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.
This is similar to house flipping, where a home is purchased and fixed up in order to sell for a fast profit. Unlike house flipping, however, there is essentially nothing to be done with the domain name in order to increase its value. Therefore, the key to a successful domain flip is being in the right place at the right time in order to acquire a valuable domain name before it is given a higher price.
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.
There’s an important distinction to make here between domain flipping and website flipping. The latter mainly refers to buying and selling full websites. By full websites, I mean websites that actually have content and more often than not have traffic and revenue. When buying and selling websites, the domain name matters less as the main value there is the content, traffic, revenue, history/reputation, sustainability and growth opportunities. The same can’t be said for domain names where you’re just selling “the name” and hence it’s all that really matters.