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How to Grab an Expiring Domain Name

How to Grab an Expiring Domain NameYears ago, when domain names expired they would drop, or become available for hand registration by anyone. Whoever was the quickest to register a dropped domain would be the new registrant. That is how many of the largest domainers, like Frank Schilling, built their enormous portfolios.

Today, the story is different. Domain name registrars realized that they could auction expired domain names to the highest bidder and generate additional revenue. If no one wanted the domain names in an auction, the domains would then drop and become available for anyone to register. Much of the time, however, domain names are successfully auctioned.

Because auctioning domain names is not the core competency of most domain name registrars, they partner with an auction house.

When Domain Names Are Auctioned

A domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be listed at an auction service (see FAQ for exception to this rule). The domain name does not immediately go into auction, but is immediately listed on the partnered auction service with an auction scheduled for the near future. Such a domain name will be exclusive to that specific auction service.

For example: If the domain name is registered with Moniker (the registrar) and the domain name reaches expired status, within a few days of expiring the domain name will be listed at (auction house partner to Moniker). Domain names are exclusive to one auction service, as an auction cannot take place at two locations.

Joining the Domain Name Auction

If you – as a business owner, entrepreneur or webmaster – want to register a domain name that is about to expire, the procedure to follow for the best chance of purchasing the domain name is outlined below.

1. Determine the Domain Name Registrar

Most major domain name registrar have an exclusive auction partner. In order to determine the auction partner, you first need to figure out who the domain name registrar is.

The domain name registrar for a domain name can be determined through a WHOIS lookup. Take, for instance, If you wanted to purchase this domain name, you can visit and find out that the domain name registrar is Moniker (see figure below).

How to Grab an Expiring Domain Name

Sample Results from WHOIS Lookup

2. Determine the Auction Partner

Once you know the name of the registrar, you can look up the exclusive auction partner using the table below.

There are three major auction houses:

  1. Go Daddy Auctions (
  2. NameJet (
  3. SnapNames(
Domain Name Registrar Auction House Partner
BigRock [3] Go Daddy Auctions
Go Daddy
Wild West Domains
Public Domain Registry [3]
Ascio Technologies NameJet [1]
Network Solutions (NetSol)
Melbourne IT
Tucows [2]
1&1 Internet None
Bulk Register SnapNames [1]
NameScout Pool

[1] On April 11, 2016, SnapNames (owned by and NameJet (partnership between and Rightside) combined resources on pending delete/dropping domains to better compete with other drop catching services. Going forward, backorders placed on either platform for pending delete names will go into a common backorder pool and will be fulfilled either by NameJet or SnapNames depending on which platform the backorder was placed. Pending delete names that have multiple backorders will be placed in a common private auction accessible to bidders from both platforms to participate in the live auction. Minimum bid increments and proxy bidding rules for NameJet will be modified to match those of SnapNames. Registrar expiry, and direct lister inventory will not be affected by this integration.
[2] Tucows Sending Expiry Inventory to NameJet, May 4, 2017.
[3] Another major registrar is sending expired domains to GoDaddy, November 22, 2016.

Always track your expiring domain name at the auction house that is partnered with the registrar on record for that domain. It is your best chance of acquiring the domain name.

Note that expired domain names at registrar resellers, such as through the Go Daddy Reseller Program, will be auctioned at the same auction house partner of the registrar.

3. Play the Odds

If you fancy yourself a gambler, you can take your chances that no bids will be placed, wait for the domain name to drop, and hand register it for about $10 at any number of domain name registrars.

But unless the domain name you want is undesirable to anyone else (e.g., it does not include real words or have a high search volume for the words), the odds are not in your favor. With over 210 million domain names registered and an active, worldwide domain name investing community, it is highly likely that someone else will also find interest in the domain name you are watching. As such, skip to Step 4.

4. Backorder/Bid on the Domain Name

If you really want the domain name, place a backorder at the appropriate auction house before the domain hits the expired date of the registration (or before the end of the “expired period“, which can vary between registrars from zero to 45 days).

A backorder allows you to monitor a domain name status and be notified of the start of an auction. To place a domain name backorder or bid, you will first need to sign up for an account at the auction partner you identified in Step 2.

Not sure how much to bid? Start by learning how to value generic domain names.

If the domain name has already expired and has not gone to auction at the partner auction service, then you will need to use a drop catching (backorder) service.

Frequently Asked Questions About Auction House Partners

Question: Shouldn’t I bid on the domain name at all the advertised drop catching services, like and others?

Answer: No. While this was the best process years ago, today most major domain name registrars are exclusively partnered with one auction house. As a result, the domain name will either sell at the partner auction house or be dropped.

If a domain name is dropped, then a drop catching service like will work fine. At, you only pay if they are successful at catching your domain name. But if you are going to pay $60 for to catch it, why not just go to the auction and bid on the domain name – you will have a better chance of obtaining it.

Question: The domain name I want is not expiring for a while. Can I enter an auction bid now?

Answer: Many auction sites will allow you to backorder the domain name for free. Follow the process above to find the domain name registrar and auction partner site. Then sign up for an account at the auction partner site and enter a backorder. But remember, the domain name may transfer to another registrar at some point so refer to Step 1 above periodically.

Alternatively, you can monitor a domain name for free at a number of locations. offers a free domain name monitor tool, as does (both available with free member registration). Once you receive an email notification that a domain has changed status from active to expired, you can follow the process listed above to enter a bid at the auction partner site.

Question: Are there exceptions to the rules and processes listed above?

Answer: Yes. For a vast majority of domain names that expire (greater than 99%+), the rules and processes listed above are valid. However, there appear to be exceptions to these rules. For example, registrars “warehouse” or take for their own domain name portfolios some domain names, and other domain names a renewed even past their expired or redemption periods. In addition, there is at least one registrar that does not have an auction partner, allowing expired domain names to simply drop and be available for hand register.

Question: I like the original creation date (1995) of a particular domain name I am watching. Will it be maintained if I buy the domain name in auction?

Answer: Domain names that sell through auction partners will maintain their original creation date. Domain names that go Pending Delete or Pending Deletion, will have a creation date that coincides with when the domain is next registered.

Question: What is the auction house for TLDS, LLC DBA SRSPLUS?

Answer: If you search “srsplus” you’ll find the registrar at Visiting that site, it says (under their logo) that they’re powered by Network Solutions. Knowing that, you can just look at to see who Network Solutions uses as their auction partner.

If you *really* want to be sure the auction partner is NameJet (because it’s a name you cannot afford to lose in the drop), you can email the technical support team at SRSPLUS and ask them if they follow the same expiration/auction procedures as Network Solutions. Be specific and ask, “Will the domain name, (fill in), expire and be available for auction on as the process is listed at”

Question: Can you tell me how I can find the auction house for

Answer: Unfortunately not. There are about 1,000 ICANN-accredited domain name registrars around the world. Most do not have an auction partner; it’s only the largest registrars that do.

To find out if has an auction partner, you will need to contact technical support and ask them if they have an auction partner for expired domain names such that you can follow the procedures listed at to register the domain name (fill in).

Question: Can I contact the registrar and negotiate to buy the domain name directly?

Answer: Registrars are not set-up to negotiate the selling price of expiring domain names. Their technical support team likely won’t even know what you’re referring to, let alone who to refer your inquiry to. It’s likely your offer won’t even be worth their time to handle. Unless you know the founder, president or chief operating officer of the registrar, you won’t even be able to have a dialogue about it. In addition, depending on how they interpret the ICANN registrar rules, it may not even be possible.

Question: So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?

Answer: If the domain name fully expires and then “drops”, your best chance of registering it is to use one or more of these automated domain name backorder services.

What did I miss, get incorrect or need to clarify? Please tell me in the comments below.

[Peer review thanks: Justin Godfrey]
[Photo credit: banky177]

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301 Responses to “How to Grab an Expiring Domain Name”

  1. kidsweapon says:

    I searched but unable to find the answer of my question. Suppose I want to Bid on a domain on godaddy auction

    I bid for $500, but the max bid by anyone is $250. On winning, am i going to pay $500 or $255.

    Is there any procedure to know what is the max bid placed by someone?

  2. Dot Vote says:

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  3. Charli says:

    Either this question will shed some light on this process or ill just never know- either way- here goes, My band name is taken by HugeDomains registrar.
    I was trying to build our website- we have been a band for years but just used other hosting sites to promote. Anyway- the site is charging $2500 for our name, “Traveling Squirrels”
    It says the registration expires in October of 2023. Is there a way to get this domain at more balanced rate ? or should i just use a secondary name (.net / .me etc.) Im sure their setup could be on some “auto renew”. I Went to godaddy for the backorder and they just sent me back to the website to buy direct. Just looking to understand the gouging a little more – I have sent the main holder an email, hoping to negotiate something since were not in the position to pay 2500 for a domain name at this time.

  4. Very informative indeed.. One question, while bidding for an expired domain, is there any method to check the actual worth of that domain????

    1. Rumer says:

      Sure, there is a mothod:
      1. You need to check the website metrics in Majestic
      2. You need to check the domain name at
      3. You need to manually check some backlinks

  5. Manish Dangi says:

    Very informative indeed. One question, while bidding for an expired domain, is there any method to check the actual worth of that domain?

  6. Asad Arain says:

    Very informative indeed. One question, while bidding for an expired domain, is there any method to check the actual worth of that domain?

  7. Today, the story is different. Domain name registrars realized that they could auction expired domain names to the highest bidder and generate additional revenue.

  8. Care of Paws says:

    Thank you so much, Recently I’m thinking to buy a expiry domain but have no idea how can i do it. this blog help me so much.

  9. Lyricsremark says:

    I got this domain with the help of your article.

  10. finally found something that i need..thank you!

  11. Very informative indeed. One question, while bidding for an expired domain, is there any method to check the actual worth of that domain?

  12. Jubin says:

    Thank You for helping us with this article. It helped me get an expired domain.

  13. Me Bro says:

    I also wanted an expiring domain. Thank You for the help.

  14. tom latham says:

    Really good information provided by this website. I really love this one.

  15. John Melan says:

    Amazing post. I loved this information

  16. uwatchfree says:

    Very good article. I’m experiencing a few of these issues as well..

  17. ilyas says:

    great post . got some nice informations

  18. Nisha says:

    Amazing Article!! This is really informative and knowledgeable for us, so thank you for sharing this information with us, it will really work. Love Your Blog.

  19. ilyas says:

    nice post. got to know amazing information

  20. Luke says:

    Nice informative post. Using expired domain help to get success easily.
    Thanks for sharing such a great post on this topic.

  21. ranjit says:

    Really, thanks for this information. Expired domain is really good for to start new site with authority.

  22. Shahin Hosen says:

    thanks for the information

  23. If anyone like to create a new blog or website, i will definitely recommend to choose a clean expired domain rather then creating with a new domain.

  24. Technewsgk says:

    nice information sir good knowladge for user

  25. rahul thakur says:

    very informative article..thanks for sharing with us

  26. khabri says:

    Never knew that someone will ever talk about this topic over domain auctions. For some of the people, it did act as an Exploitation as well, it was good to know about the real picture after all

    1. Ganafm says:

      5 tips for buying and selling domain names for profit
      Here are some tips to get you pointed in the right direction when trying to buy or sell a domain name for profit:

      1. Narrow your focus.
      2. Find names that offer real value.
      3. Check domain availability.
      4. Evaluate the price.
      5. Get your domains front and center.

