Just because a domain name is not immediately available, however, doesn't necessarily mean you cannot buy it. There are other ways to obtain it. Most domain registrars have a service where they help you obtain a domain name that's already owned. There is no guarantee that this will work, but if you really want a domain it's worth trying.
Domain Buy Service:If you go to GoDaddy.com, for example, and search for a domain name you may find that it's already registered. In this case, GoDaddy will show you other options that may not be registered. They will also offer to help you obtain the domain for which you originally searched.
If you click on this option, you will see that they have a Domain Buy Service that currently costs $69.99 per domain plus commission. In exchange for this fee, GoDaddy will contact the domain's current owner and negotiate on your behalf. Naturally, it's in the domain registrar's interest to get the domain for you, as they will earn a commission on the sale (read this Namecheap review by Domain Raccoon for more services).
You should, however, only do this for a domain you really want and that has good earning potential. The cost of getting a domain in this manner can be substantial. You are not only paying the registrar for the service, but you don't know how much the current owner may want for the domain -- if he or she is even willing to sell it at all.
Domain Back Orders:Another option is to back order the domain you want. In this case, you only have a chance to get this domain if the current owner does not renew it. Even then, you may have competition if other people have also back ordered it. In this case, it goes to auction and you will be able to bid against others.
When it comes to expired domains, you should also know that domains don't become available immediately after the expiration date. The current owner has a grace period of 40 days. During this time the owner can still renew it. This means that even if a domain is about to expire immediately, you will still have to wait more than a month before you have a chance to buy it.
Another way to get a domain that will soon expire is to register for a service such as Snapnames.com. This company and a few others like it will buy a name on your behalf as soon as it becomes available. You will have to pay them a fee, currently $69, and they will try to secure it for you. If others also want it, however, it will go to auction.
Using a service like Snapnames gives you a better chance of getting an expired domain than if you tried to register it yourself after it expires. Still, there is never a guarantee.
Contacting Domain Owners Directly:Another way to get an unavailable domain name is to contact the owner directly. The owner may not respond to you at all. He or she may quote you a price higher than you're willing to pay. On the other hand, there's always a chance you will be lucky and find that the owner is willing to sell at a price you can afford.
If the domain has a website associated with it, you can often find the owner's contact information on the site. Keep in mind that if the site is well developed, this will probably drive up the domain's value. If there is no website, you can find contact info for the owner at Whois, unless the owner opted for domain privacy.
Author Bio:Greg has been active in the domain registrar industry for almost a decade. He has bought and sold thousands of domains in various industries and frequently blogs about his experiences on registrars at domainraccoon.com .