Acquiring and moving to the perfect domain name
Have you ever thought of switching domain names for your blog or website? With time, money, patience, luck, or a little bit of it all, it may be possible. Here is my story.
The Blog Begins
In 2004 I registered chaynie.com as a domain name that I would eventually use for email and for this blog. I was disappointed that I was not able to get CraigHaynie.com, especially since my name is not really that common.
Just how common is “Craig Haynie” anyway?
Not very. According to HowManyofMe.com (which is the first site I found on Google when searching for “how common is my name”) there are only EIGHT people in the entire country named Craig Haynie, and I am the ONLY one who’s name is Craigory Haynie (Yes, that’s actually my name).
Maybe I can BUY CraigHaynie.com
In 2010, right as I was finally deciding to start this blog, I decided to reach out to the owner of the domain to see if they would be interested in selling. I really didn’t want to be switching domain names down the road and figured there was no harm in reaching out. You never know. I have bought many domains by emailing the owner. (I have a cool/funny domain buy/sell story actually)
Hi Craig Haynie, this is Craig Haynie. 😀
Other than wondering who you are and what you might be like (how could I NOT wonder that?) I wanted to email to see if you might be interested in selling me the domain craighaynie.com. I want to put a blog together, and that domain makes the most sense to me. I have a few others that would do the job but just wanted to check with you first.
The next day, I got a reply:
I’m sorry, but I can’t sell it for less than about $20,000. It means that much to me. I know the site doesn’t have anything on it now, but it has in the past, and I want it for the future.
Wow, this guy thinks like me. I replied:
If I was famous or something I would probably pay you that, but I just wanted a blog. Before even hearing back from you I went ahead and used chaynie.com which I have owned for a long time. It is shorter anyway. : )
That’s a Negative GhostRider
So that was that. I started the blog on chaynie.com. I was content with chaynie.com but in the back of my mind I always thought how awesome it would be to have CraigHaynie.com. The end. Or was it?
One day out of nowhere I got an email from a gmail email address saying CraigHaynie.com was for sale, and to click a link to make an offer.
It turns out, the owner let the domain registration lapse for whatever reason, and it expired. Bingo! My lucky day! Sorta.
On the Auction Block it goes
I started doing some research and found out that apparently most, or all, of the domain registrars use one of about four “domain auction sites” to auction off lapsed domains. In order to have a shot at getting the domain I had to bid, and wait. So, I bid directly on the auction site thus circumventing the person who emailed me who was only playing the middle man.
WInner, winner, chicken dinner
Fortunately for me no one else bid and I was able to win the domain for the minimum bid of $79.00. It took 50 forevers (about three months) to get the domain transferred over to Dotster (my registrar of choice at the time). A lot of the delay was just the process. Some of the delay was me not following up as proactively as perhaps I could have.
Now that all is said and done, I finally own CraigHaynie.com!
Switching domain names from chaynie to CraigHaynie
I’ve been planning to switch the blog from chaynie.com to CraigHaynie.com, and the attention I’ve been paying to the blog because of the Blog Challenge kicked me into gear. I spent about 2 hours yesterday getting it all switched over. Not for the faint of heart. I’ll tell you more about that another day.
So if you have your sights set on the perfect domain name, go after it. If you put it on BackOrder you will be notified when (if) it comes available. Read this thread on Quora for more info on how that process works.