Your course of action really depends on how much work and effort you can put into the expired domain. If you're barely able to maintain and optimize your current site, you probably want to just 301 redirect the old site (note: see my amended comment above about the link value not likely to be passed). If, however, you're more creative and have some time on your hands, you can try your hand at crafting a microsite. If you really know your stuff and are experienced at making money off various websites, you'd probably do well with the third option.
At the end of the day, the owner of this domain name let it expire and didn’t renew it. So while there may be many legit reasons as to why they might’ve done that, one of the not-very-legit reasons could be that the domain is “dead” in some way or another. In other words, it’s no longer useful for the original owner because of a penalty or otherwise. If so, it's unlikely it'll be of any use for you as well.
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.

Whether you can use an existing backlink profile for a new web project under the available domain depends on whether the link target of incoming links can be reconstructed. In order to analyze which content was provided under a domain in the past, you can find out on the Internet Archive Backlinks have no value if they lead to nowhere and this can even have a negative impact. They are possibly redirected to similar subpages or homepages using 301 redirect. In this case the most part of the link’s power is lost.
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.
The easiest and least time consuming option is to 301 redirect the old domain to your existing site. This tactic obviously works best if both sites are in the same sector and are targeting the same keywords; otherwise, if you have a pet supply site and you buy an old Texas Hold 'Em poker site, a redirect probably might raise some eyebrows among the search engines. If, however, your site is brandnamepets.com and you buy onlinepetsupply.com and 301 redirect the domain over, you're inheriting a lot of topical and appropriate links.
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.
Many non-savvy internet users may not even be aware of the existence of other extensions. That said, because there are many new extensions popping up every now and then, you can often find amazing one word and 3-letter domain names with these new extensions that are otherwise almost impossible to find unregistered in the .com world. Additionally, these new extensions are becoming more and more familiar to users every day, hence it's almost certain that their value will continue to increase as time passes and wider adoption manifests. 
Control your expectations and keep them based on facts, data and expert opinions. Use a tool like EstiBot to get a general idea of how much the domain may be worth. Do understand that this is an automated appraisal tool, so take those numbers with a grain of salt. However, it’s great to get you started. You can also use paid, human-based appraisal services from Sedo and other providers, but these can get costly. If you’re not careful, you could easily overspend on such services and then realize your domain may not even be worth the appraisal fee.
What about option #4 - Redirect your existing domain to the old domain? I bought an old domain that is 100% relevant to my current domain but currently has with very little content. It did have more content fours years ago. The old domain is 13 years old, pr=3, while my current is 7 months old pr=1 and a decent amount of content. The old domain I purchased was not expired though and I do not know if this makes a difference. What are the pros and cons of option #4? Am I correct to think that option #1 would result in no benefit from the old domain's age value and if so why is it not listed as a con, a MAJOR one. Its hard to believe that a 301 using option 1 would give my existing domain 13 years credit but I'll take it if it does.
As mentioned earlier, knowing the potential value of a domain name is an invaluable skill. By adhering to basic guidelines such as those I listed above and through some of your own research, you’ll be able to pick names that offer you a higher chance of flipping them more easily. Remember, a net profit of $100 is still a profit, you must start somewhere.
As mentioned earlier, knowing the potential value of a domain name is an invaluable skill. By adhering to basic guidelines such as those I listed above and through some of your own research, you’ll be able to pick names that offer you a higher chance of flipping them more easily. Remember, a net profit of $100 is still a profit, you must start somewhere.
Since 2013, more than 183 million domain names have been registered but none of these is used. A large chunk of these domain names is hoarded by domain flippers who will then resell these domain names to new buyers. Now if you are a newbie in this particular field, the best way to go about flipping domains is to start with a small budget until you gain relevant experience in the field.
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.
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.
Many non-savvy internet users may not even be aware of the existence of other extensions. That said, because there are many new extensions popping up every now and then, you can often find amazing one word and 3-letter domain names with these new extensions that are otherwise almost impossible to find unregistered in the .com world. Additionally, these new extensions are becoming more and more familiar to users every day, hence it's almost certain that their value will continue to increase as time passes and wider adoption manifests. 
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