Do you want to learn how to make money buying and flipping domain names? If so, this guide will provide you with the basic knowledge and direction required to get started! Unlike domain name investing, where a "buy and hold" strategy is the standard technique, domain name flipping is all about finding valuable domains and quickly selling them for a profit.
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.
Most domains traders, or resellers, buy hundreds of domain names. This way, the chances of hitting the jackpot are higher. But, this takes some up front money. You can start with a handful of names and work your way up. This is the best way to begin. You may also decide to purchase a name from another seller if you think that a name will be big enough.

There comes a time in the life of every domain when its ownership must transfer hands. The reasons for selling a domain can vary greatly; maybe the company is no longer being in business, or the domain was bought in bulk and never used. If you're looking to offload your extra domains to make some spare cash, or if you're sitting on a premium domain name worth a goldmine, see Step 1 below to learn how to sell it.


All very relevant points for anyone wanting to sell a domain name. Sometimes it is the basic points that we need to be reminded of in a transaction like this. What is the potential of selling a .com domain that has a relevant search term to a particular industry, but hasn’t been used on a website yet? So it is a good search term but no current traffic.

Before you park any domain names, you must focus on finding hot keywords that buyers would be interested in. The best way to make sure you get a good return on your investment is to pick a domain name with acceptable traffic, somewhere around 10,000 searches a month. You can do this conveniently by using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Niche Finder Software.
I did this last month, snagged a great domain that no one else found and got it for $69 because I waited until the last moment to place my pre-bid. Flipped it within a week for a little over $1,000. And probably could have gotten more if I sat back and waited 6-12 months, but a bird in the hand… (plus I like to keep turning over inventory and maintaining cash flow).
Just like a property listing, except much simpler, domain marketplaces are basically massive lists of domain names that are up for sale. The process of using them is simple. Buy a domain and park it, then list your domain on the marketplace for a price you’re willing to let it go for. Once the domain is sold, the marketplace takes a cut and then passes on the remaining funds to you.
I like to also click on the No Fake PR’s and No Unsure PR’s because a lot of fake page rank or page rank that’s been manipulated in the past and you want to make sure any authority that you see is real. Once you’ve picked all the criteria you want to choose, click on the apply filter button. This took our list from two million to 237. Now, even within that, that’s kind of overwhelming.
If you want to participate in a domain name auction, there are several options for how you can list your domain. Once you’ve purchased a membership, you can choose a free and simple listing, or add advanced features to increase your domain’s visibility. See our handy insider’s guide on how to list domains for sale for more details about listing a domain.
You can add it as part of a private blog network or you can 301 redirect an expired domain to your site to bring some trust and authority to your site. Now, in my experience, the best place to look for expired domains is this free website called expireddomains.net. So, you just have to head over there, make a free account and this is the page that you’ll see when you log in.
To find popular phrases I opened up the Google Keyword Planner. This free tool by Google, allows you to find out how often a word or phrase is searched in Google. A phrase like “Yoga Mat’ has on average, about 10K – 100k monthly searches. That’s A LOT. However a more niche phrase like “Good Yoga Mats” only has 100 – 1K monthly searches. These seem similar, but I wanted to focus on the exact popular phrase that people are searching for.

No, no, no. ToysRUs made a perfectly logical decison that most any business would do and Google tanked them for it. ToysRUs wanted the url toys.com to direct to their site.  They're all about toys and they simply bought a url that described their business and told the url where to take people.  Google tanked them in the rankings because Toys.com came with link juice. Google assumed that Toys.com was doing this to manipulate the search engines but there is just, to my knowledge, ZERO evidence of this.  This is another case of Google caring more about the possible spam threat than the actual rankings for searchers.
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.
Hi Kulwant, these are great tips as usual. I particularly like the way to tell us to check the google pagerank in case the domain has been banned – that could lower the usefulness of the domain quite a bit. One thing though, don’t you think that buying domains is sometimes immoral? Like sometimes you accidentally buy a domain of somebody elses website who forgot to renew.
You can’t tell us (with a straight face) that aged dictionary word .net and .org domains won’t sell easily. The .net extension is technically OLDER than .com, and holds an equally intrinsic value to that of its .com counterpart. These LLLL .com’s that are just letters slapped together may be cute to look at and easy to sell, but in the eyes of Google, ANY aged domain that makes sense (i.e. a dictionary word) is going to be much easier to rank for than some acronym or hodgepodge .com…and at the end of the day, that holds more value than whatever society sees in these nonsensical “wqij.com” names.
Many people think of domain buying and selling to be one of the easiest methods of making quick money. Perhaps, you may have heard of someone buying a domain name for under $3000 and then selling it for $25,000. A quick $22,000 profit! Such stories can be very motivating! And that sort of money does exchange hands (Go through 10 of the biggest domain name sales of all time!). But these deals don’t come as easy as they seem! Ask anyone who flips domains for a living and he/she’ll tell you the amount of hard work and skill that goes into it.
Flipping domains are similar to flipping houses in real estate: You buy a property with potential, improve it, and then sell quickly for twice the profit (or more). Between 2005 and 2012, internet marketers had been obsessed with flipping domains… and for good reason. Many were successful at buying plain old domain names, spicing them up with keyword-stuffed content, giving them much-needed traffic, and then selling them off to the highest bidder. But in 2017, can this still be a viable online business?
While getting a new domain name will give your site a clean slate and allow you to start a fresh marketing campaign, you may not be aware of the fact that some expired domains come with a high Page Rank value. A company that buys such a domain will not have to work so hard on website promotion and backlink building techniques. Thanks for updating this really informative post!
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.
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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