How do domain auctions work?

Once a domain name has expired, OpenSRS may decide to list the domain name in an online auction marketplace. Before that happens however, OpenSRS makes every effort to allow registrants to reinstate their expired domain names. During the first 40 days after a domain name expires, the original registrant can reinstate the domain name simply by renewing it. Between day -40 and day -70, the original registrant can still redeem their domain name as long as the domain name is not in the Live Auction, though the cost is higher than a simple renewal. For more information about renewing expired domain names, see "Expired Domains".

OpenSRS has collaborated with SnapNames to offer .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ, .TV, and .MOBI domain names for auction on SnapNames' site. This section explains the lifecycle of expired domain names as they enter the SnapNames auction process.

Day 0

OpenSRS sends a list to SnapNames that contains all the domain names that have expired and that may be available for auction.

Day -3

The OpenSRS Parked Pages Program is implemented on the domain names.

Day -28

Some of the expired domain names are listed on the SnapNames auction site, and anyone who is interested in any of the names can place a backorder for the domain name. A backorder is an offer to purchase that is made before the domain name goes into the SnapNames Live Auction. Multiple backorders can be made for domain names from the time they are listed on the SnapNames site until the SnapNames Live Auction begins. Domain names with backorders are virtually guaranteed to sell at the SnapNames Live Auction.

The WHOIS information for expired domains that are listed on the SnapNames auction site is appended to include a message that promotes the auction.

Even if a domain name is listed by OpenSRS for auction on SnapNames, until day -40, it is still considered to be within the Grace Period and can be renewed by the original registrant.

Day -40

This is the last day that SnapNames accepts backorders for domain names listed on their site. If a domain name does not receive any backorders, SnapNames assumes that there is no interest in the name and the name will not be part of the SnapNames Live Auction.

Day -40 to day -41

Domain names on the list sent to SnapNames for the Live Auction are processed in one of several ways, depending on what has happened up to this point.

  • Domain name has backorders—The domain name is renewed and placed in a SnapNames Live Auction auction account. It is included in the upcoming SnapNames Live Auction, which usually begins the next day (day -41) and lasts for three days.

    Important: Once a domain name enters the SnapNames Live Auction, it cannot be redeemed by the original registrant.
  • Domain names without backorders are queued for deletion.

Day -41 to day -70

When the domain name is sold in the SnapNames Live Auction, it is transferred to an authorized OpenSRS Reseller, the WHOIS information is changed to reflect the winning bidder's contact information, and the domain name is parked. The domain name's new expiration date is approximately one year from Day 0.

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