A couple of years ago, I sold a domain name to an end user buyer for mid 4 figures. Last year, I saw the domain name expire and it was headed to auction. I reached out to the buyer and my contacts at the registrar, and the domain name was renewed a day before it would have gone to auction. Unfortunately, this happened again and because the buyer was out of the country, the domain name could not be renewed in time.
During the auction, I worked with the buyer and won. I re-sold the domain name to the buyer for the exact price of the auction. I confirmed that the domain name is now set to auto-renew, and the buyer has an active credit card on file. I didn’t have to work with the buyer to win the domain name back, but I felt it was the right thing to do and my effort was appreciated.
I am not sharing this story to get platitudes or other praise. I am sharing this because people occasionally ask what they should do in this type of situation.
From my perspective, it would look bad if I sell a domain name, the buyer drops it (probably in error) and then I buy the domain name again. The buyer might think I pulled some sort of shenanigans, and even if I were to carefully explain what happened, it might be lost on them. I would rather be the nice guy in this situation than profit off of their error. I already profited when I sold the domain name, and I would rather have someone feel like I did them a solid even if it were a bit of a hassle.
Domain sellers obviously do not need to do what I did. They can try to re-acquire the domain name they sold and keep it, sell it to someone else, or sell it to the buyer again. I would rather give someone a break than try to make money again. Perhaps they will need a domain name in the future or act as a reference on a future deal. Even if I never deal with the person again, I would rather do what I believe is the right thing.