2) prerelease auctions.  These are domains where the auction venue has contracted with the registrar, like Fabulous or Moniker, to auction off non-renewed domains.  Just before a domain enters the pending delete process, it goes to a private auction to any person who has backordered the name.  Some people feel that back links on these type of auctions still provide a SEO benifit. My testing indicates that there is zero SEO benifit when these domains are redirected into another site.  So if you get a domain with "pink squirels" in a lot of achor text to a domain and then point it at your domain, you don't rank for "pink squirels"
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.
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.

Hello, since many years now my domain name has been stolen from me. Now it’s for sale but for $3000 and I don’t have that kind of money. My question is, if I backorder it, won’t this trigger the owner to keep on renewing it each year hoping that one day I will buy it from him? Isn’t there a way to reserve my domain name or get notified when it goes back to sell without the seller to know?

If you buy keyword specific domains, you're really buying the type in traffic.  I use the URL builder and redirect through that URL so you can see how much traffic your getting from the keyword domain.  There seems to be no rythme or reason to what keyword domains deliver traffic and what don't.  By tracking traffic with the Google URL builder you get a feel for what names are giving you traffic and which are not. ie. the plural, the singular, two words, three words, the possessive, etc.

I had two domains, a .com and .net with godaddy. I’m beyond their redemption period ($80 fee), but they said it should be released back to the public domain soon and I may be able to get it back. Before I knew this, I paid $12.99 plus ican fees for the .com thinking it was available as the rep told me she was able to add it their cart, and I paid a $24.95 fee for back ordering my .net domain. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from godaddy saying:

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.

Surely if you purchase a domain (domain1.com) and redirect it to your existing domain (domain2.com) you expect to loose all ranking for domain1.com. If 301's are used then the objective is simply to pass on authority, not dominate the search results with 2 domains. If you want to keep domain2.com in the index then you would take Rebecca's option 2 or 3.
Simple question: say I get the URL I want via auction for however umpteen hundreds of dollars, what about the renewal prices? Am I at the mercy of the auction house every year I want to renew it? Is it as simple as paying 10 or 15 bucks a year like with GoDaddy with a URL I got not through an Auction? I’m willing to pay for the desired URL up front but I don’t know what that entails down the pike.
However, Pool uses what some have called a “two-phase” auction system. This means that once you win your original backorder, Pool will then move you into the auction phase where you compete with other bidders for the domain. Pool doesn’t reveal how many bidders there are or what they’re bidding, so you have to offer the highest price you’re willing to if you want to get that dream domain.
You can easily find domains using the best metrics available from Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, SEMRush, Similar Web, SEMrush, Domain Scope and Social Networks. We buy only the best, the latest, and, the most comprehensive industry wide metrics so you have the maximum amount of information to make a decision. No other tool gives you access to 90+ metrics.