Buying and selling domains are big business these days.

Whether you need one for a new website or as an investment, having the proper domain name is very important.

Many have taken to buying expired domains which are domains that others have used in the past.

One way to purchase a domain is through a backorder which is the process of attempting to reserve a domain when it expires and becomes available.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the backorder process, explaining what a backorder is, how to do it, and which are the best domain backorder service.

What is a Backorder?

A domain backorder is a solution to a problem that is all too common these days. What happens when you want a domain name but it is already taken?

Most of the time, you’re out of luck but there is something you can do: backorder.

A backorder allows you to reserve a domain name to take ownership once it becomes available.

With a backorder, someone else currently owns the domain name you want. You’re just reserving it in case the owner lets it expire.

This doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to get the domain name. Below, we explain why this is the case as we explore how this process works in more detail.

How Does a Backorder Work?

A domain name backorder sounds like a great idea if you want a domain name that is currently taken.

It’s great in principle but the process is a bit more complicated than that. Let’s layout the entire process.

For whatever reason, let’s say the owner of a domain name allows it to expire. Maybe they’re just not using the site anymore or they have gone out of business but, for whatever reason, they chose not to pay the renewal fee to keep their domain name.

Domain Name Life Cycle

Renewal Grace Period

There is a bit of a process for a domain name to expire. Once it passes the actual expiration date, it enters what is known as a “Renewal Grace Period”.

This period is designed so that the owner of the website does not accidentally let the domain expire. It is typically a 30-day period when the previous owner still has the first opportunity to repurchase the domain name if they want it.

Pending Delete

After this 30-day grace period, the domain enters what is known as the “Pending Deletion” phase. At this point, the domain is set to be “dropped” in five days. When a domain is dropped, it becomes available for anyone to register.

This is where the backorder process comes into play. A domain can be back-ordered as soon as a drop date is made clear.

This means that you are staking a claim to this domain name and you will attempt to secure it when it becomes available. Although you can do this yourself, the process is very complicated and most people use a backorder service. More on this below.

As you can see above, the original owner still has several chances to renew the domain so just because a drop date has been set does not mean that it will drop and become available.

If you place a backorder on a domain name and it does eventually drop then the backorder service attempts to secure the domain on your behalf.

Note that this does not guarantee success as there may be others who have back ordered or are competing for this domain themselves.

Typically, if you are not successful in getting the domain, you get a refund from the service.

If you do secure the domain, you own it for one year and have the chance to renew it when the year is up.

Now that you understand how the process works, let’s look at how you can do this. Often, understanding the process isn’t as important as getting it done.

How Do I Backorder?

The easiest and most successful way to do a domain backorder is by using one of the many services that provide domain backorders.

Basically, these services work within the system explained above and attempt to secure the domain name for you.

On your end, you simply need to register a domain name for backorder with them from those they have available.

These services then monitor the back-ordered domain and attempt to secure it when it drops and is made available to the general public.

You will, of course, pay money to these services for the backorder process but, as we said, if they are not successful, you are refunded the amount that you paid in most cases.

Some of the popular services include:

Can I Backorder Myself?

You might be wondering, I understand this process, why can’t I just do the backorder myself?

Technically, you can, but there are a few reasons why you probably won’t be as successful as using one of these services.

Each registrar has connections for domain purchasing, each of which increases their chances of securing a domain.

Unless you are a registrar, you won’t be able to purchase these domain names.

Not to mention the complications and complexities associated with navigating this process.

You are competing against a service that has a much, much higher chance of securing the domain than you do.

If you want the domain, it is highly recommended to do it through a back ordering service.

Tricks for More Effective Backordering

As you can see, the domain back ordering process is far from a guarantee. Additionally, the more popular or valuable the domain name, the more competition you can expect.

You have one goal in mind: securing the domain name. So how can you increase your chances and have the best shot of getting that domain?

There are a few things you can do.

Multiple Backorder From Different Services

The first tip is to place a backorder with a few services. The fact is that these services refund your money if the back order is unsuccessful so, by placing a backorder with multiple services, you can increase your chances of success.

The services are essentially competing against each other to backorder your domain. You are increasing your odds by having more people competing for your own interests.

The downside of this strategy is whether the service requires money upfront.

You may not be comfortable paying several services for back-ordering, regardless of whether you get the money back down the road.

Find The Best Drop Catching Services

Next, do your research when choosing a backorder provider. Certain companies have much better track records with back-ordering domains.

Pick a trusted service. If your end goal is securing the domain, pick the company that has the best chance of doing so.

There are several online resources, reviews, and articles comparing these services.

Be sure to do your research and trust users who have used these services before. You will often see the same few companies at the top of the list.

If you are dealing with an especially competitive domain, it just makes sense to choose the company that has the best chance of getting you what you want.

Why Backorder?

Now we know how backordering works and have a pretty solid understanding of the process and how to increase your chances of success.

But there is one important question that remains, why backorder?

Why is it so important to secure a perfect domain name? There are several reasons.

Here, we’ll outline why having an expired domain name is so useful and give you some practical advice as to why backordering expired domains can be such a powerful strategy and a very wise investment down the line.

You Get a Quality Site

If you backorder a site, you get a used domain but the stigma associated with buying used doesn’t apply in the world of website names.

In fact, if you do your research, you can end up with quite a powerful tool.

Often, the used website already has an established base of users. You can purchase a website with guaranteed traffic that you can hopefully turn into engaged users on your new site.

This also speaks to why it is so important to be diligent and do your research with domain names.

You want to be sure that the domain attracted quality, interested users. It is also a bonus if reputable sites are linking to your domain as it guarantees even more traffic in the future.

Avoid websites that are illegitimate or were used for spamming people. These websites have bad reputations that are difficult to turn around and may even be banned from Google search results.

Overall, research is key and you want to know everything you can about a domain before you buy it.

Services like Spamzilla have done the research for you and ensure that every site has been vetted for things such as spamming and low-quality content.

So once you find a quality domain name, what do you do with it? There are a few strategies that you can use to harness the domain and make a profit.

Start a New Site

The first option is to start your own site, a classic reason for buying a domain.

Whether it’s a blog, news publication, or online business, a used domain can help get a head start with verified traffic.

The best strategy is to buy an expired domain in the same niche as your new website.

That way, you can hope to capture some of the old site’s users as they visit your new website since they have similar interests to your target market.


Redirecting is a common strategy when purchasing an expired domain. In this approach, you purchase a competitor’s expired website and use it to redirect people to your website.

This way, you attempt to capture a percentage of your competitor’s audience and get them interested in your service as well.

Backlink building is a useful strategy to help your SEO.

With this strategy, you already have your main business and use the expired domain to promote it, using the website to create a content source to eventually promote your main business and add links on the site to your main site.

Of course, you want to do everything you can to hide the fact that you own both of these sites.

If done properly, this creates valuable links to your webpage that help increase your SEO and Google search rankings.


Finally, many buy and backorder expired domains as an investment. If they see an undervalued domain based on their research, they buy it.

They can do with it what they want, including the strategies above, but the goal is to eventually sell it at a profit.