Saved From Expiry By Industry Veterans (Updated)

If you follow expiry auctions, you likely noticed that was coming up for auction via GoDaddy Auctions. is a fantastic domain name, and the auction price in the mid $60,000 range reflected how desirable the domain name is. The domain name was renewed at the last possible moment, so the auction was halted.

Expired domain names get renewed all the time, so having an auction taken down isn’t an uncommon occurrence. In the case of, it took quite a bit of effort from two domain industry veterans to ensure the domain name would not be lost by its owner.

A couple of days ago, I noticed that Name Ninja’s Bill Sweetman had posted an update on Facebook asking his network if they knew a Canadian artist or his family (out of respect for the artist’s family, I refrained from publishing his name). I realized why he was searching for the man, and I reached out to see if he had made any progress. Bill responded and told me he had been working behind the scenes with DotWeekly’s Jamie Zoch and some other people who Bill did not mention by name.

Yesterday afternoon, a friend messaged me to ask if I knew why the auction was taken down. I reached back out to Bill and Jamie, and they both confirmed that the domain name was renewed. How the domain name was renewed is quite an interesting story.

Jamie had been following the domain name since he noticed it move out of’s escrow account in April of 2017. He was surprised to see it expire nearly a year later, so he attempted to contact the registrant via email to make sure they were aware that the domain name had expired. Jamie didn’t receive a response, so he searched Facebook using the registrant’s email address and he found the registrant’s Facebook page. Sadly, some of the Facebook updates and comments made Jamie understand the registrant had been terminally ill and passed away late last year.

Knowing that the former registrant was Canadian, Jamie reached out to Bill Sweetman (who is also based in Canada) with the information he found. Bill subsequently published the aforementioned Facebook post, and someone in Bill’s network knew the registrant, his family, and the person managing his estate. Based on information gathered and shared by Jamie and Bill, the domain name was renewed before it was past the allowed renewal period.

So why did Jamie go to such great lengths to help the family of someone he doesn’t know? “I just felt that this was the right thing to do,” Jamie told me. “Domain names like do not simply expire on choice. Who just throws away a six figure asset? I just knew something wasn’t right and wanted to make sure that the owner’s family was aware of the situation and tried my best to make that happen.

Now I know that there are a few people who might be upset with the third party intervention that prevented the domain name from going to auction. I get it. However, if any one of us suddenly died and valuable domain names were expiring, we would all hope someone would help our family with a renewal. Kudos to Jamie, Bill, and others who assisted the family quietly behind the scenes.

Jamie and Bill did not seek out any publicity for this. Had I not emailed them a couple of times asking for information, the story probably would have gone untold. Domain investors and industry participants often get a bad rap. I know there is one family that is very happy there are caring people in the domain industry, and I am sure they will appreciate it even more if the domain name is eventually sold.

Update: Thanks to an update from Bill Sweetman, I learned that was acquired for $600,000. The press release announcing the news is here, and additional coverage on DNW is here.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Great job by both of them when I published a post on Carrot a few days ago I looked into reaching out to the registrant and saw the Facebook page. I looked up his son but could not find contact info that I could trust.

    I was going to publish an update last night because I saw the whois change to a special Afternic designation.

    Glad to see the name was saved, I want to make money but not at the expense of those I know faced misfortune.

  2. Good job, so did godaddy bypass their TOS for this one?

    There was that the other month who dropped over $100k in realized blockchain domains, same circumstances, her kids actually lived in Phoenix.

    The majority of these big ticket domains drop for this reason.

    • Amen to that.

      I feel happy reading news like these happening in the domain community. Jamie is one guy I like for his hardworking to provide information on some domain sales and movement .I’m glad it worked out well and kudos to all those who worked hard to make it happen.

  3. For over ten years I have thought that Jamie was one of the brightest folks in the industry. Now he shows he’s one of the nicest.

  4. Godaddy’s grubby hands were all over this name, their thieving rules prevent owners from renewing domains after 30 days of expiration. No, not even if you pay the redemption fee. Godaddy blocks WHOIS results and Afternic allows anyone to add tens of thousands of random domains they don’t own.

