Go Daddy Auctions
Ever since I started buying and selling domain names for profit, I have experimented with different buying options. I purchased OmegaWeb.com by calling the phone number I found in the Whois contact and paying the guy with PayPal, I have experimented with purchasing domain names on eBay, and now I have officially tried out GoDaddy Auctions. On GoDaddy’s website, you can access their Auctions feature, which allows you to bid on premium domain names, expired domain names, and names that people no longer need or want. To buy or sell domain names (all names except bargains and GoDaddy closeout domains), you must have a valid GoDaddy Auctions membership.
When a domain name expires on GoDaddy (note that this is specific to GoDaddy, other registrars do it differently), they make attempts to contact the owner to renew the domain. If the owner never answers the emails after 26 days, GoDaddy will list the domain name in their “Expiring” category on the Auctions page. If nobody bids on the domain in the expiring bin, then they move it to the closeout category. To purchase a closeout domain, you do not have to pay the $5 a year membership, and most domain names are $10-20. If nobody bids on it in the closeout bin, it is officially an expired domain name and is available for anyone to register.
I recently purchased AquariumWatch.com on the GoDaddy Closeout Auctions to start a blog about aquarium keeping. It’s not the best domain name in the world, but it does have the keyword “aquarium” in the name and it’s catchy. I snagged it up for only $10, but what I didn’t realize was that you also have to pay the annual renewal fee – so it ended up being $23. The domain was registered in 2011, so it’s old, but I have no way to determine if a website was ever on the domain. As soon as the domain name expires, GoDaddy takes down the website that it was associated with and parks it… If the Wayback Machine has never archived the website, then you’re pretty much shooting in the dark with trusting that it’s an okay domain name.
Overall, I’m happy with my experience using the GoDaddy Auctions. After you pay for the domain name, they have to hold it for one week (not sure why) before releasing it to you. After the week is up, the domain name goes into your GoDaddy account for you to do whatever you want.