Domain watcher

A domain-name watcher would be useful, to check weekly if a watch-list of domains becomes available for open registration and email if/when one is.

A domain that is already available is simple and inexpensive to register. (as we all know.)

As far as breaking into the industry of “watching” expiring domains, I doubt you will see dreamhost jump into this business. It is not like you think it is. Most domains coming out of the “redemption” phase are snapped up in “bundles” by an organization that hopes to resell some percentage of those domains to end users at a premium. Most just end up with a generic search page and and a price tag for awhile. The reseller will then sell the domain for a profit (greater than the normal annual renewal from a registrar). If no one buys it then when the reseller ultimately decides they won’t make marginal income off the domain it will finally fall back out to being completely unavailable.

If you want to buy a domain that isn’t currently available then work thru the process as it is today. Either buy it at premium from a domain wholesaler when it expires and comes out of redemption, or wait it out until it appears on the open market again. It would not be difficult to create your own weekly watcher for this type. However, if the domain has any value it all it will never make it to that point, instead it will get picked up and resold during post redemption.


How do I ‘think it is’?

Yes, I know they often/usually get snatched up for resale. However, I often do not want to pay a premium price at a wholesaler for a domain, but waiting until they let it go is a bit hit or miss (it could take years, and it may not be available for long).

For example, I tried registering my name as a .com, but it was taken. I periodically check, on the off chance it becomes available. Unfortunately it did, and someone else with my name (not a wholesaler) picked it up a few months later. I only found out when I next remembered to check and found out I’d been too late.

Obviously some may never become available, but on the off chance, a system that automatically checked and notified me would be extremely helpful. Actually, even just notifying me that it had transferred to a wholesaler would still be useful.

Thanks for replying.


Believe me I get it. I’ve been watching one particular .com name for a long time.

Anyone that can write a few lines of code can do this on their own. At 4am local time everyday, I have a cron that checks the expiration date of a handful of domains and notifies me if any if the dates changes for any reason (i.e. the domains expiration date isn’t the same today as it was yesterday) and it also warns me about any expiration dates within the next month. All I ever see them changing for is renewals tho :wink:

In short your post is in suggestions, and while this one might be great for some. I would much rather see dreamhost invest it’s time and resources in many other projects. This one can be done on your own easily and cheaply if you really want it.

DH would invariably use a crontab for this service. Once-a-week email really isn’t going to help.

If you want to avoid premium prices, then:

^ Do as LakeRat does.

Add a test to your own cron table and snap it up if/when/as soon as it’s available.

It might be more advantageous to pay a company that does backorders. It may still take years. I lost a domain that I managed once (because the org used network solutions and they suck). It took me 7 or 8 years to get it back. The 20 something bucks I paid godaddy to backorder the domain was well worth it…

I think that’s the cost effective way on approaching this. Just create a cron to query a domain and if the result is true, just “mail -s” it. Creating the script might take hours though if it’s the first time creating this.