    It seemed as though this name was at Godaddy and it was already way past the 30 day period they allow for renewal. Would love to hear how this was done and how we can help other victim’s of Godaddy’s predatory practices avoid losing their expired names to TDNAM auctions.

  5. “…Afternic allows anyone to add tens of thousands of random domains they don’t own…” with astronomical BIN prices that get syndicated across their registrar network.

  6. Great. I had mailed the registrant, mailed him and tried every possible method to reach the owner. I was sure that either he wasn’t aware of the situation or his family wasn’t aware about so i left few voicemails that the domain is expired and still can be renewed and requested him to renew it or sell it to me for mid-5 figure if he is not interested in holding it but surely he can’t let it expire like that.

    Everyone should do the same, if you see a premium asset expired and is renewalable then please do reach out to the family. Acquire from them by paying premium price or help them sell it. Ultimately if anyone of us dies suddenly we want someone would help our family to divest or renew the assets they deserve to have. We should all make sure our families know about our investments.

    • Your story is funny, because we can clearly see your mid 5 figures means you wanted to take it for $10k for yourself, while looking like a good guy.

  7. I don’t get it, 100% of the people here have profited off domains which were dropped from deceased registrants. The bigger the domainer the more they have profited.

    How much commission has sweetie made from selling past deceased dropped domains?

    Elephant in the room, godaddy just runs the expiry, they don’t sit there and tell people not to renew the domain, the expiry cycle runs the course.

    I find it really funny people blaming godaddy, when the people who profit the most are usually domainers.

    • @CaseyL, based on the assumption that this snarky question is directed at me, I am going to answer it:

      “How much commission has sweetie made from selling past deceased dropped domains?”

      It appears you are confused by what I do for a living. I am a Domain Buyer Broker, not a Domain Seller Broker, and my only role as it relates to was to try to get the domain renewed and returned to its rightful owner, which in the case of this domain name is the deceased owner’s estate.

      I have a long and well-documented history of helping domain owners (or their estates) rescue domain names that were lost due to human error, illness, death, or foul play. In most cases I have done this work at no charge, and the vast majority of these projects go unnoticed and unreported, which is fine by me. I am only mentioning this here because you seem to be confused by my motivation to help people.

  8. I could have sworn I commented here as soon as this article came out. It was a long post too. Not sure what happened maybe I was to busy at work and didnt hit send, maybe my wifi cut out before post was sent. Who knows. Doesnt matter I have to comment again.

    These types of stories really are awesome. Sometimes domaining industry gets looked at in a bad way and these types of stories show how great our domaining community can be.

    This is probably everyones worst fear. Online Real Estate owned for the family that is so valuable but then just disappears because it was not renewed. Horrible. Just an email and a $10 payment saves a domain worth $xxx,xxx, maybe more.

    I like Rays statement here “I want to make money but not at the expense of those I know faced misfortune.” I feel identical and think 99% of our peers feel the same way.

    Thanks Elliot for the story. Thanks Jamie and Bill for being a couple of the great guys. You really are an inspiration.

  9. Just to clarify one point. Michael passed away this year a couple of months ago. I am his cousin and worked with him to develop the website to promote his prolific work investigating stereoscopy. He had a studio at the Carrot Common in Toronto, hence the interest in the name. The ioriginal slogo was “Carrots are good for your eyes. The Stereoil Process is good for your mind.

    Thanks to everyone who has generated these positive responses. Hopefully we can continue to pursue the project in his memory.

  10. Great story which shows that being nice to others is not only fun but smart. Nevertheless I think the notion that we have a moral responsibility to do so is fallacious and counterproductive. This may seem to have nothing to do with domains but it does, in my opinion, because many people won’t buy from domainers – even though it’s in their best interest at the price being quoted – because they think buying and selling domains at a large mark-up is “wrong” and domainers are “bad” people who should not be enriched. This was the gist of Tim Berners-Lee’s recent comments which were reported at DomainNameWire recently, as I understood them, and I think domainers can more effectively respond to such criticism if we are not moralistic ourselves.

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