There is a common misconception that domains expire on their expiration date. If a domain registration is not renewed by its expiration date, the domain simply goes into "expired" status, which means all services are shut off. Typically, we provide a 35-day grace period during which the current holder can still renew it for the standard renewal fee. For more information please review our domain deletion policy.
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.
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.
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 https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-push-a-domain-name-at-godaddy-com/) or send you the authorization code so you can transfer the domain name to a different registrar (https://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-transfer-a-domain-name-to-another-registrar/).
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.
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.
When searching from keyword DHG will take your list of keywords and search each one, the pages will then be crawled to find unique domains to check availability of. The process is relatively simple but very time consuming when done manually or semi automated as was necessary in the past. Luckily now the job can be set and left to work while you do something else.

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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.
If you buy a dropped domain from Snap or Namejet, the backlinks seem to be worthless for SEO.  They are valuable for traffic if it's targeted to your site.  Go ahead and 301 redirect into your site because it's the traffic from the back links that is worth something.  I use the Google URL builder to redirect these names so you can see the domain the traffic is coming from.
Once a domain expires, the registrar will allow around 30 days for the original owner to renew it. This period depends on the registrar and can range from 2 weeks to a whole year. Once this period is over, the domain enters the "Pending Delete" status, during which it cannot be renewed, purchased or modified in any way. Once the Pending delete status is over, the domain is dropped back into the available pool, and can now be purchased by anyone.
DomCop has a great offer that all of you buying expired domains should consider. For the price of a couple domain names, you can use DomCop for a month, snag some excellent domain names, which would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars. If you're considering expired domain software and don't have the knowledge to program your own crawler, I'd lean towards DomCop.
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