Buying Domains at Auction

Domain rush hour!

Domain auctions are a rush — and a great opportunity

Earlier this month, I was shopping around for some domain names, and I found out that and were available, and that was expiring shortly and going up for auction. I had never backordered a domain before, but for $18.95, it was worth trying out.

When you backorder a domain with GoDaddy, the instant it’s available at auction, they place a $10.00 bid for you. You then have about a month to wait for anyone else to outbid you. If they don’t, you get the domain for the $18.95 you paid. If they outbid you, you’ll receive email notification that you’ve been outbid.

The day of the auction, I was about to leave on a field trip to Sierra Trading Post in Cheyenne, WY, when I found out that I had been outbid with only 5 minutes left. Thankfully, I was in front of the computer. With 2 minutes left, I realized I wasn’t signed in and had forgotten my password to GoDaddy. I raced to reset my password, enter the captcha, and I placed a higher bid in the last 3 seconds.  In the GoDaddy system, each time you add a new bid, the auction extends by 2 minutes. The other bidder thought they had taken me by surprise and had it all wrapped up, but in the end, I won the auction.

I’m going to boast: cost $31.00. Can you afford not to check out domain auctions?

A few tips from my auction experience

  • If you find domains that have [Your Location][Your Industry].com/net/org, buy them. Now.
  • Don’t bid until the last minute (standard eBay rules apply 🙂 ), then enter the maximum you’re willing to pay for the domain. With GoDaddy auctions, you will only pay $5 more than the previous high bid.
  • Read this Mike Davidson article about backordering using different services. It’s very informative (if a few years old).
  • Then read this SEOMoz article about expiring domain names.

By Zack Katz

Zack Katz is the founder of GravityKit and TrustedLogin. He lives in Leverett, Massachusetts with his wife Juniper.

2 replies on “Buying Domains at Auction”

Thanks for that information. I have always wondered how they work. So, that means that you have to be ever vigilant with your own domain names or they could be gobbled up that way too.

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