Domain flipping is a really interesting money-making method. It has the potential of making thousands of dollars per month but it is not as easy as many claim. You need to invest a lot of time and sometimes even money to be really successful.
While some people claim that domain flipping was very good in the past and that nowadays it is no longer a great way to make money, the truth is that you can still make a lot of money with it. You just have to adapt and take into account the current reality of domain flipping.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What Is Domain Flipping?
Just as the name implies, domain flipping is all about buying a domain name to then resell for a large profit. The process is not new and takes advantage of a concept that was around ever since money was invented. You surely already know about people that are flipping houses in order to make money. Domain flipping is just like that but the property being exchanged is a domain name.
Usually, flippers want to buy a domain name that has an immediate resale value. However, it is also a common practice to buy one that has a high potential future resale value.
There are countless domain flipping guides that you can find on the internet. They teach you all that you need to know about buying cheap domain names from NameCheap and then reselling through Flippa or even GoDaddy. You are told that you can make money really fast with the help of the guides but this is not really true. Many domains end up being available for sale for years before a profit can be made.
Similarly, to the real estate market, some of the best domain names will cost a lot to initially buy and then flip. However, it is a relatively low cost business, means you usually don’t need to invest that much to generate profit.
Why Do People Use Domain Flipping To Make Money?
The main reason why domain flipping is very popular at the moment is the huge earning potential associated with it. As you can see from GoDaddy’s list of the most expensive domains ever sold, millions of dollars can be made with a single successful sale.
While this is most likely not what you will get, the fact that you can make thousands per month is a reality.
How To Make Money With Domain Flipping
The basis of this money-making method is incredibly simple: you buy a domain name and you then resell it at a higher amount. This allows you to make a profit.
Also, some people buy a domain name to build a site or grow a site and then sell at a higher amount. However, in this case we mostly refer to the process as being website flipping.
- Research – You look for a domain name that could be profitable in the future, based on your goals.
- Buy the domain name – You can use services like Flippa, Namecheap or GoDaddy for this.
- Decide to wait or not – The domain name you buy can be sold right after or you can wait until its value increases. In most cases, the domain name you buy will sit in your inventory for a longer time, until someone interested contacts you.
- Resell – The domain name can be sold through an auction system through Flippa or through direct contact with a seller that is interested.
What Determines If A Domain Name Is Profitable?
Domain flipping revolves around choosing a really good domain name, one that has a huge earning potential in the future. When looking at the list linked above, those really expensive domains are mostly either short letter phrases or single word domains. In practically all industries and niches, these are the two things you have to look at.
The main characteristics of the really valuable domain names are:
The domain names with 3 or 4 letters are naturally much more valuable since it is nowadays impossible to register them. All are already taken. So many of these can easily serve as an exact match for a company or brand.
Authority And Age
The aged domains normally have a higher domain authority since they usually got many backlinks in the past. The shorter domain names that have been registered a long time in the past
Generally speaking, the .com domain extension is the most valued one. However, .net, .org and different new extensions can become really valuable.
It is often really difficult to transform a random letter combination into a known brand. However, if it is possible, like with a domain like aaa.com or carinsurance.com, the brand-ability is automatically very high.
If you want to successfully flip a domain name, the value-adding factors mentioned above are vital. However, they are not the only things that can be taken into account.
Due to what makes domain name valuable, 2 major domain flipping strategies appeared:
- Exclusivity-based buying
- Topic-based buying
Simply put, a domain is seen as being valuable and a really good flipping opportunity when the name is really good for a business, niche or topic or when it is impossible or very difficult to re-register it, like with the 3 or 4 letter combinations.
How To Find Expired Domain Names
There are hundreds of millions of domain names that are already registered right now. The domain marketplace is definitely saturated. As already mentioned, you cannot register the 3 or 4 letter combinations, very popular double word combinations and single word domain names. Your only option with such domains is to go for new domain extensions. It is possible that you can find some of them still available but they are going fast.
Due to the availability problem, the best option at the moment is considered to be finding expired domain names that have a good value. Numerous marketplaces exist where expired domain names are listed.
What should be known about expired domain names is that most domain registrars will offer a 30-day period in which the owner can renew the domain. After this period passes, the domain is officially entered into an auction. Bidding usually lasts around 7 days and you win with the highest bid. This allows you to buy some domain names that have a really good earning potential for a minimum investment.
Obviously, you can also buy brand new domain names that were never registered through registrars like NameCheap and GoDaddy.
