The term flipping implies a sale that is done in a flip, or in a quick and sudden manner. You cannot be considered a domain flipper if all you do is just list your domain names and wait for years for them to sell. At its core, domain flipping is about spotting the right opportunities at the right time, involving strategic buying and selling of websites for profit.
Be careful! When searching for domains, it might be tempting to, for instance, buy (if it were available) and then try to sell it to McDonald's. The logic here would be that they own the .com and wouldn’t want anyone to own the .net and use their name, right? Also, it’s a big name so there’s gotta be a biiiiiiig payday comin’, RIGHT? Wrong, and wrong.
In order to maintain ownership of a domain, you must renew it yearly. If you don’t, it “expires”. An expired domain goes through several stages before being released again for general registration. The process differs slightly from one registrar to another but it’s more or less the same. GoDaddy explains what happens to domains that expire with them here.
When speaking about an expired domain’s backlink profile, this refers to the incoming links that have built up from when the domain was previously in use. Recently-expired domains that have long histories aren’t unheard of. While the pre-existing content of the domain rarely remains visible when the domain is re-registered, links on the other hand do remain, as long as the new owner doesn’t devalue or delete them.
So how do you develop that instinct? NameBio maintains a database of over 500,000 historical domain sales (as of writing this post). They have interesting filtering features by which you can narrow down domains by price range, date sold, keywords and more. Simply sifting through the listings on NameBio long enough will quickly develop your domain appraisal “instinct”.