Buying and selling domain names (commonly referred to as domain flipping) is a great way of making money online. There are many stories of domains that were bought for a few dollars, and then sold several months or years later for millions. According to GoDaddy, these are some of the most expensive domain names ever sold:
- Cars.com – $872 million
- CarInsurance.com – $49.7 million
- Insurance.com – $35.6 million
- VacationRentals.com – $35 million
- PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million
- Voice.com – $30 million
- Internet.com – $18 million
- 360.com – $17 million
- Insure.com – $16 million
- Sex.com – $14 million
- Fund.com – £9.99 million
- Beer.com – $7 million
- Z.com – $6.8 million
- iCloud.com – $6 million
- Israel.com – $5.8 million
- Casino.com – $5.5 million
- Slots.com – $5.5 million
While investing in domain names can be a very lucrative venture, it also comes with several risks including:
- Legal problems – If you select a domain name that is very similar to a trademarked name, you might find yourself in a lawsuit. With a court order, you could be forced to forfeit the domain name for free
- Difficulty finding buyers – Domain names are not very easy to sell. You might have to wait for months, or even years before finding a willing buyer
- Maintenance costs – Keeping a domain name means that you will have to pay the domain name registrar every year. In addition, you might incur some marketing costs in order to attract buyers. The longer your domain remains unsold, the more costs you will incur
- Subjectivity – The valuation of domains is very subjective. Quite often, domain appraisal tools give valuations that are too unrealistic
So, how do you go about buying and selling domain names for a profit?
1. Find A Valuable Domain Name
The first step in domain flipping is finding a valuable domain name. Here are some of the characteristics of a great domain name:
- Has a .com extension – When choosing a domain name extension, you could go for .edu, .org or .net. Alternatively, you could go for localized extensions like .co.uk, .it or .cn. However, to enhance your chances of making a good profit, it would be advisable to go for a .com domain name. Take note that the most expensive domain names listed above all have a .com extension
- Short and simple – When it comes to domain names, the shorter it is the better. Ideally, a domain should have not more than 10 letters. It should also be free from hyphens, underscores, or numbers
- Descriptive – Carinsurance.com and vacationrentals.com are good examples of descriptive domain names. A descriptive site gives visitors an idea of what a website is about even before they enter it. To make the domain even more valuable, be sure to include popular keywords
- Brandable – A brandable domain name is one that has an interesting combination of letters or a nice pronunciation. Google, Zappos, and Amazon are some of the most brandable domains in the world today
The good news is that you don’t have to spend sleepless nights thinking of a great domain name. Instead, you can use domain name generators like Name Mesh, Domain Wheel, Name Boy, and Shopify to get ideas. Alternatively, you could also use a Domain Buy Service like Saw.com to find a valuable domain name in any industry. Buying from domain auction sites like Sedo.com, Flippa.com, and AfterNic.com and GoDaddy Auctions is another option worth considering.
2. Check Domain Availability
Once you’ve narrowed down some domain names which are potentially profitable, you need to check if the names are available to purchase. You can check the availability of domains using sites like GoDaddy, Square Space, Name.com, and Domain.com. If a name is taken, you could choose to buy it from the person who owns it. Alternatively, start the search process again and look for a different domain name.
3. Evaluate The Price
So you’ve found a great domain name and it’s available. How do you set a reasonable price? Domain appraisal tools like Estibot, Valuate and Free Valuator will give you an idea of what your domain name could be worth. You could also use Namebio.com to compare the domain name you want to buy with similar domain names that have been sold.
4. Promote The Domain Name
Once the price is set, it’s time to get your domain name in front of as many potential buyers as possible. You could choose to create landing pages for advertising your domain names for sale. Relevant social media groups or online forums would also be great places to promote your domain names.
However, one of the best ways of making a quick sale is by getting listed on the previously-mentioned auction sites. Though this will mean paying a fee, you will reach more potential buyers and boost your chances of making a sale.
Many people believe that all the good domain names are taken. The truth is that the possibilities are limitless when it comes to domain flipping. However, to succeed in this business, you need to learn everything you can about buying and selling domains before venturing out. Initially, you might make mistakes like choosing useless domains or negotiating poorly. With time, you will become a pro and enjoy a good return on investment.
Author Bio: Charles Mburugu is a HubSpot-certified content writer/marketer for B2B, B2C, and SaaS companies. He has worked with brands such as GetResponse, Neil Patel, Shopify, 99 Designs, Oberlo, Salesforce and Condor. Check out his portfolio and connect on LinkedIn.
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