Domains By Proxy, LLC (DomainsByProxy.com) may be one of the most prolific domain registrants. Domains By Proxy isn’t actually the owner of most domain names registered to the entity. Domains By Proxy, LLC is the Whois privacy service operated by GoDaddy.
Customers of GoDaddy who do not want their contact information shown on a public Whois record may use Domains By Proxy as the Registrant Name for an additional fee. By using Domains by Proxy, a domain registrant’s name, email address, phone number, mailing address, and other private contact details are not shown in Whois lookups. Earlier this year, GoDaddy began offering Whois privacy by default on most new registrations and inbound domain transfers, but some people still pay to use this service.
Someone messaged me on LinkedIn to ask how they can buy a domain name registered to Domains by Proxy. There is no longer a default email address to contact the buyer as there once was. For instance, the Domains by Proxy email for this blog would be [email protected] GoDaddy recently removed this email address from Whois records. This leaves three ways to contact a registrant that has chosen Whois privacy at GoDaddy.
1) Visit the domain name and see if there is a way to contact the registrant. If the domain name is developed, forwards to another domain name, or has contact information listed on the website, a prospective buyer can contact the registrant or website operator to inquire about the domain name.
2) Use the contact form on the GoDaddy Whois lookup page to contact the registrant. GoDaddy only has a few drop-down message options. When I wrote about the GoDaddy Whois contact form previously, GoDaddy has an option related to buying a domain name. This option has subsequently been removed, likely to drive people to option 3 below.
3) Use GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service to submit an offer. The list cost is $69.99 plus a 20% commission if the domain name is successfully acquired.
Bonus: Hire an independent domain broker who may be able to use historical Whois records to track down the contact information of a domain registrant. This may only work if the Whois record was previously public and owned by the same registrant.
Some people use Whois privacy because they do not want to be contacted by anyone. They have no interest in being solicited or otherwise emailed. A domain registrant who use Domains by Proxy may not respond to any inquiry, but I think these are the best 3 ways to contact someone who uses Whois privacy at GoDaddy.