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?
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.

This is a little bit on the grey hat/black hat side of the spectrum. But the fact is building a blog network with expired domains flat out works. The only issue is getting those cream of the crop domains without going broke. This video will walk you through tested strategies and techniques you can use to find powerful, yet affordable, expired domains.
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
You can turn then into content sites, set up an actual website, or try to sell that site elsewhere. You may even luck out by selling a site that's up and running and full of great content already. In this case, you can ask a higher price. Or, you can set up a shared hosting or direct hosting website. Shared hosting and direct hosting websites can be profitable too.
Use escrow services for direct sales. When you are dealing directly with the buyer, make sure that any money that is transferred goes through an escrow service. This will ensure that all checks clear and that you aren't left with a bounced check and no domain. Escrow services may add a few days to a sale and cost you a percentage, but they can save you a lot of heartache.
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!
You can turn then into content sites, set up an actual website, or try to sell that site elsewhere. You may even luck out by selling a site that's up and running and full of great content already. In this case, you can ask a higher price. Or, you can set up a shared hosting or direct hosting website. Shared hosting and direct hosting websites can be profitable too.
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.
There is a common misconception that domains expire on their expiration date. If a domain registration is not renewed by its expiration date, the domain simply goes into "expired" status, which means all services are shut off. Typically, we provide a 35-day grace period during which the current holder can still renew it for the standard renewal fee. For more information please review our domain deletion policy.
The less tech-savvy population on the internet is not fully aware of what the term ‘domain flipping’ means. If you are one of them, then this article is definitely a must-read for you. In this article, we will delve into the details of what ‘domain flipping’ refers to, how it is done, and whether it is a profitable part-time business opportunity or not.
This is in response to a question a fellow Moz community member once asked in Q&A, and we thought that it deserved its own article. Buying up expired domains, or purchasing keyword-driven domains is becoming more popular amongst the internet "get rich quick" crowd. The big question is: Can you make a profit by buying and selling domain names? If you get the right one, sure. If you plan on repeating the process over and over, probably not.
For the following TLDs you can now find a expired/deleted domain list. .gi, .gl, .gy, .hn, .ht, .ky, .mu, .om, .pf, .qa, .rw, .sb, .sm, .sn, .st, .sx, .tc, .tl, .ug, .uy They also show up in the Deleted Domains (last 7 days) list and in the Domain Name Search, however they are not in the pending delete list! I do not have a working droplist for them yet, so that is why they are not released in the pending delete list yet.

Just because a domain has expired, doesn’t mean it has to be kicked to the curb immediately. It is worth considering turning the internet address into a parked domain for a certain period of time in order to generate advertising revenue. This allows domain owners to bide their time and come up with a new web project for the domain or to find a suitable buyer.
Please keep in mind that domain flipping isn’t child’s play. As much as you may want, it isn’t easy to buy and sell domain names for huge profits without putting in a good amount of time and effort. Although there’s nothing wrong in aspiring for at least one big deal per month, be aware that sometimes it takes months and months to sell just a single domain name.

  Since starting SEO back in 2009, it has become very difficult to rank brand new domains. Unless you are building a brand, it's highly recommended that you start every new money site with an expired domain. Additionally, if you're building a PBN, you should only consider using expired domains. The problem is good domains start at $50 a piece, and anyone charging less is either full of sh*t or selling garbage domains, and I mean that. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. DomCop has a great offer that all of you buying expired domains should consider. For the price of a couple domain names, you can use DomCop for a month, snag some excellent domain names, which would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars. If you're considering expired domain software and don't have the knowledge to program your own crawler, I'd lean towards DomCop.   

Perspective buyers are able to directly contact domain holders 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 an offer for the name. Sales are also known to occur in instances where the original domain owner had no prior commercial ambitions
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.

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.
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:
If you buy a domain from a 3rd party, the backlinks are valuable.  I always wait a few months before redirecting, so just set up a quick minisite until two page rank updates have passed and then go ahead and 301 redirect.  However, it seems that you'll get the link juice from the back links, the anchor text is ignored by Google.   Buying a domain at Godaddy TDName expired auctions, seem to not count as a dropped domain if you immediately set up a mini-site.
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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.
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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