A few days later you get contacted by a registrar. The domain name dropped in error they tell you; it should have been renewed, but there was a glitch in their system. The previous registrant is understandably irate, and wants the domain back.
So What Should You Do?
This is where it gets interesting. You’ve done nothing wrong – you’ve simply been successful in legitimately purchasing a domain on the drops.
Obviously, there are a few options:
1. Politely say “no thanks” and keep the domain.
2. Agree to relinquish the domain as long as your costs are covered.
3. Agree to sell the domain at a fair market value (and negotiate an acceptable price).
In my opinion, all of the above are potentially in play. Most of my decision making would be based on my relationship with the registrar in question. If they were good guys and had done the right thing by me in the past, I would probably opt for either (2) or (3) above – but I certainly wouldn’t go over the top in my expectations of price if it was option (3).
If on the other hand, if the registrar hadn’t treated you right in the past, then your decision making would probably be different. And understandably so.
What Does The Registrar Do?
The registrar is in a real pickle. If it was their system fault, then they simply have to get the domain back for their client, even if it costs them. It’s called taking responsibility, and fixing the problem.
They either must compensate their client (and the client’s perception of value will probably be substantially more than the price it “dropped” at); or they have to buy it back from the new registrant.
If they play hardball with the domain investor that legitimately acquired the domain; or if they offer an “insulting price”; then their “pickle” will become toxic.
My advice to the registrar is to treat the domain investor respectfully, and negotiate the best deal that you can. Then you get on with business as usual, and make sure the glitch doesn’t happen again.
No names; no pack drill. Suffice to say though, this does not involve me.
I’m hopeful common sense prevails from the registrar in question. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.