Domains that are indexed on Google and highly ranked are particularly attractive to traders. Other SEO aspects, such as backlink profiles or the search volume of the keywords in domain names, also play a significant role in appraising value. Design can also positively affect the price of a domain. Short and succinct names that are easy to remember are especially advantageous. Endings are further factors that should be taken into account. Top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com or .org are by far the most sought-after endings.
Many non-savvy internet users may not even be aware of the existence of other extensions. That said, because there are many new extensions popping up every now and then, you can often find amazing one word and 3-letter domain names with these new extensions that are otherwise almost impossible to find unregistered in the .com world. Additionally, these new extensions are becoming more and more familiar to users every day, hence it's almost certain that their value will continue to increase as time passes and wider adoption manifests. 
As far as flipping domains for a profit is concerned, there are certain domain names that are worth a lot of money. For instance, Hotel.com and Business.com have been reportedly sold for $11 million and $7 million respectively. Now even though coming across such golden domain names seems more like a long shot, you can still make a decent amount of money if you choose to buy and sell domains as a part-time business opportunity.
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.
There are several types of domain names to avoid. One is intentional misspellings, as these make it less likely someone will search for them. You also want to avoid names with extra symbols like hyphens, or with added prefixes and suffixes like "e" or "my." Outside of a few notable exceptions with very strong brands (like eBay), those additions can only hurt the value.[3]

If you buy keyword specific domains, you're really buying the type in traffic.  I use the URL builder and redirect through that URL so you can see how much traffic your getting from the keyword domain.  There seems to be no rythme or reason to what keyword domains deliver traffic and what don't.  By tracking traffic with the Google URL builder you get a feel for what names are giving you traffic and which are not. ie. the plural, the singular, two words, three words, the possessive, etc.

Thanks for this post. I do good with Adsense and wanted to branch out so I bought 5 domains from Namejet after reading this thread. After the 5 auctions ended I spent $500 total. I contacted 30 people about these domains and after a few bites I was able to sell one of them for $500 so I got my money back and now what I sell the other four for is all profit. The best part about this is that it is not very time consuming. I spent maybe an hour on Namejet. I spent maybe two hours sending out emails. Thanks again!
Each of the third parties we integrate with charge for getting metrics for a domain. DomCop pays for their API to get this data for you and therefore you do not need to purchase additional accounts to get these metrics. One DomCop account will do it all. As new players enter the market, we integrate with them so that you always have the best and most comprehensive set of metrics to help you decide which domain to buy.

It's ranking high today! What could be the problem? NO. JUST STOP. Unless you know the entire history of a domain, you may be setting yourself up for failure before you begin. SEOs (and business owners) use a variety of tactics to get a site ranking high in search results. For some of these methods, we'll just call them "questionable". These methods could include everything from buying links, overuse of directory submissions (non-industry related), duplicate listings, poor quality backlinks, and guest blog comments.
Dictionary Word/Pronounceable/Memorable/Brandable: A dictionary word domain name is very valuable. Of course, the more popular and widely used the word is, the better. For example, “marketing.com”, “cars.com” and “hotels.com” are 7-8 figure domain names. Even if a domain name isn’t a dictionary word, being pronounceable and/or memorable and/or brandable are all big pluses that add to its value.
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