Wait for people to contact me: When I bought my two domains, I didn’t pay the extra $12 for Domain Privacy, learn about Domain Privacy here, so anyone can look up the owner of IHateCold(.com) and ReallyFunnyJoke(.com) in the ICANN WHOIS Database. It can tell you whoever owns any website unless that domain owner pays for domain privacy. So if someone was really interested in any of my websites, they could look me up and shoot me an email about their interest.
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.
If you buy a domain from a 3rd party, the backlinks are valuable. I always wait a few months before redirecting, so just set up a quick minisite until two page rank updates have passed and then go ahead and 301 redirect. However, it seems that you'll get the link juice from the back links, the anchor text is ignored by Google. Buying a domain at Godaddy TDName expired auctions, seem to not count as a dropped domain if you immediately set up a mini-site.
The domain name industry is quite similar to the real estate industry in a lot of aspects. There are end users, brokers, consultants and domain flippers or “domainers”. Domain flipping works similarly to buying a house, renovating it (or even sometimes just sitting on it) and then selling it again at a higher price point. The gist of it is: you’re purchasing a domain name and betting it’s worth (or will be worth) more than you paid for it. If you’re right, you get a nice paycheck and move on. Those who make a living out of this just rinse, repeat, and scale.