What is Domain Drop Catching: pros + cons (& 5 sniping services)

What Is Domain Drop Catching: Pros & Cons + 5 Sniping Services

Domain drop catching is when someone quickly registers a website domain name right after it expires. This strategy is an effective way for domain resellers to purchase well-known, quality domains.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of domain drop catching, as well as the top five drop catching services to check out.


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  • After a web domain expires, the site owner will have a grace period to repurchase it
  • Once that grace period ends, their domain will hit the open market for auction
  • Drop catching services make it easy to browse and purchase domains pending deletion
  • Drop catching is often essential to secure valuable or competitive web domains

What Is Domain Drop Catching?

Domain name registrations last for a set period of time—usually one to ten years. When that registration ends, the expired domain name goes up for auction.

Domain drop catching is the process of purchasing these domains as soon as they hit the market. This process is also known as domain sniping.

Domain resellers use automated systems to identify domains that are due to expire soon and bid on them at auction. These drop catching services allow you to purchase competitive domain names early, which is essential for successful domain investing.

Domain Drop Catching vs. Domain Backorder

Domain drop catching is often referred to as domain backorder, and the terms are often used interchangeably. Both focus on buying expired domain names when they hit the market using automated tools and services.

As with domain drop catching, a domain backorder service allows you to reserve a domain name before it expires. The service will attempt to acquire it for you once it hits the market.

Pros and Cons of Domain Drop Catching

Drop catching is an effective way to add new domains to your portfolio. However, there are also some potential downsides to this strategy. Here are the pros and cons of domain drop catching to consider.

Advantages of Domain Drop Catching

  • Access to valuable domains: Drop catching allows you to purchase popular or interesting domain names as soon as they hit the market. Once you have these domains in your portfolio, you can sell them to other interested parties to make a profit or use them for other projects.
  • Time savings: Drop catching companies will help you find domain names, track their registration status, and make bids at auction when they hit the market. Automating these tasks saves you a huge amount of time and effort.
  • Affordable prices: By purchasing domains right when they hit the market, you can snag them at relatively affordable prices.

Disadvantages of Domain Drop Catching

  • No guarantees: There’s no guarantee that the domain name you want will become available. Many website owners opt to re-register the domain at the last minute.
  • Competition from other bidders: When a domain name is in high demand, you’ll face competition from other drop catchers. This will send the domain to a public or private auction, which drives the price up. Domain names related to trending topics or companies will attract high levels of competition.

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How to Catch a Dropped Domain: The Lifecycle of Expiring Domain Names

To start domain drop catching, you’ll need to understand the lifecycle of domain registrations. There are several steps between a domain expiring and a drop catcher purchasing it.

Step 1: Domain Registration

When you first purchase a domain, you’ll need to register it with a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Hostinger. There are thousands of domain registry services online to choose from. Many domain registrars also have drop catching services.

Each domain registration lasts for a set period of time. In most cases, registration lasts for one year, but some registrars will allow you to keep the same domain for more than a year for an additional fee.

Step 2: Domain Expires

When your domain’s expiry date is approaching, you’ll receive a notice from your registry prompting you to renew. Many domain registrars have an auto-registration feature that renews the name automatically for a specific number of years.

If you don’t re-register your domain by this expiration date, it will expire. This triggers the next step in the process. At this point, the domain won’t be promoted by domain drop catching sites.

Step 3: Auto-Renew Grace Period

If the expiration date passes and you don’t renew the domain, it will enter the auto-renew grace period. During this period, you’ll have the option to renew the domain at the same price.

This initial grace period is approximately 30 days long but varies based on your registrar. The website associated with the domain will not be active during this time. Domain drop catching platforms will start tracking the site at this point.

Step 4: Redemption Grace Period

After the auto-renew grace period, you’ll enter the redemption grace period. During the redemption period, you’ll still be able to renew the domain name, but with an increased renewal fee. This second notice period usually lasts for another 30 days, and domain drop catchers will continue to track it.

Step 5: Pending Delete

The “pending delete” phase is the final step before the domain hits the market. This is your last warning to renew before your data is permanently deleted and the domain is put up for sale.

This short period usually lasts for five days. At this point, domain drop catching platforms will start marketing the domain to potential buyers.

