The third option is the one that's the most time consuming but also has its benefits. It's like having a successful restaurant and buying another restaurant and operating them simultaneously. They're not the exact same restaurant, but both are popular in their own right and make you money. The same goes for Option #3. You could update the content on the old domain and sell the same products that you're selling on your current site. If you can get both sites to rank alongside each other in the SERPs, you're increasing your conversion chances and sales potential.
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.
Alternatively, you can monitor a domain name for free at a number of locations. DomainTools.com offers a free domain name monitor tool, as does DomainHole.com (both available with free member registration). Once you receive an email notification that a domain has changed status from active to expired, you can follow the process listed above to enter a bid at the auction partner site.
Finally, if you were to manually check for drop domains, you have to jump through many hoops. It's a very labor intensive and often confusing process. When you see that a domain name is available, you shouldn’t just stop there. You should also pay attention to how many backlinks it had, how niche-specific the domain is, what kind of websites link to it, did it get signals from social media, and other indicators of quality. If you were to try to look for drop domains manually, it can be a very, very intimidating process. Thankfully, there is an easier solution.
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.
Regarding my statement above, “Any domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be auctioned by an auction service.”–it did overstretch. I’ve modified it to be: “A domain name that reaches expired status and is not renewed by the owner will be listed at an auction service (see FAQ for exception to this rule).” Then I added a FAQ to clarify. Please check my thinking:
The whitelist filter for wanted characters is now split into three filters. The old whitelist is now named whitelist (only). When used, the domain has to consist only of the defined characters or numbers. No other characters are allowed. The new whitelist (any) filter finds domains that have at least one of the defined characters or numbers. The new whitelist (all) filter finds domains that have all defined characters or numbers at least once.