Domain names expire on different schedules, depending on the original Registrar they were registered with. Since desirable domain names can be grabbed in seconds once they become available, the only way to have a chance of securing a domain name of value is to be prepared by arming yourself with the knowledge of exactly when it will become available.
There are several sources of expired domain name information, some free and some that require the payment of a subscription or membership fee.
One of the best free resources is JustDropped.com. From this site, you can research which domain names have expired in the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days or 60 days.
Always bear in mind that crawling for interesting expired domain names requires effort, whether it’s thinking up search terms and feeding them into a search engine, or painstakingly stepping through a long list of expiring names. With over 20,000 domains expiring some days, the hunt for quality names can often feel like searching for a very small needle in a towering haystack, but the effort can be worthwhile should you succeed in tracking down and registering a highly desirable expired domain name.
Which Domain Names To Look For
One assumes you’re hunting down expiring domain names for one of two reasons:
- To use the name yourself.
- To invest in the name for possible resale later.
If you’re hunting for names to use in building a site or service, you’ll already have a list of criteria as to what makes a good name, including suitability to the product or service it is intended to represent.
When hunting for expiring names, you also need to bear in mind who the previous owner of the name was and what they were using the name for, if anything. While most expiring names can be considered “fair game” (meaning they are available to be registered by anyone), you clearly wouldn’t wish to run afoul of the legal department of a giant corporation such as Microsoft or IBM. Even if you’re eventually proved to be in the right, always watch out for trademarks.
Many times, a simple WHOIS search is sufficient to reveal the current owner of a domain name that has been placed on hold and ready for deletion. However, there can be times when the ownership information is not as readily available, such as when the original Registrant’s information has been deleted in the domain record and substituted for information provided by the Registrar.