- See whether a name is registered by using a service such as GoDaddy.com, NetworkSolutions.com, or DomainTools.com.
- If someone owns the name, go to the site Whois.net to find out whatever information is publicly available about a URL's owner.
- Use a personal e-mail account to contact the owner; sellers tend to expect a business to pay more than an individual for a URL.
- Pricing is tough. For a niche term, don't pay more than $5,000. Names with obvious commercial appeal will cost a lot more.
- Hang tight. To replenish the supply of URLs, ICANN, the governing body of domain names, plans a series of industry-related suffixes.