Buying and selling domain names is an exciting adventure that for some seems to conjure up images of finding hidden pirate treasure or guessing the winning combination on the next Powerball. Stories abound of domains that were purchased for $8 dollars 15 years ago being sold today for millions. Of course, that leads the more adventurous of us to wonder, “How can I do that?”
Know your rights under the Anti-cyber squatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). This is the main federal law that deals with domain name trademark disputes. These distinctions are still a legal gray area, and being able to make these claims is no guarantee you will win a case. You should consult with a copyright lawyer to help determine the validity of your defense. If you are accused of cybersquatting, you may be able to keep your domain if you can make any of the following defenses in court:

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.

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.

There are many different ways to buy and sell domain names. Many standard domain registrars, such as GoDaddy.com, will facilitate sales via auction. Meanwhile, specialized websites, such as Sedo, are designed exclusively to buy and sell domain names. Finally, parking domains with a for sale page is a great way to draw targeted interest from potential buyers.
So the keyword planner came up with 332 keywords related to ripple, most of which can be used to inspire a domain registration related to ripple. Let’s go ahead and get some more ideas. We already know that ripple is another cryptocurrency. Let’s head to NameBio and explore crypto-related domain sales. We’ll use bitcoin for this experiment. I’ll type in “bitcoin” in NameBio search, select “show all” and then sort by price by clicking on the price column. Here’s what it looks like:
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

Your domain name registrar may provide you with a free one-page Website tool, which you can use to create a “this domain is for sale” landing page. Alternatively, you can create a single page (perhaps a hidden page hanging off one of your existing websites) that indicates that your domain names are for sale. You can then forward all of your domain names that are for sale to that one page.
Your domain name registrar may provide you with a free one-page Website tool, which you can use to create a “this domain is for sale” landing page. Alternatively, you can create a single page (perhaps a hidden page hanging off one of your existing websites) that indicates that your domain names are for sale. You can then forward all of your domain names that are for sale to that one page.
2) prerelease auctions.  These are domains where the auction venue has contracted with the registrar, like Fabulous or Moniker, to auction off non-renewed domains.  Just before a domain enters the pending delete process, it goes to a private auction to any person who has backordered the name.  Some people feel that back links on these type of auctions still provide a SEO benifit. My testing indicates that there is zero SEO benifit when these domains are redirected into another site.  So if you get a domain with "pink squirels" in a lot of achor text to a domain and then point it at your domain, you don't rank for "pink squirels"
The third option is the one that's the most time consuming but also has its benefits. It's like having a successful restaurant and buying another restaurant and operating them simultaneously. They're not the exact same restaurant, but both are popular in their own right and make you money. The same goes for Option #3. You could update the content on the old domain and sell the same products that you're selling on your current site. If you can get both sites to rank alongside each other in the SERPs, you're increasing your conversion chances and sales potential.

HIM: "Mainly small-medium sized local businesses looking for a way to increase their ranking. Most already have a branded domain in place, and have heard that using a keyword domain can help. Or they have seen a competitor ranking using that method. The problem I face is that they don't have a lot of money to spend, so I get lowballed on the asking price. There have been a few that make a ton of profit vs what I purchased it for, but that boils down to luck: what is for sale, when I find it, things like that."
Finally, you want to head over to domaintools.com. Then put the domain into here. What this will do is it’ll show you the history of the domain, because a lot of times these domains have been dropped like four or five times and a lot of people in SEO feel this way. I’m not sure about it. If a domain has been dropped several times, then Google does actually devalue the links pointing to that domain. So, as you can see I just changed registrars a few times and it hasn’t been dropped or else it’ll say one drops or two drops.
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.
Get appraisals for your domain names. When selling, you will want to know what kind of price you should expect to get for your sites. There are a variety of websites that offer free appraisals for valuation. This includes larger domain auction sites such as Sedo.com, GoDaddy.com, and DomainIndex.com. These of course are only estimates, but they can give you a good idea of what certain domains might be worth.

