You have found the perfect domain but you've realized that it's already registered by someone else.
Good news, the domain owner wants to sell it but you don't know how handle the transaction? We've got you covered!
Find out who the seller is
Your first step when trying to get the contact informations of the domain seller, is to do a WHOIS lookup. A good one is available here. That'll hopefully give you some indications like the owner's name or even better, their email address.
If the WHOIS privacy settings are too strict, you won't be able to get anything from it and you may have to hire a domain broker to do it for you.
You can also try to type the domain name in a search engine to see if you get results that could lead you somewhere. Good luck!
If you have no idea who the current owner of the domain is, or if you just don't want to bother buying the domain yourself, you can hire a domain broker. Their task is to get the domain name for you, in exchange of a fee. A few domain registrars do this, like namecheap.com or godaddy.com.
Once you agree on the price you're ready to pay to get your new domain and the fee they will receive, they take the situation in charge and will report back after a few days/weeks with a positive or negative outcome. Most of the brokers will refund you the fee if they can't purchase the right domain name for you. In case of a positive outcome, they'll do the domain registration for you.
You know the seller, now what?
You have a few options here. You can either ask them to sell it directly to you via a payment method listed just below, or you can ask them to list it in a marketplace.
A good marketplace is DomainHolder because the seller has to park its domain. It's a good step to make sure that's their own domain. Then you'll be able to buy it straight from the parking page, when clicking on "Buy now", an escrow transaction will be created and you'll just have to follow the instructions. This is the safest way because both parties are covered and nothing can go wrong.
Other popular marketplaces are sedo.com or flippa.com, but they tend to take a high commission fee on the sale and the seller might make less money than expected.
Also, it's worth mentioning that lots of business owner are selling premium domains, they usually buy lots of good domain name in the hope of selling them with a mark up later. If your perfect domain name is listed in one of those platforms, it might be an expensive purchase. Although they'll offer you some benefits like free web hosting for the first year. Nonetheless, as a first-time purchase I'd suggest trying to find domains owned by individuals, it makes the negotiation much easier.
Several methods of payment are available, but we would recommend only one, as it is the safest for both parties. While you could pay with credit card or PayPal, it will make it difficult for a partie to do a claim. Since the domain is a digital good, PayPal won't be able to solve any disputes.
We recommend using an escrow transaction. The most popular is escrow.com, but a varieties of other websites allow you to be create escrow agreements, like payoneer.com.
An escrow agreement means that a third party will handle the transaction. The buyer will send the money to that broker, then when the domain broker receives the payment, they notify the seller to unlock the domain name and give the authorization code to the buyer. Once the buyer confirm the reception of the domain, they alert the broker which will send the money to the seller.
If the transaction doesn't go as expected, the broker will evaluate the situation and either reimburse the buyer, or send the money to the seller. It's important to choose a trusted third party to handle those escrow transactions.
If after all your efforts you couldn't get your great domain, you may want to look for alternatives. .com domain names are highly desired and you might have more chances with other top-level-domains. You could also try to add domain suffixes to the domain you wanted, such as get, use, etc... Or you could start your domain search all over again...