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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.
@ib2 @T-3D I've been a domain investor for over 10 years and have been very successful at it. There's a lot more that goes into it then just registering a domain name and hoping it will sell. You can list your domains on Godaddy auction listings or on premium listings, I've had a lot of success with those. Some good resources are namebio.com, dnjournal.com, namepros.com and others.

There are currently two main types of domain speculators: those that buy domains, build sites around them, and then flip the domain and accompanying website, and then there are those that buy and sell domain names without web sites attached. While both can be very lucrative businesses, the second type is much easier for novices to learn, and as such, shall be the topic of discussion for this article. 
Do you want to learn how to make money buying and flipping domain names? If so, this guide will provide you with the basic knowledge and direction required to get started! Unlike domain name investing, where a "buy and hold" strategy is the standard technique, domain name flipping is all about finding valuable domains and quickly selling them for a profit.
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.
Good point. Is the amount of work that went into getting a successful sale worth a $400 profit? Keep in mind, this is providing speculative numbers for the sake of debate. The real world hours invested in gaining position or page rank, and time a agency would sit on a domain before a sale would be much higher. We interviewed a few agencies that practiced this, not only those that supported our theory.
A rule of thumb that I follow is when I purchase a domain name I have to believe that I can flip it for a 100% profit.  So if I spend $500 on a domain I need to feel like I can sell it for no less than $1,000.  This way, even if I’m wrong in my estimation I still have some room to still turn a profit.  And if worse case comes to worse case I’ve sold domains before for a $0 profit (it happens even to the best of us).
Premium Domain names are domains that are already registered, but are available for sale at a higher price. Sometimes it will be an individual selling the domain, or it could be the domain registry (Like Donuts Inc. or Radix) selling their top quality inventory at a higher price point. These domains can be priced anywhere from a couple extra bucks to millions, depending on the domain name, the level of interest, or the amount of traffic it organically receives.
Review Web Archive’s versions of the website: Examine the website’s history and how it looked like using the Web Archive. What was it about? What did it offer? This is useful for a variety of different reasons. It could inspire you as to who a good potential buyer might be (by analyzing the website’s content), and it could also signal some red flags in case the domain was being used for anything shady.

If you are looking to sell a domain name that is no longer of use to you, a possibility would be to lease it through a third-party company such as Godaddy, which lists tens of thousands of names. If the name is a quality one, there are also premium agents such as MediaOptions, which deals with more selective domain names. An alternative option would be to lease it out on platforms such as Nameforest.com. Doing so will save you the time of having to find potential buyers, and will guarantee a higher success rate than attempting to look for a purchaser on your own.
However, I'd argue that most people in the business really struggle as they don't understand what makes a good domain name and what's a bad domain name. While I do not work in this field full-time, I can say that I can make a living of it, but it's probably because I don't ask for absurd prices (e.g. randomword247.com domain name for $8000 is just unrealistic and won't happen) and therefore can sell domains easier. 
Prospective buyers can contact domain holders directly in cases where the desired domain is no longer available. Most registries openly publish the names and contact data of domain holders. Once this information is gained, buyers can get in touch with domain holders and make them an offer for the name. Sales are also known to occur even when the original domain owner may necessarily have never had any prior commercial ambitions
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it can be profitable,i'm selling domains and i can tell you that all providers loose money selling domains,we compesate it with  hosting plans but if you look just domain selling where providers buying domain for 7$-10$ and selling it for 0.99$-5$ ...well like say we compesate this with web hosting plans and other services,also on when some one renew domain but since even renewal is done mostly using cupons...than giving free domain with web hosting is best solutions.Well like i say it can be profitable if you want work with domain,buying domains for 0.99$ and than work with it and you can earn nice money.
One of the best ways to obtain a valuable domain that is already search engine optimized is to purchase existing domains via auction sites.  This strategy can be beneficial mainly in two ways.  Firstly, any domain that has already been purchased was probably already researched for potential benefits.  Secondly and more importantly, the second benefit is that many recently expired domains still retain some of the search engine optimization attributes that were built up by the previous owner. For example, a recently expired domain name may still have active backlinks on the web, and the page rank of the domain could still be high, giving the purchaser instant SEO gratification with minimal effort.
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.
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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