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How To Make Money With Expired Domains

Updated on July 25, 2009

Millions of domains are registered at any one time, and thousands of those domains expire every single day, potentially leaving a lot of ready-made traffic for the next owner of that domain.

A lot of these domains expire because:

  • the domain owner didn't need it any more
  • they didn't inform the registrar of a new email address
  • they forgot to renew their registration
  • in the worst case, the owner themselves may have expired

So, what does this mean for you?

The owner didn't need the domain any more

This could be for several reasons, such as the close of a business, they had multiple domains or simply never bothered to put a site on their domain. Closing of an existing business is a good thing for the new domain owner, since that site already had visitors.

The domain will be listed on advertising, in directories and some search engines already, bringing people who come across it to the new site you are putting on that domain.

A domain which has expired because the old owner had several for one business might work in a similar way – it may have been listed along with their other domains or it will be similar to the one they are now keeping in use. Someone guessing at the well-known or previously visited company's existing domain might get yours by mistake.

The owner wasn't contactable or forgot to renew

They may have had a successful site on this domain but by not informing their domain registrar of their new email address, or by not paying attention to the expiry date,  they didn't know about the domain's impending expiry. Again, there will be existing listings and people with a bookmark that might lead to this domain.

So, the visitor might not find what they were originally looking for on a newly-purchased expired domain, but at least they have found another site that might be just as interesting to them.

Getting An Expired Domain

 There are several ways to go about this. Registering with a service that informs you of all the domains that have just expired might be profitable for a reseller.

For the average person looking for something specific, regular checks of a WHOIS database for a particular domain will say when it is due to expire. If the old owner isn't interested, they won't have arranged to re-register it themselves and it will be yours – but only after a grace period given to the owner, just in case they are on holiday or some such thing. This can be anything up to 51 days.

Back-orders are a way of trying to secure the domain before it's released at the end of 51 days and some registrars allow this – otherwise, a back-order service should be sought.

Whichever way it's acquired, search and search again for where the domain might be listed. If it crops up regularly, then this expired domain could be just the ticket for bringing traffic into a new site from day one.

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    • profile image

      Chris  8 years ago

      Expired domain names are creating a new class of millionaires. The best way to capitalize in this horrible recession! If you have a Twitter account then please follow me at twitter.com/cmccall1987

    • BirteEdwards profile image

      BirteEdwards 9 years ago

      Expired domain names, domain names parked, and many other types can be excellent way to create business on the net.

      This is a subject most don't know very much about, and you have really opened the door to it.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 9 years ago

      Isn't true that the most likely reason a domain has expired is that a person with a good idea created the domain and then had no idea how to market his good idea and eventually gave up. This would mean the domain never carried any sigificant traffic.

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