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.
Chris takes us through his stages of domain investing: educating himself, antique picking previously owned dropped domains, buying brandable expired domains and his first 2 profitable flips. We touch on the tough topics of frontrunning and GoDaddy expired auction changes, plus the 4 letter word of domainers, CALL- with Chris’ current 100% success rate on phone calls!

In the grey hat SEO world, the thought is that you can take a domain that is keyword driven, do a quick optimization to get the site ranking, and sell it off at a profit. It could, and does happen daily. How much time is invested in optimizing a site to get to page one, vs how much the site will sell for? (remember that quote at the beginning of this article?). Let's put it into simple math:

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.
Another point of concern is that many people feel that squatting or registering domains is unethical. This is because many web developers have a hard time finding relevant domain names for their projects since most of them have already been registered. Many corporate giants also frown upon the domain flipping industry because many domain names relevant to them are already registered.
The domain name industry is quite similar to the real estate industry in a lot of aspects. There are end users, brokers, consultants and domain flippers or “domainers”. Domain flipping works similarly to buying a house, renovating it (or even sometimes just sitting on it) and then selling it again at a higher price point. The gist of it is: you’re purchasing a domain name and betting it’s worth (or will be worth) more than you paid for it. If you’re right, you get a nice paycheck and move on. Those who make a living out of this just rinse, repeat, and scale.