What is the “Domain Redemption Period”? Simply put, it’s the registry-recommended 30-day hold period for all domain names that have not been renewed within the initial 40 day “domain renewal grace period” following the domain’s expiration date. This period was added to the domain lifecycle (see chart above) as an extra measure to prevent the unintentional deletion of domain names from the registry. All domains can be redeemed by their registrants within this redemption period but the cost of redemption varies with the domain names and sometimes even with the registrar. During the period of redemption a domain’s website and email address are no longer available to anyone (whereas they are still available during the “renewal grace period”). To know if a domain is in the redemption period, simply search the WHOIS domain database to see its status or contact a registrar (example: support@SiberName.com).
There are many reasons why registrants don’t renew their domains and let them expire into the redemption period. The first reason is because registrants have abandoned their website. Non-payment of the domain renewal fee is also a common reason. That may inadvertently happen if a registrant enables a registrar’s automated domain renewal payment with credit card information which becomes outdated at domain renewal time (and registrants are not informed of this). Some domains are not auto-renewed because of a faulty registrar payment system. If a registrar has an unreliable domain auto-renewal system, or a “payment failure” notification system (with no human backup system), then some domains can expire unintentionally into the domain redemption period. This period is a painful one so it is best to renew your domain name while you can.
Domain Name Redemption is Painful
If registrants decide to redeem their domain within the domain registry redemption period an exorbitant fee is added to the regular renewal fee, since manual changes are required in the redemption process. In contrast to this, if a registrant renews a domain within the 40-day “renewal grace period” (right after domain expiration) they just need to pay the regular renewal rate, then the original nameservers of the domain are restored. Domains in the redemption period cannot be renewed, auto-renewed, transferred, or sold until they are first redeemed.
The redemption period can become a domain limbo for pre-owners, so never let your domain expire (inadvertently or inadvertently) unless you are certain it should be dropped. Unredeemed domains are as good as gone, as far as the original registrant is concerned. Those with considerable market value (good domain backlinks and traffic) are back-ordered (TBR, To Be Released) and sometimes auctioned off. For instance SiberName has a .CA TBR list on one of their web pages and they have a system for grabbing domains on that page.
If you do change your mind and wish to re-activate your domain registration in the redemption period, simply contact your registrar and submit a domain redemption request and learn more about the domain expiration process. The fee for redeeming domain names is generally 5 times (or more) expensive than a domain registration. At those prices, it might be wiser to let your domains expire and re-register them after they are re-released to the public. In general, it domains are re-release 75 days after the domain’s expiration date, but it depends on the registry. Check with our support to learn the domain release dates. SiberName would be pleased to assist you in getting your domains as soon as they are released. Contact support for more details regarding domain release dates. support@SiberName.com
Domains that are not redeemed by the end of the redemption period are locked by the Registry for 5 days, queued for deletion, and then released to appear on registrar TBR Lists (TBR = To Be Released). At this point, they can be back-ordered by anyone in the general public, via any registrar you trust. Those wanting to reserve a dropped domain must pay a back-order fee, but that fee is refunded by most registrars if the order does not go through . Some registrars, like SiberName.com, have direct system connections with Registries, like CIRA, for certain domains which enables them to instantly grab certain domains as soon as they are released and make them available for those who want it. It’s good to subscribe to registrar TBR lists, especially if the domains you seek have a status that reads: Redemption Period.
Scenario 1: You are the pre-owner of an expired domain
There are many things you can do to make sure your domain does not enter the domain redemption period. It basically boils down to using the services of a registrant-oriented registrar who will offer you a longer redemption period, lower redemption fees, and a reliable domain auto renewal system (with human backup). If you have no interest in your domain any more and see no marketable value in it then drop it. If, on the other hand, you know it has marketable value but you are no longer interested in it then sell your domain or transfer it. But if you realize that you made a mistake and you want your expired domain back then you will have to pay the redemption fee to get it back. That fee can vary by as much as 300$ depending on the registrar. Alternatively you can let your domain drop by not paying the redemption fee then once it is dropped you can place a back-order for it, or bid for it if several people want it. If no one bids or back-orders your expired domain then you can buy it back for a simple registration fee once it’s dropped. As a general practice, however, you should do business with registrars who make every effort to reinstate the expired domain names of their registrants. For more information on restoring a domain from the redemption grace period, click here.
Scenario 2: You wish to buy an expired domain
If you are interested in a buying a pre-owned domain because of the value you perceive in it, then you’ll have to look up the domain database WHOIS and see “who is” the current registrant, “who is” the current registrar and what is the current status of the domain. If the status says “Redemption Period” then it’s very probable that the current registrant no longer wants that domain. At that point you have several options. You could contact the pre-owner of that expired domain, ask them to redeem their domain and convince them to sell it to you. Alternatively, you could get ready to place a backorder or bid for the domain on its release date. If the domain is very marketable then it may go on the auction block in which case the price may go up considerably. It’s good to consider all your options if you want to register a domain whose status is in the redemption period. Here’s the last option: If the domain leaves the redemption period and is scheduled for deletion then the status will read “Locked” until it is released. Once it is released for re-registration by any member of the general public then you can get that domain for the regular registration rate, which is the lowest rate possible.
If you’ve found an ideal domain name that is owned by someone else, check its domain registry status in WHOIS. If a domain is recently placed in an “expiration period” status, meaning there’s a possibility it will not be renewed by the registrant. You can contact the registrant at that point if you wish, but keep in mind that the registrant can simply decide to pay the renewal fee and get their domain back. If the domain is placed in a “redemption period” status however then there’s a higher probability that the registrant will let it go, since the redemption fee may be a few hundred dollars. You can also contact the registrant at that point to try to make a deal worthwhile to both parties. But if the domain has passed the domain redemption period it is then locked and scheduled for deletion.
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