How Long Does GoDaddy Hold Expired Domains?
Updated October 6, 2023
There are a lot of different things that come with owning a domain including how the domain’s availability impacts the decision to use a certain domain name over the other. If you are working with a website though, and the domain name is one that you had access to but somehow the domain lapsed, then that is what is called an expired domain. Depending on the domain service, there are different rules for expired domains. GoDaddy is one of the largest holders of domain names and they have some rules about how their domains work. Now, just because you have an expired domain with GoDaddy does not mean the domain itself is unavailable. What it means is that you have to go through a few steps to recover the domain. Once you recover the domain, the process of rebuilding your site becomes that much easier.
Before talking about recovering a domain, maybe you might want to go with a new domain. There are several reasons for this. The domain name is arguably the most consequential decision you can make about your site. Having a good domain means that your site is memorable and catchy. It means that people know who you are – think about your favorite sites or memorable sites. Often the domain is clear and reflective of the business. When you are selecting your domain name, some things to keep in mind are keeping it short and to the point and making sure that people who hear your domain know it reflects what your business actually does.
Retrieving your Expired Domain Name
The process of retrieving the expired domain name through GoDaddy is not that difficult however at the same time, you should be ready to open your wallet a bit for it. When the domain expires, GoDaddy will hold onto the domain for a period of time, generally about up to four to six weeks. There are several phases that occur here. The first is that within 19 days of the expiration of the domain name, you are able to recover it without any additional cost. Once the domain name expiry is outside of the 19 days, then the fees can get a little more sizeable, and they vary based on the domain name.
According to GoDaddy’s assistance forum, the latest time in which an expired domain name can be retrieved is within 42 days. Once the domain expiry gets outside of 42 days, then there are more problems with retrieving an expired domain. The first issue is the register, and with the register, there can be a period going up to about half a year where you will not be allowed to re-register the domain name. This can be crippling for a business, hence why it is a good idea not to let domain names expire and if they do expire, to retrieve them in an expeditious fashion.
Other Problems with Expired Domain Names
One issue that comes up often with expired domain names is that the domain name will be purchased by someone else – especially if the domain name is catchy. A great parody of this idea occurred on the TV show “The League” where one character owned the domain name “DallasCowboys.com.” In the fictional accounting, the character was able to parlay the domain name into a sizeable payment. Domain names are worth quite a pretty penny, so if you are able to acquire a pithy domain name or a domain that could be in demand, you are in for a decent pay day. However, if you own one of these names and it expires with someone snapping it up at a cut rate price, you could be in some trouble.
The other issue, as noted above, is the ability to re-register a domain name. The problem here is your domain name is useless unless it is registered with a DNS service. If your domain name is unable to get registered, then your internet-facing business is essentially dead, and if that is how you make money, then you are in a lot of trouble and need to scrap that domain in favor of another one. However, this is an opportunity, and the good news is if the domain expired, there is probably a good reason you allowed that to happen.
Domain Name Warehousing
GoDaddy has done a lot of things to change how we use the internet, but for business, one of the most interesting things it has done is in the area of domain name warehousing. This is a bit of a controversial practice, but the reality is that a domain name that expires may have some value, and if a service like GoDaddy can acquire the domain name at a low price, it makes sense for them to do it. This is also an opportunity for other businesses.
As for GoDaddy’s practices, they openly warehouse domain names. A key point of interest is what GoDaddy considers “Premium Domains.” There is a greater value to the domain name, and this means GoDaddy will charge a higher rate for these domain names. There are several reasons that a domain name could be considered premium. One of the biggest reasons is the traffic associated with the domain name. Some domains can be worth thousands of dollars. What GoDaddy will do is sell these domain names at an auction and the winner will have a domain name. In some cases, the user retains rights to redeem the domain name, and that would nullify the auction.
That said, domain name warehousing is at best a controversial issue in the world of domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has only called for policy changes at this point, meaning that the largest registrar of domain names essentially does not have an opinion on the legality of ethics of this practice.
The bottom line, if you like your domain name, make sure that you do not let it expire, because it can get costly.