If the domain has expired, it’ll go through an expiry process. Exactly what happens here depends on the current registrar, but the overall process is ~65 days. Dropcatch.com have a great graphic and explanation here – so go check that out to learn more.
If you check the Whois record on Whois.com, you can see the current registrar and use the list of registrars below to figure out what might happen next.
Note that deals for which auction sites end up with expiring domains often change as deals are struck between registrars and auction marketplaces.
GoDaddy/Wild West Domains, plus Tucows/Enom, CentralNic (Moniker/Key-Systems), PublicDomainRegistry:
If it’s with GoDaddy (or their sub-brand Wild West Domains) as well as Tucows/Enom, it’ll end up in the GoDaddy Auctions after about 25-35 days.
This is the most popular auction marketplace, and a large number of other registrars also send their domains here – eg Tucows/Enom, CentralNic, PublicDomainRegistry, Launchpad (HostGator), etc.
Web.com, Network Solutions, etc
If it’s with Web.com and their group of brands, the expiring domain might end up on the Snapnames Auctions around 25-35 days after expiry.
Their support wouldn’t reveal anything, but based on what I could find online, those domains are likely to end up on the Namecheap marketplace. They were previously going to GoDaddy Auctions.
Namesilo will put expiring domains up on their own marketplace.
Dynadot is also the same, and will list domains on their own auction marketplace.
NameBright/DropCatch (and any others that use whois.Namebright.com as the Registrar Whois Server)
Any NameBright/DropCatch registrar domains will end up on DropCatch.com as a “Pre-Release” domain.
Other Registrars, foreign TLDs, etc – the pendingDelete process
While I’ve covered the most popular registrars above, There’s also a number of registrars (eg NetEarthOne) that don’t send their domains to auctions at all, which results in them being available on Dropcatch services like dropcatch.com, etc.
That only occurs when it hits the pendingDelete process and is becoming available for anyone to register. For the best chances at getting the domain, backorder it from both Dropcatch and Snapnames. If more than 1 person on either of those services backorders it, then it will go into an auction process and in the case of Snapnames, only those who have backordered may compete in that auction.
If you have updated info on any of this, please leave a comment below and I’ll update this guide.