  27. Expiring domains with high metrics are great to start a new website or a PBN. I prefer Godaddy auction to buy expiring domains. Thanks for sharing.

  28. status shop says:

    This information is so amazing for beginners

  29. yourpc soft says:

    Never knew that someone will ever talk about this topic over domain auctions. For some of the people, it did act as an Exploitation as well, it was good to know about the real picture after all.
    regards yourpcsoft team.

  30. Ibrahim Shah says:

    thanks for the information’s which I was looking for

  31. John says:

    Amazing and great content. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I noticed that the list of registrars doesn’t include eName Technology Co., Ltd. from China and they have many coveted domains. Is there a reason for this?

  33. Prakash says:

    Thanks for this information

  34. karthik says:

    is there any way to check seo issues with expired domains?

  35. which domain is best for seo .com or .net?

  36. Very informative indeed. One question, while bidding for an expired domain, is there any method to check the actual worth of that domain?

  37. Mostmags says:

    Sir if we redirect expire domain to our main domain it can help for search engine ranking?

  38. Lyrics says:

    I want an expired domain . Help Please

  39. hello sir i want to ask a question. what happens if domain auction finishes without any bid?
    for example, i want to register a domain –> but it is a premium domain which cost is $ 2999 and i also checked the Nemchep auction house for this but no one want to buy this or no one bid on this and this domain expiration date is 7 sep 2018 .. so what happens with this domain after its expiration date if no one bid on it?

  40. Manish Dangi says:

    Very informative thanks for sharing this knowledge!!!

  41. Help me to get a free .com domain.

  42. Mohan Bhatt says:

    This information is so amazing for beginners

  43. omk says:

    i want when it expird tell me sir please

  44. Thanks for the information mate. Keep up the good work.

  45. Naa Songs says:

    I was thinking to buy an expired domain but I was unable to find the right path. Thanks for the article.

  46. Asad says:

    Very informative thanks for sharing this knowledge!!!

  47. rao says:

    Thanks so much for this information it really helped me a lot as i was finding difficulty in grabbing these domains.

  48. Thank you for this article.. Keep up the good work:)

  49. Abhi says:

    Thanks for the informative blog. It’s definitely of a great help

  50. Lyrics Temp says:

    I was thinking to buy an expired domain but I was unable to find the right path. Thanks for the article.

  51. Where should I check for a .io domain name?

    Please Reply

    1. You can check this extension in godaddy

  52. Anita says:

    where i check domain name

  53. GRIK says:

    THis Helped Me alot Thanks

  54. Manish Dangi says:

    Thank you for this article..much i can grab a domain name easily.

    1. Is there any website which shows list of recently expired domains and i am find one domain i hope i will buy that

  55. FX Posts says:

    It’s really bad when domain expire and get them back. Some time its impossible to get back expire domain because of auction and other issues.

  56. expiredomains site is best for expired domain ?

  57. Prakash says:

    Thank you for this information ….
    Advance SEO DoFollow Backlinks –

  58. lyricstry says:

    I found a .com Domain I hope u available soon

  59. Lyrics Wala says:

    can you provide some more sites where I can get to know about expire Domain and their DA and PA?

  60. Lyricsmio says:

    I have a query. Do free domains like .ooo and .tk worth it?

  61. Prakash says:

    Its really very helpful information

  62. Steve says:

    Informative article, but SEO marketers should know a lot more before they can, and if they ever would hunt expired domains for themselves.

    This is not an easy job and it requires experience and funds.

    That’s the very reason why expired domain selling services like exist where you can purchase instantly pre-vetted, auction domains for affordable price.

  63. mp3lyrics says:

    where i check domain name

  64. Arijit Singh says:

    Is there any website which shows list of recently expired domains?

  65. Very informative thanks for sharing this knowledge!!!

  66. David says:

    Hy… very informative and very much helpful especially for beginners. It will save there precious time and help to work in the right direction. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  67. Moshin Ali says:

    Hi.. Thanks so much for this information it really helped me a lot as i was finding difficulty in grabbing these domains.

  68. Usman says:

    Thanks for this informative article. It actually saves me from a lot of pain as i was searching expired domains for quite sometime. Very helpful surely gonna do things as described.

  69. Where should i check for a .ooo domain name?

    Please Reply

  70. Joe says:

    Nice article. Learned a lot from this one. Thanks!

  71. Smart says:

    Hi. Thanks for the concise write up. If there is one thing i have learned here, is that, it is not necesary to bid on a domain name at all the advertised drop catching services. Prior to this, most of the advice on the internet has been that one should do the opposite. That is, bid on many of the drop catching services in order to have a chance of getting the domain. Your reason for not doing this is most plausible.
    Good article.

  72. David says:

    I have the domain and the registrar is holding it hostage until it expires so they can take it. I have paid yearly for it since 2015. How do I get them to let go so I can transfer it?

  73. Thank you for the very informative article.

  74. emily says:

    Good Post! Thank you so much for sharing this pretty article.

  75. Cicero says:

    Thank you for the very informative article.

  76. Toseef Nawaz says:

    Very informative i was actually searching for an expired domain for sometime but don’t know about the above mentioned facts that i have to take care of. Now i will surely follow the instructions given above thanks.

  77. Juggle Jack says:

    Nice info about domain expired
    I’m still learning how to buy the expired domain, thanks for this article

  78. Name says:

    Thank you for the very informative article. Factual and unbiased.

  79. Osaid says:

    This is informative article about finding expire domain, i use register compass and found it very very useful because it has columns to find your desire domain with metrics. Thanks

  80. Thanks for the awesome info !!

    but before backorder how I can filtered the list of pre-release or pending delete list of domain ??

    list is about 70-80k …. how i can analyze this big list ??

  81. Mike Cole says:


    I really had no ideas about expired domains. Now I have understood the value of these expired domains and will give a shot to it now.


  82. Thank you for sharing the wonderful info. about how to grab the expired domain names. Its been really useful for blogger like mine.. Keep up the good work.

  83. Zaekyt says:

    You can check here for quality expired domain

  84. Very helpful content.
    Appreciated your work.

    Thank you.

  85. pankaj says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for providing this detailed post..I was not much aware about expired domain and now I can say …I know something. You have written very detailed and explanatory post.

  86. artistD says:

    Hi, I purchased a .org domain in a Godaddy auction, actually the closeout auction so it had been renewable and then available as a closeout after 36 days. I purchased the closeout domain because I was thinking of using it as a catchy anagram. I instead offered it to the Trademarked company to purchase for a nice sum of money, and now they are threatening to file legal action against me for “Domain Squatting” saying that I purchased it in bad faith. etc… The way I see it, is it was available for them to renew for 26 days, and if it was not owned by them they had a window of 10 days to purchase the name before I did in the regular auction. What’s your thoughts on this?

    1. Hi artistD,

      It sounds like you should consult an attorney for legal advice. I am not an attorney.

      Here are some great attorneys:

      Good luck,

  87. S says:

    Hi Michael, thanks for the excellent writeup. I followed your steps and found that the domain name I’m seeking is currently registered with GoDaddy. Interestingly enough, I actually owned this domain name almost a decade ago, but out of laziness (at the time), I didn’t renew the registration. Someone else snatched it around the same time and has had it since. The website is dormant, with only an embedded video playlist from a YouTube account last updated over a year ago. The website itself hasn’t changed in appearance for several years.

    The DomainTools website indicates that this domain will expire in July 2017. But when I type in the domain name on GoDaddy Auctions, it doesn’t show up at all. Am I doing something wrong?

    Also, I currently have two other domains that are registered with Squarespace, and I have their annual payments set up automatically so I never have to manually pay (and so nobody else gets that window of opportunity to take the domain away from me). Would it be possible that the owner of this domain might just have a similar system in place and that I might be wasting my time?

    I’d love to hear your advice. Thanks again!

    1. Hi S,

      Glad you found benefit from the information I outlined above.

      GoDaddy auctions expired domain names before they go to Pending Delete status, because they try to sell it and transfer it before it expires and is available to any other registrar to grab. That way they keep it at their registrar.

      See They start it in auction listings after it expires and before pending delete. I don’t know the exact dates, but if you monitor it you’ll see it go from auction, to closeout, to drop. You’ll need an account (I believe $5 per year) to bid and buy.

      It is very possible that the owner has a recurring payment in place, or that the owner renews after it expires. Because GoDaddy gives a redemption period like all registrar, many domain name investors will actually allow their domains to go through auction to see what the “market value” is of a domain name and THEN renew it. It sucks if you’re the buyer thinking you won the auction. It happens often, unfortunately.

      The only thing you an do is be prepared, monitor it regularly, bid, win and hope.

      Good luck!


  88. Sig says:

    Great article, I wanted to know more about this, thank you.

  89. Rob says:

    Much obliged Michael. Extremely supportive data. I have been reached by their specialists and need to pitch it to me for $3500. It just stays there and is not a high esteemed area name. Simply my name. I needed it for quite a long time, however not willing to fork out that sort of cash. Was truly trusting I could catch it consistently when it lapses.

  90. Komal says:


    My domain at 1&1 expired, I hadn’t realized it as it had kept renewing for almost a decade. They sent it to GoDaddy which put up a 60 day auction.

    Is that normal?

    There’s no demand, so I’m simply going to wait for it to return to the pool rather than pay the absurd $500 fee for a domain that nobody else wants.

    1. Hi Komal,

      As identified in the table above, 1&1 does not have an auction partner so without knowing the domain name I cannot investigate and figure out what happened in your specific case or recommend what you should do.

      I hope you get the domain name.


  91. Jim Pearce says:

    The domain I want that is about to expire is registered with According to your table above, there is no auction house associated. What are my options in trying to register this domain on expiration. For the last several years I have tried to capture it on the date it expires, but never have had the opportunity.

    1. Hi Jim,

      If the current registrant renews it either prior to expiration or post-expiration (some registrars allow this with or without an extra fee), then there’s nothing you can do.

      If it goes through the expiration life cycle (, then follow step 4. “Backorder/Bid on the Domain Name” above.

      Your other option is to contact them directly or via a third-party (like to inquire about purchasing the domain name.

      Good luck to you.


      1. Jim Pearce says:

        Thanks Michael. Very helpful information. I have been contacted by their agents and want to sell it to me for $3500. It just sits there, and is not a high valued domain name. Just my name. I wanted it for years, but not willing to fork out that kind of money. Was really hoping I could capture it every year when it expires.

        1. Hi Jim,

          My pleasure.

          You can counter offer for what you would be willing to pay. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

          Or you can just wait them out. If it’s owned by an investor, they may wait until last minute to renew every year just in case someone comes along to purchase it. That’s a typical standard operating process.

          Best wishes,

  92. chelo says:

    Thank’s man great article

  93. laurence says:

    Hi Michael! Such a great article!
    I realise though I am confused about backordering vs. auctions.

    I registered for backordering with GoDaddy last year, as i saw goddady was the registar of the domain i wanted. However when the deadline for renewal came, i got a message the expiration date had changed to expire… well, a year later, i.e. now in 4 days. How can the expiration date be postponed? Was that the registrant renewed? does that mean the domain never becomes available and never goes to auction?
    I am wondering what my next step should be for what happens in 4 days: do i backorder? do i become a godaddy auctions member and try and get it from there? and if all fails, i approach a broker after 70 days or so?

