Lately I've noticed a lot of questions in Q&A centering on purchasing expired domains. A lot of our members have expressed interest in buying old domains for a variety of prices (some are cheap, some are going for upwards of $50k) and want some advice on what to do with the domains once they've been purchased. I'm no domainer, nor am I an expert in such a business tactic, but I generally recommend one of three different options for an expired domain (and would love to hear more if you've got any).
Sometimes people purchase domains that they plan to build a website on or sell in the future, but it just doesn’t end up happening. If an individual decides that it is no longer worth the yearly investment of keeping the domain in their account, they may choose to let it expire. Or, someone might just forget to renew the domain before the expiration date. If this happens, it’s a great chance for other domain investors to score rare domain names that are pending delete. Spending time perusing the list of recently dropped domains can be a worthwhile way to find high quality domains.
Simply put, domain flipping is the process of acquiring a domain name with a motive of selling it at a higher cost to someone else. This is very similar to flipping houses or cars, the only difference being that you can’t do much to increase the value of the asset by ‘fixing it up’ and then turning it over for a quick buck. Acquiring a valuable domain name before it is tagged with a premium price is the key to a successful domain flip. Raymond Hackney, a domain investor and consultant, successfully flipped a .website domain (his first on a new domain extension) for a decent profit. Read all about it here.
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.
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.
Buying a trademarked domain name could get you into a lot of hot water. Best case scenario is for the trademark holder to force you into handing the domain over and call it a day. Worst case scenario is you get into a legal battle and end up spending an arm and a leg. This is why it might be a good idea to use the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) website to check for trademarks if you’re unsure about a domain name.
They see a domain’s price tag and they can instantly tell whether it’s under or overvalued. This is probably the most important skill one should have in this industry. Neil Patel has an interesting related quote: “The most important thing to remember when buying sites is that you always make money on the buy, never the sell.” In order to successfully do this, you must be able to spot undervalued domains. This is what will ultimately translate for you into a handsome profit margin when you get the opportunity to resell the domain for its “real value”.