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I would like to set up an internet tool to automatically buy back domain names that have just expired.

I saw on the internet that there are several steps before the final deletion. There is the grace period and then the deletion period.

I would like to take care of buying back domain names in .fr.

  1. How can I first know the date to the minute near the availability of a domain? The whois does not give this information.
  2. Do I have any chance against backorder services like snapnames or namebright? Do I need to have my own Registar ?
  3. Technically, it is enough to spam a registrar API to hope to be the first to get the newly expired domain name.
  • 1
    I don't know the answer to (1), but (2) probably not, because drop catching services have very low-latency connections to the registries, better than you could do with normal internet connections, and (3) Yes, as far as I know, the drop-catching services' technique amounts to "spam the register operation until the registry gives a success message instead of an error message". – Maximillian Laumeister May 12 at 18:42
  • 1) is useless. Even if you had this information (registrars typically have it with the EPP domain:info command) it does not give you the precise moment when it is deleted. The policy depend on the registry. Some will take all domains expiring in a day and deleting them randomly during the day. Others will do at a specific time during the day, etc. For obvious reasons this may not be disclosed and registries give specific instructions for registrars wanting to go that route. Note that some registries also provide specific services for that, for example .CA – Patrick Mevzek Jun 2 at 9:59
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You need to have access to a registrar API to accomplish this. I have a script that does it, but it is only semi automatic. I have to edit it and insert domain and registrant details every time I want to use it.

The answer to 1) is that you can't know, and it is deliberate. Domains are released at a random time within a window of (for example) 24 hours. Since I have my own server, with my script I run a cron job every 1 minute.

2) Yes, you absolutely have a chance against backorder services, but only if you automate the process. You don't need your own registrar, but you do need access to the API of a registrar of which you would almost certainly need to be a reseller with credit in your account.

3) As long as you have an account with a registrar that doesn't have a rate limit and you are making legitimate calls to the API it is not spamming or DDOSing or anything like that.

I am a domain reseller, I do this for customers. So far I have had 100% success rate, but generally I am not trying to grab a popular expired domain for them.

  • Only registrars have access to registries' API endpoints... – Patrick Mevzek Jun 2 at 9:57
  • @PatrickMevzek - oops, typo. Fixed. Thanks – Steve Jun 5 at 22:25

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