A couple of months ago I was looking for domain names related to my business. Not that I’m not happy with my current one, it’s just that I was trying to get away from the email address that never ends.

So I hopped over to GoDaddy and started searching.

Already registered . . .

Already registered . . .

Already registered . . .

If you’ve ever searched for a domain name, you know just how frustrating it is to try to find one. Particularly when 90% of the domains you check out are registered by squatters.

On a fluke, I just happened to do a WHOIS look up on one that was already registered. The registrant was Network Solutions. I thought it was a little odd and was wondering if it was in a redemption period.

So I went to the Network Solutions web site and looked up the same domain. It was listed as available.

They were kiting the domain name I wanted!

Domain Kitingwas coined in 2006 by Bob Parsons, CEO and Founder of GoDaddy.com. What is it? There is a more detailed description on Bob Parson’s blog, but in a nutshell unethical registrars commandeer the use of domain names without paying for them.

So because Network Solutions had a hold on the domain name, I had to go through them to register it when I should have been able to go to the registrar of my choice. Their registration fee is $34.95 per year to GoDaddy.com’s $9.95.

Here are a few tips if you are looking for a domain name:

  1. Use an ethical registrar to search for availability.
  2. Look up the WHOIS registrant data. If it looks like it is held by a registrar, go to their web site and see if it is listed as available.
  3. Visit the web site to see if there is an actual site up.
  4. If you absolutely love the name, consider a domain buy agent to make an offer to buy the domain.