Expired domains available for sale on the SH premium marketplace and SH wholesale marketplace - who must pay for the renewal?

Dear @grant ,

are you aware of this issue that there actually expired domain names available for purchase on both the Squadhelp premium marketplace and on the Squadhelp wholesale marketplace?

Here are the issues regarding this situation:

  1. On the wholesale marketplace the displayed expiration date is actually wrong. Here is an example:


So for example I found this domain for sale on the wholesale marketplace, and the page displays this, as you can see on the screenshot: “Expiration/Renewal Date: July 18, 2024”

But this is not accurate. This domain name has actually expired! Let’s see the whois of this domain (today’s date is July 26th, 2023):

"Registry Expiry Date: 2024-07-18T18:15:57Z " - according to the whois. But let’s dig deeper:

NOTICE: The expiration date displayed in this record is the date the
registrar’s sponsorship of the domain name registration in the registry is
currently set to expire. This date does not necessarily reflect the expiration
date of the domain name registrant’s agreement with the sponsoring
registrar. Users may consult the sponsoring registrar’s Whois database to
view the registrar’s reported date of expiration for this registration.

Let’s scroll down a little in the whois:

Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2023-07-18T18:15:57.0Z
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited”

Notice this very important line: Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2023-07-18T18:15:57.0Z

It means that the domain owner hasn’t paid the renewal fee yet to the registrar, but the registry had still renewed this domain name. Now the registrar company is waiting for the current domain owner to pay the renewal fee in order to actually renew this domain. The domain will go to redemption period if the original owner doesn’t pay the renewal fee in time.

This is a little-known fact that the “Registry Expiry Date” and the “Registrar Registration Expiration Date” might be different and even if you can’t see the “expired” status in the whois, the domain might still be in the expired status.

This is a problem because the wholesale marketplace displays a wrong expiration date. Here is what happened: I bought a domain from the wholesale marketplace and I overlooked that “Registrar Registration Expiration Date”. I told the original owner to push the domain to my chosen registrar, but the push was impossible since the domain has already expired! So my only option was to transfer the domain to another registrar and pay for the renewal fee. So the first issue is that the wholesale marketplace displays the wrong expiration date.

  1. The second issue: it is not clear that in case of an expired domain name, who must pay for the renewal fee, the buyer or the seller? This is an issue both in case of the wholesale marketplace and the premium marketplace. Ok in case of .com domains, the renewal fee is just about $10, you might say it is not a great deal. But still I think you should clarify this in the terms. And keep in mind that the push is not possible if the domain expired.

But there are some .xyz domain names where the renewal fee is $500 or even as high as $3000 per year. And yes, even an expired .xyz domain name might be available for sale both on the premium marketplace and on the wholesale marketplace. I have found an expired .xyz domain which was indeed available for sale both on the premium marketplace and wholesale marketplace with the Squadhelp nameservers, but the domain has actually expired.

If a domain name expires, the registry might still renew it for about a few weeks or so (I think it depends on the actual domain registrar company), and the nameservers will continue to point to Squadhelp. So even if you input such an expired domain into your browser, you will see the normal Squadhelp lander where you can buy the domain, and you won’t see a parked page.

But in order to activate such an expired domain again, the new owner must pay the renewal fee in time in order to avoid the redemption fee. Imagine a situation if a buyer purchases an expired .xyz domain then the buyer finds out that they must pay an additional $500 - $1000 - $3000 renewal fee on top the purchase price just to activate the domain name again. And if the redemption period is very close, then this is another problem (there is an additional redemption fee).

I couldn’t find anything regarding this situation in your terms. I think this varies from registrars to registrars. Some registrars autorenew the domain name for a few days or weeks without changing the nameservers even without payment.

Please consider my suggestion:

  • Please fix the wrongly displayed expiration date on the wholesale marketplace, you should check the registrar expiration date, not the registry expiration date
  • I think you could still allow expired domains on the wholesale marketplace, but then put a large red warning next to such domains that the buyer must pay the additional renewal fee on top of the price in order to purchase the domain, so let the buyers know that they are looking at an expired domain name. And push is not working in case of expired domains (or maybe it depends again on the actual domain name registrar company, I don’t know).
  • In case of the premium marketplace, I think this is a hidden fee (I mean the renewal fee payable immediately upon purchase in case of an expired domain) and buyers don’t like hidden fees. So if a buyer purchases a domain on the premium marketplace which has expired, then clarify in the terms that in this case definitely the seller must pay the renewal fee (and the redemption fee, if any). Or at least put a large red warning next to such domains to let the buyers know that the domain has actually expired and the renewal fee is due immediately on top of the displayed sale price.
1 Like

Before purchasing a domain in the wholesale marketplace, the first thing to do is a Whois check. Every domainer should know this. There are plenty Whois check service providers available.

If the domain is already expired, the buyer should know they’ll be covering the renewal fees. If the seller would be covering the renewal fees, I don’t think they would have listed the domains in the wholesale marketplace in the first place…

Yes now I know how to properly check the expiration date. The problem is that it is not easy at first if you are not an expert at checking the whois.

For example here is the whois tool straight from the horse’s mouth, ICANN: ICANN Lookup

I checked that domain in question with this tool. I saw this in the first lines: “Registry Expiration: 2024-07-18 18:15:57 UTC”

And also this: " Domain Status:

clientTransferProhibited "

Now I know that I should have checked the “Raw Registrar RDAP Response” at the very bottom of the page. Here I can see:

“eventAction”: “expiration”,
“eventDate”: “2023-07-18T18:15:57”

It’s very hard to notice unless you are an expert at checking the whois.

Are you sure that each and every Squadhelp member knows this?

And again the SH wholesale marketplace displayed the wrong expiration date, which is a site bug.

The larger issue is the premium marketplace as I described above, see my very last paragraph in the opening post. But it is just your assumption, it should be clarified in the TOS I think.