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* “Thousands of domain names that reach expired status never make it to any auction service and are released by the registry.” I think this is only if the registrar a) has an auction partner and b) nobody places a bid at the auction house. In that case, it drops normally and is deleted from the registry and available for anyone to hand register — including backorder services like SnapNames.com or Pool.com. I’m not sure why a registrar wouldn’t list an expiring domain name at the auction house as it could lead to extra revenue for them. Can you, Jamie?

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.

Domain Hunter Gatherer also makes expired domain detection less painful. As I've mentioned above, finding drop domains on your own can be like taking shots in the dark, or trying to find a needle in a haystack. You’re more than welcome to try it, but I’m telling you, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience. With Domain Hunter Gatherer, you have many different options on how to search for drop domains. You can enter a search term and it will spit out sites that you can then crawl for dead links. You can then filter these dead links to see if they can be registered. You can also enter a site URL of a competitor and get dead links that way. You can even import web pages from Wikipedia or other websites to scan for dead links.
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.

Ultimately, I was left with a semi-automated process of scraping sites and running an intricate series of processes to come up with a list of expired domains that I then had to evaluate by hand. This meant I had Majestic and Moz open to check the backlink anchor text and Archive.org to check for obvious spam for every single possible domain. The process was excruciatingly slow and tedious, but absolutely necessary to find domains that would be suitable for building out.
Quite a lot of the time majestic trust flow will be great but ref domains below 10 but when I check ahrefs its considerably higher for ref domains. Without ahrefs I would of passed over these domains and missed out. Worthwhile addition if your building a lot of pbns. I also use linkultra backlink for my final spam check as it checks language,site type and if backlinks are comment, profile spammed etc enabling me to check if the backlinks of the domain are solid very quick.

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.


Ultimately, I was left with a semi-automated process of scraping sites and running an intricate series of processes to come up with a list of expired domains that I then had to evaluate by hand. This meant I had Majestic and Moz open to check the backlink anchor text and Archive.org to check for obvious spam for every single possible domain. The process was excruciatingly slow and tedious, but absolutely necessary to find domains that would be suitable for building out.
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Domain Hunter Gatherer gives you a lot of options when it comes to getting a starting point for your drop domain search. This amazing tool also makes filtering drop domains so much easier. You have to understand that the vast majority of drop domains out there are complete junk. You have no business buying them. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to filter correctly, most of these domains would look very attractive. You end up wasting your money on domain names that do not recoup the dollars you invested in them. Domain Hunter Gatherer makes filtering so much easier. It incorporates Moz and Majestic API support without requiring you to have an account on those services*. It quickly lets you know how many social media mentions a particular domain has, it lists out the number of backlinks that the domain used to have, and so on down the line. It's a very fast piece of software because it is multi-threaded. Finally, once you've identified certain domains you'd like to track, you can save them very easily. If you are looking to take your online income to the next level, you should definitely get your copy of the Domain Hunter Gatherer today. It will definitely make your life easier.
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Thank you for a very informative article. I am still a bit confused on a couple of things. There is a domain that I have been looking to purchase for about a year now and it expires within the next 24 hours. It is with name.com and appears for backorder at snapnames but not at namejet. I am assuming this is because they are both connected auction houses?
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.
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