Grabbing an Expiring Low-Competition Domain
December 27, 2013 2:20 PM   Subscribe

I want to try to buy a domain (expiring next month) which I'm pretty sure won't be competed for. I don't want to keep loading WhoIs (it's a hassle, plus I'm afraid my inquiries will be logged, creating the appearance of interest in the domain). GoDaddy and SnapNames offer aggressive sniping services which funnel into auctions, and this biz model creates incentive to escalate auction competition. Since I'm not anticipating competitive interest (nor do I want to risk inducing it!), is there a non-industrial strength service which will simply monitor and grab the domain as it comes on the market, without all the dodgy auction provision stuff?
posted by Quisp Lover to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You could express interest in the owner (though that may remind the owner of his/her ownership of the domain).
posted by jander03 at 3:26 PM on December 27, 2013

That's exactly my concern.
posted by Quisp Lover at 3:55 PM on December 27, 2013 has a Domain Nabber service which a friend of mine used successfully. Not sure how they compare with others in how often they "win the drop," but you can get your money back if they don't win. (I have registered several domain names through and have no complaints, but haven't used this "backorder" service myself.) You can create a account first before you buy anything.
posted by hsieu at 3:58 PM on December 27, 2013

I'd screwed up and let one of mine go past the expired-and-I-can't-recover-it-without-paying-a-ridiculous-fee day, and I just "rescued" it yesterday, when it came back on the open market.

If you've acquired the knowledge in your whois of who the domain is registered through, you can look in that company's info to find out what the timeline is for it going back on the regular market. In case you don't already know, once it expires, there's generally a period of time that the owner can just pay the normal price a little late (expiration grade period), then it "may" go into auction status for a week (it says they're rarely purchased), then there's the redemption period where the price is quite a bit more. In my case, NameCheap says that after 80-85 days, it will again be available to anyone/everyone.

DO NOT search for it on Go Daddy, at all. They can and will snap it up and hang onto it for longer in an attempt to get more money. Never, ever search for a domain on GoDaddy that you think you might want, but aren't sure enough to buy *right now*. I lost my chance at a couple I wanted, to GoDaddy, in just exactly that scenario - and years later, they STILL sit empty and owned by GoDaddy!

I highly recommend NameCheap. They don't play the buy-it-themselves game, and it's safe to be checking on it even as often as every couple of days, which was as frequently as I remembered.

In other words, provided on how desirable the domain is, your best-case-scenario for getting it at a low cost may well be to do it yourself.

I can't speak to using the sniping things - I've never used them, and have been advised to avoid them. Not like the cost really gave me an option, either, because I couldn't afford them.
posted by stormyteal at 3:58 PM on December 27, 2013

hsieue, I'll check it out, thanks.

stormyteal, Good suggestion re: checking cancellation timing policy of the current registrant's company policy (in this case, it's 1&1), thanks.

Agreed on Go Daddy. Awful.

I already use NameCheap (I'm a Go Daddy refugee), but didn't see any feature from them allowing monitoring/backordering. Maybe I need to check again.
posted by Quisp Lover at 4:07 PM on December 27, 2013

I asked this question previously and own the domain I wanted.

Basically, create a calendar event and check back when it's public.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:07 PM on December 27, 2013

I recently reacquired one of my first domains i lost over a decade ago back, I was going to wait it out, but decided to ask the current owner nicely, he said 'sure, take it'

Of course, your mileage may vary.
posted by edman at 6:38 PM on December 27, 2013

I used the grabber service GoDaddy offered, as I'd gotten advice that they had the highest success rate. It worked. I transferred away the second I could and felt dirty for years.
posted by phearlez at 7:21 PM on December 27, 2013

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