Domain Flipping: Buying & Selling Domains
The less tech-savvy population on the internet is not fully aware of what the term ‘domain flipping’ means. If you are one of them, then this article is definitely a must-read for you. In this article, we will delve into the details of what ‘domain flipping’ refers to, how it is done, and whether it is a profitable part-time business opportunity or not.
Without further ado, let us understand what a domain is. A domain refers to the subset of the internet under the control of a particular organization or individual by sharing a common suffix. But what is ‘domain flipping’?
In layman terms, domain flipping means buying and selling domains for a profit, and is one of the few domain investing strategies. Now there is quite a misconception regarding this particular act as people are of the opinion that hoarding domain names is unethical but that is far from true, as many big names in the domain flipping industry like GoDaddy and Namecheap have emerged recently.
As far as flipping domains for a profit is concerned, there are certain domain names that are worth a lot of money. For instance, Hotel.com and Business.com have been reportedly sold for $11 million and $7 million respectively. Now even though coming across such golden domain names seems more like a long shot, you can still make a decent amount of money if you choose to buy and sell domains as a part-time business opportunity.
Since 2013, more than 183 million domain names have been registered but none of these is used. A large chunk of these domain names is hoarded by domain flippers who will then resell these domain names to new buyers. Now if you are a newbie in this particular field, the best way to go about flipping domains is to start with a small budget until you gain relevant experience in the field.
In this article, I will explore 1) the truths about domain flipping you must know, and 2) a step-by-step approach to domain flipping.
TRUTHS ABOUT DOMAIN FLIPPING YOU MUST KNOW
We all use the internet to make video calls, browse websites, connect with our friends and family, but not many of us know the ins and outs of the domain flipping industry. Here we have uncovered some hard truths on how domain flipping works and what to expect.
Domain Flipping Won’t Make You Rich Overnight.
Yes, we all love to hear motivational stories on how some lucky ones made millions out of selling a high profile domain name but in reality, this does not happen too often. Very few domain names out there can be sold in exchange for six figure sums, so your chances of becoming a millionaire overnight are slim.
But if you are thinking of starting a part-time business where you buy domain names and sell them off for a decent percentage of profit, then it is reasonable.
It Is an Active Process.
Domain flipping is never a passive process. In fact, it is an active process where you will have to put in your time and energy to buy good domain names and then actively seek out prospective buyers. You cannot possibly make good profits if you do not put in a few hours every day.
Domain flipping experts believe that once you buy a domain, it is considered hot property, which means you will have to go through the trouble of picking the right opportunities at the right time to seal the deal. To become a successful domain flipper, you need people with marketing expertise as well as research, negotiation and networking skills.
Domains with Similar Names Can Be Sold For a Profit.
Now here is something you need to understand when it comes to flipping domains successfully – just because someone spends an enormous amount of money on a domain name does not necessarily mean they will throw big bucks to get a similar name too. Never base your domain flipping strategy on such assumptions because that rarely ever happens.
Every domain name piques the interest of the buyer due to a unique reason and the sale that follows is just as unique as the reason why the buyer wants to spend a huge sum of money on that particular domain name.
Domain Flipping Takes Time to Learn.
Just like any other field of business, you need relevant experience to become a successful domain flipper. Buying domain names and then selling them at a higher rate is not a piece of cake. You need to stay under the radar for at least a year and learn everything related to domain flipping before you can start selling domains for a profit.
In the beginning, you will make several major blunders like losing money over useless domain names, missing prospective deals and much more; but slowly, you will get the hang of it. The road to flipping domains for sums is not easy; you need to climb a steep learning curve before you can become a pro.
One Big Sale a Month Will Not Suffice.
Flipping domains successfully is no child’s play. As discussed before, you will have to put in a considerable amount of time and effort in order to sell a domain name for profit.
All Good Domain Names Are NOT Taken.