    1. Hi Laurence,

      The same thing happens to me all the time on domain names I’m tracking to register when they expire.

      Without knowing the domain name you’re interested in and investigating the specifics of it, I’ll assume it’s the same situation I face.

      Some registrants will wait for the domain expiration date to pass, see if it goes to auction and then if it gets interest or bids then renew it knowing it has value. Most registrars will give a registrant a grace period past the expiration date to renew the domain name, sometimes with a cost and sometimes without a cost.

      If the domain name is at GoDaddy and you want it, you can put in a backorder and forget about it. GoDaddy will honor their backorders (placed at before allowing it to drop — should it ever expire.

      Or you can just add a calendar reminder and do a whois lookup every year to track it.

      Or you can contact the owner and ask if they’re willing to sell it. Do a whois lookup to find their contact information.

      Or you can hire a domain name broker ( to acquire it on your behalf. Most reputable brokers will need about a $1,000+ fee to make it worth their time for outreach, negotiation, etc. so if the domain is valued at, say, $2,500, you should pursue it yourself.

      Best of luck to you in your pursuit,

  94. jeux complet says:

    Great Article.It will help many people get into the domain game.

  95. Kevin says:

    Hi Michael

    This is such a helpful article so thank you!

    I was wondering whether you know who is 1&1’s auction partner. I can’t seem to find it online.


  96. Nick says:

    Hello Mr Michael Cyger,

    Thank you for a very informative article. I am still a bit confused on a couple of things. There is a domain that I have been looking to purchase for about a year now and it expires within the next 24 hours. It is with and appears for backorder at snapnames but not at namejet. I am assuming this is because they are both connected auction houses?

    Should I be waiting until the final hour to backorder on snapnames or is there a certain time period before it expires that I need to backorder by?

    Also, when the domain expires then the waiting period to hope the owner doesn’t renew it is 45 days by so would I be waiting on backorder for those 45 days plus an additional 2 weeks or so for the redemption period and then finally the backorder would process thru(assuming mine is the only one)?

    1. Hi Nick, and NameJet are partners, so if you put in a backorder prior to the deadline, then they’ll grab it for you. If you look at the notes, you’ll see SnapNames and NameJet are partnered and a backorder placed at one location acts on both platforms, but I’d go with NameJet if I were you.

      Visit but replace “” with your desired domain name.

      If it’s not too late, you will see a “closing time” listed, like in this:

      Make sure to get your bid in before the deadline.

      If it’s too late, you will see it listed as a “wish list auction”, like in this:

      In this case, you should use a drop catching service ASAP.

      Good luck,

      1. Nick says:

        Thank you for your help and timely response!
        The domain that I am pursuing is registered with but is not appearing on NameJet. It is on SnapNames though and I will be putting in a backorder with them. The do not tell me what the time left to backorder is though or how many have already been placed.

        Would a backorder go through only if the owner doesn’t renew by the 30-45 day grace period? Or does the order go thru right after it expires considering the owner didn’t renew by the expiry date?

        1. Hi Nick,

          Visit but replace “” with your desired domain name.

          If it’s not too late, you will see a “closing time” listed, like in this:

          It will say the deadline and tell you how many bidders are in the auction. Make sure to get your bid in before the deadline.

          If it’s too late or hasn’t gone to auction, you will see it listed as a “backorder”, like in this:

          In this case, you should use a drop catching service ASAP.

          Backorders don’t take place if a domain name expires at a registrar that has an auction partner, unless no bids are placed at that auction partner prior to the expiration date. Backorders (when domains are “caught”) only happen when a domain name goes through the full lifecycle and expires, is removed from the registry’s database, and becomes available for new registration.

          You’re asking a question about the lifecycle. Here’s your answer:

          But if you really want the domain name, put in an order at the auction partner of the registrar that the domain name is at.

          Good luck,

  97. Rich S says:

    I am looking to purchase a domain name that expires tonight at midnight.

    Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-12-20T11:59:59Z
    Registrar:, LLC

    Based on your article, I was able to see it is a GoDaddy Registered site, so I bought a back order credit for $25, and back ordered the domain. So I guess now I wait.

    Thanks for this article, I was just waiting for it to expire and expected it to then be available.

    1. Hi Rich,

      If the domain is at GoDaddy, it will go through the auction process at GoDaddy and will not require a backorder. You should request a refund of that immediately…hopefully they’ll honor your request. If not, you can use it in the future.

      Next, watch for it at Create an account there (which will cost you $5 per year, last time I checked). Then you will see when it is available for bid at auction. If you are the only bidder, you will get it for the initial price. If there is more than one bidder, it goes to auction.

      Good luck,

      1. Rich S says:

        Thanks for your reply Michael. The $25 includes monitoring (they send an email when it hits auction or is bid on) and a membership in the auction house as well.

  98. Jez says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m looking at a website that is a one and is listed on CatchTiger.

    The domain has expired on the 19th September, and so I believe it will be released for purchase on the 19th December.

    However, on CatchTiger, the auction for that domain name ends in 1 day, i.e. the 17th December.

    How can that be possible ?

    Surely the auction cannot end until the 19th ?

    Please can you advise ?

    Many thanks.

    Kindest regards,


    1. On CatchTiger, you compete in an auction, then the winning bidder gets the domain name *IF* CatchTiger can secure it in the drop catch. If they do not catch it, then the winning bidder doesn’t pay. That’s why the auction ends a day before the domain drops and can be caught.

      Yes, I know, it seems backwards that you’d have to compete in an auction for a domain name that may never be caught. Other people feel the same way and many don’t compete as a result of that. But that’s the way the drop catching service was set up. Who knows, it may mean less competition for you since others do not like that model, which benefits the company rather than the user.

      Good luck, Jez!

      1. Jez says:

        Hi Michael,

        I was the winning bidder (in fact the only bidder) on CatchTiger (which happened on Saturday evening, i.e. the 17th December).

        The Whois shows the domain I am interested in obtaining expired on the 19th Sept 2016.

        How long would it be before I will know if I am the successful new owner ?

        FYI, I also backordered on NameJet and Snapnames. Basically, anywhere I could find an opportunity to backorder this domain as I really want it !

        And the wait is getting to me as I’ve had my eye on this site for nearly a year !

        Many thanks.

        Kindest regards,


        1. Hi Jez,

          Thanks for your message. With the drop date is not always the same as the expired date shown in the Whois. When you have placed a bid with and you are the winner, we notice you by e-mail when the domain is successfully catched or renewed by the current owner. Please let me know if you have any other question.

          Best Regards,

          Erik Lambrechts

          1. Thanks for posting the details of what happens at CatchTiger, Erik!

          2. Jez says:

            Thanks Erik,

            Just to thank you and all at CatchTiger, as it was your good selves who happened to ‘catch’ this domain for me that I so desperately wanted.

            I am so grateful to you and to Michael for helping me obtain a domain that is so vital to my business, a domain name that I’d been watching for a year. As a freelancer this new domain will be very, very useful in attracting new clients and so will be with me forever !.

            Once again, a big thank you to you ALL of you – I really appreciate all the assistance I received in this matter from everybody.

            Kindest regards,


            1. Great to hear, Jez! Congrats.

              1. Jez says:

                Honestly Michael, I might not have been so lucky had it not been for your fantastic information and guidance.

                Many thanks.


            2. Very nice to hear Jez! We are very happy to help you.

  99. Jez says:

    Hi Michael,

    Fantastic information you’ve provided here, thank you so much.

    I’ve been keen to purchase a domain name (an one) for the last year, and it expires on the 19th December.

    I’ve looked at and done a search on it, but NameJet doesn’t seem to list websites, which this one is.

    I’m also very wary of even placing a backorder as I am concerned that my backorder will trigger some interest and the price may go up simply to make me pay more than I needed to.

    So my question to you is;

    Is there a time limit before which you can no longer place a backorder ?

    I’m considering leaving my backorder to the very last hour before the Expiry Date is reached.

    Or do I have to place my Backorder 3 days before the Expiry Date ?

    Also if I choose to wait to the very last hour before doing so, which TimeZone should I work to ? I’m based in the UK, and the domain name I’m interested in is in the UK ( but we’re talking which is based in the USA.

    Or is all of that irrelevant as it’d be from the exact moment the current owner registered the site on the day they did ?

    Many thanks for all your help.

    1. Hi Jez,

      Good questions.

      First off, there is less competition for domain names, so that’s good news for you.

      Second, is a ccTLD and I do not believe they have any auction house partners.

      Because this article is really focused on .com, what I would do in your situation is this:
      1. Learn about backorder services at
      2. Place a backorder at as many services that drop catch as possible
      3. Cross your fingers and wait.

      Please come back and post a reply to let me know how it worked out for you. I don’t own any so I haven’t tested this scenario much.

      Best wishes,

      1. Jez says:

        Hi Michael,

        Thank you so much for a reply within less than 10minutes !!!!

        I’ve looked at that URL you kindly gave and CatchTiger lists the domain I’m interested in at €34 (I am soooooo wary of these sites, I even just entered the first few letters of the beginning of the domain I wish to purchase !).

        So, to clarify, can I join an auction AFTER it has started ? (as I say, I’m wondering whether to wait until the last few hours before the Auction End/Expiry Date).

        Also, when I did do a search on NameJet, and this website did come up as being possible to backorder at NameJet (the WHois info shows Enom as the Registrar).

        So, by the looks of things, it does seem that I can BackOrder with NameJet ??

        Please advise :)

        Many thanks.

        1. Hi Jez,

          The owner of CatchTiger reached out to me to be added to the list. He seems like a legit person, and I plan to meet him in person in January at an industry conference.

          Most drop catching service like CatchTiger won’t try to catch it unless you put in a back order. And if they don’t catch it, you don’t pay. I believe CatchTiger auctions it and then you only pay if they catch it. Look at your other options, evaluate all of them, and then go with your gut. I have no data on who does the best drop catching.

          NameJet is $69 or $79 per backorder, so there’s that. And they don’t have the best drop catching technology. If they’re an auction house partner, then they always get them but that’s because they’re partners not because their drop catching technology is great. Plus, when you put a backorder at NameJet that’s public information and other investors can see your domain name backorder with one bid.

          Try Pheenix. I use them often.

          Hope that helps. Best of luck to you.


          1. Jez says:

            I think I’m going to go with NameJet.

            Pheenix don’t do sites.

            Thanks for all your help Michael.

  100. anne says:

    Hello, since many years now my domain name has been stolen from me. Now it’s for sale but for $3000 and I don’t have that kind of money. My question is, if I backorder it, won’t this trigger the owner to keep on renewing it each year hoping that one day I will buy it from him? Isn’t there a way to reserve my domain name or get notified when it goes back to sell without the seller to know?

    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Anne,

      If your domain name was in fact stolen from you, please go file a police report as soon as possible. If, instead, you allowed your domain name to expire through carelessness or ignorance, then you’ve learned a valuable lesson: domains have value. I’m not saying this to be a jerk, I’m saying this because words matter and saying something was “stolen” when in fact it was allowed to expire is not truth. I’m happy to share my knowledge as clearly as possible for others to benefit from, and all I ask is that others do the same.

