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.
Thanks for the great review on domain flipping. I could definitely see myself getting into domain flipping down the road. I constantly find myself thinking of domains that are probably worth buying. But the way you have presented and analyzed which keywords get the most page views makes it more like long term investing. I also never considered trying to market the domain names or that Adsense money could be generated. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your domains!
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.
Since search engines regard inbound links as recommendations, these links have a decisive influence on the ranking. The search engine definitely doesn’t appreciate link networks and won’t give new projects a jumpstart by allowing a former website’s backlink profile to be used when registering a new domain. Using an expired domain is like playing with fire, where the worst case scenario is that you’ll be penalized or be excluded from the search index.
The IP popularity and domain popularity each play a part in the overall quality evaluation. If you come across an expired domain with a high link popularity (i.e. a large number of backlinks), but then poor values when it comes to IP and domain popularity, you can assume that these links were obtained in an artificial way. Domains like these will have already caught the search engines’ attention. Perhaps this is the reason why the domain was abandoned. Users that want to start a serious online project should steer clear of these domains.
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.
While numbers like those above are impressive, most domains sell for significantly less extravagant prices and are generally in the two or three-digit range. Not long ago, those who were able to secure general terms (like icecream.com or pizza.com) not protected by trademark rights often found themselves sitting on virtual gold mines. The glory days of this boom have long since passed, and those looking for a profit in today’s market needto have a keen sense for coming trends.
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!
Once you have a name in mind, how do you know if the price is fair? I like to use namebio.com to compare the domain I’m thinking about buying with similar domains that have sold. You can enter the keyword and also use some advanced search features to see a list of names similar to yours, what they actually sold for, and when they sold. You can also research current domain sales on venues like GoDaddy Auctions and Afternic. Finally, Ron Jackson issues a weekly report on DN Journal that covers the top public sales of the week. You can use all these resources to help you price your domains correctly.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying marketing your domain is not important. But, if you’ve bought a bad domain and you do (and overdo) everything laid out in this section and more, it’s still very unlikely that it would sell. It’s like spending car flipping and spending a huge amount of money, time and effort perfecting a car’s paint job, except that this car’s engine is completely fried. You’ll never be able to drive it anyway, no matter how awesome the paint job is, it’s irrelevant.
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.
Length: This is pretty self-explanatory. Generally the shorter the domain name, the more valuable it is. This difference in value decreases exponentially as the name gets longer, though. For instance, the difference in price between 3 and 4 letter domains are significant, while the price difference between a 7 and 8 letter domain would usually be much less significant.