GoDaddy Expired Domain Names Auctions, The Ultimate Guide

This is a GoDaddy auctions review/tutorial. You will find out more abut auctions, both regular and expired domain.

GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar in the world.  It has their own domain auction marketplace called “GoDaddy Auctions“.

If you are reading this, you are probably somewhat familiar with the GoDaddy Auctions website and you are probably having some trouble, as there is not much material around that explains you how you can get a great expired domain for your website or even what a great domain is.

Godaddy’s closeout auctions are a good way to pick up some aged domains if that’s what you’re looking for. If you buy it before it drops, then it retains its age. Please note that age itself will not give you a lot of benefits.

GoDaddy Auctions has a $5 yearly membership fee. You will need to pay this if you want to buy or sell Premium domains on its auctions. Premium domains are simply domains that are owned by someone and this person is trying to sell it anywhere from $5 to $100,000 or even more.

Once you enter your keyword into search, you will see domain names at the top of the listings in an orange/gold band. These are the best matches for your search, almost always expensive premium domains that you should ignore.

GoDaddy Expiring Domain Auctions

You can understand here the entire domain expiration process.

The GoDaddy expired domain process looks like this:

Domains that were registered with Godaddy and then expire are basically taken over by GoDaddy and are sold in an expired domain auction, with the idea that the previous owner probably ‘doesn’t want it anymore’. Here is a screenshot of expired domains for sale:

GoDaddy auctions explanation

First, there is a 10-day auction process starting with a minimum bid of $12. Bidding in the last two minutes of an auction adds an extra two minutes to the auction, in order to avoid sniping.

On the screen you will see the number of bids, the current price, traffic, GoDaddy value estimate and the time left.

The value they give is just an opinion, it is usually a high estimate.

You can also see a traffic number, however you should take this with a grain of salt. Many people buy expired domains for traffic.

I just randomly checked a domain from the above screenshot,, which apparently has a traffic of 11,717. As you can see below, SEMRUSH doesn’t know about all this traffic.

SEMRUSH GoDaddy auctions

If the name receives no bids on the expired auction, then it goes into Closeout status, where the price starts out at a fixed $11 Buy-Now price and is progressively lowered. Take note that this is NOT an auction, it’s a whoever comes first can buy the domain deal.

This is only kind of domain you can buy here without a membership: the “Bargain Bin”. These are domains that are in the last 5 days of their lives just before deletion. They are not really bargains, it’s just a marketing catch. They are just domains that nobody wants.

The majority of domains have zero or one bidder. If you win a domain at the expired domain auction, you will be surprised to see that in addition to the auction domain price you will also be charged a yearly domain renewal fee, which is not mentioned until you actually have pay for your domain. I consider this an underhanded sales tactic.

If no one bids in the first auction and no one buys it in the second closeout, then GoDaddy releases the name altogether and it is eventually deleted and released, making it available for general registration.

GoDaddy Regular Domain Auctions

In addition to the above-discussed expired domain auctions, you will also see other auctions that have been created by members. They will use a format of either:

1) Buy it now

2) Offer/Counter offer

3) Offer/Counter offer with a buy it now

4) 7 day auction listing

Besides buying on Go Daddy Auctions, you can also sell your own domains with these four categories or buy its premium domains for sale.

In exchange for allowing sellers to list their domains, they charge a percentage of the sale price once the domain is sold.

Here are the commissions charged based on the sale price of the domain:

  • $0 – $5,000 – 20% ($15 minimum)
  • $5,000 – $25,000 – $1,000 + 15% of amount over $5k
  • Above $25,000 – $4,000 + 10% of amount over $25k

When someone posts a listing, its has a duration of three months, unless they chose the 7 day auction option.

When a buyer wins a domain name, GoDaddy Auctions facilitates the payment transaction between the buyer and seller. If the domain name sells for less than $5,000, GoDaddy processes the transaction in-house through their Transaction Assurance system.

Domain names selling for $5,000 or greater are processed through, an escrow service. After the buyer makes payment, verifies and holds the funds in a non-interest-bearing account. If the buyer does not receive the domain name, the buyer can file a dispute within 15 days of the sale date. When the buyer receives the domain name, the buyer notifies, and then subtracts processing fees and releases the funds to the seller.

Original Owner’s Rights

You do not get told that even if you win the auction and pay for the domain, you will not be able to get your domain instantly. You will need to wait until the redemption period is over and the domain is released.

What you have to keep in mind is that aftermarket sale process begins prior to the exhaustion of the previous owner’s rights to recover the domain. Domains purchased via these Godaddy aftermarket methods aren’t released into your account until the previous registrants rights have fully expired (in order to prevent them from transferring you a domain, then having the previous registrant reclaim it.)

Domains are automatically listed for auction 25 days after the domain name expires. The current registrant can reclaim the domain from redemption up to 42 days after expiration. If the current registrant renews the domain, the auction is canceled and any bids are refunded.

In order for the previous owner to recover their domain, they have to pay rather stiff fees and penalties and mostly they don’t recover those names… But they do recover them sometimes.

Domain Value

There is a lack of understanding on how much ‘value’ domains have. Of course, GoDaddy knows, so instead of letting that name expire and it going to a drop catching service, they hold it and auction that name off to the highest bidder. With this system you can easily buy completely worthless domains.

