I find that Domain Tools is a good resource to determine the registration information about a domain name (otherwise known as “Whois”). The registration will supply information about the name of the registrant, their address, phone number and email address. It also lets you know who the registrar is for the domain name. If the registration is privacy protected (registrars supply this as a service to protect the identity of the registrant), in Domain Tools you can review the Whois History. Oftentimes, when someone creates the domain, they list their name, address, etc. and then later down the line, they decide to privatize it. But with the Whois History, you can review all the registrations and updates dating back to the creation of the domain.
If the domain is privatized, you can send an email through the registrar that hopefully will get to the true owner. However, if you know the name, etc. of the true owner, you can then do some background on that person to determine if they are “domainer” (someone who owns numerous domains and will often squat on them until they get the right offer to sell), a company with a legitimate business reason for having the domain, a private individual who only owns this domain (Whois will tell you how many domains are affiliated with the registrant’s email address), etc. Knowing this type of information supplies you with information on how to best negotiate buying the domain from the registrant.
To get the Whois History, you need to subscribe to the paid version of Domain Tools, but it’s invaluable.
– Mike Santoni
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