Purchasing Expired Domain Names

When some­one choos­es to reg­is­ter a domain name they typ­i­cal­ly have the option to pur­chase it any­where from 1–3 years. As the years expire, the own­er of the domain name has the option of renew­ing it or just let­ting it expire. Most peo­ple typ­i­cal­ly renew their domain name because they have a web site locat­ed there. Many domain buy­ers pur­chase hun­dreds of domain names that they actu­al­ly nev­er use. They buy them because they think they might use them or because they might pay off in the future if some­one else wish­es to pur­chase it from them at a cer­tain price. When you are search­ing for the right domain name and you may come across some are expired or soon to be expired. Log­i­cal­ly, you may think that you just wait until the cer­tain expi­ra­tion date and pick it up for the low, low price of $8.95 or what­ev­er the cur­rent reg­is­trar is charg­ing. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is more to it than that.

Instead of releas­ing the domain name to the pub­lic on the day that it expires, it goes into an “expired” sta­tus for 40 days. The domain name is shut off and is of no use to who­ev­er orig­i­nal­ly reg­is­tered it but the 40 days gives them time to re-reg­is­ter it with­out any fur­ther penal­ty. If the domain name is impor­tant to the own­er, they won’t even let it get to this sta­tus. This is a good first sign that this domain won’t be renewed. If the domain name own­er hasn’t renewed their domain name with­in 40 days, the domain name goes into a “redemp­tion peri­od”. The orig­i­nal domain name owner’s time is run­ning out at this point. Their Whois infor­ma­tion gets delet­ed and the site slow­ly becomes dis­as­so­ci­at­ed with the orig­i­nal own­er. The orig­i­nal domain own­er still has the option to renew their domain but now it will cost them around a $100 fee. At this point, the chances of some­one renew­ing their domain are very slim. After the “redemp­tion peri­od” the domain name sta­tus changes to “locked” where all the infor­ma­tion tied to the domain is basi­cal­ly delet­ed and the domain name is wiped clean. This phase only lasts 5 days and on the last day the domain name is com­plete­ly removed from the ICANN data­base and is open for reg­is­tra­tion. The whole process takes about 75 days from the date of the actu­al expi­ra­tion.

At this point, you may think that you can just log on to your favorite reg­is­trar and pick up the expired domain name. In some cas­es you may be able to, but if the domain name has a catchy name or is sim­ple to remem­ber, there may be many oth­ers just like you wait­ing for it to be released to the pub­lic. Some domain name buy­ers will con­tin­u­al­ly check online to try to grab up the expired domain but this method usu­al­ly proves inef­fec­tive. There are 3 major expired domain name firms that spe­cial­ize in pick­ing up expired domains for you. These ser­vices check the servers as often as they can with­out being banned try­ing to grab the expired domain name as soon as it is avail­able. The three ser­vices are: Snapnames.com, Namejet.com and Pool.com.

Snapnames.com: Snapnames.com is one of the newest and they are pop­u­lar amongst domain catch­er ser­vices. They charge $69 for the domain name if they are able to snatch it up for you.

Namejet.com: For­mer­ly known as Enom.com, they are com­pet­ing for the top spot in expired domain buy­ing firms. They too charge a $69 fee when buy­ing a request­ed domain. Namejet.com will work great espe­cial­ly if the domain name you are tar­get­ting was orig­i­nal­ly reg­is­tered with Net­work Solu­tions.

Pool.com: Pool.com is known as the most suc­cess­ful expired domain name buy­ing com­pa­ny. Their ser­vices can also be a lit­tle tricky and con­fus­ing how­ev­er. If Pool.com is able to pick up your long await­ed domain, they charge you a $60 fee and enter you into Phase 1 of the pur­chas­ing process. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Phase 2 isn’t just putting in your cred­it card infor­ma­tion. In Phase 1, you get three days to place anoth­er bid on the domain name to com­pete with oth­er bid­ders. If your bid is one of the top two bids or with­in 30 per­cent of the top bid, you get a chance to bid against a small group of peo­ple for final con­trol of the domain name. If you turn out to be the high­est bid­der, the domain is yours.

Buy­ing an expired domain can be of great ben­e­fit to you. Many expired domains already have some rank­ing in the search engines and back links that will help you with search engine opti­miza­tion. If there is an expir­ing domain out there that you can’t live with­out, try one or all of these 3 domain name buy­ing firms. If you aren’t too sure about the domain or it is obscure enough that you don’t see a bid­ding war hap­pen­ing, try out one of the registrar’s back­o­rder­ing ser­vices which are typ­i­cal­ly cheap­er and eas­i­er.

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