How Long After a Domain Expires Can I Buy It?
Plenty of articles will tell you what you can do with expired domains, from building on their existing domain authority to flipping them for a profit.
However, virtually no one tells rookie domain investors how long they have to wait to buy an expired domain or what the process looks like.
This article will change that, providing the details you need for purchasing expired domain names the second they're available.
Then we'll take you through the steps for finding and purchasing the perfect expired domain name.
How Long After a Domain Expires Does It Become Available?
Unfortunately, there isn't one simple answer to the question, "How long after a domain expires does it become available?" But the good news is registering an expired domain is generally easy.
This mainly has to do with the domain name extension (also called top-level domain or TLDs) or the registrar with which it's registered.
It's important to note that each registrar may have slightly different processes or waiting periods, which will naturally affect the time between a domain name expiring and its availability.
That said, most expired domains will be available for registration between one second and 45 days after their expiration date.
To give you a better idea of how long you'll have to wait before buying an expired domain name, we've detailed the expiration system that most registrars use.
Redemption Grace Period
Domain registrars generally send their customers plenty of notice before their domain's expiration date.
If the domain holder fails to pay the required fees according to the registration agreement terms, the domain name will expire.
However, an expired status doesn't automatically mean disaster for the domain registrant.
The registrar will usually provide a redemption grace period during which the registrant can pay to reinstate the site, often without a renewal fee.
The domain name may or may not remain active during the grace period; the registry associated with it may disable it as a warning.
The length of the redemption grace period varies, but one month is standard. For example, Google's terms denote a 30-day grace period after expiration.
Although domain name registration terms don't usually have to offer a grace period, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) rules require them to provide two notices ahead of the expiration date (a month and a week beforehand) and notice within five days after expiration.
Note that the domain registrar will send these notices to the website registrant's contact information on file, so it's crucial for a registrant to keep these details current.
Hopeful domain registrants can sometimes buy expired domains during the redemption grace period, depending on the domain registrar's terms.
Most domain registration terms will offer the current account owner the chance to pay first, though.
After the redemption grace period, there is often a redemption period, also called the registrar hold period or restoration grace period.
If a domain name has reached this status, it means the account expiration date is long past, and the website owner has either failed to pay or indicated that they want the domain name deleted.
The redemption period is similar to the grace period in that it gives the person who owns a site the opportunity to pay for renewal or change their mind about deletion.
The difference between the initial grace period and the registrar hold period is that expired domain names with this status incur a redemption fee in addition to the renewal price.
Besides adding a redemption fee to the renewal price, domain registries will often block the website, so links leading to the site will not work.
The website will still be visible to search engines, but the DNS won't be able to connect to the IP address.
ICANN rules require disabling the website as a final warning to the domain owner before deleting a domain name.
Registries must do so within the last eight days before deleting a domain, and registries must do so during the 30-day grace redemption period.
The redemption period can vary but is usually about a month long, in our experience. For example, Google's registrar hold period lasts from days 31-60 after the account expiration date.
Fully Expired Domain Name
Selling internet services and websites to people is lucrative, and domain registrars make their money off renewals.
It's more work for them to resell websites than collect a renewal fee, so they generally give people with whom they do business options for keeping their services.
However, in some cases, the business or individual who owns it fails to meet renewal requirements in time, even after a lengthy grace period.
When a domain name reaches fully expired status, some registries will put it on a domain auction registry.
An auction registry is a list of expired domain names that are available for purchase. If the site you're interested in is on a list like this, you can put it in your cart and purchase it immediately, provided no one outbids you.
Domain name auctions often sell domains at a low cost, so they can be great places to look.
They often include helpful information about a domain name and its domain authority to help you decide if it's worth the registration price.
If a domain name doesn't sell at auction after expiration, the domain registry may delete it.
If this happens, there will be a waiting period of between five and eight days before it will be available for purchase.
Once this period has elapsed, the first person to pay the registrar's registration fee is the new domain name owner.
How to Claim an Expired Domain Name
Now that you have a fair amount of information about what happens when domain names expire and how long the process can take, you're ready to claim one or more expired domain names of your own.
But you may be like other people who ask us, "How long after domain expires does it become available? Can I automatically buy domain when it expires? How do I reserve expiring domain name?"
Find the Domain Name Registrar
The first thing you need to do when you find a domain that interests you is to figure out what registrar it belongs to because some registries only use specific domain auction houses.
You can get this information using a tool like ICANN lookup or WHOIS lookup to access registration data such as expiration date, domain name registrar, and more.
Determine the Relevant Auction Site
Once you determine the registrar, a quick Google search will tell you which auction house they partner with.
This will be easy to determine since there are only three leading domain name auction houses:
- Go Daddy
The auction house's site is where you'll actually be placing bids on the domain name you want.
Bid on Domain Names
A domain name auction might involve you bidding $10 and going home with a domain name.
Or it might involve a series of bids as you compete with others over the domain - it all depends on how desirable the domain name is.
Just as in regular auctions, the domain will go to the highest bidder.
Can I Reserve an Expiring Domain Name?
You can't exactly reserve an expiring domain name, but you can use a backorder service to backorder it.
Backordering gives you (and anyone else who backorders) a first chance at bidding - it doesn't guarantee that you'll get the domain, but it can increase your chances.
Want to Make Sure You're Ready to Buy a Domain Automatically After It Expires?
If you're searching the internet to find out, "After a domain expires, when can I buy it?" then you're probably the kind of person who would benefit from the help of an expired domain checker.
These services help you search through thousands of expired domain names for one you want to buy.
SpamZilla, the industry's leading expired domain finder, can help you find the perfect expired domain name in just minutes and provide updates about domain names you're keeping your eye on.
It even verifies the domain name's quality, so you can start earning from your new domain name right away.
Are you ready to try SpamZilla so you can be ready to buy domain names the minute they expire? Get started here.