How do you find an owner?

bluegill

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I posted on a particular name recently but let's keep this general.
A few times each month, a .ca domain I want is not being used and I cannot find the owner.

My strategy:
1. Check the landing page for contact info.
2. Use the CIRA request page, you can send a message to the owner.
3. If still nothing, I use archive.org, the Wayback Machine, to see if contact info might have been posted on the website at one time.

That's it. If none of these work I am dead in the water. If I have a client for the name, I know I will never get what would be a fairly easy broker deal and commission.

Does anyone have other strategies?
Much would apply to .com as well. At least with .ca, we get the help from CIRA, I don't think you can get that with a .com.
 
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MapleDots

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Check every marketplace

GoDaddy
Sedo
Dan
Afternic
Efty
Sav
etc.


Just in case the domain is listed on one of them and there is a contact.


Believe it or not, I recently did this and got a .com I was after.
 
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bluegill

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Thanks Maple!
I will add your idea to my list, I have not tried that.
I forgot to mention Whois.com or my favorite the whois at Dynadot. Most have very little info, just "Privacy".
Does Verisign do anything to help find a .com?
 

MapleDots

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bluegill said:
Does Verisign do anything to help find a .com?

Absolutely...

First thing is you look at the nameservers because that will reveal (in most cases) what marketplace the domain may be listed at.

For instance godaddy uses: nsXX.domaincontrol.com

If a domain does not resolve knowing the nameservers can help you pinpoint the owner.

I know I have seen domains not resolve and when I looked at the nameservers I recognized them from a member here.
 
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Spex

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I've found doing a search on social media (twitter, instagram, facebook, linkedin) for the domain name in quotes sometimes yields results
 

FM

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bluegill said:
Does Verisign do anything to help find a .com?

Not directly beyond what [notify]MapleDots[/notify] mentioned. Verisign actually doesn't have the data about the owner. It is held by the registrar and the data escrow provider only as the registry operates as a so-called "thin registry" without having the whois data. That was supposed to change, but the change was postponed when GDPR came into force.
 

GeorgeK

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You can also check the WHOIS history at DomainTools, etc., to see if the info was ever public in the past.
 
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MaiTaiMan

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This challenge is one of the main reasons end-user buyer clients hire domain buyer brokers like yours truly. Domainers, by nature, can be pretty good at doing domain name research, but Joe Public is not. This is also why many domainers end up doing informal (or even formal) buyer broker work for friends and colleagues; domainers know some of the places to look for good intel to track down a mystery owner.

At my brokerage, if we have tried every (legal and ethical) trick in our book, and still don't know who the owner is, we sometimes use the services of a licensed Private Investigator to dig up clues using the special access to databases they have. It's amazing what a good P.I. can dig up about people! Process Servers and Skip Tracers are also good at finding and reaching people who are difficult to find. I recently used a Process Server to hand deliver an offer letter to a domain owner that was ghosting us for months.

Never a dull moment in this line of work, LOL.
 
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