Do you want to get your expired domain name back?
When a domain name expires, it goes through different stages. Depending on which stage it is at, you may be able to get it back easily. If your domain is already sold to another buyer, there are multiple ways you can go about securing the domain again.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the stages of an expiring domain name and show you how to get it back.
Let’s get started.
What Happens When Your Domain Name Expires
Every domain registrar will make it easy for you to renew your domain. In your account, you’ll see the domain expiry date along with an option to renew it right away.
If you miss renewing the domain name before the expiry date, here are the stages that it goes through:
1. Expired Status
When your domain name expires, it doesn’t go back on the market for sale immediately.
First, the domain will be given an “expired” status. All your domain services will be stopped but your domain registrar will give you time to renew the domain.
This is called a grace period and is usually a 30-day extension. During this period, you simply need to pay the renewal fee to keep the domain.
2. Redemption Period
If the grace period has passed, the domain name may go into a “redemption” period. This depends on your domain registrar’s policy.
At this time, the domain will be inaccessible and no one else will be able to register it.
If you want to get the domain back during this period, you will have to pay a redemption fee + renewal fee. So for instance, if your domain registrar is Bluehost, you have to pay $70 redemption fee + the normal renewal fee.
3. Domain Auction or Public Market
If you fail to renew the domain within the grace period and redemption period, then your domain will be auctioned to the highest bidder or released on the public market.
If you see that it’s available for sale, you can simply buy the domain again and register it in your name. You can count yourself lucky in this instance.
But if your domain name has high value or is in high demand, then people would’ve likely placed backorders on it.
A backorder works like a pre-order before the domain goes back on the public market. If someone had their eye on your domain, they can easily track the expiration date and place a back order when it expires. Then when you fail to renew it before the redemption period expires, they’ll be given first preference to register the domain.
If multiple people are interested, then they get to participate in the auction for it.
So you actually get a lot of time to renew the domain name after it has expired. But in case someone has already grabbed your domain name, we’ll give you the best ways to try and get the domain name back.
How to Get An Expired Domain Name Back?
1. Check If The Domain is Available for Sale
If your domain name has gone back on the market for sale, you’ll want to register it quickly before someone else does.
You can check if the domain is on the market by searching for it on any domain registrar.
Some of the best domain registrars include:
For more options, see our list: 8 Best Domain Name Registrars (Compared).
If the domain name is already registered, you can find out who registered it.
2. Find Out Who Owns the Domain
When you register a domain name, your details are added to a public record called the WHOIS database.
These details include name, contact number, mailing address, and email. When you register a domain, we always recommend using Domain Name Privacy. This will conceal your information in the database and help you avoid spam calls and emails.
If the new domain owner has not enabled Domain Name Privacy, you’ll be able to see their information like this:
Then you can contact them to make an offer on the domain name. Many domain owners are actually domain flippers. They buy and park domain names to make a profit. So if you offer them a good price, they’ll transfer it back to you.
3. Hire a Domain Broker
Now if the new owner is looking to flip the domain for a profit, when they know you’re the previous owner trying to get it back, they most likely will hike up the price.
You’ll end up paying a lot more to get the domain back.
To avoid this, you’ll want to hire a domain broker to help you negotiate a deal. They even let you make the purchase anonymously so the new owner doesn’t know it’s you.
Learn how this works here: Domain Brokers: What are They and Should You Use Them?
Most domain brokers make you pay an upfront fee before the service begins, though this may sometimes be waived off.
Ready to use a domain broker? See our list: 5 Top Domain Name Broker Services.
What to Do If You Can’t Get Back Your Domain Name?
If you’re unable to get your domain name back, you have a few options:
1. Wait for the Domain to Expire Again
No one can register a domain name forever. You can only register it for 1 to 10 years. If the new owner fails to renew it, you can get it back.
Want to know when the new expiry date is? Simply enter the domain name in the WHOIS database and you’ll see the expiry date:
With this option, you’ll have to wait till the new owner gives up the domain name. This could take a year or even ten years. There’s no guarantee.
2. Use Legal Options
If you have a trademark on your brand name, then your domain name could be protected along with it. So for instance, if your brand name is ‘Be Real’ and the domain name is bereal.com, your domain most likely will be covered under that trademark.
We’ve answered important questions on this in our guide: Should You Trademark Your Domain Name? (Beginner’s Guide)
This option can vary depending on the laws of your country. You’ll need to contact a lawyer to explore your options.
3. Find Other Domain Name Options
The next best option is explore other domain names for now.
You can use our Domain Name Generator to help you choose an available domain name.
You simply need to type in the domain name you want and if it’s available, you’ll see it on the results page along with an option to buy it.
Bluehost is one of the best web hosting providers in the world. When you sign up for one of their hosting plans that start at just $2.75 per month, you’ll get a free domain name for 12 months, free SSL, and free CDN.
Once you register your domain name, again, we suggest enabling auto-renew on your domain. This way, you’ll never accidentally lose your domain name because you forgot to renew it on time.
That’s all we have for you today! We hope you found this guide helpful in getting back your expired domain name.
You’ll also want to see our guides:
- How Much Does a Domain Name Cost? (Pricing Breakdown)
- How to Choose the Best Domain Name Extension (TLD)
- 5 Things You Need to Do Before Buying a Domain Name
These posts will give you more direction on getting the perfect domain name and extension at the right price.