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Any current info on snagging expiring domains?
July 23, 2011 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Does anybody have any current information about snagging an expiring domain name? I have read some articles but the information is a few years old. Specifics inside.

[my surname].com is expiring in the next couple of days. The domain currently belongs to a construction company that has changed its name in the last year. There used to be a legitimate website at that domain but now just forwards traffic to the new company website. It is likely they will not renew. I would like to get it for personal use, mostly email.

I know it will be a month or two before the domain is released and to add a little extra complication I will be without phone service and have spotty internet connection during these months. Is it still advisable to use a domain snapping service or are the backorder services of one of the big domain registry companies more reliable these days.

The name is common in a few places but not likely to be extremely commercial. I would really like to avoid a bidding situation due to my isolation in the upcoming months. I have used a backorder service before from a major registry service, and all it did was send me an email a few days after someone else bought the domain telling me it had transferred. The company the domain is currently registered at has a backorder service. Would that be the safest bet?
posted by Lovable Hooligan to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Call the company, offer them a couple hundred for the name. Domain squatters routinely buy expired domains, and will charge you much more.
posted by theora55 at 10:22 AM on July 23, 2011


I waited 3 years for a domain name once. I kept thinking they won't renew cause it was so close to the expiration date and it was a parked site anyway. But they usually get a 60day grace period after it expires and they usually end up renewing. I had it on back order through godaddy for two of the years. I wasn't about to pay them for it cause it was orginally mine years before they snagged it up for me, so that's the only reason I waited.

On another instance I managed a site for a local restaurant, but the domain was in the general manager's name. he passed away a few months after I handed the site over to him. The owner of the restaurant wanted to me make some updates but I had no way into the site and neither did the owner. I even got the widow to try and talk to the hosting company since she was executor of his estate and everything but since we didn't have his orginal phone number active, creditcard, or email, there was no way to get access. They pretty much said we had to wait until it expired. The last option was to file a complaint, saying none of the info on the site was correct, such as phone or email and if they could not verify the info then they have the option to release the domain to the public. It was the most promising option but she eventually she told me all her kids names and we found one that worked for the password and the rest is history.
posted by udon at 11:30 AM on July 23, 2011


Many established businesses will keep old domain names forever. Mostly to ensure that they continue getting the traffic and emails from anybody who'd bookmarked their old domain names, but also to prevent their competitors from grabbing hold of their old identities.

I encourage asking the construction company if you can buy their old domain name, and make your reasons why clear. They will probably want to keep the domain name, but you might have a shot if you offer money and make a reasonable case for it.
posted by ardgedee at 6:29 AM on July 24, 2011


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