How do I buy this parked domain?
November 14, 2009 12:18 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to buy the domain name "" (but with my actual first and last names). Unfortunately it's parked with GoDaddy, full of ads, and shows up as already taken when I do a domain name search. Do I have to buy it from GoDaddy or the owner or what? Or should I not bother, and go for the .net instead? This is the first time I've wanted a domain name that wasn't actually being used for a real website before.
posted by harriet vane to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of people with parked domians will sell them.
posted by delmoi at 12:59 AM on November 14, 2009

Yeah, someone has my and they want to sell it to me for around 900 bucks.
posted by bigmusic at 1:11 AM on November 14, 2009

Best answer: Just get an alternate TLD like .net or .org. People that park domains are assholes that don't deserve a cent and should not be encouraged in the practice. If it's not a very common name, it'll probably expire eventually and you can pick it up then.

Of course, if it's really important to you, you're sorta stuck. You would contact whoever is listed in the WHOIS fields and haggle. If it's an uncommon name, they probably have 0 counter-offers.
posted by cj_ at 2:35 AM on November 14, 2009 [3 favorites]

Erm, if only your name was Harriet Vane (like your MetaFilter username) - that's available as a dot com.
posted by Glum at 2:38 AM on November 14, 2009

Response by poster: Heh, Glum, that'd be handy. Ah well!

I can't seem to find any other parked domains like mine, but I'm sure they're out there. It's pretty much wall-to-wall blinking gif ads, mostly for GoDaddy services or computer gear.

The whois shows the registrant as someone in Rhode Island with same name as me except for their middle initial, and an expiry date in 2011. One of the ads is "do you want to buy this domain", and gives me the supposedly awesome price of US$70.

If this is the sort of thing people do to get ad revenue or trick people into paying more for a domain, I'll pass on dealing with it. I'll just go with a .net - I was just going to try some lifestreaming and keep it handy in case the whole Facebook thing gets too annoying but I still want people to be able to find me and my work

Thanks everyone!
posted by harriet vane at 3:35 AM on November 14, 2009

Hmm, well if the registrant has your name it's possible that they did indeed register it and all the ads are strictly godaddys.

It is not uncommon for hosting companies to put default pages on parked domains until the registrant does something with it.
posted by jeremias at 4:15 AM on November 14, 2009

Best answer: I'm a fan of .name domains, which most people aren't aware of. I've never had someone forget my email address or name after telling them to email me at *firstname*@*lastname*.name.
posted by Benjy at 5:17 AM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have my .net and I'm living with it. I think the .com was available but very expensive. I don't think it makes much difference.
posted by sully75 at 5:45 AM on November 14, 2009

If you register a .net or another version with GoDaddy, they may send you a reminder when the .com is available. I started with a .net and only picked up my .com a few years back, since they kept pushing it on me.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:18 AM on November 14, 2009

GoDaddy is the worst and I'm surprised to see people recommending them. There is no faster a way to lose a potential domain than to search for and not purchase it on GoDaddy. If you insist on using GoDaddy, *never* search for something you are unprepared to buy. This may be true of other registrars but GoDaddy is particularly egregious.

In my anecdotal experience
posted by geekyguy at 7:51 AM on November 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Yeah, those ads and things are just GoDaddy defaults, what they do with a parked page. The owner did not choose them, they just checked a box that might even have been a default. It's so freaking hard to get a domain AWAY from GoDaddy that they probably just leave it there.

If the owner really has your name, it seems pretty damn likely it's legitimate, and she just registered it and parked it so she would own it for later use. You also can't tell if it's being used for e-mail or not. The absence of a website doesn't signify anything special.

And yes, I am with GeekyGuy: GoDaddy is awful/horrible/evil/smelly. But they're cheap.

And never use a registrar to search, for the reason GG mentions. Do your own whois.
posted by rokusan at 8:07 AM on November 14, 2009

A new suggestion: it depends what you wish to use the domain for, but you could probably SHARE it with the owner. If you just want e-mail, you could ask for (or whatever) to be forwarded to you, while the owner will use, or whatever they like.

Similarly, you could ask them to point to you, while keeping for themselves if they wish. The key is that the owner can set up any number of subdomains or e-mail addresses and point them anywhere, including pointing some back to you, without giving up their ownership.

Of course, this requires ongoing good karma, since they could pull your plug anytime.

I own, and have set up many e-mail addresses for and I don't know who they are, but they share mylastname, and they asked me nicely.
posted by rokusan at 8:11 AM on November 14, 2009

Not every parked is a speculative investment. I hold one for a friend's kid who's not old enough to use it yet. I'll give it to him when he graduates from junior high school or something.

It sure doesn't hurt to ask the owner. S/he might be burned out on the idea of developing a personal website and ready to jettison the idea -- especially if you approach as rokusan suggests.
posted by gum at 8:41 AM on November 14, 2009

You could add a dash. I have and also (
posted by kristi at 9:27 AM on November 14, 2009

The person probably owns the domain but never did anything with it; GoDaddy is the registrar and so they've put their own monetization content (a.k.a. ads) up to make money off it until the person who owns it tells them not to. A lot of the big name registrars do this; when you register a domain with them, that's what you sign up for.

Since someone else holds the registration, you'd need to contact them and see if they'd sell it to you. The $70 might or might not be a price they've named; there's an elaborate market in third-party domain name auctioneers out there and I'd try to sidestep it if I were you.

The owner might also have the domain name for email, so that goes to them, but since they're not using it for hosting a site, GoDaddy has access to the space.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:42 AM on November 14, 2009

On preview, floam suggested what I was going to say.

You could also check to see if you can find a clever variation on your name somehow.

I sometimes use that site to find cutesy domain names for other people with good results. Occasionally they're really expensive to register, or you have to go through some sketchy registrar to get it, so watch out for that.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 2:21 PM on November 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the extra info on how this parked domains things works, I knew AskMe would know what it was all about. GoDaddy sounds pretty grabby.

I don't think I want it badly enough to approach the owner, but the .name is an option I hadn't considered, and would suit my purposes as well as a .net would.
posted by harriet vane at 1:25 AM on November 15, 2009

Also... what about ".us" ? I have my last name as ".ca", works for me - I don't plan on moving internationally for awhile.
posted by jkaczor at 3:30 PM on November 15, 2009

I have had (.com was taken in a similar fashion to the one you want) for about 5 years, it works out well, close friends and family use it too.
posted by getawaysticks at 6:11 AM on November 17, 2009

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