Your Used, Expired Domain Name Will be Bought

I would encourage every business owner, non-profit organization, individual, or any other domain name owner to renew the domain names they use indefinitely. Whether a domain name was used for a commercial website, private information sharing website, or even if it was simply used as a placeholder, it will almost certainly be bought by someone after it expires.

Every day, I scan the list of domain names coming up for auction as pre-release and pending delete. There are a ton of domain names that get auctioned that seem to have no generic meaning. NameJet, GoDaddy Auctions,, and other expired domain name auction venues seem to sell hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of domain names each day that had been used in the past. Some domain names are bought because the buyer wants to build a business, others are bought for investments, and others are bought to either monetize with advertising or monetize by using for SEO value. I would imagine that nearly every domain name that has been used will be bought by someone else after it expires.

The cost of a domain name renewal is very small. Most domain registrars sell their domain names for less than $15/year. This is a small amount of money when compared to the potential issues a dropped domain name could cause.

Once a domain name expires and is bought by a third party, there is little the former owner can (and should be able to) do. The renewal fee is mandatory, and if it isn’t paid, someone else can buy the domain name. When someone else owns a domain name, they can pretty much do whatever they want with it, as long as it isn’t infringing on another entity’s intellectual property.

I read too many articles about businesses and organizations who lose control of domain names and those domain names are used by others in a way that may cause reputational harm on the former owner. Many times, this happens by accident – forgotten renewals or changed email addresses lead to expired domain names.

There are businesses and people who willingly drop domain names they no longer need to avoid paying the renewal fee. This advice is for those people: don’t drop your previously used domain names! The downside is far greater than the $15 annual renewal fee. Suck it up and renew your names! Nine times out of ten, nothing “bad” will happen if the domain name is dropped. Someone may park the domain name or use it for SEO forwarding. It’s the one in ten that can cause reputational harm or worse.

With the cost of domain name registration so inexpensive, it makes no sense to me to let previously used domain names expire and available to virtually anyone.

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. This is ESPECIALLY true if you have used the domain for email. You must remember that if someone gains access to a domain name that you, at one time, used for email, that new domain owner could access any websites or services which still store that email address in their systems for forgotten passwords and/or password reset functions. If you have used a domain name for email, don’t drop it, unless you are absolutely sure that the accounts which still have it listed as your primary contact method are updated or you have determined that it does not matter in the event the account was accessed.

  2. “…. forgotten renewals or changed email addresses lead to expired domain names.”

    Also, using that now expired domain name for all your whois contacts can lead to disaster, as well.

  3. And when their expired name inevitably does get purchased by Huge or BD, those ex-owners come out swinging, screaming about “cybersquatters stealing their domain”… Rip-Off Report has multiple complaints like this. Some where the complainers have had to publically apologize on the same page after receiving a cold dose of reality with a lawyer’s letter educating them on legitimate domain investing and libel.

  4. I agree with this and I think that the next highly successful business will be the one to find out how to finance the renewal for parked domains.

    There is a solution that some registries are investing in but it relies on a minimum of 3 years investment before it turns out to be profitable so the one to demonstrate that a solution exist based on a one year period of time…becomes the new king.

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