Buying and selling domain names is an exciting adventure that for some seems to conjure up images of finding hidden pirate treasure or guessing the winning combination on the next Powerball. Stories abound of domains that were purchased for $8 dollars 15 years ago being sold today for millions. Of course, that leads the more adventurous of us to wonder, “How can I do that?”
Here's a test I have in process. I bought an old $5 closeout domain from Godaddy TDname expired auction. I put a quick minisite up and linked to it with a crazy anchor text phrase. The domain is ranking for that crazy term now. It's gone through one pagerank update and I'm waiting for a second to come. Then I'll redirect the domain to another minisite. I suspect the second site won't rank for the anhor text, but we'll see.
There is always a learning curve in buying domains with the purpose of reselling them. Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions to those who went before you, participate in forums such as namepros.com and dnforum.com, keep abreast of industry trends via resources like domaining.com, and reach out to the Afternic and GoDaddy Aftermarket support teams.
Check backlink profile: If you’re not familiar with what backlinks are, they’re basically any public website that “links” to the domain in question. Since there are numerous shady tactics in the SEO world, expired domains’ backlink profiles should be examined carefully. Check if too many links are coming from the same domain or if links have weird anchor texts/use foreign languages. You can use a tool such as ahrefs for these purposes.
Satrap is not a financial advisor & MoneyPantry.com is for entertainment & educational purposes only. Material shared on this blog does not constitute financial advice nor is it offered as such. As mentioned in our Disclosure page, MoneyPantry may have a financial relationship with some of the companies mentioned on this site, including Credit Card providers, and as such it may be compensated with a referral/commission fee. All trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.
The first is the link profile I and actually took this example carbondsystems.com because it looked like a pretty good choice. It’s from 2003. It has some links, some age and it’s in DMAS and looked at the link profile in DMAS. So, you just copy and paste the domain, the home page it to here, click on the search links button and this will show you all the links to that site.
Determine your domain's value. Before you start taking offers or listing your domain, take stock of its value so that you can come up with a good price. There are a lot factors to take into consideration when determining the value of a domain, so if you are unsure it may be wise to contact a company that performs these assessments. Some of the major factors include:
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.
A suspiciously high number of backlinks from some related niche websites that aren’t too great in quality. In my opinion, this could be an indicator that the domain name was using a Private Blog Network (PBN) service or their own PBN to boost their authority…this blackhat tactic can work, but it places your domain name at risk and the PBN owner could pull backlinks at any time.
Aside from places where you buy and sell domain names, there are some companies around that support the business of domain flipping. GoDaddy is one of the bigger names out there that does. There, you can not only trade domain names but also park those you’ve bought. The buying, parking and selling is relatively painless and all you must give up is a small percentage of your selling price.
Thanks for this post. I do good with Adsense and wanted to branch out so I bought 5 domains from Namejet after reading this thread. After the 5 auctions ended I spent $500 total. I contacted 30 people about these domains and after a few bites I was able to sell one of them for $500 so I got my money back and now what I sell the other four for is all profit. The best part about this is that it is not very time consuming. I spent maybe an hour on Namejet. I spent maybe two hours sending out emails. Thanks again!
2) prerelease auctions. These are domains where the auction venue has contracted with the registrar, like Fabulous or Moniker, to auction off non-renewed domains. Just before a domain enters the pending delete process, it goes to a private auction to any person who has backordered the name. Some people feel that back links on these type of auctions still provide a SEO benifit. My testing indicates that there is zero SEO benifit when these domains are redirected into another site. So if you get a domain with "pink squirels" in a lot of achor text to a domain and then point it at your domain, you don't rank for "pink squirels"
Current Craze: When PokémonGo was HUGE last year, my domain flipping friends (Matt of Handshakin.com is one) were all about buying domains like PokeStopNearMe(.com) and other related domains associated with the PokémonGo craziness. It’s like the day trading of the domain world. You’re buying domains during the hype and hope to sell them for a higher price quickly before the hype fades.
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.