Every day tens of thousands of domains expire. Since GoDaddy is the worlds largest domain registrar, many of those domains happen to be managed by GoDaddy.
Every registrar has a different system for handling dropping domains. In the case of GoDaddy, they put all dropping domains up for bid at GoDaddy Auctions.
This is a relatively fair and open way of dealing with dropping domains. In the past, domains would drop quietly, and only a few very savvy domain guru’s, using specialized software programs would be able to catch dropping domain names.
With the current GoDaddy system, anyone with a GoDaddy account can look at the available list expiring domains, and have a fair chance to win a valuable domain name.
Why all the fuss about expiring domain names?
Domains are scare commodities. If you’ve ever tried to register a domain name, you’ve probably been frustrated to find that your top 10 choices were already registered! So, you ended up settling for something less ideal than your first choice.
Domains can expire when the owner loses interest in the domain name, or perhaps because their credit card (or other payment option) has expired.
In truth, many of the domains expiring every day really are just plain junk. But amidst all that muck and crud, there are a few gems to be found almost every single day.
Just like the rest of GoDaddy, the user interface for GoDaddy auctions is painful to use. To guide your upcoming searches, here are 5 tips to find the most expiring valuable domain names.
1. Start with the “Most Active” auctions.
Any domain that’s received atleast 2 bids is considered “Most Active”. If atleast 2 people think a domain is valuable, it just might be!
You’ll generally find the most obvious good deals here. 3 letter dot coms will be here, as well as most 4 letter dot coms too. Also generic word dot coms will commonly end up here. Also, it will be common to find domains with lots of inbound links, page rank, and traffic here.
At any time, you might find around 500 or less domains on the “Most Active” list.
The good thing about the most active list is that it’s been prefiltered by the wisdom of the crowd. The bad thing about domains on the most active list, is that they will be more expensive. The cheapest domain will cost $20 for the auction, and the most expensive will be as much as $10,000 or more.
*TIP, set the display to 500 per page, and don’t forget you can page to see more results! It should be obvious, but GoDaddy’s cluttered user interface IS really cluttered.
2. Search for the expiring domains, sort by most traffic.
(Select ‘Expiring’ on the ‘Advanced Search’ menu, then click the ‘Traffic’ header twice, to sort in descending order)
When a domain name expires, GoDaddy resets the DNS settings for the domain, and visitors to the domain will see a GoDaddy parking page, that looks something like this:
They track every visit to this parking page, and list this as the ‘traffic’ value for the domain.
An expired domain can still receive traffic for a number of reasons:
- There are a number of inbound links to the domain, which visitors follow.
- The domain could be bookmarked by previous visitors
- The domain could be receiving type in traffic. This is most common for dot com domains. Generally, the shorter, and more meaningful the name, the more traffic it will have.
Again, not every domain on this list will be great. But, if you’re starting a new project, and you find a domain in a similar niche, you could benefit from having this existing stream of traffic.
3. Use the “Domain Age” to find the oldest domains that are expiring .
(Make sure to use the “Advanced Search” and select ‘Expiring’ domains)
Since so many of the best domains were registered years ago, it stands to reason, that older domains have a higher chance of being valuable than ones that were registered more recently.
Under the advanced search, I usually set a “Min” age of 8 years, and a “Max” age of 25 years.
You’ll notice immediately that the domains you see seem somehow more clean to you. Domain extentions will be mainly dot com, dot net, dot orgs, with a few other random extensions thrown in.
4. Use the “Characters” filter, to find shorter domain names, and to remove dashes and digits.
Shorter domain names are easier for users to type in, and easier to remember. It’s still possible to find pronounceable 4 to 6 character dot coms on GoDaddy for less than $100. If you’re willing to settle for a different extension, the price should be even less.
5. Select only the extensions you’re interested in with the ‘Extensions’ filter.
The basic listing of the auctions contains so many listings, it’s really hard to manage. Atleast GoDaddy lets you filter to show only the extensions you’re interested in. Dot Com domains definitely have the most valuable. If you’re only interested in Dot Coms, select that from the extensions menu, and you’ll have much fewer listings to sift through.
Bonus Tip. Watch the domains you’re interested in, before bidding on them.
If you located a great domain using some filters, that no one else is bidding on, you may just want to watch it until the auction is set to expire. If you bid on a domain, it’s easier for others to find it if they sort the domain listings by number of bids. By holding out until the end, you’re less likely to attract attention, and thus will be able to buy the domain name without competition.
You “Watch” domains by clicking the eye icon to the left of the domain name listing. Once you’ve clicked it, the eye icon will turn blue. After that, you can navigate directly to the list of all the domains you’re watching, and plan your bidding strategy accordingly. Generally expiring domain auctions will end early afternoon EST, so just pack a lunch, and fire up your laptop.
If you do happen to get into a bidding war, GoDaddy will add a few minutes each time it receives a new bid.
Catching domains at GoDaddy Auctions takes a lot of work. In fact, it’s the kind of task that you just may want to assign to your virtual personal assistant. By keeping on top of the domain names coming up for auction you can quickly build up a valuable portfolio of domain names to resell, or develop for your own projects.
GoDaddy Auctions Advanced Search Box
Current average ratings.