Are you sure you want to close the chat?Chat will be closed and the chat history will be cleared.
continue to sign out,
or stay on chat.
To review this chat session please click this windows.
Chat Online
Chat Online0
What are Domain Auctions? Exploring Different Auction Types

What are Domain Auctions? Exploring Different Auction Types

Aleksandra Vukovic
Mar 29, 2024 • 8 min read

If you're frequently involved or interested in buying and selling domains, you've likely encountered or heard of domain auctions. The popularity of domain auctions has increased over the years, driven by investing potential and increased demand for the limited availability of strong domain names. Every day, new businesses emerge that require a digital presence, resulting in domain names being a high priority. It's crucial for a domain name to align with a business's identity while reflecting the website's content, which means the pressure of acquiring a good domain name is high. Among various methods for buying domains, auctions stand out as one of the most favored options for powerful acquisitions.

The success of a domain auction hinges on numerous factors, including the domain's value, pricing, and which auction the domain is listed on. While domain auctions share similarities with other types of auctions, many specifics require detailed exploration. We are going to unravel the most important ones for you in this guide. 


What are Domain Auctions?


Domain auctions most frequently take place online, supported by different platforms and websites where domains are bought and sold through bidding. They’re also occasionally run through live events or conferences, such as Namescon. The sellers or platforms where the domain is placed for auction list domains with a starting bid, and interested buyers place higher bids until the auction ends. The highest bidder at the end wins the domain. There are different kinds of domain auctions to suit various needs. For example: user auctions are initiated by domain owners wanting to sell, allowing them control over the auction's terms while expired domain auctions offer domains not renewed by their owners. Each kind has its auction principles of bidding and time limits with their own set of rules. We are going to cover more auction types later in this article. 

Domain auctions can unfold across various websites and platforms, acting as meeting grounds for both buyers and sellers. Some domain registrars provide auction platforms, and choosing a reputable one is crucial. Platforms like Dynadot offer diverse auction options, allowing users to list domains for auction or bid on existing listings. Platforms like Sedo and Afternic are also reliable and, if you’re looking to sell domains, there is an option to connect your domains to those platforms directly on our platform. This way, you can reach a larger network if you’re looking for potential buyers. 

Navigating the domain auction landscape wisely to select your platform involves thorough research. Key factors to consider include:

  • Reputation and Credibility: Examining reviews and feedback is vital, as is verifying a platform's credibility. 
  • User Interface and Experience: A user-friendly interface enhances efficiency. 
  • Audience Reach and Marketing: Platforms with high reach and effective marketing attract more potential buyers. 
  • Fees and Costs: Consideration of associated fees is essential, and varies from platform to platform. Our auctions boast low commission fees at only 10%, ensuring more profit from sales.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can confidently choose a domain auction platform that aligns with your needs and facilitates successful transactions.


Things to know before you start


Before entering the domain marketplace, both buyers and sellers should assess the domain's value. In auctions, sellers typically have the option to set the starting price for their domain. This initial price can greatly influence the sale's outcome. Setting it too high may discourage potential buyers, whereas too low a price might result in the domain being sold for less than its worth.

However, there are some indicators to help in domain evaluation, and it is very useful for both buyers and sellers to go through all of them. For newcomers to the industry, understanding the indicators of domain quality is advisable before participating in domain auctions. Here are some tips on selecting a valuable domain name:

  • Domain Length: Generally, shorter domain names are preferred.
  • Geographic Domain Names: Particularly beneficial for businesses where location plays a crucial role.
  • Relevancy: Domains focusing on upcoming events or trends tend to hold higher value.
  • Brandability or Memorability: Catchy or easily recognizable names tend to fetch higher prices.
  • Top-Level Domain (TLD): Popular TLDs like .com, .org, .net, and .co often command higher prices.
  • Keywords and Traffic: Domains with concise, memorable keywords, especially those associated with frequently searched phrases, hold more value.
  • Domain Name History and Age: Be mindful of a domain's history, as it can affect its reputation and incoming traffic.
  • Domain Name Hacks: Creative domain name variations utilizing the domain extension have gained popularity.
  • Pinyin Domain Names: This considers using a Romanization system for Mandarin Chinese characters. Those domain names are valuable for their short length and dual meaning in English and Chinese.

Every domain has a value, determined by the mentioned factors, but even knowing how they all affect your domain’s price can make it hard to estimate the price sometimes. We have a Domain Name Appraisal Tool to assist you in the domain evaluation process. 


Types of Auctions

Domain auctions manifest in diverse forms, each presenting unique methods for either listing domains or acquiring them. Different registrars offer different auction types with their platforms, providing unique opportunities for their users. With Dynadot's domain aftermarket, you can engage in user auctions, list domains for sale, and participate in auctions that include domains that match certain criteria. Our aftermarket provides both buyers and sellers numerous opportunities to leverage exceptional domains. Dynadot offers different domain auction types, including:

  • Expired Domain Auctions
  • Closeout Domain Auctions
  • Domain Backorder Auctions
  • User Domain Auctions
  • Last Chance Domain Auctions

In the subsequent section of the article, we’re going to cover specifics of every domain auction type and address the commonly asked question: How do domain auctions work?