Hey, the possibilities are endless when it comes to domain flipping so do not think that all profitable domain names are already taken. At this time, almost 90 million .COM domains have been registered, so people tend to think that there are not many good domains left. That is not true since you still have the opportunity to incorporate two or three word target keywords.
Also, you can still explore new avenues with domain names that have never been used before or are about to expire anytime soon. Such domain names inevitably make their way into the marketplace again where you can get hold of them. You can easily get hold of such domain names by using advanced tools for filtering and research.
‘.COM’s Don’t Always Rank Higher Than Other Domain Extensions.
There is a misconception that good ‘.COM’ domain names are hard to find and so they are more expensive to buy. But once again, this statement holds no water. You can easily check out the ‘.COM’ domain names that are on sale at highly affordable prices. However, the only downside to flipping ‘.COM’ domain names is that you will have to discover them at different places like Flippa.com or private seller portfolios.
GoDaddy Is Not the Only Kingpin When It Comes to Domain Registration.
Indeed, GoDaddy is perhaps the cheapest and biggest domain registrar in the world of domain flipping so much so that people use the term GoDaddy with domain registrar interchangeably. This is because they run massive marketing and advertising campaigns that pique the interest of buyers.
However, GoDaddy is not the only kingpin when it comes to the domain registration business. There are many other great places for buying domains with excellent customer service and security support like Namecheap, Domain.com, Name.com, etc.
Registering or Squatting Domains Is Not Unethical.
Another point of concern is that many people feel that squatting or registering domains is unethical. This is because many web developers have a hard time finding relevant domain names for their projects since most of them have already been registered. Many corporate giants also frown upon the domain flipping industry because many domain names relevant to them are already registered.
However, domain flipping is legal because buying domain names has been a legal practice ever since the internet came into being in the 90s. Treat domain names as real estate property sold in the offline world.
Social Profiles Won’t Replace Domain Names.
Many advertisers and marketers are concerned that social media will soon replace domain names completely and make them go obsolete. This fear is even more real nowadays because many online businesses and startups are using the power of social media to connect to their target audience.
But if you just weigh the pros and cons of having a domain name for your business solely, you will see that having a social media profile is just not enough.
Hand-Registering Domain Names Is Not Quite Profitable.
Flipping hand-registered domain names for a huge profit is quite possible, but keep in mind that you cannot make a profit of more than $300 by doing so. You will also have to put in a considerable amount of time and energy to turn this idea into a profitable strategy as it is quite time consuming.
You Can Make Money Out Of Buying & Selling Domain Names Part-Time.
Yes, domain flipping may require a great deal of practice and expertise but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to make quite a decent amount of money by flipping domains on a regular basis. Below are some great tips for newbie domain flippers that you might find helpful.
A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO DOMAIN FLIPPING
Step 1: Know Your Budget.
Just like any other business that you would normally startup, you must first know your budget. In order to start a profitable business, take some time out to do financial calculations. It is always best to start off by investing a small amount of money and then move on to making a bigger investment once you are set in the field.
Step 2: Choose a Profitable Niche.
Selecting a profitable niche is very important when it comes to domain flipping. Having adequate knowledge in searching domain names is critical. It will help you with fishing as well as parking domain names. Carving out a niche for yourself will enable you to seek out prospective buyers actively who would be interested in the domain names you are offering.
An example niche you could select would be insurance domain names.
Step 3: Find Hot Keywords.
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.
When looking for hot keywords, here is a general guide that might come in handy.
- Generic names are a great find because they can be used to describe new and upcoming products and services, but you must also look into copyright and trademark issues beforehand.
- Business names combined with geographic names like chiropractor Los Angeles can be sold conveniently.
- Timely names pertaining to major events like Wimbledon and the Olympics have great potential to become best sellers.
- Geographic names related to countries and cities can be sold to web developers looking to start new communities, businesses or portals.
Step 4: Focus on Local Domain Names.
It is mind boggling how local search engine optimization has grown from a tiny market to a mammoth industry within a span of ten years or so. This is also one of the reasons why focusing majorly on local names is profitable. From doctors to pizza parlors to salons, everyone wants to see their business thrive on the first page of Google Search results with the help of target keywords.
