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My customer lost a domain more or less one year ago. The domain was tais taken for some company and isn't used, and their is only "parked" with some dummy DNS.

Looks that company that taken the domain will not renew it, then my customer asked to me to watch when it happens and recover the domain.

I see some domain registar that have a service to "watch and capture" an expiring domain. My question are:

  1. That kind of service is reliable?
  2. How it works?
  3. What you recommend?

Thanks you very much!

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More likely than not, the squatter will keep renewing it indefinitely, hoping you'll contact them, at which time they'll offer to sell it for an extortionist price. – Chris S Aug 23 '10 at 15:20

They basically put the domain name on a watch list. When it expires they try to be first in line buy it for you. However, depending on the interest in the particular domain name, they might not be the only one watching. Which means they may not be first in to buy. So, it's not a sure thing.

If your client is serious, they may want to have multiple registrars watching the domain name. But even that may not succeed.

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I agree with Craig, but note that when a domain expires, it's not really ready to be snatched. In fact, a domain only really gets released back into the wild after 75 days past the "official" expiry date and undergoes several stages of death. First, it goes into an "expired" state and stays that way for 40 days. Once that's done, it enters a "redemption" period, and remains that way for 30 more days. After that, it enters a "deletion" stage for a final 5 days. After that, it gets deleted from the ICANN DB and is ready to be purchased again.

Only after this 75 days can one snatch up the domain in question. As Craig eluded to, there are many services out there that watch this countdown clock intently and attempt to grab the domain during the precious few hours after deletion in an attempt to turn around and sell it to someone like you.

There's a good blog post about such an adventure here:

I recommend reading it as it will give you a good sense of what to expect. Good luck with the recovery!

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