Expired Domain Auctions

If you've set your sights on a recently expired valuable domain, an expired domain auction is where you may get a chance to acquire it. Every domain registration comes with an expiration date determined by the length of the registration period chosen by the owner. If the domain isn't renewed before this expiration date, it will enter the expiration process. When registrants fail to renew their domains, these domains can become available for auction. Bidders have a 7-day window to place their bids (depending on the platform), with the highest bidder securing ownership. 

Dynadot Expired Domain Auctions offer an excellent opportunity to buy domains that are about to expire and a great opportunity if you have expired domains for sale. There are a few requirements to participate:

  • You must have a Dynadot Account, which you can create for free.
  • Ensure you're not banned from our auctions.
  • Maintain a balance of $5 in your account or have completed a successful order payment of at least $5 with us within the last year. If you're new to Dynadot or lack recent order history, you can fulfill this requirement by creating a prepaid order. 

If a bid is received within the last 5 minutes of the auction, the auction end time extends by 5 minutes. There's no limit to the number of extensions before the end time is set.

In our expired auctions, you can optionally use proxy bidding, which allows you to set a bid higher than the current minimum bid. If competing bids arise, the system will automatically place bids on your behalf until your maximum proxy bid is reached.

Upon securing the winning bid, you'll receive an email notification at the close of the auction. You'll then have 2 days to complete the payment. After payment is processed, the domain will be transferred into your Dynadot account within approximately 4 days. 

Do note that expired auctions on other platforms may have differing rules or processes.

Closeout Domain Auctions

If you missed a chance to bid for an attractive domain during an expired domain auction, you still have another opportunity to grab it through our Closeout Domain Auction. Expired domains that receive no bids become available in our Closeout Domain Auction listing. 

The fixed cost for acquiring these domains decreases daily according to the following schedule (in addition to the base cost of the domain name):

Day 1 - Fixed Cost: $30

Day 2 - Fixed Cost: $15

Day 3 - Fixed Cost: $5

This program operates on a first-come, first-served basis and does not involve a bidding system. These listings last for three days until the closeout domain period ends.

Please note that the fixed price mentioned does not cover the domain extension's renewal fee, which will be added during the checkout.

Domain Backorder Auctions

You may not be aware but it's still possible to acquire valuable domains past the renewal grace period and redemption period. After these periods, a domain enters a stage where it is "dropped" or made available for public registration once again. Before its re-release, you can utilize a drop catch or backorder service to submit a request to register the expiring domain. The backorder service will then attempt to register the domain on your behalf as soon as it becomes available for registration. Typically, domains are dropped from the central registry approximately 75 days after their expiration date.

If your backorder request was the only one, our system will create an order for you and the domain will be added to your account. If one domain receives multiple backorder requests, a backorder auction will begin. 

After the auction ends, an order will be automatically generated for the highest bidder. You will have 47 hours to complete the payment for your order to snag your domain name. If you fail to complete the payment, the second-highest bidder will be given a 24-hour window to complete their payment for the order. Once the payment is successfully processed, the domain will be transferred to the winner's account.

User Domain Auctions

Whether you're a domain registrant with a high-value domain for sale wondering: “Where can I auction my domain?” or maybe you’re searching for new valuable domains to buy: User Domain Auctions are a great solution. The auction process is similar to other Dynadot auctions: domain sellers decide the minimum starting price, and bidders have 7 days to bid. Once a domain has been listed for auction, modifications are not permitted; however, the seller retains the option to cancel the auction until a bid is placed. Our commission is very low and there is currently no listing fee. 

Last Chance Domain Auctions

This type of auction offers an opportunity for domain names previously auctioned at Dynadot but not successfully transferred due to reasons like fraud or abuse. This could be your final opportunity to secure a desired domain, so take advantage and explore our Last Chance Domain Auctions for new prospects. Just note that domains won in these auctions retain their original expiration date and will not be renewed upon the completion of the auction process.


Tips for Maximizing Domain Auction Success


Once you've selected the auction platform that best suits your domain, there are several steps you can take if you’re looking to sell a domain faster. Sharing the link to your listing on social media platforms or promoting it in relevant online forums can attract potential buyers. Additionally, consider creating a landing page for your domain, providing detailed information to enhance potential buyers' understanding of its value.

Before embarking on promotional efforts, ensure your contact information is up-to-date in the Whois database. This ensures that interested parties can easily reach out to you to discuss purchasing your domain if they would prefer that over your domain auction listing.

Domain auctions today represent an important segment of the domain marketplace, offering a variety of options for both buyers and sellers to engage with valuable domain names. They serve as a dynamic platform for individuals to buy and sell domains, addressing the diverse needs of businesses and individuals in the digital landscape. Whether you're an experienced domain investor or new to the industry, exploring the range of domain auctions available today can lead to exciting opportunities and fruitful acquisitions in this profitable field. 

Aleksandra Vukovic
Content Marketing Associate

Download the app:
Download the app: