WHOIS and Drop-Catching Update

pending delete server hold domain name drop

Afilias have released a blog today detailing the lifecycle of a .au domain name.

In a nutshell, they explain the following definitions:

  • Grace Period – When you register a domain name, you have 3 days as a grace period to claim a refund with your Registrar, if you somehow managed to make a mistake in buying the domain name.
  • Policy Delete – If someone makes a complaint against you to auDA, and you are seen to breach policy, your domain name will be deleted and will enter Pending Policy Delete state for 14 days. If the domain name complaint is not reversed within 14 days, it will be added to the drop list for 24 hours before being released to the highest bidder on the drop platforms.
  • Client Delete – If you no longer want a domain name anymore, you can inform your Registrar to place the name into client delete. In this state, the name will go into Pending Delete status for 3 days, before being added to the drop list for 24 hours before being released.
  • Expiry – If you don’t pay your renewal fees for a domain name in the 90-day renewal period, your domain name will enter an Expired Hold state for 30 days. Your domain name won’t work during Expired Hold status, but it can be renewed or transferred. On Day 31, if you haven’t renewed your domain name, it will be in a locked-out Expired Pending Purge state until it drops to the open market on Day 32. To put it simply, if you can see you domain name is available to buy on a drop-catching platform, it is too late to save it. You must bid on the domain name with the general public to get it back.

These above terms may come into effect on the public WHOIS (located at whois.auda.ltd) eventually, but as of this moment, we have also been seeing other terms being used on many domain names that Afilias have not explained in their latest blog post.

To help with the current confusion of WHOIS data we’re seeing in the wild, we’d like to share the following information with you.

  • ServerHoldProhibited = The domain name is good. It’s outside the 90-day renewal period.
  • ServerHold = This domain name is in the process of dropping to the open market.

Has anyone else seen any other variations?

In terms of auDA Policy, it doesn’t look like the new Afilias WHOIS data is perfectly in tune at this stage, 16 days after the migration.

This is something to keep a close eye on over the coming weeks.

In terms of the drop-platforms, Netfleet and Drop remain as the only way people can register Australian .com.au domain names that are being released by their previous owners.

The Netfleet platform is very similar to how it has always been over the past 5 years. However, Drop.com.au has had a major facelift. The new Drop.com.au platform seems to have melded together some old Domain Shield functions with some traditional Drop.com.au functions.

The most interesting change to the Australian Domain Name Drop System seems to be that both platforms are now blind. In the past, many people who were time-poor could simply log onto Drop.com.au and see what everyone was bidding for. That is no longer the case.

If you are truly interested in buying premium domain names off the drop platforms, you really need to eyeball the entire list daily from now on.

With that in mind, an aftermarket platform called NameBid.com.au offers members who are signed in, an opportunity to view the daily drop list sorted by the lowest number of characters. If you find yourself time-poor on a given day, at least you can quickly view the first few hundred domain names that are less than 10 characters.


4 thoughts on “WHOIS and Drop-Catching Update

  • Avatar
    July 17, 2018 at 8:58 am

    you have the whois address wrong, it is whois.auda.org.au

  • Avatar
    July 17, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Thanks for mentioning this “Pete”…

    whois.auda.org.au does indeed now work, but didn’t initially.

    At first, it was only whois.auda.ltd that worked as the whois.

    It took the last comment on this article that we posted, for whois.auda.org.au to be turned on, according to policy.

    • Scott.L
      July 17, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      In Fact, according to policy;

      Registry Technical Specification – 1 September 2017
      The registry operator will operate a WHOIS service available via port 43 in accordance with RFC 3912 – WHOIS Protocol Specification, and a web-based Registration Data Directory Service at whois.org.au providing free public query-based access.
      Reference link Here:


  • Avatar
    July 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I think the status serverRenewProhibited means that your domain is ok but is out of the 90 day renewal period. Which sort of makes sense.

    Saying that the status serverRenewProhibited is also shown on domains that have expired and are past the 30 day redemption period and can no longer be renewed. Slightly confusing.

    I have no idea what the status addPeriod refers to which shows up on newly registered domains??


Comments are closed.