Things To Consider When Buying An Expired Domain Name
Domain appeal and rarity are subjective and will not tell the entire story of whether or not the domain will be profitable. This is why you want to think about the following as an expired domain is purchased:
Page Authority (PA) And Domain Authority (DA)
Out of all the SEO metrics that you need to learn about, domain authority (DA) is the most important one. It was created in order to estimate the website’s efficiency in ranking on a search engine. Domains get a value between 1 and 100. You want to choose domain names that have the highest possible domain authority since this is a clear sign that value is very high.
DA includes many different factors like social signals, backlink count, content quality, Moz Rank and Moz Trust.
The entire website is evaluated by domain authority. Page authority (PA) covers a specific page.
When you look at the expired domain and you want to figure out if flipping can be profitable, you need to check both PA and DA.
These metrics can be influenced by age. If a website has been online for a long time, there is a higher possibility to establish trust, social signals and backlinks. However, age does not offer the entire picture. Do not buy the domain name simply because it is short and the domain is really old. Basically, go to Moz’s Link Explorer to research the authority of a domain before buying.
Backlink Quality And Count
Many webmasters these days buy an expired domain name as they want to launch a new blog or website. This is because there is already some existing authority and backlinks that will be carried over. The problem is that not all of the expired domains have a high backlinks number. Also, total backlink count is irrelevant in the event that links are of a really low quality.
Whenever you want to examine how valuable the expired domain is for flipping purposes, check the SEO/backlink profile of the considered domain. The 2 important warning signs that are always recommended include:
- Many spammy backlinks. In many cases these come from Chinese or Russian websites.
- A really high backlinks number for the niche website with questionable quality. This is usually a sign that the domain name was included in a PBN (Private Blog Network). The blackhat SEO tactic is effective but it does put the domain at huge risk. Also, PBN owners can easily pull back the backlinks, making the authority of your domain lower after purchase.
There are different ways in which you can research expired domain backlink quality. For instance, paid tools like Ahrefs and SEM Rush are really good. There are also others that are free and that can help you. Even Moz’s Link Explorer tool will give you a good idea of the backlink profile of a domain.
Expired Domain History
The old domain names are wonderful when it comes to authority but it is also possible that they have a lot of baggage and a really complicated history. When it comes to expired domain names, you have to understand that they often go through many owners before you bid on them at an auction.
In order to understand why this can be a huge problem, let’s think about a domain name like greatcars.com. In this case, it is quite obvious that the domain names were just used in a particular industry/niche. If the domain name is not so obvious, it is possible that it was used in an inappropriate way in the past.
Always go to Archive.org to check website history. This is a site that allows you to check hundreds of billions of pages. There is a pretty good possibility that you are going to find information about an expired domain name there. This is especially the case when referring to rare or aged domain names.
Check For AdSense Or Google Bans
The expired domain can end up being completely worthless if it was banned by Google or AdSense. There are many webmasters these days that buy a domain because they want to start a niche website that would be added to a PBN. Domains carry authority so they are suitable for this. However, in the event that the site was banned in the past, the number of people that would be interested in buying it would be a lot lower.
In order to check the ban history of a domain name, use websites like bannedcheck.com and isbanned.com.
Things To Consider When You Buy A New Domain Name To Flip
Besides buying the expired domain name, you can also buy a brand new domain name. This is a strategy that usually involves buying numerous names for small prices. You want to find a really good domain name that will sell at a high amount in the future. This does take a lot of time and you can easily use different strategies and approaches for this purpose. Everything practically revolves around finding the best domain name. When you buy a new domain, consider the following factors to make a good choice:
- Length – As already mentioned, the domain name should be as short as possible.
- Words that are easy to remember – The best choice is usually a domain name that includes dictionary words that are memorable, brandable or easily pronounceable.
- Extension – The most popular option is .com but extensions like .org and .net are also really profitable. Also, if you find some really good domain names that are easy to brand, go for the new extensions.
Keep in mind that many non-savvy online users do not know that other extensions exist. In fact, there are new ones that appear quite often. If you are aware of a new extension that appears, it is a really good idea to go for 3 or 4 letter domain names. They can still be incredibly profitable.
The people that flip domains for a living so often have hundreds of domain names that they own. They just constantly buy and sell new ones in order to maintain cash flow and momentum. Full-timers often do this and you will eventually end up doing exactly the same thing. However, it does not mean that you have to start like that.
Flipping domain names is still highly profitable. It just takes a lot more work than in the past and the competition is huge. Be sure that you take into account all that was written above and that you keep buying and selling. It might take some time to make the first big sale but they will surely keep piling up in the future.