I've seen some people comment about losing the link value of domains that have expired and picked up, but what about non-expired domains?  Let's say a competitor is going out of business and they still have a year or two left, and we buy their domain and site.  Is there a risk changing registrant info and registrars, even if I keep their site up and mostly the same as before?  I was under the impression that I'd want to keep it under their name so as not to hit the uber-reset button on the domain's inbound link value.
Listen to expert domainers on domainsherpa.com. Read anything by Michael Berkens, Frank Schilling, Eliot Silver, Morgan Linton, and Ron Jackson. Watch YouTube videos on domain investing. Read blogs like The Industry News Magazine at DNJournal.com. Search #domains on Twitter. Go to industry conferences. Understand the Google Keyword Planner tool inside and out.
Right now there are over 656,000 expiring domains that you can pre-bid on at Namejet. Lots of opportunity there even if more people come. The key is to find those hidden gems and wait until 1 minute before they go off the board (assuming no one has bid on it yet) and then bid. This is the best way to attempt to be the only bidder on a domain and win it for $69.

Great post! I tried to repurpose an expired domain to build an authority site (your method 1) – but it doesn’t rank as it should. i checked the backlink profile via majestic and archive.org and it’s clean. also checked the metrics of the competition. with the amount of trust and link juice my expired domain has vs. the competition, it should be on page 1 for those keywords. is there something i’m missing here?

There are many places and ways you can purchase domain names.  You can purchase unregistered ones through sites like GoDaddy.  There are forums where people will gladly try to sell you their domain name (usually though the domains being sold in forums are either crap or the asking price is so high it does not allow you any room to flip the domain).  And then there is my favorite way of obtaining domain names, through an online auction at Namejet.  Let’s first talk about Namejet and then we’ll talk about how I personally ring the register by flipping domains.
There are currently two main types of domain speculators: those that buy domains, build sites around them, and then flip the domain and accompanying website, and then there are those that buy and sell domain names without web sites attached. While both can be very lucrative businesses, the second type is much easier for novices to learn, and as such, shall be the topic of discussion for this article. 
As you can see just within expired domains they have over two million deleted .com domains. Now, this is obviously overwhelming if you’re trying to look for domains. So, you should use a few filters to make the search process a lot easier. To do that, click on the search filter button. Down here I like to click on the Only With A DMAS Entry because that just filters out sites that are really spammy. For sites that that have been in DMAS ever, it means that the site had to be of some quality.

Expired domains are domains that have been registered by individuals, businesses, or organizations, but aren’t renewed after the contract ends, or are deliberately terminated. That means that they available for re-registration. There are many reasons why someone would choose to abandon a domain; one reason could be that the web project failed, or that a domain portfolio went into liquidization. Domains can also end up becoming free due to the owner receiving warnings for possible trademark infringement. Re-registering can also result in legal consequences.
Instead of focusing on one domain name to sell quickly, try selling large volumes of domain names over longer periods of time. While this may require a more substantial investment, it will also return a greater profit in the long term. Remember, if you follow the basic principles of domain name speculation, there is good chance that your domain names will sell eventually.
What you really want to do first is scroll down to where it says, referring pages for anchor phrases. All that is is the anchor text distribution to that site. As you can see here this looks like a very natural link profile. Brand name, a product that they had, no text, URL, shopping cart, wireless government. These are the keywords that were related to what that site was about. Okay?
Your domain name registrar may provide you with a free one-page Website tool, which you can use to create a “this domain is for sale” landing page. Alternatively, you can create a single page (perhaps a hidden page hanging off one of your existing websites) that indicates that your domain names are for sale. You can then forward all of your domain names that are for sale to that one page.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying marketing your domain is not important. But, if you’ve bought a bad domain and you do (and overdo) everything laid out in this section and more, it’s still very unlikely that it would sell. It’s like spending car flipping and spending a huge amount of money, time and effort perfecting a car’s paint job, except that this car’s engine is completely fried. You’ll never be able to drive it anyway, no matter how awesome the paint job is, it’s irrelevant.
Using the keyword search feature you’d also be able to familiarize yourself with how much domains typically cost on average in a certain industry or niche. Even better, they have an addictive little app called “The Domain Game” available for iOS and Android. They basically give you a domain and you try to guess whether it sold for three, four, five or six figures. You get points for each correct answer and lose points for incorrect ones. You do this for a while and you start to see patterns. Your brain starts connecting the dots and you get better it. Now you’re ready to go out there and scout some domains!
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