Someone else can snag your expired domain, but not right away

4 min read
Simay Yıldız

You shouldn’t let someone else get a hold of your domain. We always say this because your domain name is your business’s digital identity and having someone else get it might negatively affect your reputation. For example, you wouldn’t let your brand registry run out, would you? Remember how in 2016 Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg realized someone bought his daughter’s domain name and paid them $700 to purchase it? $700 might not seem like a lot, but don’t forget that buying domain names that are already owned by someone else can get costly. This is why it’s important to renew your expired domain in a timely manner.

What happens to an expired domain?

So, what happens to an expired domain? This, in fact, is totally up to your registrar’s policies. Most of the time, an expired domain will be held for a few days, waiting for its current owner to renew it. When the domain in question has a .com, .net or .org extension, you might have a grace period in which you can renew your domain without paying a fine, but there might be a redemption fee. 

At GoDaddy, an expired domain goes through several phases before it’s put up for sale.

Taking .com domains as a bases, the timeline is as follows:

  1. GoDaddy makes the first billing attempt one day after the domain expires. If the billing fails, the domain name expires and the domain is parked. The domain can still be renewed at no cost.
  2. On day four, GoDaddy makes the second billing attempt. Even though the expired domain can still be renewed at no extra cost, there might be interruptions in website and email services.
  3. On day twelve, GoDaddy makes the third and last billing attempt. The owner can renew the expired domain within two days at no extra cost.
  4. On day nineteen, the owner can still renew the expired domain but for the cost of a one-year renewal fee plus a redemption fee of $80.

If the expired domain isn’t renewed on the twenty-fifth day, the domain is added to the expired domain name auction and starting on day thirty, the domain can no longer be redeemed. The auction ends on the thirty-sixth day and if nobody buys it, the expired domain is returned to the registry and they may hold the domain before releasing it for general registration.

Can I renew my expired domain?

There are users who think that an expired domain can be purchased by someone else right away. As we’ve explained above, that is not the case at GoDaddy. Summarizing what we’ve explained above:

You can renew your expired domain in about 20 days.

However, while you can renew it at no cost for twenty-nine days, there might be renewal and redemption fees in place after that. You should also remember that when the domain in question has an extension with a country code, there might be redemption and renewal fees as soon as they expire.

For those who say, “that’s too much pressure for me,” we recommend the Autorenewal option. This way, when the expiration date for your domain gets close, GoDaddy notifies you and charges your credit card on file when the renewal date comes. When you choose the “Manual” payments method, you again get notified but have to manually renew your domain yourself when the day comes.

For more information on ways to renew your domain, we urge you to take a look at our “Renew my domain” page.

Editor’s Note: Informational emails about your GoDaddy products are sent to the email address you have on file at GoDaddy. So please make sure it’s an address you check frequently and that emails sent by GoDaddy don’t end up in your junk folder.