The expired domain names market is growing larger by the day – with hundreds or thousands of people fighting to own the latest premium domain name which is expiring. Buying an expired domain is not as easy as you may think, unless of course the domain name has no real value – if you’ve just purchased an expired domain name and found it very easy, the chances are it was so easy because nobody else wanted it, and unfortunately unless the domain name is your own name, your business name, or your product name, the chances are it’s not worth very much.
Domain names which are about to expire go through several phases or statuses – first, the domain is classed as expired, this happens on the first day after the paid registration period runs out, the domain name will remain in this phase for around 30 – 40 days, and during this period the person who let the domain expire may pay the renewal fee and continue to use the domain name, the renewal fee will be the standard fee they would have paid to renew the domain name before it expire.
If the owner does not renew before the grace period expires, the domain name will then enter a second status – the redemption period, this is a period of time during which the previous owner may still choose to renew the domain name, but they will be required to pay a penalty fee for doing so, the fee may vary between different registrars but it can be as high as seveal hundred dollars.
Assuming the owner does not renew the domain name during any of these periods, the domain name will become locked, it will now be in the pending deletion phase, at this point it can not be registered by anyone – not the previous owner, and not a new owner. This period is around 5 days long, and on the last day of the deletion period the domain name will be dropped and will be available for anyone to register – there is fierce competition for the more valuable domain names, and particularly valuable domain names will not drop at all, they will enter an auction period which allows potential new owners to bid on the domain name, with the highest bidder winning the domain name and having it transferred to their domain name account to use as they wish.
If you are just looking to purchase a single expired domain name which has meaning to you, but not other people, or is your business name exactly, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble, but more premium domain names have people who are experienced in registering expired domain names, some domain brokers even have special web servers which have a super fast connection to domain registrars so they can save those vital few seconds when the domain name becomes available and try to register it before anyone else. But don’t be disheartened, these people often go after domain names which are worth multiple hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands – not ones which are worth less than 1 hundred dollars.
There is another way to purchase expired domain names, which can sometimes work, but can sometimes end up with the domain name not expiring at all, or costing you more than if you’d just waited for it to become available – that is to contact the current owner of the domain name before it expires and ask whether they would be willing to sell it to you for a price which suits both of you – of course, what you may actually be doing is reminding them that the domain is about to expire, in which case they’ll renew it and continue to use it, or you may be speaking to a “greedy one” who asks for more than it would cost even at auction! If you’ve got a greedy one, one of 2 things will happen – they will leave it to expire anyways if you refuse to pay what they ask, or they will renew it to be spiteful, in which case, move on and find another domain – there are thousands expiring every day!