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Expired Domain Name Snatching 101

By: Paul Baumgarthuber

Interested in getting your hands on an expired domain name? Unlike the traditional method of domain registration, expired domains require a different approach. To begin with, when a domain name expires it is not immediately released for registration by a new party. Instead, there is a 40-day grace period in which the initial domain owner can reclaim the name. During this grace period, individuals who visit the expired web site are redirected to the registrar’s homepage and some registrars actually redirect traffic to a 'for sale' page. Once the grace period comes to an end and the owner has not reclaimed the name, the WHOIS information for the name is deleted and the domain goes into what is called the redemption period. The domain, however, is not released for sale. Instead, the domainer who allowed the name to expire still has the opportunity to regain control of the domain if they pay the registrar a fee that usually runs around $150.

Next, the domain name enters the 'locked' stage that lasts for about five days. During this time frame, the domainer can still restore the domain name. Once the stage ends (day 76 from the expiration date), the expired domain is released into a large batch of names and is now available for purchase. Tracking expired domain names and then snatching up the ones you many want when they come out of the locked stage is virtually impossible to manage. Some domainers opt to simply backorder domain names, but this method is not foolproof.

Instead, some domain experts recommend using the services of a domain snatching company. Domain snatching companies concentrate on the drop period of expired domains and can increase the domainer’s chance of picking up the expired domain name they have been waiting for. Three of the Internet’s top domain snatchers include SnapNames.com, NameJet.com and Pool.com.

Each of these companies operate a little differently, but the overall idea is that the domainer registers with the company, puts a credit card on file and agrees to pay a fee (usually around $20) plus the winning bid amount when the expired name becomes available. The domainer does not pay a fee unless they receive rights to the domain.

 

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