13 Tips to Help You Buy and Sell Domains for a Huge Profit
Updated on: October 1, 2020 by anvitalis
You’ve picked a domain name you love but you decided that a different one might be better for your needs.
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What do you do with the original one you bought?
Sell it, of course!
You can sell domains almost as easily as you can buy them, and many people do it for a side gig or even as a living.
That’s why the process is usually known as domain flipping and sometimes domain trading.
You know how you can buy a home when prices are low, sit on it for a little while, and then sell it for a profit?
You can sometimes do this with vehicles, collectibles, and other stuff, too.
Flipping domains is a similar process but on a much smaller scale because you don’t have anything physical that you need to hold in an inventory.
Domains exist only on the internet, which means that this gig is one you can do completely online.
You can usually earn a bigger profit if you make a website with the domain that someone would want to pay more money for (especially if that website is already earning money).
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But you can also just buy domain names and wait to sell them when you can get a higher price off them, earning you a profit.
This guide is a comprehensive look into buying and selling domain names, whether you want to do it as a part-time side gig or turn it into a full-time income stream.
How to Make Money Buying and Selling Domain Names
Here’s everything you need to know about buying and selling domain names, from knowing where to go to buy and how to find the most profitable names to helpful tips for selling them for the most profit possible.
8 Tips for Buying Domains
Knowing how to buy domains that you can sell for more money than you bought them isn’t something you just should know how to do.
There is a lot that goes into the process, from knowing what kind of names sell well to knowing where to buy domains for cheap prices that you can sell later on.
You also should learn what factors to look at that can tell you whether a domain might be a profitable one when you’re ready to sell it.
The following tips should help you get started:
Almost anyone who flips anything starts out buying small and even selling small, so they don’t spend a lot of money up front.
Yes, that means a smaller profit for a while, too.
But it also means you can slowly start building up a cashflow that can help you purchase bigger and better domains later.
So, try to start small at first unless you have a lot of cash to invest.
Buy just a few domains at cheap prices and use those domains to experiment with until you learn the ropes and see what sells.
You can always boost your investment later as you understand more about what you’re doing and feel more comfortable increasing your budget.
All’s Fair in Domain Extensions
Some people might tell you that .COM addresses are the most profitable ones to flip, but that’s not always the case.
There are a lot of other extensions that are becoming really popular as .COMs are on the brink of being all used up (at least, the domains people want, anyway).
.CO is one that’s very trendy right now, as is .ORG, .US, and .NET.
Some domain names might even look better with a different extension, making it more profitable for you.
Don’t feel like you need to only pick .COM domain names to earn a profit when you flip.
Just make sure that your domain name with its extension look and read well.
To keep your investment low, it’s a good idea to buy new domains that haven’t been registered before.
This also can help you avoid sticky situations where a previous website using that domain might have been involved in legal trouble or had negative experiences with its audience.
New domains have never yet existed on the web, so there’s no history there that could interfere with your ability to sell it.
You can usually use domain registrars (as noted below) to find brand new domain names that no one has registered yet.
Or, Buy Existing
There’s also the option to buy existing domain names that either expired, never got used, or someone wants to get rid of.
These domains can sometimes cost more, especially if they have been used for a while and were connected to a website.
The upside of these names is that they might already have an audience that’s familiar with them and, if they got a lot of traffic and backlinks, they could already have a decent Page Rank that can make them even more profitable.
These are usually the best options to use if you plan to connect a website to that domain to eventually sell the full website and domain together.
Choose a Niche That Can Make Money
Most domain names focus on some kind of niche.
In other words, you can usually tell what the site will be about just by the domain name.
There are a lot of domain names that fall within popular niches, like personal finance, parenting, and automobiles.
Do some research to see what kind of blog articles and content seems to be trending.
You can look on places like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Then, find domains that fall within those niches to take advantage of the trends.
Think About Keywords
Next, you’ll want to consider keywords within those niches that you’re considering buying domain names in.
For a home decorating domain, for example, you might want to consider keywords like, “interior design”, “home décor”, and “house plants”.
Find variations of those keywords in new existing domains or search for new or existing domains with relevant keywords in them.
You can also just look for domains that include trending keywords.
The thing about keywords is that people search for them!
So, when they search for keywords that are in your domain names, they may end up finding your domain in the process.
Domains that are easy to find are profitable because people that buy them know that they have that feature.
Consider Page Rank
I mentioned Page Rank before as one factor that can help you find profitable domains.
Page Rank basically tells you how trusted and authoritative a domain is.
That’s why domains with a lot of backlinks tend to have a higher Page Rank because their backlinks prove that people find their content helpful.
Buying domains that already have a high Page Rank as close to 10 as possible can give you an excellent head start when it comes to making a profit, especially if you want to build a site on that domain before selling it.
Sit on It for a While
There’s usually no profit to be made on a domain if you buy it and immediately sell it.
Instead, think of it like buying and flipping a home.
Usually, you’ll need to wait for the housing market to increase and prices to go up before you’re able to make a profit on it.
The same goes for domains.
The price you buy it for now will likely be the price you can sell it for now unless you find someone who really wants to pay more for it.
Otherwise, sitting on it for a while and waiting for the right time to sell it for the most money is your best choice.
Where to Buy Domains
There are a few different places you can find domains to buy, including:
Buying and Selling Sites
Buying and selling sites are designed to help you find domains to purchase and then resell.
