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How To Buy Expired Domains: A Proven Process That Works

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Are you considering buying expired domains?

You could be looking to grab an old domain with high domain authority (DA) for the new blog or website you are launching.

Or, maybe you are planning to migrate your existing blog or website to an established domain with lots of search traffic and link juice.

Well, this article is just what you need.

Here, you will discover where to buy expired domains and how to vet their quality.

How To Buy Expired Domains: Frequently Asked Questions

Buying an expired domain is surely starting to sound like the smart thing to do.

But before you go further with this article, it’s important that I address some popular questions people like you are asking about this topic on the web.

These questions are:

  • Can you buy an expired domain?
  • Where can you buy expired domains?
  • Why are expired domains so expensive?

Can You Buy An Expired Domain?

Yes, you can buy an expired domain if the lease on it is not renewed.

Once the lease elapses and is not renewed within the 30-day grace period, the domain is released to the public.

Where Can You Buy Expired Domains?

You can buy expired domains from domain marketplaces and domain auction sites.

Traditional domain registrars are among the best places to buy domains.

Why Are Expired Domains So Expensive?

Domain vendors recognize the worth of expiring domains to website owners who need them for their SEO value, and flippers that buy popular names to resell for profit, so they price them accordingly.

What Is Needed When Buying Expired Domains

Here are the tools and resources you need to acquire an expired domain name:

  • A Domain Backorder Service — the value of this service is that the company will try to move faster than other competitors to help you secure the domain you are targeting the moment it is released to the public.
  • A Vetting Tool — you will need to subscribe to an SEO platform like SemRush, Moz, or Ahrefs to be able to check the backlink profile of the domain for spam links.
  • A Hosting Service — the expiring domain you are purchasing will need a home, and you should have an ideal domain registrar in mind before starting the process.

How To Buy An Expired Domain: Step-By-Step Instructions

The expiration of the lease on a domain does not mean the current owner will automatically lose the rights to the name.

The owner can auto-renew the lease or wait to renew it within the grace period.

Some domain registrars will even provide a redemption period between day 30 to day 60, but the owner will have to pay a higher restoration fee to renew the lease.

If the current owner refuses to pay, and the grace period elapses, the domain registrar will deactivate the domain to be parked or disposed of at the company’s discretion.

So, how do you get your hands on an expired domain?

I have broken down the process into four actionable steps, and they are:

  1. Search for newly expired domains
  2. Evaluate the worth of the expired domain
  3. Vet the expired domain for red flags
  4. Buy the expired domain

Step 1: Search For Expired Domains

If you are interested in a domain name you believe has expired, you can use the free whois.com domain lookup tool to check the status of the domain.

01 domain lookup tool

For a more general search, you can open a free account on expireddomains.net, and use keywords to find all the newly expired domains in any niche.

The beauty of this tool is that it lets you spot domains as soon as the grace period expires before they become available on auction sites or online marketplaces.

This will give you enough time to determine whether the domains you are eyeing are worth purchasing.

Step 2: Evaluate The Worth Of The Expired Domain

Aged domains often cost significant sums of money, and you must do the legwork to ensure what you are buying is worth the investment.

Here are important factors to consider:

  • Google Index Status: the domain is only worth buying if it’s on the Google Index. You can use the free SmallSeoTools to check the index status of the domain’s URL.
  • Domain Authority: the domain should have a DA above 15 and a Trust Flow that is more than 20 to give you something to work with. Check for the site authority of the URL with the free Ahrefs Authority Checker.
  • Domain Age: the older the birth date of the domain, the more valuable it is. Use the WhoisXMLApi tool to carry out a domain history lookup.
  • Content — the site the domain is pointing to must have been populated by high-quality content that attracted the audience you are targeting. Use Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to access the web pages of the old site.

Step 3: Vet The Domain For Red Flags

The previous owner of the domain you are targeting may have dumped it because it was plagued with issues.

You want to avoid paying for a domain that will only cause you problems.

Here are things to look out for during the vetting process:

  • Banned Status: use a tool like bannedcheck.com to verify whether the URL for the domain has been given a black mark by Google crawlers or Google AdSense. Banned domains are not worth your money.
  • Domain Reputation: a simple search engine search will show you how your target audience views the brand linked to the expiring domain.
  • Malware: use the Norton Safe Web tool to analyse the old website to check whether the domain has been blacklisted for malicious codes.
  • Backlinks: an SEO tool like the SemRush Backlink Checker will help you generate a backlink report. Google detests spam links, so avoid domains with questionable backlink profiles.

Step 4: Buy The Expired Domain

When you find an expired domain that is worth buying and free of problems, you can acquire it using any of the following methods:

By Placing A Backorder On The Domain

After the grace period, there will be a five-day “pending delete” period during which the newly expired domain will not be available to the public and the original owner.

You can purchase a backorder during this period.

02 domain backorder service

A backorder service like GoDaddy’s does not guarantee you will be the one to secure the domain since the system works on a first-come, first-serve basis.

By Bidding At Domain Auction Sites

The domain registrar or a reseller can choose to enter the newly expired domain into an auction.

The domain will be on the auction block for ten days at most.

You will be competing with other bidders on domain auction sites like Flippa.com, and the highest bidder will get the name.

By Buying It At A Domain Marketplace

When there are no backorders on a domain, or it fails to receive a satisfactory bid at the auction, it is returned to the registry and becomes a closeout domain.

These are the expired domain names you find on online marketplaces.

03 domain market place

Companies like Domain.com that run these platforms have acquired the right to hold those names from the registry.

 Ownership will be transferred to you the moment you pay for the domain.

By Picking Up Deleted Domains

These are domains that have been dropped from the central registry.

A dropped domain still retains the typical SEO value you need, like its Google index status, page rank, backlinks, and birth date.

You can snap up the domain if you spotted it first, and pay the standard registration rate to renew the lease.

Similar Tutorial Types To Check Out

You should create the time to go through these related articles on domain name management:

  • How to Sell a Domain Name: this article will show you how to determine the market value of your premium domain and the best places to sell to turn a handsome profit. Check out this article if you are buying expired domains to resell them later.
  • Domain Flipping: discover how to create a foolproof process for buying quality domains as cheaply as possible to resell them at a much higher price. This article should interest you if you plan to make flipping a profitable side hustle.
  • Transfer a Domain: this article breaks down the process of transferring your domain name from your current hosting service to another registrar. Check out this article if you are planning on switching to another hosting provider.

Wrapping Up

Buying an expired domain is an engaging process that may require significant time and financial investment.

With due diligence and luck, you should be able to locate decent domains among the millions of options out there.

Following the steps I outlined in this article will vastly increase the chances of your domain hunt being successful.

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