Recently, there has been a lot of news about Network Solutions’ questionable tactics. (more info here, here, here, here and here) To summarize, when you searched on their site to see if a domain was available, they would register it immediately. Preventing you from registering it elsewhere. They did this at no cost to them because registrars have a 5 day grace period before they actually have to pay for domains that are registered.
Along the same lines, I ran across some similar activity at the other end of the stick. I found a domain that had expired a month or so ago but hadn’t been released yet (preventing me from registering it.) I liked the domain, but didn’t have my heart set on it.
Once it was finally released, it was immediately registered by snapnames. They conveniently listed it in one of their auctions for $59. I’m speculating on this, but I’m willing to bet that if I would have shown interest in that domain I would have suddenly seen some competition and the price would have gone up significantly. Being suspicious of snapnames, I just waited until the “auction” ended (which was within the 5 day grace period mentioned above.)
You do the math: $0 for snapnames to test the domain in their auctions and a minimum of $59 for me to buy it. That’s a nice profit for them.
The auction expires and the domain is immediately grabbed by enom.com. There is no way for me to offer to buy the domain or bid on it at this point. I still decide to sit back and watch.
Within 5 days (that dang grace period again), the domain is available again. It looks like someone over at enom is doing some domain tasting. Finally, I’m the proud owner of a millcreekphotography.com and I didn’t have to pay someone’s extortion fees to get it.
(Disclaimer: the following site is owned by Millcreek Systems, Inc.) I like getting my $6.95 domains here.