This is in response to a question a fellow Moz community member once asked in Q&A, and we thought that it deserved its own article. Buying up expired domains, or purchasing keyword-driven domains is becoming more popular amongst the internet "get rich quick" crowd. The big question is: Can you make a profit by buying and selling domain names? If you get the right one, sure. If you plan on repeating the process over and over, probably not.


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I OWNED DOMPERIGNON.ORG, incredible, but true.  Lost it, back in the days when internet in India was not a readily accessible utility. And I was a casual domainer.  You had to go to a cybercafe. Did that late in the day, towards the expiry of the domain. No chance of renewal. The domain is now with the owners of Dom Perignon and is redirected to domperignon.com! 
Where do I start? So I heard about bitcoin and I know it’s all the craze nowadays. Let’s start from there. I’ll hop on Google Trends and type in “bitcoin”. Google Trends basically tracks the popularity of search queries over time, it’s often a goldmine for discovering currently exploding or soon-to-explode topics/terms..etc. So here’s what it looks like:
All very relevant points for anyone wanting to sell a domain name. Sometimes it is the basic points that we need to be reminded of in a transaction like this. What is the potential of selling a .com domain that has a relevant search term to a particular industry, but hasn’t been used on a website yet? So it is a good search term but no current traffic.
To find popular phrases I opened up the Google Keyword Planner. This free tool by Google, allows you to find out how often a word or phrase is searched in Google. A phrase like “Yoga Mat’ has on average, about 10K – 100k monthly searches. That’s A LOT. However a more niche phrase like “Good Yoga Mats” only has 100 – 1K monthly searches. These seem similar, but I wanted to focus on the exact popular phrase that people are searching for.
All very relevant points for anyone wanting to sell a domain name. Sometimes it is the basic points that we need to be reminded of in a transaction like this. What is the potential of selling a .com domain that has a relevant search term to a particular industry, but hasn’t been used on a website yet? So it is a good search term but no current traffic.
Yes, we port in all of the domains from NameJet, SnapNames, etc. There are a lot of great deals to be found. Some are absolute trash of course but if you can sift through them and put some time in (hopefully that is what we are trying to do with our tools is save time and give some value add with the SEO metrics, alerts, etc.) then you can find some great bargains.
There comes a time in the life of every domain when its ownership must transfer hands. The reasons for selling a domain can vary greatly; maybe the company is no longer being in business, or the domain was bought in bulk and never used. If you're looking to offload your extra domains to make some spare cash, or if you're sitting on a premium domain name worth a goldmine, see Step 1 below to learn how to sell it.
All very relevant points for anyone wanting to sell a domain name. Sometimes it is the basic points that we need to be reminded of in a transaction like this. What is the potential of selling a .com domain that has a relevant search term to a particular industry, but hasn’t been used on a website yet? So it is a good search term but no current traffic.
Control your expectations and keep them based on facts, data and expert opinions. Use a tool like EstiBot to get a general idea of how much the domain may be worth. Do understand that this is an automated appraisal tool, so take those numbers with a grain of salt. However, it’s great to get you started. You can also use paid, human-based appraisal services from Sedo and other providers, but these can get costly. If you’re not careful, you could easily overspend on such services and then realize your domain may not even be worth the appraisal fee.

The less tech-savvy population on the internet is not fully aware of what the term ‘domain flipping’ means. If you are one of them, then this article is definitely a must-read for you. In this article, we will delve into the details of what ‘domain flipping’ refers to, how it is done, and whether it is a profitable part-time business opportunity or not.
The easiest and least time consuming option is to 301 redirect the old domain to your existing site. This tactic obviously works best if both sites are in the same sector and are targeting the same keywords; otherwise, if you have a pet supply site and you buy an old Texas Hold 'Em poker site, a redirect probably might raise some eyebrows among the search engines. If, however, your site is brandnamepets.com and you buy onlinepetsupply.com and 301 redirect the domain over, you're inheriting a lot of topical and appropriate links.

Listen to expert domainers on domainsherpa.com. Read anything by Michael Berkens, Frank Schilling, Eliot Silver, Morgan Linton, and Ron Jackson. Watch YouTube videos on domain investing. Read blogs like The Industry News Magazine at DNJournal.com. Search #domains on Twitter. Go to industry conferences. Understand the Google Keyword Planner tool inside and out.
Those trading domains for commercial purposes are generally on the prowl for lucrative domain endings. There are essentially two different ways traders go about making money off of domain names. One method entails purchasing already established names for a low price and selling them for a profit later once their value has increased. Another strategy involves buying and registering a domain that is thought to possess a high sales potential. Many domain traders use backorder services. These services automatically register a domain when one becomes available or is deleted (what are known as expired domains).