A domain is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Also, it is worth as much as someone has the ability to build a website on it and make money out of the website. Domains are a modern form of Gold Rush.

There are always ‘domainers’, who circulate low-caliber crap domain names amongst each other, even though they have no chance whatsoever making profit from them… Almost brandable names that no one would buy, domains that earn no parking revenue. Domains that have a potential but is never developed, so when a domainer’s enthusiasm of ownership dies down, he lets it expire and it’s passed onto the next sucker with ‘big ideas’ of his own… the only thing accomplished here is shoveling more money into GoDaddy’s pockets.

You can also see premium domains on the auction with highly inflated prices. For some of these domains you pay for the keyword or for the brandable name. These are not dissimilar to buying a painting. You know, there are Van Gogh’s, there are Picasso’s and there are the nobody’s that are passed on as valuable.

The main problem here is the following: with the metrics provided, you cannot make an informed decision if those domains are actually worth their price in terms of traffic capabilities and Google penalty. If you know what you are doing, you can buy the same quality domains, sometimes even better ones, far cheaper.

How To Buy Expired Domains From GoDaddy

You never find gold in the closeouts, but occasionally, you do find silver. You can purchase names in there that can be flipped 24 hours later for a handsome profit. As long as you understand what makes a good, desirable name, you’re ahead of 95% of the people on the auctions site.

If you do this, the best thing is to spend the vast majority of time examining the auctions, rather than the closeouts. As long as you stay ahead of those, you know what’s out there and can bid on the better stuff before it hits the closeout bin.

The metrics that are provided by GoDaddy are pretty scarce. You can see the bids, the age of the domain, the views (how many times the domain listing was viewed) and some traffic value that is not very reliable.

It takes a lot more than that to buy quality expired domains. Earlier, when I was a newbie, I bought a few expired domains just based on their age, without much success. I put in a lot of work to write content, etc., but the domains are not going to rank because of their age, DA or the content on them. It takes a lot more than that.

The Procedure To Pick Potentially Valuable Expired Domains

In order to get more idea on the ways one can profit from expired domains, you should read How To Make Money From Expired Domian Names.

In order to analyze any domains, you will need to analyze its backlinks structure for numbers and for spam. You will need certain tools for this.

There are several backlink checkers and what you need to know is that they all lie to a certain degree. Some will give you only 20 percent of the links, some will give you links that have been deleted a long time ago. In reality you would need to find all backlinks and verify them one by one, which is not a viable way of doing business. The method I describe here is a shortcut that will save you time but may be wrong.

You should download the free version of SEO Spyglass. If you do this regularly, I recommend investing in a paid license (This is the most inexpensive tool out there). You will get backlink numbers that are lower than the actual one, but it suits our purpose.

Now, I didn’t prep this in any way, I just did it as I usually check for expired domains. I entered “themes” as a keyword into GoDaddy Auctions. on sale for $8. This is a two-word brandable domain that could potentially be worth over $1,000. The domain is 2 years old.

Entering it into SEO Spyglass you get 0 backlinks found. There is no point checking it further.

Then I check Bargain bin for $5. I get 6,439 backlinks and 262 referring domains from SEO SpyGlass, which sounds promising.

Godaddy Auctions Question

Now I look at the backlink structure, linked pages, and I see that it is nicely balanced, showing a built-out website:

Understanding Godaddy Auctions

Also the linking domains look good.

Then I open MOZ,, and I get DA: 10 and PA: 21. Moz only shows 2 backlinks instead of the 6,400. Moz is usually wrong, and therefore the DA is also false.

Next I go to Majestic Site Explorer, and I get 130 fresh links, 49,700 historic links, TF:0, CF:8.

Majestic introduces unnecessary confusion into the scene with its fresh and historic links, when all we care about is backlinks.

Unfortunately many people buy domains based on DA, CF & TF, but you can see how they just don’t match…

SEMRush says 104 backlinks, 0 traffic. You generally won’t find any domains with traffic.

One final thing I would check is WayBack Machine.

GoDaddy’s domain auction process explained

This looks like a good domain per the actual links and WayBack, it’s a developed website and I would register it despite the DA and the TF if I was trying to build a site on the subject. I would build pages that match the original URL structure to save the link juice.

The only red flag is ‘What is jCow Themes’? And if you Google it, you find, a WordPress Themes website. So this is very possibly a trademarked name and you should leave it alone.

This procedure can be used for any domain, not just for expiring ones, but also if you are about to buy on on a site like SeDo.

You should further read my post on Spam Checking Domains.

Speeding Up The Process

As you can see, this is a fairly tiring process.

You can speed it up by going over to and if you create a free account, you can actually search for domains (on GoDaddy or other websites) with several metrics like CF, TF, Majestic backlink, Majestic Domain Pop (which is the number of referring domains). You can read more about it in this tutorial.


I hope that this description was useful to you.

Note: was built on a deleted domain, using the method I just described. See the details here. It wasn’t the greatest domain. I didn’t pay an auction fee. I was able to register it on the registrar of my choice and I had it instantly and it seems to be doing much better because it was purchased based on metrics.