What is the difference between “expiring” and “auction” domains and why do particular domains go to auction?

In essence it’s simple: a domain is either taken  (i.e. registered) by someone (or a company) or it is not 😂 Simple, right ?
If it’s not taken, it is available at a low/registration cost.

People get confused when terms come up like “expiring”, “auction”, “quarantine”, …

Let’s take an example to make this clear.

John has a domain name. But he does not pay for another year (for whatever reason: lost interest, forgot about it, … ). So the day he no longer pays for it, the registrar company will put this domain in “quarantine” (mostly during 40 days). During that “waiting” period the domain can not get a new owner. And it gives John the opportunity to get it back …

After that period however, the domain can change ownership. What happens next depends on the value of the domain name.
Valuable can mean differnt things: because of an existing SEO value, because it sounds good, because it fits into the existing branding of a company, …

If the domain name itself has some potential in it, let’s say meal.com, chances are that the registrar company will buy this domain name itself and put it on their auction/market* place at a higher end price (compared to the minimal registration cost). If the company does not take the ownership immeditaley and it’s a quite valuable (brandable) domain name, chances are lots of software (robots) are preparing to be the first to register it (at registration cost).

If the domain is not picked up immediately after quarantaine period, it can still be picked up by someone use Expired Domain Crawlers. Those  are software tools that crawl lots of websites very fast to check for broken links. If a broken link is detected, it could mean that the corresponding domain is available at registration cost.


* if you own a domain you can also actively put a domain name on a marketplace


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