The following sites all work a bit differently, but they all have features to help you locate domains that are up for sale and then flip them for a profit.
eBay is a little different than others on the list because it’s not made specifically for buying and selling domains.
However, the auction site does allow you to buy some digital stuff like domain names and then resell them, so it’s just another tool to add to your toolkit.
Many people like using sites like those below because they offer you an easy way to buy and sell on just one site.
Domain registrars are sites that offer domains for sale and registration.
These are the sites people typically use to buy and register a domain with their information to use for future websites, but you can also use them to find new domains to buy.
The tricky part about domain registrars is that you may be able to find a domain for a cheaper price with another registrar.
So, it could take you a little bit of time to research the domain on each site and see which one is going to let you have it for the cheapest price.
Sometimes, you can play around with registration lengths to get a cheaper price, too.
Buying a domain name for just one month, for example, is usually more expensive per month than purchasing it for one or two years.
And, the longer it has left on it, the longer you have to sell it and the more enticing it’ll be to others.
Here are some of the top domain registrars to try:
Facebook Groups or Online Forums
There are Facebook Groups and online forums dedicated to buying and selling domains, so they might be good places to try when you’re looking for new domains to swipe up.
The good thing about these sites is that you can sometimes find really unique and trendy ones that you may not have thought to buy before, and they could turn out to be some of the most profitable.
Directly from Site Owners
Finally, you have the option of buying domains directly from their owners.
This won’t always work because people aren’t always willing to part with their domains!
But if you offer the right price for a domain you’re sure will be profitable, then the owner just might bite.
You never know unless you ask.
Some site owners will head to domain forums and groups to let you know that they’re ready to sell and see what kind of prices people are offering for it, so you can find them that way too.
If you come across a domain that you really want, you can check its WhoIs information to contact the site owners and pitch your offer to buy.
5 Tips for Selling Domains
Now that you know how to find domains that could make you a profit when you sell them, you need to learn what, exactly, will help you sell them for that profit!
Here are some tips to consider:
Consider Building a Website First
There’s nothing in the domain flipping world that states that you have to build a website on the domain you buy before you sell it.
You can simply buy a non-used domain and resell it the exact same way you found it.
With that said, it can be much more profitable for you to build up a domain first before flipping it, just like you usually would if you bought furniture, a car, or a home to flip.
The more a domain can offer someone, the more they could be willing to pay for it.
For instance, if a website that’s been around for a few months already had a large audience and was making money on its own, someone would be much more willing to pay more for that full site than they would a blank domain.
Of course, building websites takes time, and that might be time you don’t have or want to spare.
But as you build up a portfolio of domains and get into the swing of buying and selling, you might want to occasionally consider building a site on a profitable domain.
Monetize it in some way, like through ad placements and affiliate marketing, to give it an income stream.
When you do this, it’s possible to get thousands of dollars from a site rather than the hundreds you can get from domains alone.
Make Fixed Price Listings
Some experts in the realm of domain flipping don’t mind going through auctions to sell their domains.
However, auctions can be tricky and not reliable in getting you the money you want from your domain.
When you’re first starting out and learning the ropes of domain flipping, you may want to stick with fixed price listings.
A fixed price listing is one with a flat rate that someone will need to pay for the domain based on what you think it’s worth.
You might place it for sale for $50 or $500, depending on its Page Rank and other profitability factors.
But the fact of the matter is that it cannot be sold for less than what you’re willing to earn from it, which can protect your investment.
Display Your WhoIs Contact Information
When someone stumbles across your domain and considers buying it, they should have easy access to your WhoIs information.
This is the information the domain registrar collects on you when you purchase a domain name.
It usually includes your email address, name, and state or country of residence.
People can also search for domains and find out who owns them using a tool like ICANN.
Although most domain registrars let you pay an extra fee to remain anonymous, you may not want to do that in this case.
Keeping your WhoIs information public can help people get in contact with you if they want to purchase your domain.
Alternatively, you can also create a landing page for each domain that lists the contact information to ask about your domain.
This can get costly, though, because you’ll need to pay for hosting to put up a website landing page for each domain.
Target People Who Might Be Interested
Do you have a niche domain that would be perfect for the right person or business?
Go to where those people hang out!
It might be on a niche-specific forum or Facebook Group, or maybe you can get the word out to your followers on social media and LinkedIn.
You could also send cold emails to individuals or businesses who might be interested in purchasing your domain.
As You Grow, Consider Using a Broker
Domain brokers can be helpful for you to have as you grow.
They have a huge network of people interested in buying domains, so they’ll know right where to go to sell the ones you have.
This does come with an investment, though, so consider a broker only after you start making some money on your own first.
Flipping Domains for Profit
Flipping domains can be an excellent way for you to boost your bank account without doing consistent work.
But beware that it does come with its challenges and risks.
For example, there are many legalities to consider with buying and selling domain names, like accidentally buying a name that’s trademarked or buying a domain name in which the previous owner got into some legal trouble for whatever reason (those troubles could follow you around, too).
There’s also the risk that your domain doesn’t sell for a while – it might take months to years to find the right buyer.
Until then, you sit on the money you paid for it.
Flipping domains takes a while to get going, so don’t expect to make tons of money in your first several months.
But once you get into a rhythm and start understanding all the moving parts, you could become the next domain flipping success story.
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