GoDaddy expired domains : Why the long wait after payment?

Recently, I renewed my trust in GoDaddy and it’s all thanks to the hard work of Joe Styler, who has been assisting with a lot of the issues I addressed last year.

First and foremost, Joe’s patience, demeanor and ethics project sainthood; I am fully aware of the gravity of the word, and it’s not just a random compliment.

In the many months since I went ballistic on GoDaddy’ services, a lot of things have been ironed out. Not everything has been resolved, including the apparent need for an app-based two-factor authentication process that does not rely on SMS.

But knowing how helpful Joe Styler has been, I am more understanding of the inner processes at GoDaddy than I was before. Meeting Joe at NamesCon 2015 in Las Vegas helped out tremendously as well.

That being said, however, I am also taking this opportunity to “bitch” about expired domain auctions, and the extra, unnecessary time it takes for paid domains to be moved to one’s account.

The auction process of expired domains at GoDaddy clearly works well on behalf of the domain’s registrant; they are given ample time to renew domains, but that grace period should be over before the auction begins – not several days after it ends.

At GoDaddy, some expired domain auctions end up for hundreds and thousands of dollars, and there’s always the possibility for domains to be renewed during the several day window after payment is made by the auction’s winner.

Essentially, one’s funds might be tied up for a week, or even refunded if the registrant “wakes up” – unintentionally or otherwise – and renews the domain.

To recap: GoDaddy is cool with me, and I use it both for domain registrations and for buying expired domains. Big thanks to Joe Styler.


  1. I don’t see why they can’t just start the auction a week later. That way the registrant’s right to renew the domain would end when the auction ends.

    Allowing a week after the auction ends to renew the domain is annoying as a buyer. It makes it much easier for auction circumvention as well.


  2. They need time to know if they need to send the delete command in on the domain, or they they are going to renew the domain so that they can move it to your account. If they moved the auction back by a week (or whatever time it is) they would be starting the auction right when they have to hit the delete command to get their money back.

    What you are not considering is that when a domain name expires, the registrar is charged the renewal fee for the domain name immediately. The registry auto-renews the domain at the date of expiration, and the registrar is given up to 45 days to send the delete command. The registrar wants to give you as much time as possible to renew your domain, but if they go past those 45 days by even a second, they are stuck with the cost of that domain. And if nobody wants the domain, they are out that money. So they want to run the auction before they tell the registry to delete the domain, otherwise they have to pay the redemption grace period fee if someone wants to buy the domain. Financially this does not work for them.

    It just is how it is. And it makes sense to me why GoDaddy does this having a basic understanding of how the registrar side of things work. Granted it is not ideal for buyers. And they can’t auction the domain after it has been deleted do to redemption costs. So they need a little overlap time to be able to conduct these auctions and first determine if there is another buyer.

  3. For years, I have been complaining to Go Daddy about this practice of cat and mouse.

    I agree with Brad — that starting the auction a week later would protect everyone’s rights, including the registrant’s.

    As of now, some registrants allow their domains to lapse, just to see how much buyers will bid, and Go Daddy is enabling this behavior.

  4. Joe is a good bloke and Godaddy should be proud to have him

  5. First of all you have to understand the life-circle of a domain name.
    (Talking about the .COM).
    After the domain expires he goes thru 3 periods which are:
    -Renew Grace Period (42 days)
    -Redemtion Period (30 days)
    -Pending Deletion Period/Status (5 days)
    As you can see there is a 77 days period between the expiration and the drop date.
    At GoDaddy the expired domains go to auction about 25-35 days after they expired. There is a 7 days auction and if you win (and pay) GoDaddy will wait another 5 to 10 to see if the prewious owner renews the name; if he doesn´t than they transfer the domain to your account and they gift you the original registration date, which is really what I love at GoDaddy. The problem is that the previous owner has a 77 days right to renew the domain (ICANN rules) so even if you won the auction and the domain was transferred to your account (until the 77 days have passed) the previous owner can claim back the domain by paying a higher fee (about $100 for the .COM) and GoDaddy will withdraw his domain. You are really safe just after those 77 days have passed; let´s say after the DROP date. It´s not usual that somebody renews a domain 60 or 70 days after the expiration date but it´s possible and legal. So an advice goes here: domains you win at GoDaddy EXPIRED auctions don´t try to sell them before those 77 days have passed; calculate these 77 days starting the day that the domain expired (to avoid problems just in case the prewious owner comes after it). You can read more about the domain life-circle here:

  6. Theo, Paul Nicks has said over and over they will always err on the side of the previous registrant, he knows that people transfer out on day 45 for $8.25 instead of paying Go Daddy the $80 redemption fee.

    A few years ago he commented,

    Ms Domainer, re: the 42/45 day question:
    Good question and one that I sincerely hope I can clarify. First, I’ll underscore a point I made in the interview, we created the system to give our registrants the ability to keep or redeem their name as long as possible. With that as the backdrop, hopefully the following explanation will make more sense.
    For many TLDs we are given a grace period of up to 45 days after expiration to decide whether to keep or drop a domain. On the 25th day after expiration, after three attempts to contact the registrant, we put our expiring inventory onto the Go Daddy Auctions platform to see if any of our other customers are interested in acquiring them. During the entire time a domain is at auction the current registrant is able to redeem that domain, albeit for a fee.
    On the 42nd day we will cancel the domain name if no other customer has expressed an interest in it via either the auction system or a Go Daddy backorder. If, however, a customer has expressed an interest via either of these platforms we will move the domain to their account on day 43. Since the domain is still in the Go Daddy ecosystem we do allow, in rare circumstances, the original registrant to get the domain back via our redemption system up until day 45 which signifies the end of the grace period.
    Our help documentation ( specifies day 42 for deletion because our registrants need to understand that if they do not redeem prior to that date they could lose their domain forever. However, we will continue to err on the side of the registrant when it comes to the edge cases where a domain owner calls asking whether they can get their domain back after day 42.
    I hope that helps ease any confusion around this topic.

  7. Raymond – When I bid on and win an auction, I pay promptly and expect the domain to be transferred to my account. This does not happen.

    When you spend thousands of dollars on an auction that just might get reversed, there is a flaw in the process that needs to be addressed. Just as GoDaddy keeps the domain in a grace period on behalf of the registrant, they should trim that period down by a week in order to accommodate the auction. Simple, just as Brad said earlier.

  8. Theo I agree and would like to get my name right away, I was just providing the answer that Paul Nicks gave, I do think what KD mentioned above plays into it as well. They could get stuck with names that go no bids.

  9. So do Godaddy T & C’s of a registrant losing the name forever if someone placed a bid, trump the ICANN 77 days redemtion rule I’ve read about… I’m now on day 43 waiting for my auction win to show in my account – but now I’m reluctant to start development until after “day 77″… please advise…

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