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Buying a registered domain name in Australia

Posted 31/07/2008 6:22:00 AM

Buying a registered domain name in Australia

You have the idea for a great new online business and everything is falling in to place to realise your dream...but someone's registered your ideal domain name. What do you do?

This is the situation that I've found myself in many times. The impact varies depending on the business idea. Not having the right domain name is rarely catastrophic, but it can have a severe impact, and having the ideal domain name (a generic term related to your product, for example) will give your business a huge boost that might make the difference.

The increasing trend for domain name registrations that end up being parked indefinitely and not used means that finding a good, generic domain name that's unregistered is increasingly difficult.

Domain parking does get the domain name off the block in the sense that the search engines should already be aware of the website, and may have made the necessary associations that will benefit a 'real' website. However, this comes at a cost.

The rules within Australia are that a registrant must have a connection to the domain name registered. If you feel that this is not the case, you can lodge a dispute with an auDA approved mediation company, but it's not cheap, so you'd really only do this if you were really very confident of recouping the costs.

Alternatively, it may be appropriate to approach the existing registrant and offer to purchase the domain name from them. This is now possible since auDA change the rules in June.

Of course, the tricky part in negotiating the purchase of a registered domain name is that a seemingly value-less domain becomes valuable as soon as someone makes an enquiry. This is the foundation of the whole domain parking industry.

At a cost of around $40 for a two-year registration ($39.95 from domain names are incredibly good value. If the name is popular enough (which can be measured accurately from the moment the parked website is made live) it would be worth renewing domain name registrations indefinitely in the hope that someone will eventually make an offer.

For even a small business, an investment of, for example, $500 would be little to secure the right domain name. At a value of $500, the registrant of an existing domain has 25 years to recoup their investment, during which time they can continue to renew. offers a 'first contact' service for free. This includes making an anonymous enquiry to the registrant of an existing domain with a request for more information and an asking price.

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