaps .au, .ai, .us, .co, .io, etc. However, they might still steal traffic.

Try A Small Tweak

A tiny change could mean you could have your own unique domain, whether that is changing an ‘s’ to a ‘z’ or subtracting something from your name.


If someone has your domain name, you can buy it back or enact legal action if it infringes on your copyright or trademark. The best option might be to start afresh or make a small change, and it’s better to have something unique than compromise.

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