When someone else holds your dream domain name, the chance of getting it for yourself seems slim to none.

Monitoring a site's status and waiting around for auction is simply too much for a busy company.

Your odds are probably better if you find another domain—or so you think.

What not everyone realizes, though, is that their attempt to acquire the winning bid is as easy as buying a ticket.

That ticket is called a domain backorder: a service that dozens of domain hosts offer—including GoDaddy, making it as easy as possible to place a backorder.

By making an account and following these guidelines, you can learn how to backorder a domain and be the proud registrant of your dream domain name before you know it.

What Are Domain Backorders, Anyway?

When you backorder a domain, the basic idea is that you are calling dibs on that domain so that you'll have a chance at it in the days before it shows up for everyone else.

While you can't buy a domain after the registrar deletes it, you can prepare for it to "drop"—hence the alternate name for backordering, "dropcatching."

This process has a limited window. Most registrars, including GoDaddy, won't process a domain backorder request until the domain name officially expires without being renewed.

By that time, the domain will have gone through at least one auction, and the original owner will have had multiple opportunities to extend their registration.

The World of Domain Name Registration

Snatching an expired name away from the competition requires a serious commitment to the domain you're after.

To keep auctions simple on their end, and because of the global nature of domain hosting, most registrars set odd hours and impose time limits on public offers.

In some cases, the auctions will be entirely private, preventing you from bidding without a service representative.

For these reasons, we highly recommend working with a domain name registration service, which will help you beat other auction-watchers for what is usually a very modest sum.

The Different States of a Name

Who exactly owns a domain name at any given time? The answer depends on where a name sits in its standard life cycle.

Here's how the relationship between domain hosts (registrars) and domain owners/renters (registrants) generally works.

  1. When a name is ready to buy, anyone can purchase it on the public market from various host sites.

    People can register brand new domains for the first time, while expired domains are available for "sale" at auction or directly from the registrar.
  2. A domain that is currently in use has an active site attached to it. Domain names typically get leased for one year, though exceptions do exist, and many registrants choose to renew long before their expiration date.
  3. When a domain expires, this means the registrant has failed to renew by the agreed-upon date.

    Their site becomes deactivated, and the registrar places it on hold for a period ranging from 0-45 days, depending on the registrar's policy.
  4. During the Expiration period, a domain is renewable by the former owner.

    If your domain has expired and you want to transfer it to another registrar site, you still need to renew with the current host first. If this doesn't happen, a domain usually goes to auction.
  5. A grace period lasts for about 30 days after the expiration period, during which a registrar will gradually delete data and post a domain at auction.

    The original owner can still renew during this time, but often at a significantly higher cost. If they do this, any bidder who had won the domain gets a refund.
  6. After failing to receive an offer or a renewal, a registrar will simply delete the site associated with a domain and place it back on the market.

Using GoDaddy to Backorder a Domain

GoDaddy, one of the largest global domain registrars, can help you place a domain backorder while also offering a domain monitoring service.  If you think GoDaddy can be expensive and you plan to backorder domains at Namecheap, just remember GoDaddy has the largest inventory of domains.

With a GoDaddy account, you can apply for a backordered domain at a registration cost of around $25 each. The service also tracks interest in your domains and displays essential info such as its expiration date.

GoDaddy's backorder system goes like this:

  • For the base fee, GoDaddy grabs a domain and agrees to host it for one year.
  • If you're the only one interested in a domain, it's yours at no extra cost. If GoDaddy has to bid for the name, the company places $10 of your fee towards an opening bid and emails you information about the auction.

    You can choose to bid higher, transfer your backorder credits to another name, or ask for your money back.
  • If it can't secure the domain you want, GoDaddy refunds your money in full.
  • GoDaddy also offers solutions for frequent domain buyers. If you place a backorder often, it will help you get the lowest deals possible.
  • For investors, GoDaddy CashParking sends a minimum of 60% of ad revenue directly into your wallet for those looking to gain advertising revenue from unused domains.

    The company also helps you resell a domain for profit on the GoDaddy Auctions site.

GoDaddy domain backordering has limits. Like any other backorder service, GoDaddy can't guarantee a successful backorder.  Also, although you can't backorder a domain for free there are some cheaper services than GoDaddy.

Plus, the auctions it participates in are always public, which means competition for your domain name will be significant.

Looking for an Expired Domain?

At SpamZilla, we can connect you with millions of expired or soon-to-be-expired domain names across the world.

Find your dream domain and build your online presence by visiting SpamZilla.io.