I've seen some people comment about losing the link value of domains that have expired and picked up, but what about non-expired domains?  Let's say a competitor is going out of business and they still have a year or two left, and we buy their domain and site.  Is there a risk changing registrant info and registrars, even if I keep their site up and mostly the same as before?  I was under the impression that I'd want to keep it under their name so as not to hit the uber-reset button on the domain's inbound link value.
Namejet is a domain clearing house (at least that is my term for it).  What happens is that people let their domain names expire everyday.  Some people just don’t need their domain anymore, some people forget to renew it, some people die, I mean there can be hundreds of reasons why a domain will not be renewed.  What the domain registrars want to do is cash in on the domain that someone forgot to renew, so they offer that domain to Namejet to auction it to the general public.  Think of it like a storage unit, someone doesn’t make their payment and the storage company hires an auctioneer to come and auction the storage unit to the general public.  Namejet is doing this but for domain names.  The bid for each domain starts at $69.  What I LOVE about Namejet is the process…  they let you search through the domains that are coming up for auction 30 days in advance.  Whoever places a $69 bid on a domain will be entered into an auction when the 30 days runs out with everyone else who placed a bid.  If you are the only bidder than you get the domain for $69.  If there are 10 other bidders than there is a closed auction, meaning only you 10 guys can bid now against each other in a 3 day auction with the highest bidder taking the domain when the clock strikes zero.  I love this because let’s say there is a great domain and it flies under the radar.  If it goes to auction with only 3 or 5 or 7 bidders my chances of winning this domain at a very low price are great.  I’ve won domains for $100 which I was able to flip for $2,000.  I won a domain for $2,500 which I flipped within 4 months  for $7,500.  I won a domain for $1,000 which I’ve turned down $5,000 offers on because I think I can get $10,000 for it.  The key is to not overpay in order to leave yourself plenty of room to turn a profit when you flip the domain.
If domains are real estate, then the same rules of real estate should apply. In real estate, taxes are based on the value of the property. So, a person asking $10,000 for a domain shouldn't be paying the standard $15-30 renewal fee as a person asking $200. The renewal fee should be based on the domain's value. Domainers want to claim it's like real estate without applying the most fundamental rules of real estate.
Lately I've noticed a lot of questions in Q&A centering on purchasing expired domains. A lot of our members have expressed interest in buying old domains for a variety of prices (some are cheap, some are going for upwards of $50k) and want some advice on what to do with the domains once they've been purchased. I'm no domainer, nor am I an expert in such a business tactic, but I generally recommend one of three different options for an expired domain (and would love to hear more if you've got any).
Think about things like contractor.com or oranges.com. The more generic you go, the better off you will be. Why? Research has shown that Google likes generic names, so any company selling oranges may, for example, want the oranges.com domain name. If you own that name, you can set the asking price for it. Sounds great, right? There arejust a few things you have to think about first.
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.
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.
For the following TLDs you can now find a expired/deleted domain list. .cr, .gd, .gs, .im, .ke / .co.ke, .kg, .kz, .ir, .la, .ma, .pe / .com.pe, .pm, .re, .tf, .wf, .yt, .so, .th / .co.th, .uz 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.
There’s an important distinction to make here between domain flipping and website flipping. The latter mainly refers to buying and selling full websites. By full websites, I mean websites that actually have content and more often than not have traffic and revenue. When buying and selling websites, the domain name matters less as the main value there is the content, traffic, revenue, history/reputation, sustainability and growth opportunities. The same can’t be said for domain names where you’re just selling “the name” and hence it’s all that really matters.
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