      If someone owns a domain name that you want and the domain name is priced higher than you’re willing to pay, you have three options:
      1. Wait forever for the domain name expire and then hand register it
      2. Negotiate to purchase the domain name for a reasonable amount
      3. Pick another domain name — with a little creativity and focus, you can likely find a better one. Be sure to look at the new gTLDs, like .blog, .tech, .xyz, etc.

      If you are pursuing option 1, then you will want to use an automated service for the reasons mentioned in the article. Follow the process in the article to see which registrar the domain name is located at. If it’s at a Auction House like GoDaddy, NameJet or SnapNames, I believe they publicly share if there is a backorder on a domain name but not who placed that backorder. (Any interest in a domain name may be enough for someone else to place a backorder, thereby driving interest in the domain name that may be visible to the registrant.) So if the domain is at a registrar partnered with one of these companies, then you’ll have to monitor it manually (via calendar entries based on the whois expiration data) to maintain your distance.

      If the domain is NOT at a registrar associated with an Auction House, then you can setup a catcher at a dropcatching service:

      I hope that helps move you in the right direction.

      Best regards,

      1. anne says:

        Hello Micheal, thank you so much for all these infos that have been really helpful.
        I just went on the to know the status of my name and in the client status it says : Client Transfer Prohibited. I can imagine that this prevent anyone to buy the domain name even after the expiration date? If so, I’m starting to loose faith :(
        Isn’t there a way to take back my name, or a legal procedure of some sort against this malicious practice?



        1. Hi Anne,

          ClientTransferProhibited is a status that is applied to domain names when they are locked for transfer. It’s a protective measure that anyone who owns a domain name can apply to their domain name at the registrar where it’s registered. It’s usually a default.

          If you bought the domain name, the typical procedure is to unlock the domain name, then either push it to your account at the same registrar (such as or send you the authorization code so you can transfer the domain name to a different registrar (

          “Isn’t there a way to take back my name, or a legal procedure of some sort against this malicious practice?”
          If you don’t own a trademark to the term or phrase that you acquired prior to losing the domain name, then there’s really nothing you can do except the 3 things I listed above.

          Have you tried to negotiate with the current owner?


  101. John says:

    Who is the Auction House for UNIREGISTRAR CORP? Thank you.

    1. Uniregistrar does not have an auction partner, so the names at their registrar go through the normal lifecycle expiration process.

      You’ll need to use a drop catching service like those listed at to catch domains expiring at Uniregistrar. I’ve had good luck with DropCatch and Pheenix.

      1. J says:

        It would make sense to put this in the table above.

  102. shubham singh says:

    hello sir i want to ask a question . what happen if domain auction finish without any bid?
    for example: i want to register a domain –><—- but it is a premium domain which cost is $ 3999 and i also checked the godaddy auction house for this but no one want to buy this or no one bid on this and this domain expiration date is 7 oct 2016 .. so what happen with this domain after its expiration date if no one bid on it ?

    1. If the domain name expires and goes through an auction partner’s system and no one bids on it, then it is removed from the registry’s zone files and is available for new/hand registration again:

  103. Mo says:

    Hi Michael

    This is a great article and lots of additional info in these comments – thank you for all you do in sharing your knowledge.

    I would appreciate some clarification please regarding the best time to backorder a specific domain.
    The name in question is in Pending Delete with a Whois Updated Date of 27th March 2016. The status is clientHold.

    The domain is, as of writing, not on any of the Namejet (auction house of Registrar) Pending Delete lists which are currently listed up to April 3rd. I’ve downloaded and searched in each.

    Am I right in thinking that this domain should drop between 11am-2pm PT on April 1st i.e. 27th March + 5 days and therefore, the best time to backorder the domain so as not to publicize the drop would be between 7-9AM PT on the day of the drop?

    1. Different TLDs drop at different times.

      If the domain name is not with any auction house partner (I think that’s what you’re saying), then you can use a drop catch service anytime: They do not make your order public information as NameJet and others do by sharing how many bids are placed on a domain name and thereby driving interest.

      I’ve had very good luck with Pheenix, and I hear good things about SnapNames and DropCatch.

      1. Mo says:

        Thanks Michael.

        I missed out on this one – it was a .com and I left it too late to backorder – I miscalculated by a day – but thank you for the advice which I will refer to for future backorders.

  104. Chris says:

    Hi, thank you for this informative article! I have a question: Doesn’t the mere request I make at an auction house form defacto interest in the domain, and the price goes up?

    We are a small company that had a “squatter” on the domain back in 1999 when we formed, and so we got the .net for our company. Now the .com domain is finally opened up, but it’s not worth thousands, to us or anyone else. Thanks!

    1. Hi Chris,

      It can.

      For example, placing your backorder at NameJet will reveal your interest to other potential buyers so if no other backorders are present you should wait until the last possible moment before the deadline to place your backorder — because if you’re the only backorder, you’ll get it for the minimum $39 bid on expiring names and it won’t go to auction.

      Other backorder services vary by process (some don’t reveal domain backorder counts, for example), so you’ll need to do a little research.

      Best regards,

  105. Kay says:

    What about domains registered by FastDomain? it just says “non” does that mean you try to register with fastdomain when it expires?

    1. It says “none” for Fast Domain.

      See “Question: So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?”

  106. Tom Neuleib says:

    Why would a “branding” protection company buy domain names as they expire and not use them or sell them, but, instead, post a weird notice on them regarding the previous owners retail product? / Something does not make sense here.

    1. No idea, Tom. Do you have an example you can provide me to look at?

  107. Russ says:

    How long will it stay on “auction” after it drops off? How long do I have to wait if no one bids?

    1. Hi Russ,

      See this article on the lifecycle of a .com domain name:

      It includes timing. For all auction houses, if there are no bids during the expiration period, then it deletes and is available for hand registration.

      Best regards,

  108. Cherisse says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for this wonderfully informative article.

    I am interested in a domain name that is set to expire in April 2016. The domain is registered with, so I have placed a backorder on (thanks for confirming I at least did that part right). I also placed backorders with and, based on previous advice I received. Now I’m wondering if that might be overkill since Snapnames is the designated auction house. Will I ultimately end up bidding against myself?

    Note: For what it’s worth, my desired site currently appears to be one of those placeholder sites bought years ago by someone who thought it would be desirable enough to net a profit if sold. There’s content, but it’s not “real,” if that makes any sense.

    1. Michael Cyger says:

      Hi Cherisse,

      You’re very welcome.

      If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my few years in the domain name industry is that there are no set/fixed/definitive rules. Yes, you are covered by your backorder at SnapNames but there’s no guarantee they’ll get it. And there’s no harm by backordering it at another service (provided you didn’t pay in advance).

      Now’s the painful time to sit and wait. Hopefully it will expire and you will have a chance to register it.

      Finally, just because you have an idea doesn’t mean that you have more rights to a domain name. That’s not the way the system works. For example, Microsoft owns more than 75,000 domain names. Surely they’re not using them all — but they were acquired through purchasing businesses, hand registering them for business ideas, defensively registering them, etc. And they have the right to do so, just like you do for any idea that they have yet to come up with…just like a real estate investor does for a plot of land they have no intention of building upon for the next decade…just like an art collector does who wraps a Picasso and puts it in their basement.

      I wish you nothing but the best. As a fellow entrepreneur, I always hope that the best brand goes to the company with the best idea.

      Best regards,

  109. Sara Brady says:

    Very Nice Information About Domain Auction and Domanin Name Register And Step Give in the artical its very useful.

  110. Kmb says:

    Simple question: say I get the URL I want via auction for however umpteen hundreds of dollars, what about the renewal prices? Am I at the mercy of the auction house every year I want to renew it? Is it as simple as paying 10 or 15 bucks a year like with GoDaddy with a URL I got not through an Auction? I’m willing to pay for the desired URL up front but I don’t know what that entails down the pike.

    1. Hi Kmb,

      You pay regular renewal fees, not the auction price, year after year.

      The auction fee on an expiring domain name will usually include a year of renewal.

      Once you win a domain name at auction, the domain name most likely resides at whatever registrar it was at when it expired. Sometimes they’re large registrars, and sometimes they’re small, never-heard-of-before registrars.

      You can transfer it to any registrar you want by getting the auth code from the current registrar. .com renewal pricing ranges from $0.99 on coupon to $100 or so. Here’s a useful site to check pricing:

      So if I win an expiring .com auction on GoDaddy for $250, for instance, I can leave it at GoDaddy and pay around $10 per year for renewal. And if I win it at NameJet for $1,842, for instance, it will stay at a NameJet-related registrar (such as eNom) and I will pay around $10 per year for renewal.

      Hope that helps,

      1. KMB says:

        Thanks, Michael. I cannot find the auction site house of this registrar. It IS up for auction, but it’s NOT fully expired nor dropped – so it appears as though using an automated domain name backorder service may not be the best course of action. The URL still renews every year and is not set to expire until June 2016. The registrar is DOMREG LTD and seems to be tied in to Any suggestions? I just need to ensure my $ is going to the actual entity that’ll grant me the URL. I’m unclear how to avoid paying $ for the URL to a company/service that can’t actually do anything for me (i.e., getting ripped off). Thanks for any direction you can offer.

        1. Do a whois lookup on the domain name ( and see what the expiration date is.

          If the domain name is not expired, then it’s listed as a private-party auction and not an expired domain auction. There’s a difference.

          If it’s a private-party auction, the auction proceeds (minus a commission to the auction company) will go to the current registrant. If it’s an expired domain auction, the auction proceeds will go to the auction company (minus registration fees to the registry).

  111. Andrew Can says:

    Hi Michael,

    I want a domain that is about to expire in 9 days.

    The registrar ( / URL SOLUTIONS INC.) does not appear to have an auction partner. Do you know if they do?

    Also, the domain is already listed on SnapNames, with no bidders and a backorder status and a minimum bid of $69. (I checked a couple of my own domain names that I am not giving up, and they are listed at SnapNames with the same status, so not sure what that means!)

    I read the FAQ with the question, “So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?” but I wonder if I’m missing something in this situation.
    Do I place a bid at SnapNames and also with a couple of other backorder services now, or wait until the official expiry date?
    I don’t want to draw in competitors to the name, but also do not want to miss out on it.



    1. Hi Andrew,

      I don’t know if has an auction partner. You’ll need to contact them to ask.

      You’ll need to place as many backorders as possible as no one backorder service always wins:

      Having said that, be sure to use Pheenix, DropCatch and Snapnames at a minimum.

      Good luck!


      1. Andrew Can says:

        Thanks! I’ll post back if they get back to me about who their auction partner is.

        1. Andrew Can says:

          I heard back from pananames this morning. Looks like I’ll be going the “as many backorders as possible” route. Thanks again:

          “Hello Andrew,

          Please be informed that we don’t have any auction partners for expired domains.
          If there is anything else you would like to know do not hesitate to contact us.

          Thank you.

          Stavri Theophanous

          URL Solutions Inc. “

  112. A.D. says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m trying to get a hold a domain name that’s the name of my business. The domain is “[domainremoved].com”. I own the “.US” version of it, but I really want the “.Com” version. It’s been registered since 2009 by Proxy Tech Privacy Services with Alpine Domains (registrar) and is expiring next month. They aren’t using the domain for anything other than a rip-off service to make websites. I got a quote to see how much they are charging for just the domain and it’s in the thousands! Ridiculous!!!

