As you probably know if you are reading this, domain names are like telephone numbers – that is, they are unique and you cant just have any domain you like. Some country specific domains ( including Ireland’s dot.ie ) are available for purchase only if you can show that you have a rightful claim to the name, wheras dot.com’s for example are on a first come first served basis. So although your dot.ie domain may be reserved for you, there may be other people in the country with a similar business name to yours and they may registere the domain before you; or you may have been after the dot.com version and it may now be taken. This can be a major disappointment but there are sometimes options… here are some ideas.
- Maybe a different ending may work. If you were looking for the dot com then maybe the dot ie may work for you or visa versa. Also remember that there are many different extensions available other than dot.com or dot.ie [ dot.net dot.org dot.info dot.tv …. lots ]
- You could try a slightly different version of your name. Eg use tomwalsheauto.com instead of tomwalsheautoparts.com or try twalsh.com, tom-walshe-auto.com etc The domain name doesnt have to be the exact same as the business name
- You may be able to purchase the domain from the current owner. Do a search using a “whois” tool and write to the admin contact. Agree a price via email/phone and use an eschrow service such as the external eschrow service from sedo.com to carry out the deal. If you are doing this you would need to do some research about domain pricing – many change hands for small fees however they have been known to reach into the millions and domains are sold for several thousand dollars every day on sedo.com
- If the renewal date is soon then it may be worth waiting to see whether or not the owner renews the domain – sometimes people register domains and then dont bother with them again the next year.
- Alternative idea. If the domain you want is more of a catchphrase idea than it is the title of your business then you might want to check what’s available for sale on sedo.com or some of the other domain sale websites – you may find something even better than your original idea.