When done right, the domain trade is an enterprise that lends itself to particularly lucrative deals. The tactic is simple: domain names are purchased with the prospect of reselling them for a wide profit margin. But the trick of this trade lies in securing domains that may later be valuable to well-endowed buyers, such as a large company. We have laid out all the important facts and terms on the topic, including some of the highest sale prices on record for a publicly traded .com domain.
It’s also not so easy to manually re-register. This is due to backorder providers which are paid to keep an eye on expiring domains over a certain period of time and then register them for the customer as soon as they become available. Promising expired domains are therefore usually sold before they have a chance to be put back on the registry menu for the public to look through.

Hi I totally agree with you Domaineer42. My partner and I are web developers and are seeing a lot of ‘hype’ selling and not enough ‘real value’ selling based on actual search engine criteria. Recently brokers have knocked back selling domains with great potential value based on some pie-in-the-sky logic, defying even Estibot values we’re told to use. The domains were not our best but with four figure value, according to Estibot, I thought it was a great start as a newbie to domaining. In an industry which should flourish, some of these domain ‘fashionistas’ are making rods for their own backs by devaluing domains that have REAL potential value based on customer search. I don’t understand what is going on, but I have decided to opt out for awhile. We have quite a few domains in our repository, with data backed search criteria, trending upwards. Will bring them out of the closet when the industry is ready to get real.
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.
Keyword relevancy is not the only thing that matters when it comes to SEO. However, domain names that were previously used by other businesses usually have a lot of backlinks and a decent ranking on PageRank. Even though such domain names are usually about to expire, they are still worth a lot of money if they have a good number of backlinks and a ranking of five or more.

So what are some strategies to finding great domains to flip?  Well, the first is to find quality domains.  There are some sights that publish a daily list of good upcoming Namejet auctions like here: http://www.tld.org .  This is an easy way without having to search to find some great upcoming auctions to bid on.  If you have the time you can search Namejet yourself.  The key is to making money by flipping domains is to find domains that other people will want.  If the 30 day window period just started on a domain (for this example let’s say it was Anticareer.com) you could use Google to search for ‘anticareer’ and ‘anti career’ and see if you can find people who own sites that may be interested in this domain.  Email them and ask them if they’d have an interest in purchasing the domain Anticareer.com.  If you get some bites you can then go and bid on the domain and if you win it you can flip it right away.  Once you get some experience it will be easy for you to spot the domain names which you can quickly and easily flip and you’ll also develop a good feel for what price you should pay to make yourself the amount of profit you want to make.
Park the domain with a domain parking service. Since you may not have content to put on the site, a parking service puts up a dummy page with ads. When people visit and click on the ads, that's money for you. This method works best with popular keyword domains that get lots of traffic. In most cases, you will not have control over what ads appear on your domains.[5]
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.

This is similar to house flipping, where a home is purchased and fixed up in order to sell for a fast profit. Unlike house flipping, however, there is essentially nothing to be done with the domain name in order to increase its value. Therefore, the key to a successful domain flip is being in the right place at the right time in order to acquire a valuable domain name before it is given a higher price.
Once you decide to sell a domain name, it is important to find the best market to sell it. The best way to sell a domain name is to approach buyers secretly. If you know someone who deals with domain names, it is recommended to contact him without going through the middleman. Chances are that the seller will make more profit, as he will not have to pay the middleman.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years. Bill is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. A self-confessed domain name fanatic, Bill registered his very first domain in 1994 (which he later sold for five figures) and has been perfecting his “Domain Karate” moves ever since.
Keyword relevancy is not the only thing that matters when it comes to SEO. However, domain names that were previously used by other businesses usually have a lot of backlinks and a decent ranking on PageRank. Even though such domain names are usually about to expire, they are still worth a lot of money if they have a good number of backlinks and a ranking of five or more.
Here's a test I have in process.  I bought an old $5 closeout domain from Godaddy TDname expired auction.  I put a quick minisite up and linked to it with a crazy anchor text phrase.  The domain is ranking for that crazy term now.  It's gone through one pagerank update and I'm waiting for a second to come.  Then I'll redirect the domain to another minisite.  I suspect the second site won't rank for the anhor text, but we'll see.  

