How to Catch a Dropped Expiring Domain
Is a previously unavailable domain name that you’ve been eyeing coming up on its expiration date? You might just be lucky enough to snag it soon! A domain name that I’ve been wanting for a few years was registered by someone else and had been parked for all those years. Every Spring I try to contact them via email to see if I can buy the domain name from them, but no luck, never a response. But as luck would have it, this year the domain went past its expiration date and the hunt was on. I back ordered the domain through Godaddy’s domain back ordering services for $18.95 and thought that I was good to go. A few days go by and not much happened, so I did some research and found this quite eye-opening Original How to Snatch An Expiring Domain Article on what happens when a registered domain expires.
Little has changed since that article was a written in 2005 and most of it still applies, but eNom for all intents and purposes is now NameJet for domain catching. So, the big 3 for catching dropping .COM domains are SnapNames, NameJet, and Pool.
Domain Expiration Date
The domain that I was interested in was:
Created Jan 19, 2007
Expired Jan 19, 2012
You can check the WHOIS information for registration dates at www.verisigninc.com
Despite what the expiration date says, you won’t be able to register this domain right on the expiration date, not by a long shot. For 40 days after the domain expiration date, the original registrant can still renew that domain without penalty from their registrar. No status change will appear on the WHOIS information.
Domain Redemption Period
Updated Feb 29, 2012
Redemption Period Feb 29, 2012
After 40 days, the domain status gets updated to Redemption Period. The domain will remain in Redemption Period for 30 days. During this Redemption Period, the WHOIS record will show a status of Redemption Period and registrant information starts disappearing from the WHOIS record. The most important change here is that, the current registrant will have to pay additional fees ~$100 to renew this domain now. Good sign that your domain will be available to drop.
Domain Pending Delete Status
Pending Delete March 31, 2012
After 30 days of Redemption Period, the domain is put into Pending Delete status. The WHOIS record will show a status of Pending Delete. The domain will remain in Pending Delete status for 5 days. No one will be able to register this domain until it drops in 5 days now.
Catching the Expired Domain
Dropped April 6, 2012 caught by Snapnames 1:15 Pacific Time
After 5 days of Pending Delete, Verisign releases the domain back into the wild available for registration some time between 11AM – 2PM Pacific Time. Now is the moment of truth and time to put all the professional domain name catching services to work. In my case, Snapnames successfully snatched the expired domain at 1:15 Pacific and by 2:15 it was already transferred to Moniker under my name. Very happy with the services of SnapNames, especially for the reasonable sum of $69 including the price of 1 year of registration. The total process took 75 days after the domain expiration date, the most WHOIS lookups you’ll ever do!
Does an Expired Domain Retain Domain Age?
No, the new creation date on the WHOIS record will show the new creation date.
Which Domain Name Catching Service Should I Use?
Use at least all of the BIG 3: Snapnames, NameJet, and Pool. You never know really which service will be successful for you. All 3 services are currently free of charge unless they’re successful, so what have you got to lose? Godaddy domain back order on the other hand does require you to pay $18.95 upfront. They were the most vocal through emails regarding the changing statuses of my domain, but in this case they were ultimately unsuccessful despite looking the most proactive in alerting me of what’s happening. If the domain name is REALLY important to you and you suspect that there may be others interested, DO NOT try to catch it yourself manually via Godaddy or something, YOU WILL LOSE if any of the professional services are involved. They’ve got far more resources at their disposal and domains are snapped in microseconds after they drop.
I’d be happy to use Snapnames, NameJet and Pool in the future, the upfront payment for Godaddy just isn’t appealing to me, and it’s much better to operate with less risk.