Expiry Auctions: To Write or Not Write?


Each expiry or expired domain name auction house has its own rules about renewing domain names. To some extent, its rules are dictated by the upstream partners where the expiry domain names are registered. Put simply, domain names in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions or NameJet may be able to be renewed by the registrant until close to the end of the auction.

I think it is clear that domain investors and other buyers regularly email registrants of lapsed domain names to try and entice them to sell before the names go to auction. When I asked if this is an acceptable practice back in 2013, people overwhelmingly said, “yes” for a variety of reasons. Whether you think it is ethical or not and whether the auction houses have rules in their TOS to prohibit emailing registrants of expired domain names, people are going to do it anyway.

When looking through upcoming auctions, I regularly see domain names that have an interesting backstory, and there are many reasons why domain names expire. For instance, I observed one domain name coming up for auction that had been acquired for $50,000.

I want to ask readers their thoughts about covering stories like this. On one hand, valuable domain names like the one I found today are almost certainly going to be renewed. If not, it’s not for a lack of effort by domain investors to connect with the (former) registrant to induce them to renew the domain name. On the other hand, articles about great domain names expiring are of general interest to people in the domain investment space, especially if the backstory sheds light on something notable.

I am curious if you think domain industry publications should write about domain names that are in auction or pending auction if the domain name can still be renewed. Feel free to share your thoughts about it.


  1. RE: GoDaddy auctions
    Actually, at GoDaddy auctions, a domain can be renewed AFTER the close of an auction.
    This is no longer possible if the domain is registered at GoDaddy, but if it is from one of the partner sites, then it can be.

    I recently had this happen to me – I received email notification that I had won an auction. When I later went to pay for it, it was listed as my having lost it. I reached out to Joe Styler – you can see his response here:

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