When a domain name that was previously registered expires, it goes through a grace period that allows the previous registrant one last chance to reclaim their domain before it becomes available to new buyers. If the previous registrant still has not renewed their domain after the 77 day deletion process, the domain name will officially expire and enter the Aftermarket.
Just like a property listing, except much simpler, domain marketplaces are basically massive lists of domain names that are up for sale. The process of using them is simple. Buy a domain and park it, then list your domain on the marketplace for a price you’re willing to let it go for. Once the domain is sold, the marketplace takes a cut and then passes on the remaining funds to you.

Domain names are hot commodities in today's tech-centric world. The $16 million sale of 'insure.com' to Quinstreet in 2009 may have set the world record, but even lengthier domain names are routinely sold for hundreds of dollars every day. The result is a unique opportunity for investors to invest in domain names that can be sold for a profit in the future.
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!
Before EmpireFlippers became a website broker, the internet marketing duo Joe Magnotti and Justin Cooke had been sharing how they flip sites for cash on their widely-popular blog and podcasts. They relocated to the Philippines, hired locals to create content and build traffic, and then literally built hundreds of niche sites that earn from either AdSense ads or Amazon affiliate commissions. Every month, they chose low-earners and sold these ready-made sites on their marketplace.
Surely if you purchase a domain (domain1.com) and redirect it to your existing domain (domain2.com) you expect to loose all ranking for domain1.com. If 301's are used then the objective is simply to pass on authority, not dominate the search results with 2 domains. If you want to keep domain2.com in the index then you would take Rebecca's option 2 or 3.

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.
Domain names have been on sale ever since the Internet revolution began during the 90s. Just because some entrepreneurs had the foresight to buy profitable domains before the rest of the world caught up with the trend, doesn’t make them domain hoarders. Domain names are just like the real estate sold in the off-line world. Anyone is free to buy/sell as many properties as one likes if his/her means permit.
The market-driven principles of the domain trade mean that a domain is only worth as much as the buyer is willing to pay. It is for this reason that criteria such as market potential and usability play such central roles in determining prices. Values can change at the drop of a hat. The price of a domain that was once of little interest to anyone in years past can skyrocket once, for example, a newly founded company takes interest in that same name.
As you can see just within expired domains they have over two million deleted .com domains. Now, this is obviously overwhelming if you’re trying to look for domains. So, you should use a few filters to make the search process a lot easier. To do that, click on the search filter button. Down here I like to click on the Only With A DMAS Entry because that just filters out sites that are really spammy. For sites that that have been in DMAS ever, it means that the site had to be of some quality.
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).
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.
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.
While numbers like the ones seen above are impressive, most domains sell for significantly less extravagant prices and are generally in the two or three-digit range. Not long ago, those who were able to secure general terms (like icecream.com or pizza.com) not protected by trademark rights often found themselves sitting on virtual gold mines. The glory days of this boom have long since passed, and those looking for a profit in today’s market need a keen sense for coming trends.

Contact Potential Buying Companies: With my domain IHateCold(.com) I will email the marketing teams of some of the large winter clothing companies and let them know of the available domain to buy and a few potential slogans they could use with the domain name. This is a very “I’m here to help you” scenario that I’m curious to see how it plays out. They’ll have to learn about the domain name for sale somehow, right?

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.


That said, my recommended budget for beginners would be $500+. Using this budget you could buy a bunch of high-potential $10 domain names, expired/dropped domain names or a mix of both. It’s very important to invest only what you can afford to lose and treat this as a side hustle till you get the momentum going. As you gain experience, industry expertise and some sales under your belt, you can then consider slowly growing your business into a full-time gig.
×