    I learned a lot from your article, but wanted to know if you knew of Alpine Domains having an auction house? I did a WHOIS search for “[domainremoved].com” and saw a registrar with the name as well as Alpine Domains. I’m not sure if they would be the ones to have an auction house for the domain name.

    I’m going to try and place it on backorder through GoDaddy and test my luck on trying to hand register it as well.

    1. Hi A.D.,

      I removed the domain you referenced so others won’t compete with you should it expire and go to auction.

      Alpine Domains only has about 76,000 domains under management (, so they likely don’t have an auction house partner. They’re a smaller-sized registrar. (In comparison, GoDaddy has 51 million under management:

      It’s likely a waste of money to put in a backorder at GoDaddy. Their technology is not as good as others for drop catching. If the domain was expiring at GoDaddy, then a backorder would make sense.

      See the FAQ with the question, “So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?” That answer applies to your situation.

      Alternatively, a few thousand dollars for the domain name does not seem outrageous to me, as a business owner. If you can justify the value, then buy it. If you can’t then do without it and take your chances in the drop.

      Good luck.


      1. T.K. says:

        Hi Michael,

        I had two domains, a .com and .net with godaddy. I’m beyond their redemption period ($80 fee), but they said it should be released back to the public domain soon and I may be able to get it back. Before I knew this, I paid $12.99 plus ican fees for the .com thinking it was available as the rep told me she was able to add it their cart, and I paid a $24.95 fee for back ordering my .net domain. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from godaddy saying:

        “Unfortunately, the following domain name registration was unsuccessful:


        Error: [domain] cannot register – already registered

        We will evaluate the error and retry the registration if appropriate. If we are unable to successfully register the domain name, your account will be credited accordingly (allow one business day for the refund to be processed).”

        Am I wasting my time, and what’s the best way to get it back? I fell on hard times and couldn’t afford to renew at the time, but I now can. Help!

        1. T.K. says:

          Also, I keep getting emails from random “folks” offering their help for me to buy it back. Should I take action on it?

        2. See the FAQ with the question, “So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?” That answer applies to your situation.

          1. They’re likely robots who see it expired and that you were the previous registrant. I’d not click on any of the URLs in those emails as it will indicate to them that 1) your email address is valid and 2) you’re interested in the domain name.

            I doubt any random person emailing you about the expired domain name has your best interests in mind.

            1. T.K. says:

              Thanks Michael. I own a few good domains. Will you help me make money from either flipping them or putting content on them to generate cash flow? I can share them with you privately if so.

              1. That’s not what we do. We’re an educational platform for investing and entrepreneurship.


  113. Andrew says:


    I want to purchase a domain name that is to expire very soon. After looking it up on Whois, the owner is revealed to be 1 and 1, which doesn’t have a designated auction house based on your chart above. How should I go about trying to buy this? Because I don’t know if it will go to auction, and if it does, which auction house I should look at. It is set to expire soon: 2015-09-21



    1. Hi Andrew,

      See the FAQ with the question, “So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?” That answer applies to your situation.

      Good luck.


  114. Bob says:


    The domain name I wish to acquire can be Backordered at The expiration date at “Whois” on this particular domain name is 09-mar-2016. Does that mean I have to wait until sometime in April of 2016 before I know whether or not I will recieve the name?

    Thanks for your help,

    1. Hi Bob,

      The current registrant may renew the domain name before that date. If s/he doesn’t, then it goes into expiration and may drop. If that is the case, follow the instructions above to find the auction partner. If you’ve done that already, and the domain is going to drop at Snapnames, then you should be all set.

      Good luck,

  115. Elizabeth Molina says:

    Hey Michael,

    Thanks for sharing the information. It’s been quite helpful. So far I’m having trouble locating the auction house for “TURNCOMMERCE, INC. DBA NAMEBRIGHT.COM.”

    Based on a forum, a employee they stated the company does NOT have any agreements with any auction houses for expired domain names. You can view the disscussion below. The questions is asked by Rich on Oct 16, 2013 and answered by Rebies.

    The name I’d like to obtain expires in 9 months and I’m willing to track it and registrar but have yet to find an auction house to that registrar. My questions to you are:

    1. Does a registrar have to have an auction house for expired domains? If not…
    2. Have you heard of partnering with a auction house recently?
    3. What should I do when the name expires and they don’t have an auction house?

    1. 1. Not that I’m aware of
      2. Not that I’ve heard
      3. Contact them to buy it. Their prices are usually pretty reasonable, from what I’ve seen.

      Good luck!

  116. David Gruttadaurio says:

    Hey Michael – doing some research and ran across your post. So what do you do when the domain your targeting is with an obscure registrar, in this case : TIRUPATI DOMAINS AND HOSTING PRIVATE LIMITED?

    1. I’ve never heard of that registrar. If they’re a smaller registrar, then they might not have an auction partner.

      In that case:

      Follow “4. Backorder/Bid on the Domain Name” and put in as many backorders as you can using these services:


      If you think the domain is worth $5,000 to $10,000 or so to you, then you can try to contact the CEO of the registrar and see if there’s a way for you to purchase it directly from them when it expires. (The CEO might not give you the time if you make a $500 offer.)

      Good luck.

  117. John says:

    I have been watching a domain that should have dropped on 3-28. The whois still says expires on 3-28-15, but the status says “OK”. What could be the issue here. Do you think the registrar holding the domain? I dont see it for auction anywhere and the old owner’s info is still present.

    1. Hi John,

      I’ve seen some registrars renew them for a short period, then if the customer doesn’t pay they drop it and get the fees back.

      I’ve seen others update the status the day after the drop.

      If you email me using the contact form at the top of the page, I’ll confidentially look it up and see if I can figure out anything for you when I have a minute today.


      1. John says:

        Thanks for the offer. I did a search on snapnames and they had it as a buy it now. It appears they never let the name drop. I guess the registrar “Dotster” has a partnership with Snapnames.

        1. Yes, that is the case. It’s listed above in the table.

          Glad to hear the domain went to the right home!

  118. Charlie says:

    Hi – I am trying to secure a domain name that shows the registrar as Public Domain registry. It seems they picked it up upon expiration and tacked on a year???

    Created on 2015-04-13 – Expires on 2016-04-13 – Updated on 2015-04-13

    Can someone tell me what Auction House does the PDR associate itself with? Any tips on how I can secure this domain??

    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Charlie,

      On the website of PUBLICDOMAINREGISTRY.COM, on the about page, I found: “PDR LTD. D/B/A PUBLICDOMAINREGISTRY.COM a wholly-owned subsidiary of Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc.”

      One the website, I found that is another one of their registrars:, listed above, is partnered with, so it’s likely that this site will do the same.

      To verify, you’ll have to email their support team and ask. See the Q&A section above.

      Good luck,

    2. Nick says:


      Did PDR turn out to use for their auction services?


  119. Anton says:

    Wow Michael, this is definitely one of the more detailed articles on expired domains. This must have took you some time to write!! I’m trying to pick up some expired domains for seo purposes so this has helped me out. So far I’ve found one through another similar article but will use your advice as well.

  120. Cesar says:

    Besides auctions and looking at the usual places (for expired domains) another alternative is to find a scraper to do all the heavy lifting for you. I found one such tool… it’s called Arachnida, as in spidering for domains. Check it out and let me know what you guys think? Oh, here is the url:

    Thanks Michael for your excellent article on how to grab expiring domains.
    – Cesar

  121. dave wilcox says:

    i had a backorder for a domian that was registered at godaddy. The backorder of the domain says the domain expires feb 23, 2015. However, when i check the whois on different websites, it now says the domain is registered through feb 2016. However, GODADDY back ordering still has the domain with the expiration date of feb 23, 2015. Why would they be showing 2 different dates? The domain is not even in an auction, so the 2016 seems like the new correct date?

    thanks for your help

    1. Since the domain name is registered at GoDaddy, you have your backorder at the correct location. But I don’t have enough information to help you in this case.

      You’ll need to contact GoDaddy support for an explanation.

  122. Jonathan Denney says:

    Thank you very much for this insightful article!

    Quick question. I’m eyeing a domain name that was registered with Tucows domains and expired on 2/7/15.

    I went ahead and set the minimum bid ($69) with Snapnames, because your article said that was the appropriate service for that registrar. Fortunately, the domain name isn’t the type to be very appealing to other domainers, and only the .com is taken.

    If Tucows says their grace period for .com’s is 40 days, no one else bids and the owner doesn’t renew, would I still have to wait about 75 days to use the domain?

    Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Check out

      If Tucows has a 40 day grace period, then add to it the redemption period and you have a total length of time until it goes to Snapnames. It may not completely “drop” since Tucows has a relationship with Snapnames.

      If you look at the domain name on Snapnames (such as, it should tell you when it’s going to auction.

      Good luck!


  123. Jay says:

    Hi, my domain was dropped yesterday and is registered by some as sponsoring registrar for one year ie it expires on 26feb 2016 now. On NameJet I saw it available for $350. Should I buy that or wait until it drops back for public sphere.

    1. If it dropped and was picked up by someone else, it may not ever drop again. Who knows.

      If you will receive more financial benefit from owning the domain name than the $350 cost, then you might want to buy it.

      Otherwise, how badly do you want it?

      I can’t answer any of those questions for you. Good luck with your decision.

  124. Steve says:

    I think something must have changed since the article was written:

    I followed the steps in your article and backordered a domain expiring on with as instructed. I was notified of pending delete, but no auction.

    I’m still he high bidder, but the name is now registered to some squatter whose domain redirects to The domain is not available on snapnames either.

    Whois shows:

    Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 1198
    Whois Server:
    Referral URL:
    Status: ok
    Updated Date: 08-feb-2015
    Creation Date: 08-feb-2015
    Expiration Date: 08-feb-2016

    According to NameJet technical support:

    When domains are in Pending Delete status, the domains are in process of being deleted and made available for free registration by the Registry itself.

    As the domain was fully released, we attempted to procure this domain for you however it looks like another company was able to get this domain before us by just a few milliseconds.

    We apologize, however we were not able to get this domain for you at this time.

    I own the and the trademark on the root of the name.

    It’s unclear who I would contact. The domain redirects to a link farm.

    Any advice (and an article update) would be appreciated.

    This may hold a clue:

    It’s unclear if eNom holds a private auction before releasing domains to NameJet or if the auction is done by NameJet — in any case the technique described seems to be incomplete or obsolete — at least for eNom.



    1. Hi Steve,

      The response from NameJet was appropriate and likely correct.

      If you bid at NameJet *after* the domain name moves to Pending Delete status, then it’s too late for NameJet to take advantage of their relationship with eNom and take control of the name. So then eNom thinks, “no interest from NameJet users; we’ll just drop it” and it goes through the regular deletion process — where the fastest fingers can register it. In some cases, investors don’t want to pay the $59 or $69 fee at NameJet and if there are no bids they can likely get it for $18.99 at Pheenix or using other dropcatching services.

      Sorry you didn’t get the domain you wanted. I’ll update the text above to note this additional information.


      1. Steve says:

        Hi Michael,

        According to my email logs, I placed the backorder on 1/6/15 — well in advance of the change and at above minimum bid as suggested by NameJet’s FAQ.

        On 2/4/16, I received this message from NameJet:

        Dear NameJet Customer:

        We are happy to inform you that a domain name you Backordered as a Wish List item is about to become available and is entering a Pending Delete status.