A suspiciously high number of backlinks from some related niche websites that aren’t too great in quality. In my opinion, this could be an indicator that the domain name was using a Private Blog Network (PBN) service or their own PBN to boost their authority…this blackhat tactic can work, but it places your domain name at risk and the PBN owner could pull backlinks at any time.
Use the advanced search option to quickly hone in on the type of names you are interested in. You can narrow the results by price, top-level domain (i.e, .com, .net, .org, .club, etc.), keyword, and many more filters. Using this feature will help you quickly sort through the millions of domains on the aftermarket and find the domain names that best fit your end goals.
HIM: "Mainly small-medium sized local businesses looking for a way to increase their ranking. Most already have a branded domain in place, and have heard that using a keyword domain can help. Or they have seen a competitor ranking using that method. The problem I face is that they don't have a lot of money to spend, so I get lowballed on the asking price. There have been a few that make a ton of profit vs what I purchased it for, but that boils down to luck: what is for sale, when I find it, things like that."

Use the advanced search option to quickly hone in on the type of names you are interested in. You can narrow the results by price, top-level domain (i.e, .com, .net, .org, .club, etc.), keyword, and many more filters. Using this feature will help you quickly sort through the millions of domains on the aftermarket and find the domain names that best fit your end goals.
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!
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.
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.
Since the Buyer pays Escrow.com and not the Seller, Escrow.com can withhold payment until we're satisfied the domain name has been transferred by the Seller. One of the ways Escrow.com does this is by checking the WHOIS database of the appropriate Registrar to make certain it properly reflects the new Buyer's name as the domain name Registrant. Once this has been verified, Escrow.com releases payment to the Seller.
Now it’s time to transfer the domain name. Every site has its own process. Generally, the domain-selling sites require sellers to submit the authorisation code, which will initiate the transfer process. Once the transfer is completed, the seller can transfer funds from the escrow account to his personal account. Do check for the minimum number of days the amount must stay in the escrow account before the transaction can be completed.
Think about things like contractor.com or oranges.com. The more generic you go, the better off you will be. Why? Research has shown that Google likes generic names, so any company selling oranges may, for example, want the oranges.com domain name. If you own that name, you can set the asking price for it. Sounds great, right? There arejust a few things you have to think about first.

I have some pot related ones I've purchased recently that deal with the manufacturing of hemp like hempmfr.com, hempmoulding.com, hemp-textiles.com, hempecofuel.com etc.  Some of the older domains I've been sitting on are ones like internetpot.com, califunk.com, cafunk.com, caedibles.com, 1tokewonder.com, govherb.com, grasspeddlers.com, pot-megastore.com, usgov420.com etc.  Another interesting recent on I've purchased is Dogparkdates.com and dogpark-dating.com. Do any of these seem valuable in your eyes?

Great article on what to look for when buying expired domains! I’ve looked at the domain and page authority of expired domains but haven’t checked if they are blocked by Google like you’ve listed. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet to purchase one (probably good that I didn’t since I didn’t do all my homework) but this will make it easier to finally go. Thanks for the great info!
Just because something is legal does not make it ethical. While things that are legal can and often are ethical, there are practices like domain name flipping that are not ethical. Buying a domain name without intending to use it to make profit creates an unnecessary industry which costs people money and reduces general productivity and economic growth. This is the same with all practices that cost people money but do not contribute any value, most notably corruption. If we eliminated such practices our economic growth increases and general wealth is increased because our money is paying people for things that add to our lives and our communities. This does not. Evessariky reglect badly in people who choose to engage in such practices, but is a result of regulatory failure.
Also, Sedo.com, makes millions a week selling domains,even in the past week[3]! If you want to sell here, I would probably use a paid category or featured listings, one of my category listings, got 44 views in just 1 week but still waiting for a sale this month, hopefully. I would not really on this as a business, unless you add web development to it, and also, be sure to check that you are making a good profit, say within 6 months!

Most popular auctions with expiring domains are at godaddy, namejet, snapnames. Search for expired domains name its very easy if you have domains list. With a bit luck, you can drop good one with PR5 cheaper like $200, just need to know which domain have not fake pr. List of domains are not free, but updated dailly with aprox. 50.000 new expiring domain names.
Using the keyword search feature you’d also be able to familiarize yourself with how much domains typically cost on average in a certain industry or niche. Even better, they have an addictive little app called “The Domain Game” available for iOS and Android. They basically give you a domain and you try to guess whether it sold for three, four, five or six figures. You get points for each correct answer and lose points for incorrect ones. You do this for a while and you start to see patterns. Your brain starts connecting the dots and you get better it. Now you’re ready to go out there and scout some domains!
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