What is drop catching?

What is drop catching?


With drop catching we intend the method in which you can claim new domain names right after they have been released. If you want to know more about how this works, read on!

Before we start explaining more on drop catching, we take a step back and explain what the life cycle of a domain name looks like.

Life cycle of a domain name

Let’s say, EXAMPLE.NL is a free domain name and is bought by someone, let’s call him Henry, at a registrar. Those who register a domain name usually have to specify how long they want their domain name to be registered. You can register a domain name for one year, but for more than 10 years as well. This also depends on the registrar concerned. In this example, Henry registers his domain name EXAMPLE.NL for one year.

When nearing the end of his registration – which will be after about 11 months – Henry will receive a message in which he is asked to extend the registration of his domain name. In many cases this extension occurs automatically. When Henry doesn’t want to extend his registration, it will expire and the domain name will be placed in redemption. We will get back to this particular subject later.

A domain name can also be placed in redemption should Henry not pay his bills. The registrar will send multiple reminders, but as a last resort, the domain name will be cancelled and be put in redemption.


What exactly is the redemption period?

The redemption period of a .nl website is 40 days, but this may vary per TLD. In Henry’s case, the website isn’t active anymore and he won’t be able to do anything with it. During the redemption period, nobody else can register his or her new website under the same domain name. The only one who can take the domain name out of redemption is Henry himself. He can also allow a registrar to do this for him. The redemption period was put in place to protect the owners of domain names from a sudden release of their domain name. The day the domain name gets out of redemption can be found on SIDN.nl.

EXAMPLE.NL will be released after 40 days and, from that point on, everybody can register their website under this domain name. The exact moment in which a domain name gets back on the market, is called the ‘drop’. Often, multiple people or parties are interested in the same domain name and will try to ‘catch’ it, all at the same time. This is where the term ‘drop catching’ found its meaning. The ‘catching’ happens in a matter of seconds.

Pros and cons

The biggest advantage of drop catching is the cheap prices you can buy a domain name for. You don’t have to negotiate which saves you a lot of time. If you have hired a firm to catch the domain name for you, you won’t have to do anything and can just sit back and relax.

Of course, drop catching has its disadvantages too. No company can guarantee for a 100% that they will indeed catch your domain name. Especially in cases where one specific domain name is so popular, many parties are trying to catch it, which will make it harder for your company to be successful.

Furthermore, the original owner can decide at any point to remove their domain name from redemption in order to keep it themselves, which means that you can never be completely sure if a domain name that has been placed in redemption will actually be dropped.

Is drop catching legal?

If you google the term drop catching, you will encounter many articles and forums with people questioning the legitimacy of drop catching. To give you an answer right away: yes, it is legal. After the domain name has been dropped, it belongs to no one. From that moment on, anyone can legally register under that domain name.

The owner of the domain name concerned has received multiple reminders to ask him to extend his registration. The domain name has also been placed in redemption for a period of 40 days. If the owner has not responded to any of these actions, he won’t be able to prevent the domain name from being dropped. Should he still want to use the domain name, he will have to contact the new owner of the name.

Can I drop catch by myself?

Whenever a domain name comes out of redemption and is dropped, anyone can register their website under the new name. If it concerns a very popular domain name, the chances of actually catching it are very small. Drop catching also takes up a lot of your time. Specialised companies such as CatchTiger.com, have an automated drop catch system and are able to register a new domain name in mere seconds. This is why we recommend you to hire a company should you want to catch a domain name. CatchTiger.com gives everyone an equal chance to take over the domain name by putting all caught domain names up for auction. All domain names on this open and transparent domain auction are provided with additional information such as search volume, number of backlinks and advertisements.

Why are some domain names that expensive?

The price of a domain name is based on supply and demand, just like all other products and services. In addition to that, a domain name is unique: you won’t find the exact same name anywhere in the world. In many cases the price of a domain name isn’t connected to the actual purchase value, but the price is calculated in another manner. A domain name can be of value for various reasons:

  • You own a company or have a pet or mother-in-law with that exact name.
  • Your domain name has a lot of history and authority, because a big site once used it.
  • Your domain name is short and easy to remember, thus making it more valuable.
  • You have a unique product and don’t want a competitor using the same domain name (defensive registration).
  • Your domain name consists of a search term, which can establish a high position in search engines.

Of course, there are many more reasons as to why a domain name can be valuable. And don’t forget: a domain name one wants to have very badly, another couldn’t care less about. That’s the beauty of domain names.

Do you still have some questions after reading this blog? Please send us a message and we will answer them for you.