I'm trying to purchase a domain name that I like. I noticed that the domain is about to expire and has only been registered for a year now, Nothing really shows on the page when going to the site. It's not a very common domain name but I like it and wanted to know if back-ordering it notifies the current owner that someone else back-ordered their domain?
This may vary depending on the registrar but I know that GoDaddy doesn't inform to current owner of this. They do, however, contact the current owner with a lot of emails trying to get them to renew the domain.
It sounds like what you're referring to is actually expired auctions. Most registrars have expired auctions where you can bid on domains that have expired. A backorder is way to try and register a domain after it has been deleted (domains are usually deleted 40 days after expiration if they're not picked up in an expired auction). Then, you try to catch the domain as it's re-released.
Either way though, the owner will not be contacted if someone bids on their expired domain in an auction or requests a backorder for their domain.