How to get this domain name?
September 22, 2010 2:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for advice on procuring a specific domain name.

(I know this is a popular topic in Ask, so apologies if it's been covered and I've missed it. I've searched through previous questions and can't find what I'm looking for.)

I want the .com corresponding to my name; let's call it myname.com. This domain name has been used from 1999 until a couple of years ago for a small website pertaining to the descendants of someone else with my name -- family reunion and history type stuff. The domain name currently goes nowhere. Both www.myname.com and myname.com result in a "Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to..." message. I've been trying unsuccessfully to contact whoever owns this name to try to purchase it. Emails sent to info@myname.com don't bounce back but get no response. I found an email address on an older version of the site (through archive.org) that didn't bounce back but also got no response. The whois record doesn't list a registrant contact. The email address given for the administrative and technical contacts bounces back. The domain is registered through namecheap.com, but that's really all I know. My questions are as follows:

1. How can I find the owner to make an offer on this domain name? Am I overlooking some obvious means of contact? I can't offer more than a couple hundred dollars for it, but I feel like that might be enough, if only I could get in touch with the owner. Even if the owner told me they'll never sell or would only sell for $10,000, then at least my mind would be at ease.

2. Without contacting the owner, how else could I get this domain name? I've been following it for a couple of years, and it gets renewed every January. Does knowing that it's registered with namecheap.com help at all? Obviously, I'm not trying to snatch it from someone. I just want to maximize my potential for getting it if the owner ever let it expire.

Thanks for your help.
posted by Pork-Chop Express to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you done a whois look up? If they don't have a privacy service, that will give you the contact info of the person who registered the domain. Even if they do have a privacy service, it will tell you how long the name is registered for. I was successful getting a domain name by spending a few bucks on a domain service that basically automatically tried to register the domain on my behalf when it expired. There are a lot of them out there and you can throw money at multiple ones if you really, really want the domain. I just used one of them and got lucky.
posted by Kimberly at 2:27 PM on September 22, 2010


"how long the name domain is registered for"
posted by Kimberly at 2:28 PM on September 22, 2010


Submit a whois problem data report. The registrar has a responsibility to update the data. When they do, you will be able to contact the registrant and make them an offer.
posted by IanMorr at 2:34 PM on September 22, 2010


It's not clear that you've already secured this information in another way, so try this link: http://internic.net/whois.html. The resulting page will give you everything the internet "knows" about who owns that domain name. It may consist solely of registrar information, but that is at least a start. If the record is actually completed, there will be a contact name and details. If not, follow IanMorr's link above to report the missing info and proceed from there.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 2:57 PM on September 22, 2010


Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far, everyone. I should have been clearer in my original question: I have done a whois lookup, through domaintools.com. The whois record gives namecheap.com as the registration service. The administrative and technical contacts are the same, and the email address given bounces back. I wasn't aware of internic.net. Curiously, it gives ENOM, INC. as the registrar.

IanMorr, thanks for that link. That seems like my best bet so far.

Any other ideas?
posted by Pork-Chop Express at 7:12 PM on September 22, 2010


namecheap was a reseller for eNom. In 2007, namecheap got their own ICANN accreditation and domains that were registered with namecheap before that were given the option to transferring to new & improved namecheap or staying with eNom. Looks like the registrant of the domain you're interested in didn't take the transfer option.

FWIW, I get unsolicited queries on a regular basis about purchasing domain names that I'm using. I ignore most of these emails because past experience has taught me that it's largely a waste of my time to enter a back and forth with an individual who invariably has more desire than $. I do pay attention when a domain broker such as sedo contacts me as someone who has made the effort to retain a broker tends to be a serious buyer + it gives me the protection that comes with using an escrow service.
posted by jamaro at 9:52 PM on September 22, 2010


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