Published June 7, 2011
If you have ever closely monitored an expiring domain name with view to registering it as soon as it became available again only to be pipped at the post by another party, you may have fallen victim to a drop registrar.
"Fallen victim" is probably too strong a term as drop registrars are pursuing a legitimate practice. What a drop registrar does is register expired domain names as soon as they "drop" - meaning deleted from the domain name registry.
The attempt to register the domain name is usually carried out in conjunction with a domain back order service - meaning that someone else; or quite possible multiple parties, have put in a request to grab the domain as soon as it became available again.
If there are multiple parties involved, the domain will then usually go to the highest bidder in an auction.
For the average person wanting to register a freshly-deleted domain, they are up against automated tools that transmit up to 250 registration requests per second - a limit set by ICANN in 2001 to prevent abuse.
If multiple domain name backorder/drop registrar services are trying to grab the domain, your chances of being successful through manual monitoring are very slim - in fact, virtually non-existent.
This can be a particularly stressful situation when if the domain in question that has expired used to belong to the person attempting to regain control over it; having lost control through not renewing registration.
While domain name expiry processes do give certain grace periods along with multiple reminders at set intervals; if the contact record for the domain is out of date, the registrant may never see these reminders. This is why it's very important for domain registrants keep their details up to date and renew their domain name registration as soon as the first renewal reminder notice comes in - putting it off thinking it's a task that will remembered sometimes leads to grief.
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