At the end of the day, this article is geared to startups, business entrepreneurs, webmasters and marketing professionals who need to understand the process, and I guestimate that the process listed in the article above accounts for 99%+ of all expired domain names. All of your points are valid and appreciated, but if someone is interested in buying a good, brandable domain name for their business, they should follow the instructions above to have the best chance of grabbing it.
Let's face it, if you want to make money off the internet, you have to wrap your mind around one central rule: no traffic means no money. Making money online is all about being able to generate traffic from social media sites, search engines, and all other sources of online traffic. It's impossible to make money as an affiliate if you don't have traffic to convert into cold hard dollars. There are, of course, many ways to generate traffic. You can write content and organically attract search engine traffic. You can post a unique blog post on willing third party blogs and enjoy direct traffic along with SEO benefits. You can also promote affiliate links on social media platforms and get traffic that way. In fact, if you really think about it hard enough, generating traffic is really not that difficult.
If the domain name is not with any auction house partner (I think that’s what you’re saying), then you can use a drop catch service anytime: https://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-backorder-services/ They do not make your order public information as NameJet and others do by sharing how many bids are placed on a domain name and thereby driving interest.
So, what to do? Simply, you must use someones other hard work and thinking. People have already contemplated all possible variations, synonyms, they know how domain names are valued, know about keywords, type-in traffic etc. Every day tens of thousands domains names are expiring. Every single day. That is hell of a lot expired domains to pick from. The reasons why people "let" domains expire are various. Could be somethins as banal as forgeting to renew, could be as serious as physical death. Many let domains expire because they don't need them any more. But that is not your bussiness to think about.
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 LIBRIS.com. 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.
Warehousing: I have no clue to a percentage of warehoused domains but I know it happens. Tucows even admitted it on my blog “I know you don’t like that we’re allowed to select expiring names for the Tucows Portfolio rather than letting them all go to auction or drop but that seems to be something we have to agree to disagree about.” ~ Ken Schafer (1st comment) http://www.dotweekly.com/could-you-explain-tucows
Referring domains for anchor phrases usually reveals similar information. What you really want to look out for is whether or not the site has been picked up by a spammer in the past. A lot of times these expired domains were dropped, picked up by a website owner who then tried to rank it for keywords like Viagra, Cialis and whatever. You obviously don’t want that kind of domain.

I want to purchase a domain name that is to expire very soon. After looking it up on Whois, the owner is revealed to be 1 and 1, which doesn’t have a designated auction house based on your chart above. How should I go about trying to buy this? Because I don’t know if it will go to auction, and if it does, which auction house I should look at. It is set to expire soon: 2015-09-21

That’s awesome. For someone that’s willing to “dial for dollars”, I bet there would be a percentage that would convert. It’s a funnel, and the more you put in the top, the more you’ll get out the bottom. 66% success rate sounds high, but I have no data…one would have to try it and see. If anyone is interested, I’d love to interview you after you’ve made the calls and gathered the data!
See https://www.domainsherpa.com/domain-name-dictionary/life-cycle-of-a-typical-gtld-domain-name/. They start it in auction listings after it expires and before pending delete. I don’t know the exact dates, but if you monitor it you’ll see it go from auction, to closeout, to drop. You’ll need an auctions.godaddy.com account (I believe $5 per year) to bid and buy.

i had a backorder for a domian that was registered at godaddy. The backorder of the domain says the domain expires feb 23, 2015. However, when i check the whois on different websites, it now says the domain is registered through feb 2016. However, GODADDY back ordering still has the domain with the expiration date of feb 23, 2015. Why would they be showing 2 different dates? The domain is not even in an auction, so the 2016 seems like the new correct date?
I am interested in a domain name that is set to expire in April 2016. The domain is registered with Domain.com, so I have placed a backorder on Snapnames.com (thanks for confirming I at least did that part right). I also placed backorders with NameJet.com and Pool.com, based on previous advice I received. Now I’m wondering if that might be overkill since Snapnames is the designated auction house. Will I ultimately end up bidding against myself?
Answer: Yes. For a vast majority of domain names that expire (greater than 99%+), the rules and processes listed above are valid. However, there appear to be exceptions to these rules. For example, registrars “warehouse” or take for their own domain name portfolios some domain names, and other domain names a renewed even past their expired or redemption periods. In addition, there is at least one registrar that does not have an auction partner, allowing expired domain names to simply drop and be available for hand register.
Today, the story is different. Domain name registrars realized that they could auction expired domain names to the highest bidder and generate additional revenue. If no one wanted the domain names in an auction, the domains would then drop and become available for anyone to register. Much of the time, however, domain names are successfully auctioned.

Answer: Registrars are not set-up to negotiate the selling price of expiring domain names. Their technical support team likely won’t even know what you’re referring to, let alone who to refer your inquiry to. It’s likely your offer won’t even be worth their time to handle. Unless you know the founder, president or chief operating officer of the registrar, you won’t even be able to have a dialogue about it. In addition, depending on how they interpret the ICANN registrar rules, it may not even be possible.

ExpiredDomains.net gathers all the information you need to find good Expired Domains that are Pending Delete and you can Backorder. Depending on the domain extension you can search through thousands of domains every day before they get released to the public and pick what you like. ExpiredDomains.net currently supports 473 TLDs. From the classic gTLDs like .com, .net, .org to Droplists for ccTLDs you can only find here and now we even support some of the best new gTLDs like .xyz and .club.
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