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.
Before you park any domain names, you must focus on finding hot keywords that buyers would be interested in. The best way to make sure you get a good return on your investment is to pick a domain name with acceptable traffic, somewhere around 10,000 searches a month. You can do this conveniently by using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Niche Finder Software.
Many people think of domain buying and selling to be one of the easiest methods of making quick money. Perhaps, you may have heard of someone buying a domain name for under $3000 and then selling it for $25,000. A quick $22,000 profit! Such stories can be very motivating! And that sort of money does exchange hands (Go through 10 of the biggest domain name sales of all time!). But these deals don’t come as easy as they seem! Ask anyone who flips domains for a living and he/she’ll tell you the amount of hard work and skill that goes into it.

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.
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.
There are many places and ways you can purchase domain names.  You can purchase unregistered ones through sites like GoDaddy.  There are forums where people will gladly try to sell you their domain name (usually though the domains being sold in forums are either crap or the asking price is so high it does not allow you any room to flip the domain).  And then there is my favorite way of obtaining domain names, through an online auction at Namejet.  Let’s first talk about Namejet and then we’ll talk about how I personally ring the register by flipping domains.
In addition to the quantity of incoming links, the quality of them also needs to be accessed. The main issues here are: where does the link come from? What kind of link is it? A high quality backlink profile is usually made up of different link types such as footer and sidebar links, links in comments, forum threads, and social media posts, as well as content links that come from other similar websites. It’s necessary to find out whether these links are marked as follow or nofollow.
Some buyers are a tough nut to crack and they may quote a ridiculously low offer. Explain to these buyers and convince them why the domain is worth more than the quote. If the potential buyer doesn’t agree, fret not, just move on to the next one until you find a willing buyer. Once you finalize the deal, then it’s time to find the best payment mode for the transaction.

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.
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.

Let’s play this out with a real example. Say you’re familiar with the real estate market in Tempe, Ariz., and you have the opportunity to purchase tempeapartments.com for $200. This might be a good deal. Tempe has a lot of rental property; it’s  a competitive market; and there’s ample turnover in the apartment space because the city is home to a major university. Ask yourself:
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.
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.

Most domains traders, or resellers, buy hundreds of domain names. This way, the chances of hitting the jackpot are higher. But, this takes some up front money. You can start with a handful of names and work your way up. This is the best way to begin. You may also decide to purchase a name from another seller if you think that a name will be big enough.
In addition to the quantity of incoming links, the quality of them also needs to be accessed. The main issues here are: where does the link come from? What kind of link is it? A high quality backlink profile is usually made up of different link types such as footer and sidebar links, links in comments, forum threads, and social media posts, as well as content links that come from other similar websites. It’s necessary to find out whether these links are marked as follow or nofollow.
While buying up a ton of domains seems like a great way to make some extra money, the real world results show that it is very hard to make that process profitable. As with any industry, you will have those "golden moments" when someone you read about made it into a million dollar a year business, all while sitting in the comfort of his own home. That could be true, but he probably consumed a lot of alcohol and lost a lot of hair doing it.

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.
Official marketplaces offer a third possibility for domain traders to peddle their product. Domain marketplaces, such as Sedo, GoDaddy.com, or BuyDomains.com, link potential buyers with domain holders hoping to sell their prized virtual property. These platforms function as a kind of domain real estate agency and are known to demand somewhat high prices for their services.
The backlink profile of a recently-available domain is a double-edged sword. While some expired domains have been well cared for by their previous owners and have high-quality links from reputable websites, some contain quite questionable backlinks. The worst case scenario is that the domain was merely used as a link farm to strengthen a major project in a satellite domain network and has already been penalized by some search engines.
Premium Domains are domains that have already been registered by someone else but are now being resold for a premium rate. This means anyone can buy premium domains as they are being sold on the open market. At 123 Reg, we have a variety of fantastic premium domains for sale that you can now register. Buying a Premium Domain is the best way to secure popular domains that you would otherwise be unable to register. This means you can finally buy domains that you have had your eye on for a while but have previously not been able to as someone else has already registered them.
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!
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2) prerelease auctions.  These are domains where the auction venue has contracted with the registrar, like Fabulous or Moniker, to auction off non-renewed domains.  Just before a domain enters the pending delete process, it goes to a private auction to any person who has backordered the name.  Some people feel that back links on these type of auctions still provide a SEO benifit. My testing indicates that there is zero SEO benifit when these domains are redirected into another site.  So if you get a domain with "pink squirels" in a lot of achor text to a domain and then point it at your domain, you don't rank for "pink squirels"
But in general, the best and easy way to sell a domain is to go with a marketplace. There is many popular marketplace dedicated to selling domains including Flippa and SellDom to sell your domain (full disclosure, I’m working on SellDom). The advantage is to leverage the popularity of that kinds of services in hope that someone will find your domain and buy/make an offer.
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!