Having a website is essential for businesses these days. It is also just for fun for a few and a money maker for few others. One day you decided to get a domain for your business/blog/site and searched on a domain registrar site. If it is a common name, it is more likely that the domain name is already registered by someone. Most of the keywords with popular extensions like .com, .net, and .org are already taken. Few companies are engaged in the business of acquiring the domains with the intention of selling them to the prospective buyers at a huge amount.
Here is how I acquired .com for one of my already developed sites in .org. Follow it and you may have a chance to acquire your dream name.
A year ago, I had a subject in mind for which I wanted to develop a site. I searched for the domain and found that .com and .net are already taken. I had to work on the site immediately and it was a long-term project spread over a year. So, settled with .org and was eying on .com and .net to drop catch them if at all they expire.
I searched the “whois” of the .com and it was registered by a person and not the company. The site was also not developed, so there are more chances that the registrant can let it go or forget to renew.
#Tip: Use http://who.is to find the registration info of a domain.
I used DomainTools’ monitoring service to monitor the .com domain.
#Tip: DomainTools monitoring service is free and it can alert you whenever there is a change in domain whois information. Check: http://www.domaintools.com/monitor/ Whois information is changed when the domain is renewed, expired, in redemption period, or getting deleted. It will do all the work for you and periodically inform you. Just enter to the domains you want to monitor and leave the rest to DomainTools.
Luckily, the domain owner did not renew and it expired. DomainTools informed me about the change instantly. I became alert and watching closely for the whois changes. Domain registrant will have a grace period of 30-80 days to renew it before it is deleted and released to public.
As it is a .com and .org is already a developed site, lot of people will be eying on it to acquire. As I already said, there are corporations who register lakhs of domains with the intention of selling at a higher price. If it is a .com and dropping, it will surely go into the hands of one of these companies or people in domain selling business.
After a month of expiring, I got a mail from a company that the .com is expiring and they can catch it for me. They got my email address from the whois of .org domin. This made me sure that few others are going to compete with me.
There is a service called backordering to register the domain as soon it gets deleted by the registrar. It is offered by almost all registrars. Don’t backorder from a domain registrar because they won’t be able to catch the domain, yes they CANNOT. Because there are few companies especially into the business of catching the domains and they are more powerful with hundreds (probably thousands) of servers trying to register the dropping domains or have tie-ups with domain registrars.
#Tip: Few popular drop catching services are pool.com, namejet.com, and snapnames.com.
I checked the whois of this expired .com domain and it is registered at GoDaddy. I wanted to get this .com at any cost, so went ahead and ordered backorder service of GoDaddy thinking that it will catch, but it didn’t. I also backordered it on namejet.com, name.com, and snapnames.com too.
#Tip: NameJet and SnapNames will charge after they get the domain. Name.com and Godaddy charge at the time of ordering. GoDaddy does not return the money back if it fails, it lets you backorder another domain. Name.com refunds the amount if it fails.
If the domain is backordered by two or more people, the service which catches the domain will put it in private auction and the highest bidder wins the domain.
So, I got the mail from NameJet that they caught the domain and it went into private auction as few more people backordered it. It also mentioned the auction end time. It would be a better idea to b.i.d. a minute or less before the end of auction, so that you are not hinting the others that you are active. If you start bidding as soon as you get the auction notice, you will be outbid in seconds and by the time of auction ending, the bid will reach thousands of dollars.
As there were 5 other bidders, auction started at $59 and ended at $101 by me as a winning bid.
Have questions, ask in the comments.