How to get expired domains back
The number of available domain names is really great nowadays. This is the most common reason why people simply register a new domain name after the original one expires instead of going through the time and money consuming process of trying to re-register expired domains. Even if you are the original domain owner and have a business based on it, changing domain names is common practice. It is always possible to get something close enough to your original name.
Nonetheless, there is a number of people that will really want to get that expired domain back. The reasons for that may differ: this may be their family name or the company name being in business for 100 years. This doesn't happen often, but there are always such people. And it is very important to know how to do it right.
The first thing that you need to know is that domain name doesn't actual expires immediately. There is a grace period that comes after a domain name’s expiration date. The duration of this period is determined by the domain’s registrar, and may differ for different top-level domains. During this grace period only the original owner of the domain name can re-register it at normal rates with the current registrar.
Once this period ends, another period called “redemption period” starts. During this redemption period the original owner must pay a higher fee to re-register the domain. Note that the domain is still unavailable for registration and only the owner has the rights for it.
The total duration for grace and redemption period is about 90 days (60 and 30 days respectively). Once they are over, there are two possible variants. First, the registrar makes the domain name available for re-registration by anyone. It is not the best variant as there is a number of people that keep an eye on expired domain names and buy them seconds after it becomes available again. It will be very difficult for you to compete with them. Once they register the domain, you'll have to pay an excessive fee to have it back to your name.
Another variant possible is an auction. But that doesn't actually mean that you’ll be able to get it automatically, however, you will have a try. Domain name harvesters are looking for profit, and they are sure to get it if they can buy a domain name for a few dollars. However, the higher the price, the more chances they won't consider buying it. The reason is they cannot know for sure that anyone will want it.
In short, you should simply keep an eye on the registrar and find out from them whether or not the domain is going to go up for auction. But keep in mind: there is a wide choice of new domains. Before spending hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for the wanted domain, ask yourself whether you can get by with an alternative. You may discover that you really can.