Can someone buy my domain name under me?

By now, just about every web owner out there is aware of the fact that domain name sales can mean huge business. However, since by now all of the really valuable domains are already owned and accounted for, domain flippers also need to learn to be opportunists. Not everyone with a really choice domain on their hands is going to want to sell, after all. Even more are simply looking to make quick money.

That said, many people have learned to wait for valuable domains to expire, snap them up before the original owner has a chance to renew, and then try to sell it back to them for an astronomical amount of money. Obviously, they are hoping that the original owner of the domain will want it back so badly that they’re willing to pay absolutely anything.

So what do you do if this happens to you? What are your options and which one of them is the best? How can you increase your chances of being successful?

Be Mindful

Naturally, the new owner of your domain is going to hope that you find out it’s gone and panic. They’re hoping you’re willing to do (and pay) anything in order to have it back. However, it’s important to be mindful, because you most likely will hear from the person that bought your domain out from under you with an offer to sell it back to you… for a price, of course.

While you’re certainly within your rights to do as the person wishes and purchase your domain back for the price they’re asking, it’s important to understand that this is probably not the best decision. They will almost certainly want an exorbitant rate for it. Remember, some people make their entire livings this way!

Wait It Out

Many people also choose to play the waiting game when it comes to their domain name. Not everyone who makes the decision to snap up a domain name the second it expires will actually bother to keep renewing it into the future.

That said, you can simply fail to respond to the new owner’s attempts to sell your domain back to you, hope they decide you’re not really interested in it, and see if they let it expire. If and when they do, you can simply buy it back yourself and take care not to let it expire again next time.

Back Order the Domain Name

If you choose to go the “wait it out” route, you can always decide to backorder the domain name. This will be an easy way to make sure you get first dibs on your domain should it become available again. However, it may not be as cost-effective as simply keeping an eye on the domain and hoping to get your hands on it more quickly next time.

Pursue the Domain

Property TheftIf you have reason to believe that the person or company that purchased your domain obtained it in bad faith, then you may be able to get it back via legal means.  Just be aware that you will have to be able to prove that this is the case.

Also be aware that this option won’t be available to you if your domain expired because you yourself allowed it to do so. It is perfectly legal for someone to purchase a domain that has been legitimately allowed to become available. In order to prove that your domain was acquired in bad faith, you would have to be able to prove it was purchased as a prank or because of something personal the new buyer might have against you.

In the event you decide to go with this solution, you can file a dispute and begin the process. However, you should be aware in advance that it may cost you moneywise… but those who have the means to continue fighting may prefer that to simply paying the new owner what they are asking for the domain.

It goes without saying that it’s distressing to lose a domain that you’ve poured a lot of time and energy into. However, it’s definitely not the end of the world. Just be sure to remain calm and to think through any decision you make before you decide how to act.