How to Buy an Expiring Internet Domain
July 15, 2012 2:34 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy an internet domain name that is expiring in 3 days. I though it would be a simple process, but looking into it, I was quickly overwhelmed. Here is the info on the current domain: Registrar: HOMESTEAD LIMITED DBA NAMEVAULT.COM / Whois Server: / Referral URL: / Name Server: NS1.FASTPARK.NET / Name Server: NS2.FASTPARK.NET. Honestly, I don’t really understand this info but I think it may be important. can anyone offer me advice or point me to webpage with current info about this process? (A Google search turned up several posts but they’re all years old.) Thanks!
posted by laswingkid to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The owner of the domain has 40 to 70 days grace period to renew/restart his registration.

You want to grab or snatch the domain if it becomes available. This page is as good as any explaining what you can do - which may not work. Another page with a slightly different take on it.
posted by caclwmr4 at 2:42 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had a similar issue when trying to get my domain. It was not one of any value to anyone, really, which helped, but it had been tied up for 10 years by someone who put a picture of a gigantic cat and a "More soon!" on the page. 10 years. That's the internet for you, though - a picture of a cat and a promise for more later. (The domain is my metafilter name, just so you know how little value it could have possibly had to others.)

Anyhow. I just checked every day until it became available, during that grace period. It eventually was available for purchase and I snagged it.

If the domain you want has more value, though, this process might not work as well. I think that there are services that will snatch a domain for you for a fee during what is called "The Drop," but it's pretty pricey and they don't always work, from what I remember. Someone else might have more to say about this. I don't recommend going this route unless the domain is something that many people may want, though. The article at mikeindustries linked above goes into more detail on this.
posted by k8lin at 3:14 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another option is to email the owner and make them an offer for their domain.
posted by third word on a random page at 3:50 PM on July 15, 2012

I suggest you look up some basic information on domain registration and management before you get too much further. The only useful bit here is that the registrar is Namevault; they're a domain broker which handle the domain for the owner. The Whois information is provided to the DNS system by the registrar, and the name server is assigned by the owner and similarly the registrar forwards that to DNS. Neither is relevant to purchasing a domain, although they may be helpful if you're trying to track down a less-than-forthcoming owner.

One thing that is definitely worth considering is that the value of a domain name is often considerably less than one supposes. If you just want, say, for personal reasons, that's one thing, but if you're LA Swing Kid, Inc., the international hipster retailer of choice, you have to decide whether the acquisition costs are worth it. If for personal reasons, the .net or .org version is often good enough, and often even for business reasons. But fewer people than you think will be finding you by your domain name, and pretty much all the good short ones are taken (by international hipster retailers of choice and their ilk). Good luck!
posted by dhartung at 4:31 PM on July 15, 2012

This is how I got previously. I think the advice is the same.

Also, just because a site has nothing more than a graphic parked on it doesn't mean nothing is being done with the domain. I have several like this. I use them as testing sites. Or for email or for ftp. Http isn't the only thing on the internet.

It is frustrating when you want a domain that doesn't appear to be used. My friends and I share a domain. It has few public facing services, but we get offered money for it every few years. It's never enough to make us consider the offer.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:00 PM on July 15, 2012

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