Hey everyone, I hope this is in the right section :).
I'm currently developing my coaching/personal development business from a modified blog over at Wordpress. I actually really enjoy the format, and have gotten productive tips from some members of this community on service pricing and layout.
At any rate, my current domain is www.tlanecoaching.com. It's okay for what it is now, but I'd really like to not limit myself to just coaching -- eventually the goal is to do speaking, writing, all the good stuff that has heavy tie-ins with coaching. Really, I want to be a "personal development expert," whether I'm interacting in-person, via book, or on stage.
All that to say, I want to just buy www.travislane.com. I love the simplicity and the lack of confinement to one discipline. Here's where my problem begins. The domain is registered. Not so bad, it doesn't look like it's in use for anything productive. So I used a whois tool (at domaintools.com if it makes a difference) and found out that the domain owner registered via 1and1 private registration. I've been in contact with 1and1 several times, and tried to email through them to the domain owner, but I've gotten no response from either after a number of emails.
I considered trying to use the godaddy.com Domain Buy service, but the price concerns me. It's $70 plus commission and if I'm reading it right, no real guarantee that they'll land me the site (or even get through the private registration company). Even if they do get through, I know domains can be worth thousands of dollars, and while I'm comfortable with paying a little bit to obtain this site, I'm by no means a cash cow.
What should I do?
Thanks so much for any help!
Maybe you could add something like "I Am" or "The" in front of your name. IamTravisLane.com and THETravisLane.com are available. Just a suggestion. I don't see how they can do much if the registrar has chosen to remain anonymous, but I've never tried any such service before. If I paid for private registration and then was contacted like that, I'd probably be irritated.
This is a longer term solution, but I bought a domain for my wife (forthcoming blog yet to launch), simply by waiting for the unused registration to expire...I checked in at GoDaddy about every week or so and voila, it wasn't renewed and now its mine.
What about the posibility of adding your middle initial? That would differentiate you until (if) the other domain becomes available. Since the other domain isn't built out, you could ensure that the seo content on your site is focused on your name, which would cause you to show up higher in the search results.
Since you have reached out and not received any feedback at all I think it may be an indication that the owner isn't interested in selling and wouldn't spend the $$ on a domain buy service who may or may not get through to the owner. Even if they do, as you expressed, the owner could ask a ridiculous amount. I agree with the ideas below to think of a variation of the URL that you like such as adding a hypen betweeen the first and last name or an extra "s" in the middle. Good luck!
It appears that travlislane.com and travislane.info are the only ones taken. I would go with a .net or .org (or even a .me) if you want to have a central place for your work and then spread it out to other domains for other services. I currently have .co, .com, and .me, among others, for different projects.
The Domain Buy service is expensive for no guarantee especially when you can do the process yourself like you have tried.
Just as a side note, personaldevelopmentexpert is available in many extensions. It is a long name though but thought I would throw it out there.
Hey everyone, I wanted to stop by to give an update and tell everyone thanks for the advice =).
I actually managed to get in personal contact with the domain owner, who said they were interested in selling the domain. I asked what price they were shooting for and didn't get a response, so I offered a low price (ie something in my price range), to which they simply said they would hold on to the domain.
I went ahead and purchased www.travisalane.com since domains are cheap enough, and that's now serving as the primary site. Again, since it's cheap, I'll hold on to that and www.tlanecoaching.com until further notice.
At the very least, I know the owner is interested in selling and from the email I inferred they're probably not going to use the domain for anything productive. So I think looking forward, now that I have a personal contact, I'll probably continue contacting them at regular (but politely spaced) intervals of 6 months to 1 year.
Maybe if they sit for a couple of weeks they will send a counter offer back your way. Wish you the best on getting the name you want!