It’s always best to try and find a “virgin” domain name. This way you don’t need to worry about what was there before you bought it. But what if the perfect domain for you is already registered to someone else? Well in that case you have two choices; pick a different name or buy the name from whoever owns it. While this may not always be possible, as in the case of a site such as cars.com or news.com, many times you can buy an existing domain name as long as you do your homework and you have some good negotiating skills. Here’s what you need to know.

When finding a domain name, always go for the .com. They are worth more in the long run. This also means that if you are buying an existing name, you’ll end up paying more for it because it is more valuable.

If you are buying an existing domain name, chances are you’ll be dealing with a domain name broker. These are people who specialize in reselling domain names; much like a realtor sells homes. In fact a domain name is nothing more than online real estate. Just like when buying a home it is important to know how far you are willing to go. While the perfect domain may cost you a million dollars, if you can’t afford to pay for it, then it is best to just walk away and choose a different name.

Once you find a name that you like that is within your budget, it’s time to do some research on the name. One of the first things you should do is do a search for the name with Archive.com. This will give you a screenshot of the site over the years, so that you can see what it was used for. The next place you should check is a site called dogpile.com. Dogpile searches Google, Yahoo, Live and Ask for any references to your website. This will also give you an idea about what the site was previously used for. Next check with Google AdSense to see if the domain has been banned. This would negatively impact your ability to make money from the site with Google AdSense. Yahoo Site Explorer is another site that can help you find information on your prospective site.

Next it’s time to put on your negotiating hat. One of the most important things to remember is to be realistic. You are not going to get a million dollar domain for a thousand dollars. But with careful negotiations you may get it for somewhat less than a million plus some fees.

It’s important to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable broker, since you obviously wouldn’t want to get robbed by someone who claims they have a domain that they don’t have, only to have you hand over a bunch of money. You should also never ask for feedback on a public forum about your prospective purchase either. It may tip someone off that you are looking to buy it and you may lose it.

By following these tips, you may find that you can obtain the domain name that you want at a bargain price.