How to snatch up an "expired" domain?
November 20, 2009 12:27 PM   Subscribe

A domain name I'm interested in just "expired" 5 days ago according to its WHOIS record. However, all the registrars I've tried say that the domain is unavailable. Is there some kind of grace period for this? What's the best way for me to know if/when it actually becomes available? Any way for me to grab it right now? BTW there's nothing hosted there, and it appears to be owned by a squatter. Obviously I'm not looking to pay squatter prices here.
posted by scarabic to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It depends on the top level domain. There is very often a 30-90 day grace period, depending on tld and registrar, during which the domain is removed from root servers (so it will stop working) but the registration stays assigned to the owner. This alert is generally enough to make the owner notice it expired and renew it.

It's like when the electrical company dims your lights after you don't pay for a few months.

I have never heard of any way to steal a domain away during its grace period. That would sort of defeat the definition of grace.
posted by rokusan at 12:31 PM on November 20, 2009

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules here -- except there is always a grace period of at least 30 days (I think).
posted by crickets at 12:34 PM on November 20, 2009

Read this post--it's very helpful (if possibly dated).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:34 PM on November 20, 2009

From last night.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:35 PM on November 20, 2009

After a bit of coffee... ICANN's rule is 75 days, I believe, so that's the maximum: if a domain isn't renewed 75 days after the drop date, it's released.

But many registrars include sneaky fine print that says (in effect) that they only honor the first 30 (or whatever) days of that, and if you let it go that long they can charge you an extra "reactivation fee", point it to their own ad-splattered pages, or so on.

(This is one of the sleazy practices GoDaddy always gets slammed for.)
posted by rokusan at 12:36 PM on November 20, 2009

"It's like when the electrical company dims your lights after you don't pay for a few months"

Off topic but... say what?!
posted by bz at 12:53 PM on November 20, 2009

BZ: Load limiting

Nasty practice. Go on vacation for six months and forget to pay your bill. That's the only way to know whether your provider uses it or not, I think.
posted by rokusan at 1:41 PM on November 20, 2009

rokusan: Holy crap. I had no idea. That's craziness.
posted by bz at 4:34 PM on November 20, 2009

Thanks, all. I'm trying the route - we'll see how it goes.
posted by scarabic at 10:30 AM on November 24, 2009

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