        I’m still baffled as to the process here — hoping to document it for others.



        P.S. I sent you the domain name via private email

        1. Hi Steve,

          Thanks for sending the domain. I did a historical lookup on and see the record’s expiration date BEFORE it expired.

          Here’s what I see (without domain name details):

          This means that you would have needed to have your NameJet backorder in by November 20th. There may have been some time after that point that it might still have worked, but I’m not sure of the exact details…you’d need to contact NameJet for those.

          Does that explain it?


          1. Steve says:

            Hi Michael,

            That’s at least an explanation, but both NameJet’s instructions and FAQ do a good job of hiding the fact that they couldn’t really auction the domain.

            When I backordered, the whois looked like this:

            Registrar WHOIS Server:
            Registrar URL:
            Updated Date: 2015-01-02T04:32:17.00Z
            Creation Date: 2009-11-20T22:40:40.00Z
            Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2014-11-20T22:40:40.00Z
            Registrar: ENOM, INC.
            Registrar IANA ID: 48
            Registrar Abuse Contact Email: [email protected]
            Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4252982646
            Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
            Registry Registrant ID:
            Registrant Name: REACTIVATION PERIOD
            Registrant Organization:
            Registrant Street: 15801 NE 24TH STREET
            Registrant City: BELLEVUE
            Registrant State/Province: WA
            Registrant Postal Code: 98004
            Registrant Country: US
            Registrant Phone: +1.4252744500
            Registrant Phone Ext:
            Registrant Fax: +1.4259744791
            Registrant Fax Ext:
            Registrant Email: [email protected]

            It looks like maybe it went in an eNom internal auction?

            In retrospect, I’m assuming I should have put in an offer on eNom directly?

            It might be worth updating the article to state that after the Registrar Registration Expiration Date, the instructions don’t hold — if that’s the case.

            It looks like there’s another layer to be explained.

            Thanks again for your help.


  125. James says:

    There is a name I want, which I know they will not sell it. They are not using it. This could be a long process. I want to find out how to be there to get it right when it expires. Any tips?

    1. Hi James,

      My tips are included in this article. Follow the steps. Good luck.


  126. projebox says:

    Thank you very much for the helpful information about the domain expiring,

  127. elevator says:

    Tim! I am afraid if the domain is a good one; you may miss it if you are waiting for it to drop before catching it. Sorry this is from my own point of view.
    I think Mike will need to advice you further. Cheers.

  128. Tim says:

    I lost my domain from Moniker (partly due to their email policy – which sends you so many emails that it’s easy to miss the crucial ones about renewal).

    Its about to go into delete and I’d like it back if i can, But Im only a student so funds are limited. I’ve already registered a .org version of the name.

    Can I please get your help? (And feel free to just refer to my question numbers to save time!)

    1) If I place a bid at an auction house, does that mean that I cant then go the alternative route: i.e just register the name thru the process of just letting it drop into the open public sphere – because I would have already bid on it? (Im sorry if this is a dumb question!)

    2) Is the auction house for moniker still snapnames?

    3) Am i right in assuming that you said there is only one auction house allowed to offer it? Is that still true?

    4) before it drops into the public sphere, it will always go thru an auction right? so it only goes to the public sphere if there are no bidders?

    5) My overall impression/summary:
    * if you think name could be popular, best to put in a bid at the relevant auction house
    * if not, then you could take your chances and let it drop completely and then go for it when its publicly available, either by:
    – using a drop-service (which prevents the risk of u missing the day)
    – just keeping an eye on it, perhaps with the help of DomainTools or the like

    Does that sound about right?

    1. Hi Tim,

      1. If it’s a desirable name, it may not make it to fully dropped and available for hand registration. You take your chances by going that route.

      2. Yes, but if you missed the auciton and it’s already pending delete than it’s too late for SnapNames. Go

      3. Yes

      4. No. Some domains don’t have auction partners.

      5. Yes.

      Good luck!

  129. Erick says:

    Thank you very much for the helpful information about the domain expiring, i have got a lot of information on this topic.

  130. Steve says:

    Hi Michael,

    This is a wonderful resource and has been very helpful as I try to understand the nuances of buying expired domain names.

    I read the article, FAQ, and accompanying comments and I did not see this addressed.

    What happens if a registrar does not have an auction house partner? I’m asking specifically about Eurodns. Does Eurodns still run auctions or is the only way to secure the domain to try to backorder it?


    1. Hi Steve,

      The very last Q&A answers your question:

      Question: So what do I do if I cannot find the auction house of the registrar?

      Answer: If the domain name fully expires and then “drops”, your best chance of registering it is to use one or more of these automated domain name backorder services:

      Best of luck,

      1. Steve says:

        Thanks Michael! I emailed eurodns’ support team about the best process for securing the domain since they don’t have an auction partner. The support team wrote back and asked me to share the specific domain name. Is this safe to share with them? Why would they want to know it?

        1. Hi Steve,

          I don’t know why they want to know it. Maybe they just want to provide excellent support. The only way to know is if you ask them.

          If they have no auction partner, you take your chances and use all the back order services you can…commensurate with how badly you want the name.

          Good luck,

  131. Ciaran says:

    Hi Michael

    Great article thank you. I am watching a domain and its registrar is SAFENAMES LTD. How do I find the auction partner for Safenames Ltd?

    Thank you


    1. Hi Ciaran,

      I do not know. Sorry.

      Try contacting their customer support group to ask. See the answer above to the question, “Can you tell me how I can find the auction house for”

      Best of luck,

  132. NoRules says:

    Hi Michael!

    Great article, but when i checked a domain of, at the bottom of their website, it says: “ is a proud part of”

    I checked “Rightside” and in the “Brands” section are: eNom / / NameJet

    So…, the Auction House Partner of is NameJet or as you wrote.

    Thank you.

    1. Excellent investigation and question, NoRules.

      I verified with NameJet that should be associated with them. I also updated the chart above. Thanks for your question.

  133. Jeffrey says:

    I won an expired auctions at for $110

    I paid and 5 hours later the domain was stolen from my account and i was issued store credit back! They said the original owner paid the renewal fee AFTER i won the expired domain auction. Is this normal? Can the expired domain really be taken back after i paid?

    Very disappointed with Godaddy and would much appreciate your opinion Michael

    Thank you for all you do!

    1. Hi Jeffrey,

      It may seem like GoDaddy stole your domain name, but they didn’t. It’s just their auction process happens before the domain name technically expires.

      If you read their process here (, you can see that they auction a domain name — in my opinion — too early.

      “On the 25th day after expiration, [GoDaddy] put[s] your domain name up for auction with a domain name industry auction service.”

      In addition, “On the 42nd day after expiration, [GoDaddy] cancel[s] your domain name. We delete all services associated with the domain name.”

      Their process works in such a way that those who “forgot” or even wanted to see what value their domain name reached in auction could pay an extra fee and have their domain name renewed (subject to the domain name registry rules…they’re all different).

      Many of us have also won auctions only to have the domain name renewed and the auction fees refunded. It’s never a good experience, but you’re not alone.


      1. Jeffrey says:


        Thank you for the impressively quick response! I feel better already. Now that i know this, I will consider expired domains auctions a ‘chance’ at getting the domain. Rather than a sure thing.

        I can’t thank you enough for this site and your passion for it. I’m addicted to learning about domaining, and your site is the most valuable source of information AND inspiration for me.

        Thank you

        1. Alex says:

          Something similar happend to me in an auction a couple of weeks ago, I won the item, I paid for it, got an email with receipt and all, and then the next day they took it away from me and got the refund.. I know it sucks…… Some auction sites take a lot of time to upgrade their auctions, and this complicate things to, u can win an item in sedo, and still be listed in go daddy or vicceversa, sometimes it takes them days, I once called go daddy and told them, “hey! That domain in auction is mine” , “oh, sorry we haven’t upgraded”..

    2. Fahad says:

      The reply by Micheal is right in this case but there is definitely some malpractices by godaddy. Many times i have seen the domain to be not deleted by godaddy even after the 42nd day,

  134. Josh Rachlis says:

    Some jerk stole my .com domain name after I had owned it for 10 years and accidentally let it expire, and he’s trying to extort lots of money from me for its return. On the site where it says who owns it, it says “Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited”. What does that mean? The domain expires on September 26. He’ll probably automatically renew it, like he has for the past couple of years. But in case it becomes available, I want to grab it. I’m the only person in the world with my name, and I posted at a blog for 10 years with that domain name. So I’m really upset I don’t have my own name anymore.

    1. Hi Josh,

      It’s unfortunate that your domain name expired, but just like if you didn’t pay your mortgage payment your lender may repossess your home. I’m sure there are better or more accurate analogies, but that’s the first one that came to mind.

      The domain name registration/renewal/expiration rules are clear:

      There’s even a grace period for getting the domain name back under registration after expiration, but once it passes the domain is gone. And there are companies and individuals that look for aged domain names with traffic and backlinks so your expired domain name was likely something desirable to them.

      So what do you do now?
      1. Negotiate with the company that has the registration to buy it back
      2. Wait for them to let it expire (which may never happen)
      3. Cut your losses and move on with another domain name

      If you want to reach out to me privately (michael at the domain name listed above) and reference this thread, I’ll see if I know the domain name owner and might be able to facilitate something. No promises, but I’ll see if there’s anything I can do.

      Sorry it happened to you.


  135. Khawaja Ali says:

    great this is a life changing article now people become aware to the registration of expire domains and they will get pre- ranked domains….. thank you very much Michael for this post

  136. Cesar says:

    Besides Dynadot, and Godaddy expired domain auctions you can also try using No waiting and you can skip the process of bidding on domains.

  137. John says:


    I’m looking at a name on NameJet that expired on Network Solutions. Is there any benefit/strategy to backordering sooner rather than later or vice versa?

    If I backorder will it show that there’s a bid or backorder activity to the public?

    And I just want to make sure, there’s no cost if I don’t place the winning, right?

    I’m thinking about backordering now but before I do, I wanted to ask your opinion.

    Thanks for the awesome blog + podcast. You are my favorite source of info.

    1. If you backorder it now, you’ll have no chance of forgetting to place your backorder. That’s pretty much the only benefit.

      If you place your backorder a day or two before the deadline, then your domain is likely to be selected for a promotional email that NameJet sends out with the “most backorders”. Sometimes all it takes is one backorder to be selected for their email newsletters.

      If there is already one or more backorders, then it’s likely going to get selected for promotion anyway, so go ahead and put in your backorder so you don’t forget.

      Ideally — with no backorders placed yet — you’d wait until a few hours to an hour before you need to get your backorder in to prevent being highlighted.

      If you are the only one to place a bid, then you will win it and it will cost you $59 or $69 (whatever the minimum bid is for the domain of interest).

      If you place the minimum bid and it goes to auction, you’ll only pay if you’re the highest bidder / winning bid.

      Hope that helps.

      1. john says:

        That helps greatly. Thank you so much.

        The domain’s minimum price has jumped from $69 to over $150 in the last day but no bids are showing. Do you know what’s happening here?

        Thank You!

        1. Without knowing the domain name, there’s not much I can figure out.

          If you want to email me, you can do so at michael at the domain name above.

