Sounds crazy but its being done. The domain registrars almost all now auction names in their system that are about to expire. Presently they all auction the name prior to actual expiration in order to involve taking possession of the name. I have recently heard a few stories lately of how owners are letting some of their better names get close to the expiry just to let them go to auction and see what kind of price they draw.
We’ve all lost a domain we won at auction because it was renewed in the time period between auction end and expiration date. I had always assumed it was a domain investor that contacted them and they renewed and sold. But that may not have been the case. It very well could have been an owner just getting a free domain appraisal. A pretty good one at that. One of the stories I’ll be talking about later wasn’t actually this exact scenario but similar.
I’ll give the details later but it was a name that the owner forgot to renew and went to auction and closed for a solid price. A friend saw it and let the owner know and he got it renewed in time. Now he knows its value and will put it back up for auction. This time, he is keeping the money instead of Godaddy. This could essentially be done for any name and I’m sure Godaddy would not be a fan nor would the auction participants. It’s probably not even good that I put the idea in people’s heads but its happening.
The expiry auction is evolving and is a work in progress. Godaddy is doing a good job with them but the “spread” is killing them. The spread that opens up this whole can of worms I’ve discussed. Somehow it will be fixed and that’s why I’ve even mentioned it because bringing things into the open makes things move a little faster.