Domain investors build a portfolio of valuable domain names, and attempt to sell them at a profit. Both Sedo and Afternic offer domain marketplaces (also known as Domain Listing Services, or DLS) for investors to advertise their domains to potential buyers. Once the seller and buyer agree, the aftermarket platforms then facilitate the purchase and transfer of the domain(s). As an Enom customer, you’re entitled to list your domains for sale on Sedo, Afternic, or both at the same time. Get started
To join, you’ll need to purchase an annual GoDaddy Auctions membership for $4.99 a year. Once you’ve purchased a membership, you can take advantage of member benefits such as our Auctions Tools, which can help you prepare before buying or selling any domains. After joining the auction community, you’ll quickly learn how to navigate the world of domain buying and selling and can begin to make money by investing in domain names.
There are many places and ways you can purchase domain names. You can purchase unregistered ones through sites like GoDaddy. There are forums where people will gladly try to sell you their domain name (usually though the domains being sold in forums are either crap or the asking price is so high it does not allow you any room to flip the domain). And then there is my favorite way of obtaining domain names, through an online auction at Namejet. Let’s first talk about Namejet and then we’ll talk about how I personally ring the register by flipping domains.
Hi Kulwant, these are great tips as usual. I particularly like the way to tell us to check the google pagerank in case the domain has been banned – that could lower the usefulness of the domain quite a bit. One thing though, don’t you think that buying domains is sometimes immoral? Like sometimes you accidentally buy a domain of somebody elses website who forgot to renew.
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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.
Expired domains are especially attractive due to key SEO factors that are primarily associated with an existing backlink profile. If you are considering buying an expired domain, you can determine the quality of it by looking at the inbound links. When it comes to assessing the value of an expired domain relevant keywords contained in the second-level domain, a possible reference to products, brands, or services are all useful.
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.
Yes, buying existing domain names can be profitable too. Existing domains with a potential for profit can be found using Sedo. Make sure you pick domain names that have good traffic, backlinks and Google PageRank under 17 characters. Also, steer clear of existing domain names containing special characters or numbers because they are not likely to be sold.
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.
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.
Think of ways that the domains you buy would be a valuable asset to the buyer. Picture someone who would benefit from buying the domain in a space you are very familiar with. If this was you and someone was trying to sell you this name, would it be beneficial for you to own? Be honest. If so, why? If not, why? Use those answers to refine your search for names.
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!
As .COM is the natural domain extension for the United States based websites, it does get some priority in the Google.com’s search engine results (based on Google’s US datacenters) when competing against other countries’ domain extensions like .CO.UK, .CO.ZA, .COM.AU etc. However, .COMs don’t get automatic priority over other similar extensions like .ORG, .NET etc. that are also commonly used in the United States. All these domain extensions compete with .COMs on a level playing field.
A good majority of web developers view the domain flipping industry with disdain as they face a hard time finding the right domain names for their own development projects. Domain flipping is also looked down upon by corporate and business entities who register multiple domains related to their trademarks or business names. Actually, it is these people who’re the real domain name squatters!
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!
Dictionary Word/Pronounceable/Memorable/Brandable: A dictionary word domain name is very valuable. Of course, the more popular and widely used the word is, the better. For example, “marketing.com”, “cars.com” and “hotels.com” are 7-8 figure domain names. Even if a domain name isn’t a dictionary word, being pronounceable and/or memorable and/or brandable are all big pluses that add to its value.