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?

Domains that are indexed on Google and highly ranked are particularly attractive to traders. Other SEO aspects, such as backlink profiles or the search volume of the keywords in domain names, also play a significant role in calculating thevalue. Design can also positively affect the price of a domain. Short and succinct names that are easy to remember are especially advantageous. Endings are further factors that should be taken into account. Top-level domains (TLDs) such as .com or .org are by far the most sought-after endings.

With over 25 million .com domains registered with Google alone, this top-level domain is by far the most popular choice worldwide. According to the domain marketplace Sedo, the average sales price for a .com domain name during the second quarter of 2015 was 4,701 dollars. The most expensive publicly traded domain names have been known to fetch eight-figures. But don’t quit your day job just yet: such sales are the exception rather than the rule.
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.