The two dominant expiring domain services have different models, each with their own pros and cons.
There are two big players in the market for back ordering expiring domain names that haven’t entered the deletion phase yet. These are names at registrars that have agreements with auction services to sell the names before they enter pending delete status.
GoDaddy and NameJet own this market. GoDaddy has its own inventory plus that of Endurance International Group. Next year it will add Name.com to this list. NameJet’s prized inventory is from Network Solutions, Register.com, Enom and Tucows. (The parent companies of these registrars own NameJet.)
The services take two different approaches to how domainers can buy expiring domains and what happens to names they acquire.
No backorder is necessary, but investors can add names to their private watchlist. Domains have a set ending time and anyone can bid. If a name gets zero bids, it enters a reverse auction. The timing is such that registrants can still renew their domains after an auction is won. All won names are deposited into winner’s GoDaddy account.
Pros: Adding a domain to your watch list does not tip off other investors. No need to deal with backorders and subsequent auctions. All domains entered into one registrar account.
Cons: Other investors (and bots) can watch your late bids and enter auctions at any time. It’s typical to have auctions have no bids with five minutes left, then attract multiple bidders. Domains can still be renewed by the previous owner, so your time spent bidding on a domain can be wasted if they renew it.
Investors place a backorder by a set deadline. Only people who place a backorder can participate in a three-day auction for the name. If only one person backorders the domain, they get the domain without an auction. Domains stay with the registrar that previously had the domain.
Pros: Auctions are limited to people who place backorders, so there’s less last minute sniping. Existing registrants can’t renew after you win the auction, so the winner definitely gets the domain.
Cons: Placing a backorder tips off other investors, so the “sniping” happens at the backorder deadline instead of the auction deadline. Domain names you win end up at various registrars rather than just one.
Which model do you prefer?