Auction Domains vs. Expired Domains: What Are the Differences?

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In today’s age of the internet and social media, your domain plays an important role in every web query. You should have a relevant domain name for users to reach your site easier. 

Regardless of the document object model (DOM) you want, you can look into buying auction domains and expired domains for this. But you may be asking, how do they differ from each other?

Auction domains can include expired domains but not all expired domains are available for bidding.

Sounds complicated? It isn’t. 

Allow us to explain this further below. 

What Is an Expired Domain?

An expired domain has once been registered under an individual, business, or organization. However, its contract has not been renewed or was intentionally terminated. This makes it available again for re-registration. 

Domain contracts usually last for a year, but depending on the registry and the domain extension, the allowable period for its renewal may vary. 

The original domain owner can renew a domain’s contract with a corresponding fee. With how intricate this topic is, you can learn how long after a domain expires until you can buy it through proper research and experience!

If the owner does not renew the domain, the registry can put it up as an auction domain. If the domain isn’t renewed or bought, its restoration period begins pending its deletion or dropping for anyone else to register.

It is important to know the differences between dropped domains vs. expired domains because both play very important but different objectives!

An owner may opt not to renew a domain for various reasons. For example, the web project may have failed or been liquidated, or the owner may have received a warning for possible trademark infringements.

If it’s the latter’s case, re-registering the domain can mean legal consequences for the previous owner. 

Regardless of the circumstance, the domain name registrar informs the domain owner about its probable expiry. Again, domain buyers or so-called domain flippers only have the opportunity to own the domain after the allowable period for renewal. 

If you wish to buy available expired domains, you can check out Odys Global Domains Marketplace.

What Is an Auction Domain Name?

An auction domain is another thing to consider if you’re looking for available domains to buy. In contrast to an expired domain, an auction domain is a broader term. It can include both expired domains and user-listed domains. 

The process of buying and selling an auction domain is what’s distinct about it. It typically courses through an auctioning platform, allowing buyers to bid on the domains they wish to acquire.

Like any other auction, the highest bidder has the domain. If the domain has a decided starting bid, each bid should be higher than the previous one. 

You can place a proxy bid with a specified maximum amount to automatically put on bids as soon as other buyers outbid you.

Many domain auction platforms have an auto-extension feature, which prevents bidders from acquiring domains at the last minute. This feature extends the closing time of auctions immediately as they get last-minute bids.    

Advantages of Auction Domains

Many domain buyers go after auction domains to enjoy the following benefits:

Access to High-Quality Domains

Some people treat auction domains as investments. From an investor’s perspective, you wouldn’t put your money into something with no potential value. Because of this, buyers have more options for a high-quality domain for their URL when they explore auction domains.

Potential for High Resale Value

The opportunity for domain flipping is in auction domains. It is the practice of buying a domain name for a low price and selling it for more than its original price. Since auction domains don’t have a fixed price, it gives you more opportunities to put more money in your wallet. 

Wide Select to Choose From

The database of an auction domain registration is wide, as it includes both user-listed domains and expired domains. You have many options to choose from when you explore auction domains.  

Beneficial for Branding 

High-quality domains give you more chances for relevant domains that fit the branding you want to achieve. As such, auction domains can be your tool in increasing the revenue you get from your brand with better site traffic. 

Disadvantages of Auction Domains 

On the flip side, these are the reasons why buyers opt not to go for auction domains:

More Expensive 

High quality comes at a high price. To add to this, the process of acquiring auction domains is a trade. Because of this, the income you get from it is taxable. 

If you explore reverse auction sites, these are platforms wherein the sellers are the ones who declare the prices at which they’re willing to sell their domains. 

Since sellers dictate the prices here, the available auction domains can even be more expensive than the usual ones. 

Limited Availability 

Auction domains course through specific platforms to acquire. As such, you’re only limited to the domains posted on these sites and nothing more. 

Risk of Bidding Wars

An auction domain that’s up for bidding can have many other interested buyers like any other auction.

