Buying expired domains is a very crucial activity for those engaged in internet marketing and making money online. In addition, buying expired domain names would also appeal to those who are trying to brand themselves or their businesses online, and find that the good and suitable domain names are already taken. If you have purchased domains online at any point of time, you will realize that it is quite a trick business, as far as taking a suitable name is concerned.
For example, when I wanted to buy a domain in my name, I found that the dot com variant was already taken. Since dot com is the most natural and intuitive TLD (top level domain), it is the most highly valued. With rapid expansion of the internet – there are far in excess of 100 million websites in existence, with over a trillion unique URLs – getting a suitable domain name is becoming more of a challenge.
But first, what exactly is an expired domain name?
Unlike you name, your website domain name is not for life. It is registered with an internationally recognized body (ICANN) for a fixed period, ranging from 1 year to 10 years. So, if you have purchased a domain name, say example.com today for one year, and after one year, you fail to get it renewed, the domain name will expire – though not in the sense that it will just vanish from the face of the earth. It will become available to anyone else interested in that domain name. That person will just pay the domain name registration fees, and he/she will become the proud owner of example.com
How to Buy Expired Domain Names?
Before you try to buy a domain name, you have to actually KNOW which domain names are expiring in near future. It is, admittedly, not an easy task. Even with expiring domain names, the original owner will, obviously, get the first chance to renew it. Only if the original owner fails to get the domain mane renewed, does it come into the open market again. Please note that there is a ‘grace period’ of about six weeks after the expiry date, in which the owner can get the name renewed. Only after the expiry of the grace period the real action starts. The domain name become available for grabs after another five weeks or so.
You can use the whois lookup tool to contact the owner directly to inquire whether he or she is interested in selling the domain name, but it is not an advisable approach. First, the owner may really object to a privacy breach. Secondly, almost all the registrars provide privacy protection to selected TLDs, so you may not even get to know the name and address details of the owner.
So, if you are really interested in buying a suitable domain name, and a good new domain name is not available, how would you know about the expired domain names that are coming into the market? Well, use our good mutual friend, GOOGLE to do the job! To help you, this link can also provide auction dates of expiring domain names. This site will also help you to filter your choice on various parameters, such as number of words, age etc.
The actual level of interest in a particular domain name will depend on a lot of factors. The closer a domain name is to a high value keyword, the more expensive it will be. For example, a premium domain name such as business.com will command a VERY high price (Incidentally, this domain name was sold for a reported price of USD 2.75 million!) And you can bet that the level of interest will be high, and you may really come up against someone with deeper pockets. So, it makes sense to keep your options open.
If you are new to this game (and you have some extra money to spend and you have a sound heart – this game is not for the weak of heart or pockets!), it makes ample sense to take the services of highly specialized, so called, domain snatching firms, who have really raised the entire cloak and dagger game of snapping an expired domain name to an art form! Some of these firms are pool.com and snapnames.com . I will repeat that it make ample sense to take services of these firms, if you are REALLY interested in a particular domain name, and cannot get it registered otherwise. Various webmasters, who have actually used the services of these firms, have had a fairly good experience of working with them, though their operations are not entirely transparent.
Word of Caution
If you want a unique domain name, you should exhaust all your resources and creativity before going for expired domain names. In addition, there are a number of CC TLDs that are available now, which have really expanded the choice for new domain names exponentially. Also, almost all the domain name registrars provide tools to suggest domain names which are very close to your chosen keyword. Go for buying an expired domain name only as a last resort.