Thanks, Michael. I cannot find the auction site house of this registrar. It IS up for auction, but it’s NOT fully expired nor dropped – so it appears as though using an automated domain name backorder service may not be the best course of action. The URL still renews every year and is not set to expire until June 2016. The registrar is DOMREG LTD and seems to be tied in to Any suggestions? I just need to ensure my $ is going to the actual entity that’ll grant me the URL. I’m unclear how to avoid paying $ for the URL to a company/service that can’t actually do anything for me (i.e., getting ripped off). Thanks for any direction you can offer.

When a domain name that was previously registered expires, it goes through a grace period that allows the previous registrant one last chance to reclaim their domain before it becomes available to new buyers. If the previous registrant still has not renewed their domain after the 77 day deletion process, the domain name will officially expire and enter the Aftermarket.

I don't necessarily agree with some that dropped domains don't have value for SEO purposes but either way one thing you can do is to check out our tool for finding auction domain names (the tool has a database of domains available buy from GoDaddy and SEDO and also give additional SEO criteria to look up for the domains like backlinks, Compete data, CPC, Google stats, Alexa stats, etc. and there is also an option to schedule auction domain alerts so that you can be notified via email if a domain name meeting criteria you specify gets put up for sale) or you could use our tool fo domains dropping soon that shows all domains dropping in the next 5 days that way you can be ready to snap them up right away.
We do not only have Expired Domains, but you can also find lists of Deleted Domains for a lot of TLDs. Deleted Domains or Dropped Domains are available for registration and can be picked up for just the normal regfee at your preferred domain registrar! All Domains have the typical SEO relevant data, like Number of Backlinks, Birth Date and a lot more.