UK Domaining Guide

Co.UKI have had a few private questions regarding UK domain names so wanted to document the main points in a post to cover the absolute basics.

Buying existing UK domains
Pushing or transferring a UK domain name to your registrar does not give you ownership, while the address can be updated for free if you want to change the Registrant (owner) name then you have to complete transfer forms and pay £10+VAT for Nominet to process this. Make sure both parties are aware and agree to complete this process.

Expiring Domains
Domains that are not renewed for whatever reason get their status changed to SUSPENDED.
Suspended UK domains usually drop 92 or 99 days after the renewal date, to easily and quickly check drop dates you can use this tool.

Finding Expiring Domains
For the beginner you need drop lists, Dale over at Droppings send out his lists for £50 per month. If you sign up to Dale’s service you get an email each week or so with each days droppings in a text file to check through, around 500 UK domains each day expire so there is usually something in there for everyone.

If you have targeted a list of domains that should be dropping soon you need to work out how to catch the domains, on the day domains drop if they are good generic words or already booked in peoples catching software then you stand virtually zero chance of manually trying to wait, check and register the domain when it drops. A good generic domain will be caught milliseconds after it is released by Nominet.

By far the most popular drop catching service from what I have seen is carried out by Caught. Pricing for domain backorders is £15.87 for bulk customers looking to register 10+ names per month and £30 per name for one off catches on a no win no fee basis.

The big thing here is that Caught will only take one request per domain, so once it’s booked by one person nobody else can book it there.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


  1. Wasn’t aware of Caught, will have to try that next time I find a good expiring domain, thanks!

  2. Good post Scott. Didn’t realise there was so many tools to help a potential domainer. It Co-incides nicely with Daniel’s post on DBT Still with £50/month investments its not for the faint hearted, the concept of speculate to accumulate is still an alien one to many newbies looking to make a quick income online.

    • Thanks Stephen, £50 buys you thousands and thousands of up and coming expiring domains and seeing as catching them is no win no fee you have a pretty good chance of being able to find something you can flip to cover the fee.

      • I think that if you pay for that, intend to use the list every time it arrives, then it should be easy to cover the £50. The problem is that a number of people will subscribe and then not bother doing anything as “now is not the right time”. 🙂 Being active and engaged in using the list will bring a ton of benefits.

  3. Wow great post, first info I’ve seen on this in a while and we do a fair amount of UK domains. Thanks!

  4. Hi Scott,

    What other things do we need to consider when buying existing UK domains?

    I’ve seen a great domain which is for sale but it has a site operating from it at the moment. The domain/site is ranking highly. the owner is willing to sell but he also has about 200 other domain names which are related to the one i’m looking at and also currently point at the domain. The 200 other domains aren’t no where near as good as the one i’m looking at but i don’t want the seller to start a competitor site once i buy the main one, would you buy all the domains?


    • I’d get access to the stats to make sure the other domains are not providing too much additional traffic and then if I was convinced the prime domain was the most descriptive and held it’s rankings well and could rank for all the other terms I would consider buying it alone – that is unless the seller would do a good deal on them as a bulk buy, if they priced the domains really high I’d be happy with the main linked to one which had the site,rankings & hsitory.

  5. hi Scott,

    I spotted a domain name that I like ( but it ended with org. ) . 2 keywords doamin and now currently ranking on page 2 ( not sure how long it has been there.) The number of searches of those keywords are about 1000++ according google freekeywordtool . The price is about $1000 ++ as well. Currently it’s just a parked domain and no back links at all. Method of monetization would be from adsense to affiliate program. Do you think it’s worth it? I’m wonder if I better than the money else where.


    • Possibly Susan but I have never purchased a .org, they work fine for Adsense and ranking but less so imo for an end user sale so if you intent is to earn from it and it’s ranking with little effort it should be able to pay itself back and earn money but if you are looking for an exit strategy I personally don’t see .org’s as being attractive to the high street etc

  6. I’d love to find a dropping service for .ca domains! Anyone know of one?

  7. Where do you tend to buy you’re .co.uks when they are virgin territory?


    • I research words and owners of domains directly mostly, so just keep an open mind to all news, papers, TV etc for inspiration and read New Scientist & online news sources and then check the domains for use when I hear words like economics, TVs, Genes, HumanGenome, iDocs, ledbulbs and then approach the owner direclty if I think it’s not in use.

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