      2. Chris says:

        Hi Michael,

        Great article and Q&A! The domain I want is with eNom and expires on Feb. 27th. I will try the backorder at the last minute (through NameJet, right?). So when is the last minute, is it the 26th at midnight, or the 27th at midnight? And of which time zone? Thanks, Chris.

        1. Hi Chris,

          Yes, eNom and NameJet are partners, so if you put in a backorder prior to the deadline, then they’ll grab it for you.

          Visit but replace “” with your desired domain name.

          If it’s not too late, you will see a “closing time” listed, like in this:

          Make sure to get your bid in before the deadline.

          If it’s too late, you will see it listed as a “wish list auction”, like in this:

          In this case, you should use a drop catching service ASAP.

          Good luck,

  138. joe says:

    Hey there, I was wondering if you knew wether the current owner of a domain name is alerted if I place a bid on it through I would just rather they not know I am trying to obtain it. Thanks in advance!

    1. Once a name goes to auction at NameJet, it’s past the point of reactivation by the last known registrant. In other words, if the last known registrant wants it, they have to bid for it just like everyone else.

      This is not the case at GoDaddy Auctions, however. There, GoDaddy starts the auction before the domain names has fully expired and the registrant does have the ability to pay a one-time restoration fee to restore ownership. This is particularly frustrating to those bidding in the auction, as you may be the winning bidder and pay your winning bid price only to find out a few days later that it was restored. You then have to wait for a refund from GoDaddy.

      Other auction marketplaces may work differently as well. No two have the exact same rules or processes.

  139. Rob says:

    Hello. Thank you for the article. I have a question about the biddng. The domain name I want has expired and is showing on Snapnames. However the starting bid price is the same as the price listed by the owner for sale. $1900. Is that typical ? Any thoughts on how to place a lower bid. Thank you

    1. No, that’s not typical. Without knowing the domain, I can’t provide any insight. Sorry.

      1. Rob says:

        Michael, thanks for the response. The domain is ****.com. I appreciate your help.

        1. I removed the domain name from this post to maintain your confidentiality.

          According to the Whois history — you are correct — it appears the expiration date was “2014-05-21”.

          But today the expiration date was updated to “2015-05-22”, which means the registrant renewed the domain name.

          If you look closely, here’s what the whois indicates:

          As such, it’s likely not going to drop. It’s a valuable domain name and YummyNames knows that, which is why they’re keeping it in their portfolio.

          YummyNames, the portfolio company of the Tucows registrar, will often renew domain names only on the expiration date in the hopes that they might sell the domain name before that day and not have to incur the registration fee for another year.

          You can either wait them out (maybe one day they’ll drop it, but unlikely), negotiate with them to purchase it, or find another domain name.

          Wish I had a more helpful answer for you. Best of luck.

          1. Rob says:

            Thankyou Michael.

  140. Lisah says:

    Hi Mike,

    Great article and super helpful!

    I’m trying to purchase a domain that has listed as the registrar. According to your chart, snapnames is their auction partner. The domain is on backorder there (expiry date is in November).

    However it is listed as on auction for early June at GoDaddy and some other sites make it seem that you can bid on it right now.

    What’s my best chance of getting it?

    Thanks so much,

    1. Hi Lisah,

      Thanks. Glad you found it helpful.

      Remember, the process documented above is ONLY used when a domain name expires and is auctioned off. If it never expires (i.e. the domain name registrant continues to renew it before — or even after — expiration), then all it’s a moot point.

      So, it’s listed for auction in June at GoDaddy. I can see that being the case. Many registrants will list their domain name at many marketplaces (GoDaddy, Sedo, and others) in hopes of selling it before expiration.

      Your best chance of getting it is contacting the current registrant and negotiating to buy it. After that, your best chance is buying it in auction or finding it listed with a “buy it now” price at a marketplace. Your other option is to find a broker who can negotiate on your behalf (if the domain name sells for a few thousand or higher…brokers likely won’t have the time or inclination to negotiate smaller deals).

      Hope that helps.


      1. Lisah says:

        Thanks Michael, for the speedy response and clarification!

        I’ll try contacting the seller directly.


  141. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Mike. I have backordered a pending delete domain at SnapNames, NameJet and Pool that has Godaddy as the registrar. Should I backorder at Godaddy as well? Does Godaddy have a better chance of catching the name? If they do will it go into a public rather than private auction so I could still bid on it even though I didn’t backorder it with them?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this,

    1. I, personally, haven’t found GoDaddy to be any better at grabbing domain names if the domains were registered at a registrar other than GoDaddy. (If the domain name was registered at GoDaddy, as detailed above, then they are the best place to back order the domain.)

      Having said that, if I really wanted the domain I’d pay the extra $21 for the GoDaddy backorder to have an extra chance of catching it. If GoDaddy doesn’t catch it, you can use the backorder to try to catch another domain in the future.

      Good luck.

  142. Harinder says:

    Hi Mike, Thanks for the great article. I am really inspired from you specially the way you conduct the interviews with the genius people and cover all the doubtful questions.

    I am wondering if you can tell me that who is the auction house partner for CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. ( or I wish to apply for a domain which is going expire in couple of months.


    1. They appear to be corporate brand manager, like MarkMonitor. On their website they say, “We offer digital brand services to help protect brands online. We register and manage thousands of domain names, respond to online brand infringement and help monitor and clear trademarks in a global market.”

      Because they protect company brands, I doubt they have an auction partner.

      If there’s no auction partner, you can either wait and hope that no one else registers the domain name when it expires and is dropped and available for registration, or place a backorder at one of these backorder service providers:

      Good luck.

      1. Chaya says:

        Hi! Has anyone ever gotten an expired domain from CSC Corporate Domains, Inc ( or I’m not even sure if I should backorder and wait the 6 months for the domain I want to expire or if I should just move on to another domain name?

        1. I’m not aware of any cases but I’m sure there has been a time when a company told their brand management company not to protect certain domains any longer and they allowed them to expire.

          In some cases, there’s no fee for backorder services so why not just do them if you really want the domain name?

          1. Chaya says:

            Hi Michael,

            Thank you for the speedy response!

            I plan to put in my backorder, but it seems like on some sites, there is a benefit to waiting until right before it expires.

            Is there such a thing as putting in a backorder early and then getting the domain before it expires? Like maybe by putting in a backorder these sites will contact the owner and see if they want to give it up earlier? Or is that only if you hire a broker?

            Also, is there such a thing as them forgetting to renew the domain? Like I want to try to contact CSC myself, but I don’t want to ‘remind’ them to renew it by contacting them? Not sure if that makes sense or is a stupid question!


            1. “I plan to put in my backorder, but it seems like on some sites, there is a benefit to waiting until right before it expires.”

              What registrar is your desired domain name at?

              If, for example, it’s at a registrar that is partnered with NameJet then you only need to put your backorder in at NamJet.

              “Is there such a thing as putting in a backorder early and then getting the domain before it expires?”


              “Like maybe by putting in a backorder these sites will contact the owner and see if they want to give it up earlier?”

              They don’t do that.

              “Or is that only if you hire a broker?”

              If the domain name is less than $10,000 then a broker won’t likely be interested in working on your acquisition as they’ll make less than $1,000-$1,500 for the work.

              “Also, is there such a thing as them forgetting to renew the domain?”

              They’re not in the business of forgetting. They get paid by renewing, and they’re in business to make money. So, no.

              1. Chaya says:

                Ok, thanks. The registrar is CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. I guess it’s unlikely it will become available, but I will put a backorder in on a site that doesn’t publish the backorders like

  143. Mark Wannabe says:

    Great feedback from Mark at “If you have ever seen a name registered with the Sponsoring Register 1API that is, also if you ever saw a domain being auctioned at that means it was backordered by more than one person at Hexonet so the domain goes to a private NameJet-style auction there.”

  144. Thanks for answering my query Mic..

    Although I have one query (this answer does answer it, but I have a doubt)… I just bought a domain which had the creation date as 2010 but after acquisition upon checking I found that it has been reset to 2014. So, from what I understand from your article, this could not be undone anyways because this particular domain’s status said as ‘Expired’ and I got it for under $10 from godaddy?


  145. Matthew says:

    This is great! Thanks DomainSherpa in the past i have only ever used GoDaddy auctions to find expiring domain names, but now i know the others it will hopefully helpme find even more quality expired domains! Thanks Again!

  146. Scott Mcdermott says:

    is there any difference in the procedures you documented or with the way the market works for less-profitable TLDs like .org, where many folks are non-profits or non-business entities that don’t have a ton of money? I would think this makes the auction and secondary market less interesting, and there’s probably a lot more drops without auction?

    1. Good question, Scott. For the major alternate TLDs, it’s extension agnostic and registrar specific. I’m sure there are some outliner for ccTLDs but I’m not aware of any.

  147. Scott Mcdermott says:

    I am trying to find the auction house partnered with “Registration Technologies, Inc.” ( They appear ancient, but still active. I have attempted to contact them and received no response to my queries. How would I go about finding the auction house they are partnered with? Are you certain that all auctioning partnerships are exclusive?

    1. DomainSherpa says:

      If you’ve reached out to them and they have not responded, they likely won’t respond to me either. If they’re a smaller registrar, then it’s likely they don’t have an auction partner as it costs capital to make the technological and business process connections between the registrar and auction house.

      There are likely exceptions to every rule in the domain name industry, but for the most part each registrar — if they have an auction house partner — with only have one partner from what I’ve seen.

      1. Scott Mcdermott says:

        this ended up going to afternic auction, from registrationtek, just before the domain was going to fall off.

        1. Thanks for sharing. I hope you were able to secure the domain.

  148. Alison says:

    Hi, I have been “stalking” a domain for my dad and it was to have expired today. Just Googled your piece this morning. The domain we want is registered with 1&1, which you list has having no auction house. Does this mean they eventually drop them? Or do you have any other tips?


    1. DomainSherpa says:

      If there’s no auction partner, you can either wait and hope that no one else registers the domain name when it is dropped and available for registration, or place a backorder at one of these backorder service providers:

      Good luck.

  149. Dale Ehrgott says:

    Hi Michael,

    Great information, thank you. Any chance you know who does the auctions for domains that are under the registry? Thanks and have a good day.

    1. Hi Dale,

      Were you aware that Dynadot has their own expired domain auction marketplace?

      “When a domain is not renewed by the registrant, it is auctioned off. The highest bidder for the domain will receive the domain into their Dynadot account.

      “Auctions last for seven days, and you can bid anytime during that period. You may also place a proxy bid for higher than the current minimum bid. If someone else places a bid, the system will automatically bid for you until your max proxy bid amount is reached.

      “If you are the highest bidder when the auction ends, you have 2 days to pay for the auction. Once you pay the domain is moved into your Dynadot account in about 4 days, provided it is not renewed by the original Registrant.”

      BUT, like GoDaddy auctions take place during the registrant’s grace period (40 days after expiration), so even if you win the auction for the expired name and pay the money it appears that Dynadot can cancel the order. See

      What happens after the auction if no user bids on the domain name and the registrant doesn’t renew the domain name during the grace period? I don’t know. I’ve put in an email to their support department to ask. I’ll update this post when I hear back.


    2. Hi Dale,

      I heard back from Dynadot (excellent support response time), and once a domain name goes through their own auction marketplace, it is deleted and is eventually available for registration by anyone.

      Hope that helps you out.


