If you’ve ever owned a domain name, you’ll have received an email similar to this at some point.. “Attention: Your domain name has expired. You must renew it now – or lose it for good!” But what you might not know is, if you don’t renew the name, there’s a good chance it’ll be auctioned off. At that point, anyone can bid on it and become the new owner.
These expired domain auctions are an excellent source of quality domains. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can even win a premium name for a bargain. Come to think of it, most domains won at auction are a bargain when compared with retail price. But the goal here is to get domains as cheaply as possible. So, in order to accomplish this, you’ll want to focus on auctions that haven’t received a lot of (or any) attention.
We suggest using a tool such as ExpiredDomains.net to scan upcoming auctions and compile a list of targets. That way you’ll know ahead of time which names you’re focusing on vs just just going in blind.
Okay, let’s say you have a list of 10 auctions that haven’t received a bid yet. Auction number 1 is ending soon. You wait till the final moments, place your bid and – oh shoot, someone else jumped in. And then another. Suddenly this cheap domain ain’t so cheap anymore. But you’ve got a list of 10 names, so it’s not a big deal. Next auction. Same thing. Oh crap. There’s a pattern emerging..
Odds are, even if the auction has 0 bids with 5 minutes to go, when you place your bid, someone’s gonna hop in and compete with you. Either they were planning to bid all along or they’re piggybacking. That’s just the name of the game. But here’s the thing. Even if you manage to grab 1 or 2 of your picks for cheap, that’s a win. So just mentally prepare yourself to lose most auctions, and then you won’t be as disappointed when it happens. It’s a numbers game. Aim to grab 1 of your picks per day and that’s 30 per month that you can flip for a profit or develop. Not bad at all!
There are numerous registrars with their own aftermarkets. We’ll list the ones that we’re most familiar with:
One of the most active aftermarkets if not the most active. Lots of great domains hitting the auctioning block daily. Lots of competish too. A little side note about GoDaddy Auctions: In the past, for auctions that haven’t received a bid in the final moments, I would have suggested waiting for the domain to hit the Closeouts section and trying to snag it for $11. The logic is, if it hasn’t received a bid, why bid now and risk someone else noticing it. However, with GD recently increasing the starting price of Closeouts from from $11.00 to $50.00, you might as well just place a bid in the final moments and try your luck. There’s also the problem of large corporations using bots to snipe closeouts and jump into virtually every auction (dominating the market). Even so, if you’re patient, and as I mentioned above – play the numbers game – you can still win some auctions here and there (some names still fly under the radar).
Dynadot is one of our favorite registrars and we’re also fans of their aftermarket. You can find some excellent expired domains there. They’ve recently added payment plans, so now you can compete for the better names without having a huge budget.
You’ll find expired domain (pre-release) auctions at NameJet as well as private auctions. You can also backorder dropping domains via their backorder service.
DropCatch Pre-Release Auctions
DropCatch pulls in expired domains from their registrar NameBright. You can view them by selecting the “Pre-Release” box in the “Refine By” menu. Pre-Release quality seems to have gone downhill this year. It’s largely just people’s names. Check out the “Dropped” auctions for the best quality domains.