Buying an expired domain: step-by-step
Step 1: Understand the domain expiration timeline
If you want to buy expired domains, you must first understand how a domain expires. The expiration timeline differs depending on the domain registrar, but for most domains, the first 30 days after the expiration date is considered a grace period. During this time, the website will no longer be on the net, but it can still typically be renewed for the standard price or a slightly higher price.
Usually, the ownership of the domain is forfeited after 30 days, and anyone who has shown interest in the domain name will be invited to place a backorder. If there are no backorders, the domain is then entered into an auction for seven days, with the domain going to the highest bidder.
If a domain is not sold during the auction process, it will enter the pending delete periods for about five days. After this period, it will likely be re-entered into its original registry, where it can be registered at the normal price.
Step 2: Determine where your desired domain name is listed
The next step is to determine where your desired domain name is listed. If you have a domain you want in mind, you should first check which registrar it is listed with using a WHOIS lookup. Knowing which registrar it is listed with will help you find which auction partner you need to go to in order to place a bid. Most registrars have a specific auction house they work with. Some major domain auction houses include:
If you don't know which domain names you want, you can find domains through websites that feature recently dropped domain names as well.
Step 3: Place a backorder or bid on the domain name
After finding the perfect domain, it’s time to secure it using a backorder or by bidding on it through an auction.
A backorder allows you to put a reservation on a domain name, so when it expires, you can snag it before anyone else. To place a backorder, you need to sign up with the auction house that is selling the domain you want.
However, placing a backorder does not guarantee that you will be able to register the domain name as it may go into auction. Some domains are also not available for backorder, depending on their domain extension, backorder policy, quality, and other factors.
How to place bids on domains will differ depending on which auction house you are using, but there are a few terms that can help you in the bidding process.
A maximum bid is the most amount of money a bidder is willing to spend to win the auction. When two bidders place the same maximum bid, usually the one who places the bid first will have the winning bid.
After you enter your maximum bid, auction platforms usually have a proxy bidding service that will slowly bid the smallest amount necessary for you to become the highest bidder.
Bid sniping is when a bidder places a bid on the auction at the last minute, so even if another bidder is willing to pay more, they won't have time to do it. Some auction platforms prohibit this practice by automatically extending the auction time when a bid is placed.
Grow your business with expired domains
Knowing how to utilize a high-quality expired domain can help you gain a larger audience with ease. Buy an expired domain and use Mailchimp’s tools and resources to create a search engine optimized authority site or redirect traffic to your existing website.
Mailchimp’s free, easy-to-use website builder can help you create a beautiful website in less than an hour, offering built-in forms, behavioral targeting, and mobile optimization.
Browse Mailchimp’s Marketing Library with articles on CRM, ecommerce, and email marketing. Start increasing your website traffic and convert visitors into customers using expired domains by reading up on website migration.