If your domain name was in fact stolen from you, please go file a police report as soon as possible. If, instead, you allowed your domain name to expire through carelessness or ignorance, then you’ve learned a valuable lesson: domains have value. I’m not saying this to be a jerk, I’m saying this because words matter and saying something was “stolen” when in fact it was allowed to expire is not truth. I’m happy to share my knowledge as clearly as possible for others to benefit from, and all I ask is that others do the same.
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.
There is no easy way to explain “all” things about expired domain names. As you stated Michael, Network Solutions domain names go to the partnered domain auction service NameJet.com BUT, not “all” do… NSI customers have the option to opt-out of having expired domains go to auction. If a customer picks this option, the domain name would go through the drop process and go PendingDelete around the 71st day after the expire date. When it is released from the registry, the domain name is fair game to the major dropcatching services and the private ones. This still doesn’t mean anybody would grab it, and the domain may become available to hand register.
If you buy a domain from a 3rd party, the backlinks are valuable.  I always wait a few months before redirecting, so just set up a quick minisite until two page rank updates have passed and then go ahead and 301 redirect.  However, it seems that you'll get the link juice from the back links, the anchor text is ignored by Google.   Buying a domain at Godaddy TDName expired auctions, seem to not count as a dropped domain if you immediately set up a mini-site.

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.
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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.
This is not the case at GoDaddy Auctions, however. There, GoDaddy starts the auction before the domain names has fully expired and the registrant does have the ability to pay a one-time restoration fee to restore ownership. This is particularly frustrating to those bidding in the auction, as you may be the winning bidder and pay your winning bid price only to find out a few days later that it was restored. You then have to wait for a refund from GoDaddy.
Backlinks – These are basically anchor links present on external websites that take the visitor back to a domain. The higher the number and authority of backlinks, the higher the authority of a domain. For example, if a domain has a backlink from Forbes, TechCrunch or BBC, it’ll gain a lot of authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. It’s like attaching a reference letter from Bill Gates to your CV.

Much obliged Michael. Extremely supportive data. I have been reached by their specialists and need to pitch it to me for $3500. It just stays there and is not a high esteemed area name. Simply my name. I needed it for quite a long time, however not willing to fork out that sort of cash. Was truly trusting I could catch it consistently when it lapses.
I’m ready to purchase domain hunter gatherer after seeing your video but I’m a little scared to spend money because all I need is information for South Africa and the Domains that expire for .co.za if you can do a quick check (not a long as the video ) on the features it has for .co.za and let me know id show my appreciation by purchasing immediately as this is my only concern.
Internet Marketing is one of the best fields which have a great output potential, but using suitable tools for different tasks is what make it interesting. For newbies, it may not understandable, but for professional internet marketers, tools are everything. Among many tools of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), expired domains finder that finds expired domains with already build matrices are most attractive things. Online marketers are well aware of the fact that time is everything, so they try to find domains that have already great values to spare their time.
Yes, we port in all of the domains from NameJet, SnapNames, etc. There are a lot of great deals to be found. Some are absolute trash of course but if you can sift through them and put some time in (hopefully that is what we are trying to do with our tools is save time and give some value add with the SEO metrics, alerts, etc.) then you can find some great bargains.
Hundreds of thousands of domains expire everyday. While most of them are trash, quite a few are aged domains having excellent backlinks. These can be easily filtered using metrics from Majestic (Trust Flow) & Moz (Domain Authority). These are great for your money sites or for building private blog networks. Some of these domains have natural organic traffic, that can be determined by their SEMrush rank or the SimilarWeb data. These are great for domain parking or for promoting affiliate offers.