Flipping domains are similar to flipping houses in real estate: You buy a property with potential, improve it, and then sell quickly for twice the profit (or more). Between 2005 and 2012, internet marketers had been obsessed with flipping domains… and for good reason. Many were successful at buying plain old domain names, spicing them up with keyword-stuffed content, giving them much-needed traffic, and then selling them off to the highest bidder. But in 2017, can this still be a viable online business?
Domain grabbing and cybersquatting are often used as synonyms, but there is a slight difference between the two. The former is a term for perfectly legitimate domain trading, whereas cybersquatting damages name rights and trademark laws and usually leads to disputes in court. We explain the difference and what trademark infringement can mean for you.
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.
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.
Just because someone spent five or six figure amount on a domain name doesn’t automatically imply that he/she’ll spend the same or at least a few thousand dollars on a similar name too. Basing your domain flipping strategy entirely on what others have just bought may not be as useful as you may think. Every domain name has a story behind it and its purchase/sale is usually as unique as that story.
What if we replace “bitcoin” with “ripple” in all these examples? SellRipple.com? RippleGiftCards.com? Ripple.network? Ripple.us…etc. You get the picture. There are a 100 of these on NameBio + the keywords we got from the Google Keyword Planner, that’s hundreds of potential high-value domains right there. The thing is, we’re only scratching the surface here. According to Wikipedia, there are over 1,300 cryptocurrencies online as of January 2018.
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 comprising of a keyword have long since been regarded as a strong pointer when it comes to search engine ranking. This connection has been proven true over time. Nevertheless, keyword domains are still popular in the domain market. One reason for this is that keyword domains are seen by potential visitors as more relevant and are therefore taken more seriously. Catchy URLs containing strong search-volume keywords are therefore often monitored by potential customers over the years. It only makes sense to purchase an expired domain when the domain name coincides with the content, products, or services that you plan to offer with that address in the future.
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.
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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:
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
Parking: While your domain is just sitting there waiting for its new owner, you might as well take advantage of it. Parking sets up automated advertising on your domain so that you earn money every time someone views/clicks on an ad. This could be especially useful if your domain is an expired one that’s already receiving traffic. Services that offer parking include Sedo, GoDaddy, 1and1 among many others.
Buying a website is a risky job especially if the investment is big. My first experience was a big fail. So after some time spent on Flippa I found out about a site called Safe Site Buying which I heard that was created by super sellers from flippa and got a coupon code "flippa50" which was supposed to give me a huge 50% discount. This deal looked pretty good to me so I tried it. They provided me with a full report, 20 pages long and with their own subjective opinion. They were very helpful. When you want to spend more than $2-3000 on a website this service is a must if you ask me.
Know your rights under the Anti-cyber squatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). This is the main federal law that deals with domain name trademark disputes. These distinctions are still a legal gray area, and being able to make these claims is no guarantee you will win a case. You should consult with a copyright lawyer to help determine the validity of your defense. If you are accused of cybersquatting, you may be able to keep your domain if you can make any of the following defenses in court:
Right now there are over 656,000 expiring domains that you can pre-bid on at Namejet. Lots of opportunity there even if more people come. The key is to find those hidden gems and wait until 1 minute before they go off the board (assuming no one has bid on it yet) and then bid. This is the best way to attempt to be the only bidder on a domain and win it for $69.
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.
Length: This is pretty self-explanatory. Generally the shorter the domain name, the more valuable it is. This difference in value decreases exponentially as the name gets longer, though. For instance, the difference in price between 3 and 4 letter domains are significant, while the price difference between a 7 and 8 letter domain would usually be much less significant.