There's a lot of guesswork that goes into domain name investing. It's not enough to purchase domain names that are currently popular. Just like a stock, coming too late to the game won't be profitable. You have to think of the future, instead. What domain names might be profitable in the future? Is there a new product or service that may become a huge hit? Where is the future headed?
Choose Niches that make money: People will buy a website domain if they think they can use it to make money. So buying popular phrases/words that could be associated with selling something like computers(.com) or hotels(.com) could be used by a company to sell computers or hotel reservations. However, something like Warof1812(.com) may not have the same business potential.
Also with the domains, a name which can be cheap for one can be worth gold for the other. Permute the letters in your domain name and try contacting and eventually selling out to organizations that run under those names or contain the letters within. Companies would be keenly interested in buying out the domain names that matches the product's name. Hint : Look for companies on LinkedIn
This wonderful piece of information about buying expired domains is simply mind-blowing and I did not know about that before. It is easy for every one to understand about the topic with the pictorial representation. I feel sad that you lost around $400 due to Fake PR, but this article will surely help others save them from any sort of inconvenience.
There are many different ways to buy and sell domain names. Many standard domain registrars, such as GoDaddy.com, will facilitate sales via auction. Meanwhile, specialized websites, such as Sedo, are designed exclusively to buy and sell domain names. Finally, parking domains with a for sale page is a great way to draw targeted interest from potential buyers.
Yes! Selling domain is an emerging trade and no wonder if it can develop into an exchange. www.DomainX.org has been initiated with this view. There are some good ideas in the comments regarding which names to buy and how to grow their value. However one must not forget that it also involves a recurring cost (annual renewal) and keeping many of them might become difficult if you are not really selling at least a few to cover it. Enjoy free listing at DomainX.org.
Length: This is pretty self-explanatory. Generally the shorter the domain name, the more valuable it is. This difference in value decreases exponentially as the name gets longer, though. For instance, the difference in price between 3 and 4 letter domains are significant, while the price difference between a 7 and 8 letter domain would usually be much less significant.