[thechat] domain name purchasing

Hugh Blair hblair at hotfootmail.com
Mon Nov 19 16:00:05 CST 2001

> >1.  You can find what registrar was used for the original registration
> >and see if they can register it for you.  Some to that, some don't.
> Other than writing the registrant, is there another way to find 
> this info out?

Search for the name and follow to the "whois record".  This usually 
shows the registrar.  The actual registrar listed might not be where
the name was registered if it was processed by an affiliate.  Many
registrars set up affiliate programs, but at least you'll know the
'home' registrar.  Write them and ask about getting the name and its
current status.  Some registrars (register.com is one) will release
or resell the name to the first person that asks without dropping it
in the 'available pool'.  Some let you sign up to reserve a name 
if/when it expires.

> >And remember that
> >most registrars allow the previous client to pay their bill and regain
> >the name within 45 days of expiration.
> I suppose that's to be expected. But given that the site is no longer 
> up, it seems possible that the owner no longer cares to keep the 
> domain. Perhaps I *should* just write him.

You *could* do that, and it *may* be the easiest way to get the name.
But if that person perceives that the name now has value - or has
let it lapse inadvertently, you've just triggered a sequence that might
#1-have them renew the domain, keeping you from getting it, or #2-have
them renew the domain then try to charge you a lot of $$ to buy/transfer
it from them.  A tough call.

If they're really willing to give the name up, your best option would be
for them to renew the domain (keeping it alive) then transfer it to 
you.  You should pay them for that renewal - and hope they don't want
too much (if any) in addition to the renewal fee.  The renewal fee for
one year should not exceed $35US.  

Standard cautions apply: put any agreement in writing, make sure you 
know how to reach this person if things go wacky (phone & physical 
address), find some way to put the funds in escrow/hold until you're
satisfied that you have ownership.  It can get nasty out here in 
domain-name world.


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