  150. Zuheb says:

    Hi Micheal , Is the process same for 2013 or has changed somewhat. This article has cleared many doubts . Is there an article where i can find timelines about the exact dropping dates of each registrar. I think its different for each registrar.

    1. @Zuheb, yes the process is the same today that it was when I wrote this article in 2011.

      I don’t have an article that identifies the exact dates and times of dropping domains at the registrar. It’s a good idea; I’ll find someone who is an expert on the topic to come on and discuss it.

      Thanks for commenting and asking your questions.

  151. Mac says:

    Hey Michael, I have a question. I owned a domain from 2006 to 2010 than I missed to renew it and someone booked it. Now when I see the whois data of domain it shows that that creation date is from 2006 till 2013.

    Now my question here is I am about to buy this domain as it is about to expire today, but I want to get it with creation date 2006 and not 2013. how can i do that? or is it like if i order it so it will dafault show its creation date 2006?

    Any help would be great. By the way excellent article.

    1. Hi Mac,

      See the question above: “I like the original creation date (1995) of a particular domain name I am watching. Will it be maintained if I buy the domain name in auction?”

      In short, if you use the auction partner of the registrar then it will maintain the original creation date. However, if the domain goes through Pending Delete or Pending Deletion, the domain name will have a creation date that coincides with when the domain is next registered.

      Best of luck to you,

  152. Great post! This all great information for anyone looking to get into the domain game, which by the way is kicking butt!

  153. Boluji says:

    Wel done Mike.

  154. Boluji says:

    The article and the feedback are evergreen. Previously I do not have any flare for expired domains, but with this sky is my first steps to expired domains.


  155. Ross says:

    Hmm go to an auction and buy expired domain, simply :)

    1. Hi Ross,

      Yes, but you need to know which auction company to go to to put your bid in. For example, if the domain name is expiring at GoDaddy, they run their own auctions. So putting in a bid at will do you no good — instead it will waste your time. And in some cases you need to put your backorder in with payment, so it will cost you as well.


      1. christina says:

        I agree, these platforms offer the backorder, but what if the domain name is good, you may pay the price!

  156. Mike Howard says:

    Great article. This will be quite useful to us to grab a domain name that our competitors have registered!

  157. ThemePremium says:

    How can I backorder a domain name that is in pendingDelete status but is registered by 1&1 (so no auction partner). Please reply. Thanks.

    1. Hi ThemePremium,

      Sorry for the massive delay in responding.

      If a registrar has no auction partner, like is the case with currently, then you need to put in backorders with large companies that might be able to grab the domain.

      I suggest putting in a backorder at these locations:
      * (currently free to place a backorder, charged if grabbed)
      * (currently free to place a backorder, charged if grabbed)
      * (currently $19, but if don’t grab you can reuse on another domain — email support at GoDaddy if you have questions)
      * (new player in the backorder marketplace, I think it’s $19 to backorder)


  158. Drew Towers says:

    I read something very interesting the other day. It was a guy revealing a secret he had used to acquired hundreds of domain names… Here’s his basic plan.

    I’m assuming he would scrape to find domains that were about to expire, at which point he’d then filter the list for whatever he was looking for – brandable names, pagerank domains, high traffic domains, etc.

    Taking under the assumption they had abandoned their websites and did not care too much about them any longer he would cold call them using the WHOIS info in the domain and offer to give them 50 dollars just for re-registering the domain (which he would pay for) and then simply walking them through transferring it over.

    He claimed he had a 66% success rate with this method. (I think he had written a little more in-depth about it, but thats the basic run-down). I imagine it still works very well.

    I thought to myself, what a creative son of a b*. That’s thinking outside of the box. Boy do I miss the day when the aftermarket was just one great big river rarely fished (for lack of better words.) Now its just so saturated its lost its appeal. I am sure something new and exciting will come along though.


    Drew (@DomainSnatcher)
    and a shameless plug if you don’t mind:
    Download my Non-API Dropcatcher @

    1. That’s awesome. For someone that’s willing to “dial for dollars”, I bet there would be a percentage that would convert. It’s a funnel, and the more you put in the top, the more you’ll get out the bottom. 66% success rate sounds high, but I have no data…one would have to try it and see. If anyone is interested, I’d love to interview you after you’ve made the calls and gathered the data!

    2. Tommy says:

      66% does sound high but that is a great outside the box type method!

  159. James Banks says:

    Thanks mate, fantastic article by the way I’ll pass it on.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the article. Cheers!

  160. Excellent, well written article! Thanks Michael!

    1. Thanks, Peter. I appreciate your feedback. I’m glad you found it useful.

  161. BullS says:

    The Justice Department needs to investigate this BS domain catching scheme as it only profits certain companies.

    It is like houses go to the auction blocks and certain companies get to bid first and the shiddy ones goes to the public.

    When the domains are dropped, it should be in the OPEN and anybody and everybody HAVE THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to hand reg.

    Plain and simple.

  162. Stan says:

    Nice article. I’d be interested in a different article that investigated the legal grey area that is
    expired domains and auction houses and the scam that Mike Mann eluded to in his interview.

    1. @Stan: I agree. That would be interesting. Jamie has provided some interesting info as well, so clearly there is more to publish on this topic.

      Thanks for posting a comment. I’m glad you found it useful.

  163. Jamie says:

    “Any domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be auctioned by an auction service.”

    “Some” domain names that reach expired status, would make the above statement correct.

    Thousands of domain names that reach expired status never make it to any auction service and are released by the registry. Many at that time are captured by a dropcatching service like SnapNames but many are captured by private entities and never auctioned.

    There is no easy way to explain “all” things about expired domain names. As you stated Michael, Network Solutions domain names go to the partnered domain auction service BUT, not “all” do… NSI customers have the option to opt-out of having expired domains go to auction. If a customer picks this option, the domain name would go through the drop process and go PendingDelete around the 71st day after the expire date. When it is released from the registry, the domain name is fair game to the major dropcatching services and the private ones. This still doesn’t mean anybody would grab it, and the domain may become available to hand register.

    Warehoused domains.. well that is another story and one that can also prevent an expired domain to reach public auction. Tucows, and more warehouse domains, so again, not “all” expired domains will hit the partnered auction services.

    Autorenew status is very confusing to many, so that often throws people off watching a specific domain.

    If a domain name is “force” deleted at GoDaddy by a customer.. that domain name will also skip the auction and go PendingDelete etc. also sends some expired domains to NameJet.. but they also warehouse domains.

    I could go on and on with different situations but expired domain names are very confusing and if somebody wants a specific one… I’d suggest contacting a domain professional to get the correct answers and best advice for a specific domain.

    1. @Jamie: Great feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to go into the details of this article, because it’s the details that make it useful. So, thank you.

      Regarding my statement above, “Any domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be auctioned by an auction service.”–it did overstretch. I’ve modified it to be: “A domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be listed at an auction service (see FAQ for exception to this rule).” Then I added a FAQ to clarify. Please check my thinking:

      1. Some domain names don’t go to auction and are instead held by the registrar in their own portfolios (you called this “warehousing” by the registrar). This is probably less than 0.001% of the domain names….actually, probably even less. I suspect it would only be premium domain names with massive exact match local search quantities. Not surprisingly, I cannot find any information from registrars about their procedure, quantities of domains their keep, or ICANN’s rules (if any) about this.

      2. Some domains are listed on the auction sites, but then never go to auction. This may be because of #1 above, or relationships the registrar has with big-time domainers, or the previous registrant finally realizing the domain name expired, or … who knows? It could be a lot of reasons, none of which are documented.

      3. If a registrar doesn’t have an auction partner, expiring domain names simply drop.

      Other notes:

      * “Thousands of domain names that reach expired status never make it to any auction service and are released by the registry.” I think this is only if the registrar a) has an auction partner and b) nobody places a bid at the auction house. In that case, it drops normally and is deleted from the registry and available for anyone to hand register — including backorder services like or I’m not sure why a registrar wouldn’t list an expiring domain name at the auction house as it could lead to extra revenue for them. Can you, Jamie?

      * I would think that the auto-renew of domain names happens well before any domain name is listed at an auction house. That’s just my “common sense” thinking, which clearly may not be reality. :)

      * Great point you made: “If a domain name is ‘force’ deleted at GoDaddy by a customer.. that domain name will also skip the auction and go PendingDelete etc.”

      * You stated, “ also sends some expired domains to NameJet.. but they also warehouse domains.” I’ll look into this and clarify the article further when I hear back from

      Thanks again for all your input, Jamie.

      At the end of the day, this article is geared to startups, business entrepreneurs, webmasters and marketing professionals who need to understand the process, and I guestimate that the process listed in the article above accounts for 99%+ of all expired domain names. All of your points are valid and appreciated, but if someone is interested in buying a good, brandable domain name for their business, they should follow the instructions above to have the best chance of grabbing it.

      1. Jamie says:

        1. “Some domain names don’t go to auction and are instead held by the registry in their own portfolios”

        Registrar, not registry.

        Warehousing: I have no clue to a percentage of warehoused domains but I know it happens. Tucows even admitted it on my blog “I know you don’t like that we’re allowed to select expiring names for the Tucows Portfolio rather than letting them all go to auction or drop but that seems to be something we have to agree to disagree about.” ~ Ken Schafer (1st comment)

        2. Many that are listed and never make it to auction, is because the domain name is likely renewed by the past owner. I think in some cases, the domain may be warehoused or renewed and sold by the past owner.

        Why a registrar would release a domain before sending it to auction… To make the registrar look good! :) It is a rare case when that happens. At NSI, a customer has to request that the domain is not auctioned. Not an easy, one click type situation, so not many do it.

        At GoDaddy, the domain would need to be force deleted, so again.. not a one click process but it happens daily.

        1. Re: registry/registrar. Ugh, typo. Thanks for the catch. I corrected my comment.

          Thanks for posting the link to the comment by Ken Schafer @ Tucows at It’s a great illustration of how Tucows treats their expiring domain names for auction, which is not listed on their website from what I can see.

          UPDATE 6/24/2011: I had a very informative conversation with Bill Sweetman, the GM of the expiry business at Tucows. He provided a ton of useful information about the domain name expiration process – in general – and their processes (, which I believe go beyond other registrars.

  164. Ron Bar says:

    Great Article.It will help many people get into the domain game.

  165. Stan says:

    Nice article. I’d be interested in a different article that investigated the legal grey area that is expired domains and auction houses and the scam that Mike Mann eluded to in his interview.

    1. It will be better if we can know more info about the domain including DA and PA.

  166. BullS says:

    Good strategy but not good enough. I have my own trick but not telling…sorry.

    “You can show them the gold but don’t show them the goldmines”

    1. C’mon, Chris. Remember, you get good karma by sharing. :)

  167. Teresa J. says:

    Loving this article. I’ve been looking for a reference for the partnerships and have been in need of such an article for years. Thanks for writing this. I’m bookmarking it now.

    1. Thanks, Teresa. I’m glad you found the article useful. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can publish to help you out.

  168. Brad Pineau says:

    Amazingly thorough. Well done.

    1. Thanks, Brad. I appreciate your feedback.

      If you have any other registrars that you want me to add, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’d like this to be a living document on the web for those of us who are tracking domains that we may want to use for a business.

      1. Sam says:

        Is there any website which shows list of recently expired domains?

      1. Abhi says:

        Nice Post ! Great advice and the way you explained that is really awesome.

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