GoDaddy auctions : When the owner renews the domain

A lot of resources publish domain expiration lists and some are curated by hand.

By using these resources, one then spends time identifying domains with a great potential, for development or resale at a later time.

On the secondary market, I focus on aged, brandable com/net/org domains and GoDaddy domains that are expired often meet these criteria.

Unfortunately, such expired domain auctions come with an underlying drawback: their owner can renew them or transfer them out.

In a recent auction, I bid on a .com registered in 1992, but someone else won the auction eventually, which ended in the low four figures.

A week later, I went back and checked to see who won the domain. It helps me understand better the bidding patterns and strategies of others.

As it happens, the domain was still owned by the previous owner, but the domain was both renewed and transferred away from GoDaddy.

I reached out to Joe Styler of GoDaddy, who has been doing a great job orchestrating a lot of processes in the GoDaddy machine.

He was very understanding about my concerns, stating that they are looking into ways to minimize the renewal or transfer of domains away right after an auction win. There are a few stop gap measures in place that assist resolving such issues, and GoDaddy is looking into improving the process.

Naturally, I am not upset about the domain’s renewal by the owner; after all, it’s a valuable asset that I had hoped to acquire at a portion of its value.

That’s what expired domain auctions are for.

I feel sorry, however, for the winning bidder who paid thousands of dollars and then waited for a week to get the domain, but will be given a refund instead.


  1. A simple fix would be to start the auctions later in the expiration cycle so that any renewals would occur DURING the auction — thus, no money has been paid.

    Quite frankly, it’s total BS when a buyer has already paid for the domain, only to lose it to some doofus who is only trying to get a cheap appraisal.

  2. Jen 😀 I agree, there is some “malice” in this approach of testing the waters by letting a domain expire, but these cases are usually the exception.

  3. Acro,

    Try winning dozens of auctions at GoDaddy and having them nullified when the same owner renews/transfer them after the auction. There is one guy who does this all the time — his initials are JN and I’m sure he’s pissed off more than a few people doing this over and over again, including me. I’ve apprised GoDaddy but they won’t do anything about it. Been happening for well over a year now that I can determine, probably longer.

  4. Spike is correct; renewals aren’t all that rare anymore, and JN is the biggest renewal doofus of all — I had three happen to me in one day.

  5. At this point, I recognize certain registrants whose expired domains are at auction or listed as closeouts at GoDaddy Auctions. I know from experience that there is no point bidding for or “buying” stuff owned by them because they’re lying in wait to renew.

    Those guys are a minority – the people who dangle expired domains deliberately in front of our noses simply to claw them back after we’ve shown interest. The majority of late renewals happen without reference to the auction results. But a few registrants follow a consistent pattern of manipulative late renewals. And if you pay attention, you’ll learn whom to avoid.

  6. Joseph – Good suggestions, although quite often the WHOIS is masked (albeit, temporarily) to hide the identity of the seller. It’s also a risky game as some domains might slip through and the renewal window lapses. Looks like was one such casualty.

  7. @Jen

    If I can transfer the name out all the way up to day for 42 then when do you expect the auction to occur? There is no fix to this problem.

    Buy yourself some time by not paying for the auction win right away and let the system automatically do it through your account. If you wait and let it automatically occur you gain an extra 3 days for the buyer to renew the name. Once an auction finishes the registrant would normally renew within that 3 day window and your money isn’t sitting in Godaddy’s account if they renew.

  8. @Todd,

    If the auction were delayed by 7 days, the auction would begin on day 32 after expiration and run for 10 days and end on day 42, three days before the renewal period would end. For unsold domains, GD would still have three days to run a BIN period, albeit shorter.

    It’s not a perfect solution — the registrant would still have three days to renew. In that case, the buyer could withhold payment for three days, unless it’s a BIN…

    I found out the hard way that Go Daddy holds unpaid BIN purchases for only two hours before sending them back to auction or to on-hold/redemption.

  9. @Jen

    I had that happen with a BIN also but if it’s an expired auction and not a closeout I always just leave it in my account and don’t pay and wait the 3 days for GD to charge the card on file. Most renew within that 3 day window because they already got their appraisal and those that don’t renew within that 3 days normally don’t want the name so you end up getting it anyway. I am sure you already know this but I replied here for those that don’t.

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