Most of the domain names that I buy as investments are expired domain names. This is where I’ve made the bulk of my money flipping domains and I still buy expired domain names all the time. 99% of the time these are domains that nobody is using and they just let drop, and back onto the market they come. A few times I have received a panicked email from someone that goes something like this:
“I just noticed that xxxxxxx.com was not longer in my account, I have had this domain name for years and it means a lot to me. I’m not sure how you ended-up with it but I really want it back. Please let me know what I can do to get it from you.”
In the last nine years that I have been buying domain names, this situation has happened three times. Every single time I have given the domain back to the person for the exact price I paid for it.
The other day a friend of mine told me a story about a domain that he accidentally let expire. He sent an email like this to the new owner who wanted thousands of dollars for the domain. He was sharp enough to look what they paid for it – $48. At the end of the day he settled on $800 and got his domain back but I cringed when I heard this story.
Karma is a real thing and I’m a big believer that you should do onto others as you would like them to do to you. I urge anyone who buys expired domains to not extort domain owners if they accidentally let it drop. It almost never happens but if it does take the high road, don’t think twice, do not pass go, be a normal human and do the right thing.