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The stages of an expired domain

Technically, an expiring domain goes through several various stages before it becomes available to the public again.

During each of these stages there are certain ways to snag up the domain for yourself.

The stages are:

Let’s take a look at each individual stage.

#1 Renewal Grace Period

This is the first stage after a domain has passed the expiration date. 

During the renewal grace period the original domain owner has anywhere from 30-45 days to renew the domain, still. 

During this stage, there is not way for any third party to grab the domain – hence the name “grace period”. 

If the original owner will not renew the domain, the domain moves into the next stage.

#2 Domain Auction Period

If a domain is not renewed, the respective registrar will typically auction it. 

This is one of the most common periods to snag up a great domain name, as you can bid on the domains at large marketplaces such as GoDaddy, SEDO,  Snapnames or get them from us. 😉

There are literally thousands of domains available at auction, as you can see here:

Here are a few tips that you may want to consider during auction:

  • Stick to your budget – set a strict budget per domain and don’t exceed it. There are automated bots that bid on domains in mini incriments just to push the price. 
  • Don’t engage in bidding wars – start bidding late in the auction to not engage in irrationial bidding wars with other auctioners. 

#3 Closeout Period

If a domain is not sold during the auction period, it will become a closeout domain.

These domains can be purchased for a set and fixed price aka “buy now” offers. There is a heavy volume of available domains at closeout and it needs some fine-tuned filtering to find a great domain, but they are there.

Typically closeout last for 5-7 days, depending on the marketplace.

You can check them here:

#4 Pending Delete Period

If the domain is not bought during auction or closeout it will move into the next stage, which is the “pending delete” stage.

This just means that the domain is about to be deleted and become avaible to the public for anyone to registrar for the regular fees. 

The best way to snag up domains here is to use a dropcatch or backorder service, such as:

These services will register the domain for you the second it becomes available. By using fairly nuanced tech, they are able to outbid regular people by miniseconds and snag up domains before anyone else does. 

The price for a backorder typically ranges between $30 and $70. 
You can see all pending delete, backorder and dropcatch auctions here:


#5 Deleted Period

If literally no one catches or snags the domain during any of the periods before, the domain will officially be deleted from the registrar and become available for ANYONE to be registered for the standard registration fee.

There are some golden nuggets you can find here, but there are soooo many deleted domain, that you really need to know what you’re looking for.

You can see all deleted domains here:


That’s it. 

These are the main stages of an expiring domain. I hope we could provide some insight into the process of domain renewals and expiration and give you some pointers on when and where to snag up some golden nuggets 😉

Don’t forget to read our guide on domain analysis.

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