You can get cheaper domains through a no-reserve auction if you’re lucky. If you’re eyeing an auction domain in demand, its price may exceed your budget.  

Signing up on RSS feeds and email newsletters can help you keep up with the latest biddings.  

Risk of Fraudulent Sellers

The trade of auction domains involves many buyers and sellers. This wide network consists of various individuals with different intentions. Hence, you might come across fraudulent sellers who are into cybersquatting.

To avoid this, check the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database for copyrights, existing commercial names, and domain blocklists.  

Advantages of Expired Domains

Don’t disregard expired domains just yet. These are the reasons why other individuals buy expired domains instead of other kinds of domains like:

Lower Cost

Most expired domains are reentering the market for the first time. On top of this, their owners are typically interested in something other than earning profit. 

This gives you the benefit of enjoying lower costs and not having to take part in price wars. 

Established Backlink Profile

Expired domains come with links associated with them, such as backlinks. These can redirect an expired domain to a second domain that owners want to rank higher in search engine optimization (SEO). 

Established Traffic

Similarly, these backlinks and the resulting SEO ranking generate more traffic to your site. Expired domains were once active, so they already have associated links existing during the period they were active.  

Potential for Higher Search Engine Rankings

As mentioned, existing backlinks can help your site’s search engine rankings. Additionally, the relevance itself of your domain name to your content further improves your site’s rankings. 

Disadvantages of Expired Domains 

Auction domains aren’t perfect but so are expired domains. These are the cons of expired domains:

Lower Quality Domains 

Expired domains were once dropped or deleted by their previous owners. This can say something about the quality of the domain you’re eyeing. 

Difficult to Find Good Domains 

Owners of good domains can’t just let go of their domain names easily or even let them expire. You may have to browse through expired domains to find a good one thoroughly.  

Risk of Negative History

You can’t expect to find out why an expired domain was deleted or dropped at a glance. There’s a chance of expired domain risks that it may have a negative history!

Comparison of Auction Domains vs. Expired Domains

At this point, you may be considering buying expired domains or bidding for auction domains. To help you decide better, take this head-to-head comparison:


Auction domains are more expensive than expired domains. However, when discussing return on investment, auction domains give greater promise. 


Auction domains include both user-listed domains and expired domains. Therefore, there are more available auction domains than available expired domains. 


Expired domains were either dropped or deleted while auction domains went through a bidding process. The demand for auction domains says a lot about their higher quality. 

Domain Authority

Auction domains have higher volatility than expired domains. They typically have owners as well. Because of these factors, the authority over auction domains is more unclear in contrast to expired domains whose ownership contracts have expired or terminated.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If the lines are still unclear to you, the following answered questions might give you more enlightenment:

Which Is Better: Auction Domains or Expired Domains?

The answer depends on your purpose for buying domain names. 

Go for auction domains if you’re looking for an investment. But remember, their high potential rewards come with high risks.

Make sure you perform due diligence on the history of the expired domain you’re buying. 

Are Auction Domains or Expired Domains Better for SEO?

Expired domains. 

Backlinks associated with expired domains play a big part in improving the SEO rankings of a site. Even if search engines today have more complex ranking algorithms, site owners can still benefit from the link networks of expired domains. 

Why Are Auction Domains More Expensive Than Expired Domains?

Auction domains are priced higher than expired domains because of the trade they have been involved in. 

Many buyers and sellers trade auction domains even if they don’t have content to back them up.

Domain flippers invest in these domains in hopes of getting the chance to sell them at a higher price. These individuals contribute to the higher demand for auction domains and, as a result, their higher prices. 

Final Thoughts

Both auction domains and expired domains have their advantages and disadvantages. To decide which one to acquire, you should determine your purpose for needing these domain names. 

You can either bid for auction domains as an investment or buy expired domains from Odys Global Domains Marketplace to improve your SEO rankings. 

Odys Global Founder and CEO

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