Those trading domains for commercial purposes are generally on the prowl for lucrative domain endings. There are essentially two different ways traders go about making money off of domain names. One method entails purchasing already established names for a low price and selling them for a profit later once their value has increased. Another strategy involves buying and registering a domain that is thought to possess a high sales potential. Many domain traders use backorder services. These services automatically register a domain when one becomes available or is deleted (what are known as expired domains).

The market-driven principles of the domain trade mean that a domain is only worth as much as the buyer is willing to pay. It is for this reason that criteria such as market potential and usability play such central roles in determining prices. Values can change at the drop of a hat. The price of a domain that was once of little interest to anyone in years past can skyrocket once, for example, a newly founded company takes interest in that same name.
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. 

If you’re patient enough, you can discover at least four to five very good .COM domain names at attractive prices. However, you’ll need to carry out some research and find out the right places where they may be available. I’ve seen that such .COM deals can also be bagged from popular domain marketplaces like Flippa.com, or from the private portfolio portals of sellers, provided you employ the right strategies. You can contact the domain owners directly too. There’s no harm in emailing them directly to negotiate the prices.

Hey, what’s up everybody. It’s Brian Dean from Quick Sprout. In this video, I’m going to show you how to buy affordable expired domains and how to evaluate the potential value that an expired domain could bring to your site. Now, expired domains is pretty gray hat, black hat type of thing because there’s basically two things you’re going to do in an expired domain.


Here's an old post on search engine roundtable that claims google's policy is to discount previous backlink juice when a domain changes ownership.  I'm not convinced whether this is actually true or something Google says to discourage excessive domain buying / 301 redirecting for SEO benefit.  The comments above seem to give varying opinions on this matter. Would be great to get to the bottom of that one!

Domains are nonmaterial goods. When sold, the only transaction taking place is transfer of domain rights from one user to another. Barring any form of copyright or trademark violation, virtually any domain name can be bought or sold. Generic domain names, such as car.com or computer.com, are not legally protected and can therefore theoretically be reserved by anyone.

Here’s what you DON’T want to do: Target prospective buyers based on their perceived economic status, without any insight into the industry you’re targeting. “Lawyers seem to do well,” you think, “maybe I should start selling names to them.” So you rush out and buy a bunch of domain names you think would appeal to the law firms you’ve identified as potential buyers. Without knowledge of the space, you may not know that the American Bar Association and other industry-specific organizations set rules that govern some aspects of legal advertising. You’re not going to strike gold selling names your target buyers can’t use.
Since the Buyer pays Escrow.com and not the Seller, Escrow.com can withhold payment until we're satisfied the domain name has been transferred by the Seller. One of the ways Escrow.com does this is by checking the WHOIS database of the appropriate Registrar to make certain it properly reflects the new Buyer's name as the domain name Registrant. Once this has been verified, Escrow.com releases payment to the Seller.
Another point of concern is that many people feel that squatting or registering domains is unethical. This is because many web developers have a hard time finding relevant domain names for their projects since most of them have already been registered. Many corporate giants also frown upon the domain flipping industry because many domain names relevant to them are already registered.
Keyword relevancy is not the only thing that matters when it comes to SEO. However, domain names that were previously used by other businesses usually have a lot of backlinks and a decent ranking on PageRank. Even though such domain names are usually about to expire, they are still worth a lot of money if they have a good number of backlinks and a ranking of five or more.
But in general, the best and easy way to sell a domain is to go with a marketplace. There is many popular marketplace dedicated to selling domains including Flippa and SellDom to sell your domain (full disclosure, I’m working on SellDom). The advantage is to leverage the popularity of that kinds of services in hope that someone will find your domain and buy/make an offer.
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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