Domain name sellers are advised to use Sedo.com to list their domain name. The real advantage with Sedo.com is the mandatory escrow service that comes with every transaction. The site charges the seller a commission of 15% per transaction or USD 50, whichever is higher, for domain names featured on the site. Sellers who do not list with Sedo.com but would like to use their escrow service will have to pay the minimum transaction fee of USD 50, or 3% of the transaction, whichever is higher.
If you’re serious about domain flipping, one of the best strategies is to buy expiring domains that auctioned on the market such as GoDaddy Auctions. Make sure you pick domain names that have good traffic, backlinks and SEO metrics, or domains with the generic niche. Expiring domains with a potential for profit can be found using BuycomDomain.com, this is a free website/tool that helps you sort through the domains by different metrics (age, traffic, backlinks, domain authority etc).
Referring domains for anchor phrases usually reveals similar information. What you really want to look out for is whether or not the site has been picked up by a spammer in the past. A lot of times these expired domains were dropped, picked up by a website owner who then tried to rank it for keywords like Viagra, Cialis and whatever. You obviously don’t want that kind of domain.
The dropdate for the following TLDs is not verified. Domains might drop earlier or later: .eu .cat .aero .travel .tel .jobs .ae .at .be .bg .cr .es .fm .gd .gg .gi .gl .gs .gy .hn .ht .hu .id .im .ir .is .je .ke .kg .ky .kz .la .lu .lv .ma .mu .ng .no .om .pe .pf .pm .qa .re .ro .ru .rw .sb .sm .sn .so .st .su .sx .tc .tf .th .tl .to .ug .uy .uz .wf .yt .berlin
If you buy a domain from a 3rd party, the backlinks are valuable.  I always wait a few months before redirecting, so just set up a quick minisite until two page rank updates have passed and then go ahead and 301 redirect.  However, it seems that you'll get the link juice from the back links, the anchor text is ignored by Google.   Buying a domain at Godaddy TDName expired auctions, seem to not count as a dropped domain if you immediately set up a mini-site.
Building a solid domain portfolio is not a piece of cake; it may take you several months or years to achieve this goal but it will definitely be worth it in the end. When you are in the fishing phase, look at the potential of the domain name. Another common strategy used by seasoned domain flippers is to get hold of some high profile domain names and sit on them until they soar in terms of value.
Hey, the possibilities are endless when it comes to domain flipping so do not think that all profitable domain names are already taken. At this time, almost 90 million .COM domains have been registered, so people tend to think that there are not many good domains left. That is not true since you still have the opportunity to incorporate two or three word target keywords.

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.


Let’s play this out with a real example. Say you’re familiar with the real estate market in Tempe, Ariz., and you have the opportunity to purchase tempeapartments.com for $200. This might be a good deal. Tempe has a lot of rental property; it’s  a competitive market; and there’s ample turnover in the apartment space because the city is home to a major university. Ask yourself:
While getting a new domain name will give your site a clean slate and allow you to start a fresh marketing campaign, you may not be aware of the fact that some expired domains come with a high Page Rank value. A company that buys such a domain will not have to work so hard on website promotion and backlink building techniques. Thanks for updating this really informative post!
That being said, many things have changed over the years. The days of MFA and quick flips are mostly gone. My advice to those new to domaining and wanting to give it a try is to take it slow, do your research, and if you do purchase a domain with the hope of turning a healthy profit - put some real time into it and build something useful. That way it's easier to monetize and easier to sell.
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.

Your system is broken, You took my lising money on an open domain http://www.australianfintech.com.au and then stuffed me around something cronic and no response from your supoport team either. I have spoken to Tony who is one of the main people there at a function and I will move heaven and earth to find his number and give him a piece of my mind!! I have 60+ domains to sell but it seems you do not want the business! BAD MOVE not accomodating clients!

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Multiply that number by the hundreds of potential variations we got from the Google Keyword Tool and NameBio, and you’ll brain will be buzzing with ideas in not time. Of course, not all the 1,300 currencies will boom, but if you bet on the right ones and take early action, you can get your hands on some very solid domain names. You can repeat all of this for almost every industry imaginable. Use a seed keyword on Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner then just let the data guide your journey from there like we just did.
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