One way to find some excellent domain names that would normally cost thousands of dollars is to pick them up as they expire from their old Registrants. While it is still possible to manually “grab” (i.e. register) some expiring domain names at the moment they become available, the competition surrounding the most desirable names has become so heated that manual methods alone are unlikely to do the trick.
An entire mini-industry has sprung up around the grabbing of expiring domain names; while none of the solutions below provide an infallible solution to the problem of securing expiring domain names, they can all help level the playing field a little.
The biggest firm in the expiring name acquisition game, and perhaps the most well-known, is SnapNames. Names that are soon to be expired go up for bid on their site. Each domain name has a starting bid price (generally to coincide with the perceived value of that domain name). You enter the top amount of money you’re willing to pay for a domain name. If no one else bids, you end up paying the starting bid price. If someone else does start a bidding war with you, SnapNames incrementally increases your bid price until it reaches the top dollar amount you had entered for the name, at which time SnapNames will send you an email notifying you that you’ve been outbid.
The best part about SnapNames (and most other bid sites for expired names) is that there are no up front fees. You only pay if you win the domain.