The best way to pick winning local domain names is to search for them at places like GoDaddy and Namecheap.
Step 5: Find an Existing Domain Name.
Yes, buying existing domain names can be profitable too. Existing domains with a potential for profit can be found using Sedo. Make sure you pick domain names that have good traffic, backlinks and Google PageRank under 17 characters. Also, steer clear of existing domain names containing special characters or numbers because they are not likely to be sold.
Step 6: Find Relevant Domain Names Related to Your Keywords.
Picking domain names by typing in relevant keywords on Namecheap has become increasingly popular. If you want to buy and sell domain names professionally, try using Millionaire Society. Once you have found the domain name of your choice, you can log onto Alexa.com to gain more insight regarding the domain name.
Step 7: Consider Other Alternatives.
Many top-level domains, or TLDs, out there have the potential of being sold at top dollar rates. Gone are the days when domain names with ‘.COM’, ‘.ORG’ and ‘.NET’ were known as top-level domains. Newer domain names with ‘.US’ and ‘.IO’ are also worth their weight in gold. All you have to do is conduct thorough research in order to find all the good domain names you can park.
Step 8: Buy a New Domain.
Even though generic domain names are usually taken, there may be some unregistered domain names. You’re lucky if you can find such a domain name; waste no time and get it registered with the best domain registrar company because that will enable you to sell your domain name to the interested party easily.
GoDaddy, Namecheap and Flippa.com are the best sites for finding new domain names that are still unregistered.
Step 9: Buy Domains with Page Rank.
Keyword relevancy is not the only thing that matters when it comes to SEO. However, domain names that were previously used by other businesses usually have a lot of backlinks and a decent ranking on PageRank. Even though such domain names are usually about to expire, they are still worth a lot of money if they have a good number of backlinks and a ranking of five or more.
Step 10: Build a Solid Domain Portfolio.
Building a solid domain portfolio is not a piece of cake; it may take you several months or years to achieve this goal but it will definitely be worth it in the end. When you are in the fishing phase, look at the potential of the domain name. Another common strategy used by seasoned domain flippers is to get hold of some high profile domain names and sit on them until they soar in terms of value.
Step 11: Use Different Sales Strategies.
You can apply many strategies when it comes to flipping domains successfully. The three most common strategies are set price, auction, and make an offer.
- You can set a particular price for domain names you have to offer when you are not in a rush to sell them. Those who have a huge portfolio usually adopt this strategy.
- GoDaddy and Namecheap follow the auction strategy and you can too. Sell your domain to the buyer with the highest bid.
- When you have a niche domain, you can make offers to various prospective buyers who may be interested in buying.
Another point of concern is to flip websites and not domains only. This is because many times a domain is worth far more with an established website than on its own. Building a website has great potential because it has SEO value, potential and much more to offer to its prospective buyer.
Step 12: Never Sell Right Away.
Domain flipping is not always about making quick cash. Sometimes you have to spend days in research before you make a profitable sale. Remember, it is better to wait for several months or years in order to sell a domain name for a greater profit than settle for normal profit. Think of domain flipping as more of an investment.
Step 13: Be Aware of the Risk Involved.
Flipping domains is not entirely free of risk. There are three types of risks associated with domain flipping in terms of legality, liquidity, and subjectivity.
- Domain names can sometimes cause legal issues. This usually happens because some names are too similar to already trademarked names, which is why you need to think twice before picking domain names.
- From the liquidity point of view, you may have to wait for a couple of months or even years before you can make a profitable sale.
- Subjectivity refers to the fact that it is hard to realize the value of a domain name as compared to stocks. It is not easy to pinpoint the exact value of a domain name.
Now that you know all the details about buying and selling domains, we hope you start off your very own domain flipping business with ease. All you have to remember is to begin by learning all the tricks of the trade and invest a small amount of money before you decide to go pro.
“Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.” – Walter …