Great post! I tried to repurpose an expired domain to build an authority site (your method 1) – but it doesn’t rank as it should. i checked the backlink profile via majestic and archive.org and it’s clean. also checked the metrics of the competition. with the amount of trust and link juice my expired domain has vs. the competition, it should be on page 1 for those keywords. is there something i’m missing here?

Granted, it is not bad information, however, if EVERYONE rushes to namejet and signs up, the only people that really benefit are namejet 😉 The increase in competition means there are more bidders in the pool which will likely increase bid amounts (because the newcomers will not be able to ascertain a “true value” as much as a “pro” flipper would). The result is a lower profit margin as the method becomes saturated.

Selecting a profitable niche is very important when it comes to domain flipping. Having adequate knowledge in searching domain names is critical. It will help you with fishing as well as parking domain names. Carving out a niche for yourself will enable you to seek out prospective buyers actively who would be interested in the domain names you are offering.

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.

Determine your domain's value. Before you start taking offers or listing your domain, take stock of its value so that you can come up with a good price. There are a lot factors to take into consideration when determining the value of a domain, so if you are unsure it may be wise to contact a company that performs these assessments. Some of the major factors include:
I don’t think that there is a real way to sell your domain fast, you can put it up for sale, depending on domain name, but if there is a fastest way to sell domain name, it’s certainly - having a good enough name, that someone would want to buy. I don’t like .com domain names, but that’s my opinion, instead I prefer Hacks ( I’m from Serbia, therefore most of word in English, in plural ends up with ‘s’, so every word that ends with letter ‘r’ in plural gives you .RS ) so I think that here we have great Hack domain names which would sell fast. Either way, your contact information should be available in WHOIS , so if you have an interesting domain name, every buyer would like to be able to contact you directly.
ExpiredDomains.net gathers all the information you need to find good Expired Domains that are Pending Delete and you can Backorder. Depending on the domain extension you can search through thousands of domains every day before they get released to the public and pick what you like. ExpiredDomains.net currently supports 449 TLDs. From the classic gTLDs like .com, .net, .org to Droplists for ccTLDs you can only find here and now we even support some of the best new gTLDs like .xyz and .club.
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.

Expired domains are especially attractive due to key SEO factors that are primarily associated with an existing backlink profile. If you are considering buying an expired domain, you can determine the quality of it by looking at the inbound links. When it comes to assessing the value of an expired domain relevant keywords contained in the second-level domain, a possible reference to products, brands, or services are all useful.
What you really want to do first is scroll down to where it says, referring pages for anchor phrases. All that is is the anchor text distribution to that site. As you can see here this looks like a very natural link profile. Brand name, a product that they had, no text, URL, shopping cart, wireless government. These are the keywords that were related to what that site was about. Okay?

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."
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.
If domains are real estate, then the same rules of real estate should apply. In real estate, taxes are based on the value of the property. So, a person asking $10,000 for a domain shouldn't be paying the standard $15-30 renewal fee as a person asking $200. The renewal fee should be based on the domain's value. Domainers want to claim it's like real estate without applying the most fundamental rules of real estate.
Domains are nonmaterial goods. When sold, the only transaction taking place is transfer of domain rights from one user to another. Barring any form of copyright or trademark violation, virtually any domain name can be bought or sold. Generic domain names, such as car.com or computer.com, are not legally protected and can therefore theoretically be reserved by anyone.
If you buy keyword specific domains, you're really buying the type in traffic.  I use the URL builder and redirect through that URL so you can see how much traffic your getting from the keyword domain.  There seems to be no rythme or reason to what keyword domains deliver traffic and what don't.  By tracking traffic with the Google URL builder you get a feel for what names are giving you traffic and which are not. ie. the plural, the singular, two words, three words, the possessive, etc.
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!
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. 
GoDaddy’s domain auction space serves as a “marketplace” for buyers and sellers to get together and make deals. When a domain expires, it typically goes right back to the registry. If it’s a valuable domain name, however, registrars will try to sell it through auction, and buyers are always eager to capitalize on potential deals. Participating in a domain auction can be a nuanced business, so take a look at our Auctions FAQ page for more details on the process.
There is a misconception that good ‘.COM’ domain names are hard to find and so they are more expensive to buy. But once again, this statement holds no water. You can easily check out the ‘.COM’ domain names that are on sale at highly affordable prices. However, the only downside to flipping ‘.COM’ domain names is that you will have to discover them at different places like Flippa.com or private seller portfolios.
Think of ways that the domains you buy would be a valuable asset to the buyer. Picture someone who would benefit from buying the domain in a space you are very familiar with. If this was you and someone was trying to sell you this name, would it be beneficial for you to own? Be honest. If so, why? If not, why? Use those answers to refine your search for 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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