This is in response to a question a fellow Moz community member once asked in Q&A, and we thought that it deserved its own article. Buying up expired domains, or purchasing keyword-driven domains is becoming more popular amongst the internet "get rich quick" crowd. The big question is: Can you make a profit by buying and selling domain names? If you get the right one, sure. If you plan on repeating the process over and over, probably not.
While numbers like those above are impressive, most domains sell for significantly less extravagant prices and are generally in the two or three-digit range. Not long ago, those who were able to secure general terms (like icecream.com or pizza.com) not protected by trademark rights often found themselves sitting on virtual gold mines. The glory days of this boom have long since passed, and those looking for a profit in today’s market needto have a keen sense for coming trends.
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.
One of the best ways to obtain a valuable domain that is already search engine optimized is to purchase existing domains via auction sites.  This strategy can be beneficial mainly in two ways.  Firstly, any domain that has already been purchased was probably already researched for potential benefits.  Secondly and more importantly, the second benefit is that many recently expired domains still retain some of the search engine optimization attributes that were built up by the previous owner. For example, a recently expired domain name may still have active backlinks on the web, and the page rank of the domain could still be high, giving the purchaser instant SEO gratification with minimal effort.
Many individuals have the habit of collecting attractive domain names but never using them. If so, why not get rid of unused domain names and in the process, make some cash? It is important to understand the whole process of selling domain names. On the outside, the process may look very easy, but unless a trader is well aware of how the whole process works, it is not easy to find a buyer.
Use the advanced search option to quickly hone in on the type of names you are interested in. You can narrow the results by price, top-level domain (i.e, .com, .net, .org, .club, etc.), keyword, and many more filters. Using this feature will help you quickly sort through the millions of domains on the aftermarket and find the domain names that best fit your end goals.
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?
Very good article and overview explanation. However I would not recommend buying names with bitcoin, ripple, etc in them. Not only will it be oversaturated those names are brands and can / will be trademarked and you can still be hit with a UDRP. Only register generic names like buycrypto.com, buyingcryptocurrency.com, theblockchain.com, etc. There are tons of opportunities and no need to infringe on a brand name.

The "Domain Lists" and the "TLDs" filter are now static and not created dynamic based on the current search. Turns out creating these 2 filters dynamically was slowing down the search tremendously. It even made certain requests impossible. For example now you can do a dot search that affects all .com domains and get a result with over 150mio domains in reasonable time. I'm also working on a new search cluster that will make searching even faster (not released yet).

Namejet is a domain clearing house (at least that is my term for it).  What happens is that people let their domain names expire everyday.  Some people just don’t need their domain anymore, some people forget to renew it, some people die, I mean there can be hundreds of reasons why a domain will not be renewed.  What the domain registrars want to do is cash in on the domain that someone forgot to renew, so they offer that domain to Namejet to auction it to the general public.  Think of it like a storage unit, someone doesn’t make their payment and the storage company hires an auctioneer to come and auction the storage unit to the general public.  Namejet is doing this but for domain names.  The bid for each domain starts at $69.  What I LOVE about Namejet is the process…  they let you search through the domains that are coming up for auction 30 days in advance.  Whoever places a $69 bid on a domain will be entered into an auction when the 30 days runs out with everyone else who placed a bid.  If you are the only bidder than you get the domain for $69.  If there are 10 other bidders than there is a closed auction, meaning only you 10 guys can bid now against each other in a 3 day auction with the highest bidder taking the domain when the clock strikes zero.  I love this because let’s say there is a great domain and it flies under the radar.  If it goes to auction with only 3 or 5 or 7 bidders my chances of winning this domain at a very low price are great.  I’ve won domains for $100 which I was able to flip for $2,000.  I won a domain for $2,500 which I flipped within 4 months  for $7,500.  I won a domain for $1,000 which I’ve turned down $5,000 offers on because I think I can get $10,000 for it.  The key is to not overpay in order to leave yourself plenty of room to turn a profit when you flip the domain.
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]
The easiest way to see that is to go to HREFs and look at the anchor text. It reveals right away whether or not the site has been spammed. You also want to see if it’s been SEO’d too much. Right? In this case, it’s not because it has a brand name here and some natural keywords, but if the number one anchor text was like, cell phone management system and then the next one was like cheap cell phone management system, you’d know that the anchor text was manipulated and probably overly SEO’d. So, what you want as a site that has a natural link profile.
I’m ready to purchase domain hunter gatherer after seeing your video but I’m a little scared to spend money because all I need is information for South Africa and the Domains that expire for .co.za if you can do a quick check (not a long as the video ) on the features it has for .co.za and let me know id show my appreciation by purchasing immediately as this is my only concern.
Your course of action really depends on how much work and effort you can put into the expired domain. If you're barely able to maintain and optimize your current site, you probably want to just 301 redirect the old site (note: see my amended comment above about the link value not likely to be passed). If, however, you're more creative and have some time on your hands, you can try your hand at crafting a microsite. If you really know your stuff and are experienced at making money off various websites, you'd probably do well with the third option.
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?
Use the advanced search option to quickly hone in on the type of names you are interested in. You can narrow the results by price, top-level domain (i.e, .com, .net, .org, .club, etc.), keyword, and many more filters. Using this feature will help you quickly sort through the millions of domains on the aftermarket and find the domain names that best fit your end goals.
So, you paste the domain into here and click on the search domains button. This will show you more information about the pending delete status domain. In this case, you have to order by June 13th and today is the 10th. So, you have three days and you just add it to your cart as if you’re just buying anything online. Just check it off and click add to cart. It’s added to your cart and they will try to get it on your behalf.

Chris takes us through his stages of domain investing: educating himself, antique picking previously owned dropped domains, buying brandable expired domains and his first 2 profitable flips. We touch on the tough topics of frontrunning and GoDaddy expired auction changes, plus the 4 letter word of domainers, CALL- with Chris’ current 100% success rate on phone calls!


Yandex replaced TCI with SQI (Site Quality Index). SQI looks similar to TCI, so I re-used the old TCI field, however all values are now the new SQI. Not all domains are checked yet, but all that had TCI > 0, are now switched to SQI and all newly added domains are also checked for SQI (starting today). Updating all domains will take a couple months.

When you see one that looks pretty good you can just click on the bid button and you’ll be taken to Go Daddy Auctions which shows some more information about the domain bidding process, how many people have bid, the traffic potential per month, the price which is now $12. How much time is left? You can make a bid. It’s based on the link profile and it’s relevancy, authority and your budget. This domain looks like a good bet for you.
With over 25 million .com domains registered with Google alone, this top-level domain is by far the most popular choice worldwide. According to the domain marketplace Sedo, the average sales price for a .com domain name during the second quarter of 2015 was 4,701 dollars. The most expensive publicly traded domain names have been known to fetch eight-figures. But don’t quit your day job just yet: such sales are the exception rather than the rule.
While numbers like the ones seen above are impressive, most domains sell for significantly less extravagant prices and are generally in the two or three-digit range. Not long ago, those who were able to secure general terms (like icecream.com or pizza.com) not protected by trademark rights often found themselves sitting on virtual gold mines. The glory days of this boom have long since passed, and those looking for a profit in today’s market need a keen sense for coming trends.
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While buying up a ton of domains seems like a great way to make some extra money, the real world results show that it is very hard to make that process profitable. As with any industry, you will have those "golden moments" when someone you read about made it into a million dollar a year business, all while sitting in the comfort of his own home. That could be true, but he probably consumed a lot of alcohol and lost a lot of hair doing it.
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.
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