What Is Drop Catching
Drop catching is the process of registering a domain, after the current owner fails to renew it.
Registries provide a form of redemption period, usually of around 30 days, following the expiration of a domain name, in which only the owner is able to renew the domain. Following the redemption period and a further 60 day holding period, most domain name are dropped within a week, but on a random day, in an attempt to be fair to all interested parties.
Successful drop catching can result in the cheap acquisition of domain names that are really valuable to you and your business.
Finding a name to drop catch.
Domain names are so important in online business, it's worth getting to grips with the few tools that can help you keep an eye on potential domains that might benefit you.
Approach to drop catching a domain name.
With a domain name in mind, decide how much it's worth to you. Think about what you might use it for, and whether it would give you an advantage over your competitors.
If the domain is of low value to you, but would be nice to have, you could try to self-dropcatch. Keep an eye on the status of the name with regular WHOIS searches, and estimate the expiry date.
Most are approximately 90 days from the listed expiry date. See my guide on the domain name life cycle for more details. Manual dropcatching as above is a cheap way to acquire less competitive domain names. If you suspect the name might be popular, and you're keen on obtaining it for yourself, it's best to use a drop catching service like Snapnames.
If you miss out, don't panic!
If you miss out on a name that you're really keen on, be patient. Chances are the successful buyer will be looking to sell the name on for a profit, but don't contact them for the first week.
Don't even visit the website. Many buyers look to see how much interest there is in a name, and if there isn't any they'll get rid of it. You can then snap it straight up.
After the week, check what they've done with it. If it's just advertising, they'll probably be looking to sell the name on Sedo or BuyDomains. If they're using the domain name for their own business, hard luck.
But, there are a lot of domain names out there for you to use instead. Be careful though, as collecting domain names can be quite addictive. Always consider the real value to you and your business.
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