Step 6: Domain Caught by a Domain Catcher

If the original registrant does not renew after the pending delete phase, the domain becomes available to the general public. Domain drop catching programs will identify and “catch” these domains automatically for their buyers.

Step 7: Auction

If more than one person is interested in the expired domain name, it will go up for auction to the highest bidder. If you win the auction, you’ll claim and pay for the domain.

Step 8: Registration

At this point, you’ll be able to register the domain name and add it to your portfolio. Many domain drop catching platforms are also registrars, which simplifies the process.

Is Drop Catching Legal?

Drop catching is completely legal. Domain registrars are required to provide their customers with an extensive grace period before it goes to auction.

By the time the domain hits the market, the original registrant will have received several warnings and had plenty of opportunities to renew their site.

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Best Domain Drop Catchers and Domain Sniping Services

GoDaddy Drop Catch

GoDaddy is one of the leading providers of hosting services on the market. Their domain backorder service allows you to drop catch the domain name you’re interested in, with rates starting at $27.98 each. The exact cost of each domain will vary depending on the competition.

GoDaddy Drop Catch is user-friendly. It integrates with other popular GoDaddy domain management features, making it easy to invest and resell your domains.

However, it’s important to note that GoDaddy doesn’t refund your payment if they can’t obtain your desired domain. Instead, you’ll receive credit toward future domain backorders.

DropCatch Platform

DropCatch.com is a simple, straightforward platform for finding and drop catching new domains. Users can easily browse and filter the domains up for auction.

DropCatch has a very high success rate, making it one of the best drop catching service options on the market. Getting started with DropCatch is easy, but the platform may be daunting for a new domain reseller. The platform doesn’t offer many tutorials or other features for beginners.

Nidoma Domain Drop Catching Service

Nidoma is a domain auction and management platform with a built-in drop catching service.

With Nidoma, you’ll only pay for the domain if the platform is able to successfully drop catch it for you. However, you will need to pay an upfront fee of 29 Euros in order to access the platform.

In addition to drop catching, Nidoma offers domain appraisal and brokerage services.

JustDropped Domain Drop Catcher

JustDropped is another popular domain management platform with a drop catching platform. They charge a fee of $59 for each domain, which includes a full year of domain registration. You’ll only be charged if JustDropped successfully acquires the domain.

In addition to its backorder service, JustDropped is a full domain registrar and marketplace. They offer newsletters and video tutorials to help you get started. However, the user interface has an outdated look and feel.

ExpiredDomains Platform

ExpiredDomains is a database of expired domain names and domains that are pending deletion. This platform offers an extensive selection of domains to organize and choose from.

However, the interface isn’t beginner-friendly, and it’s difficult to find pricing information. This platform is best for those who already have drop catching experience.

Final Word: Explore the Best Domain Drop Catching Services

Domain drop catching is an efficient way to purchase web domains that are about to expire. In most cases, drop catching tools are essential if you’re looking to buy a specific domain before the competition gets there.

Ultahost Domain Hosting
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Next Steps: What Now?

  • Register your domain: many drop catching services are also domain registrars, so you can do this on their site.
  • Choose a web hosting platform: You’ll need a reliable web hosting platform to get your site up and running – here are our top picks.
  • Build your site: Choose a website builder to help you format and optimize each page of your site. Many website builders come with pre-built templates to make this easy.
  • Consider selling your domain: If you purchased a valuable domain name, you could make a profit from reselling to the highest bidder.

Learn More About Selling a Domain Name

Frequently Asked Questions

What are caught domains?

Caught domains are online domain names that are acquired by drop-catching companies as soon as they hit the market.

What is a DropCatch?

A drop catch is the act of purchasing a recently expired domain name. When the domain name is pending deletion, it will become available to drop catch right away. Drop catching platforms will identify and attempt to purchase these domains automatically. Drop catching is an effective way to purchase highly competitive domains right when they hit the market.

Is DropCatch legitimate?

Drop catching is a legal and legitimate strategy for acquiring new domain names. You’ll only pay for the domain name if you acquire it. However, it’s important to note that you aren’t guaranteed access to the domains you want, as you could face competition.

Is domain flipping still profitable in 2023?

Yes, domain flipping can still be highly profitable in 2023. In order for your domain flipping business to succeed, you’ll need to learn how to identify old and expired domains with potential. You’ll also need to learn how to appropriately value them.

Sonja Vitas
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Sonja Vitas
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