How to Contact Domain Name Owners via WHOIS

Rob Monster (CEO of Epik.com) started an interesting thread on NamePros about the impact of WHOIS in a GDPR world.

For those that don’t know, GDPR is General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union which imposes that registrars hide private information of domain name registrants. Private information like name, telephone number and email address is no longer publicly visible. Or is it?

Naturally, domain owners hoping to be contacted via WHOIS data started to worry. This is because it meant that potential buyers would not know how to reach them anymore.

One of the major problems with public WHOIS was that spammers were able to use bots (automated coded scripts) to scrape that private data and spam the owners by phone, email, and snail mail. GDPR got rid of that issue so queue applause, please. I still receive spam email for renewals on domains I haven’t owned for years.

However, what do you do if you want to contact a domain name owner to inquire whether the domain is open to a sale?

Fortunately there is still a way. For example, we posted earlier how to contact domain owners of the Canadian ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) that end with the .CA extension.

Each ccTLD authority is different. But here we will discuss contacting owners of domains ending with the crown jewel of domain extensions, DOT COM.

Typically, when you search WHOIS for a specific domain you get something like this:

You will notice there is a link to the actual WHOIS data at GoDaddy: https://www.godaddy.com/whois/results.aspx?domain=dnplaybook.com

Copy and paste the link into your browser’s address bar. Once you get past the human check, you will see all the unredacted WHOIS information.

Now, in the example we use GoDaddy. Other registrars can be different. Some link to a contact form to send a direct email to the domain owner. Some don’t seem to work. I don’t know the reason why. Could be they are too busy with other items and find that facilitating contacting the domain owner is not a priority. So if you are a domain owner and want people to contact you through WHOIS data, check with your registrar how this is handled. Also, I recommend you have a sales page on your domains.

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