September 15, 2011
It's something that sends a shiver down the spine of many domain name registrants - the thought of losing a domain through failing to renew its registration. Spare a thought for the previous registrant of an Australian domain name that just sold for $125,000.
According to a report on the Sydney Morning Herald web site, investmentproperty.com.au has been auctioned for $125,000. The previous owner* of the name was unaware of losing control of the domain and the subsequent spirited bidding that ended in the name going to a property developer.
A similar situation occurred late last year to hardware giant Bunnings when the company allowed hardware.com.au to lapse in registration - it was snapped up at auction by Woolworths for over $33,000.
Registrants receive staged email reminders when a name they control is coming up for renewal; but what often happens is the registrant's contact email address is out of date; or the reminders are filed away for action at a later date and forgotten.
Even past the point of expiry, safeguards are in place to allow the registrant to regain control of the domain name for a period of time. The domain becomes inactive, but if the registrant doesn't have an active site associated with the name or one not checked on regularly, this too may go unnoticed.
After that point, the name is then deleted and can be registered by another party. However, if it is a desirable name, there may be competition for it and the name goes to auction - sometimes with bidding reaching a level well above the range of affordability for the previous registrant.
It's situations like these that provide a timely reminder of the importance of keeping a domain name record current and to act immediately on registration renewal reminders.
Learn more about domain name expiry processes.
*The word "owner" is commonly used in relation to domain names, but nobody can own or buy a domain name - they simply lease it; or buy the rights to lease it.
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