Expired Domains, Someone Registered Them for a Reason

By on May 19, 2007

Alot of domainers today are addicted to expiring domains, myself included! I actually enjoy scouring over endless lists of names that are set to expire in the coming days. These “deleting domains” were once registered a year or more ago by someone who for one reason or another has not attempted to renew a particular name.

Deleting or expiring domains are more often than not poor quality junk names that don’t deserve to be registered again. However, some quality gems can be found and many people are searching for these names to buy at a flat registration cost ($8.95 or lower at GoDaddy with coupon codes). Quality .com domains can sell for 400-1000% markup of registration cost if not more.

I prefer to find quality names that are easily developed into a business, service or community website.

Here is some information to get you started on finding a great recycled domain.

Where can I find expiring domains?

There are many services online which provide searchable databases of expiring domains, some better than others. Here are a few quality examples.

  • JustDropped.com – Advanced search options with Registrar specific search.
  • DropScout.com – categories including dictionary words, PR, age and traffic.
  • Pool.com – Backorder service with advanced search options.
  • SnapNames.com – popular expired and deleting pre-order service requires registration to bid.
  • NamePros.com – Expired Domain forum, many members provide lists of names free of charge.
  • DropHunt.com – advanced search options including dictionary check, search engine backlinks, and Alexa rank.

What do I do after I’ve found a good name?

Finding a quality name is only half the battle. Depending on the quality of the name, keywords, character length, etc. you may or may not have competition to be the first person to register the expired domain once it becomes available for registration. Many registrars provide a service for backordering names. Backordering may give you an edge on the competition. By paying a fee or bidding on a name, a registrar will try their best to monitor and secure the name as soon as it becomes available. Do a WHOIS search on your selected name and find out what registrar is listed to decide which backorder service to choose.

Compile and save a text list of the quality domain names that you have collected from your searches. Expiring names go through a redemption process which allows the original registrant a chance to renew. This process can take up to a month or more. Wait about 2 weeks from the expiry date and start checking availability. Find a good bulk domain search tool, I recommend DomainTools and check your list daily.

Once a domain is showing up as available don’t sit around and twiddle your thumbs! More often than not your name will be registered by someone soon. If you want to secure the name, register it immediately.

Woohoo! I snagged a domain, what now?

Now you have to decide how you want to monetize your name. If you don’t have any intention of using or developing the domain yourself you can attempt to “flip” it to other domainers. Don’t expect to get ridiculous offers for your domain. Be realistic when pricing your name and remember that anything over your registration fee is pure profit. See the “Selling Domains” section of DotSauce for resources on selling domain names.

If you plan on developing a business or website from your name you can significantly increase the value. See my 10 Tips for Investing in Domain Names for additional information. Consider that a domain increased in value with it’s age, search engine rankings and incoming unique visitor traffic.

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.