Now that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), has opened up access to top level domains (“TLDs”) – com, .net and .org etc., it might seem like the buying and selling of domains is no longer profitable. The truth is that you can still turn a tidy profit via domain flipping. With a bit of patience and planning, it’s quite possible to parlay domain flipping into a full-fledged side business. While it’s unlikely to make you independently wealthy, it can still provide you with a decent side income if you’re willing to do some legwork.
Flipping Theory 101
Domain flipping refers to the practice of buying domain names from registrars such as Godaddy and reselling them later on for a profit. There are two types of domain flipping: the “domain parking” approach and the “property investment” tactic. Domain parking refers to a scenario where one would buy a domain with no intention of building a site around it. The property investment tack still requires you to buy a domain, though in this case you’d publish content on it to improve traffic and make it more appealing to buyers.
Pros, Cons and Profit Potential
The primary advantage of domain flipping is the possible profit margins. For instance, the domain name Sex.com broke records when it sold for $13 million. You can buy low and sell high from the convenience of your home office with practically no technical skills whatsoever. On the downside, all of the easy money has been made at this point. In 2012, Investing.com was the top seller at $2.45 million. Realistically, the average domain sold for profit goes for $2,000. Regardless, there’s plenty of money left to be made with the right strategy.
Getting Started with Domain Flipping
The first thing to do is research domain names that may be valuable to buyers with deep pockets. Google’s Keyword Tool for AdWords is a great place to start. Look for keywords with moderate to high traffic volumes and think of domain names that incorporate them. You can buy domain names for less than $10 from Godaddy, NameCheap and 1and1. If you’d like to start actively marketing your domains, you can use Sedo to advertise. In addition, forums like DNForum and NamePros are great places to sell your property.
Helpful Resources & Practical Tips
One thing that you should understand right away is that profitable flipping is a marathon rather than a sprint. A prudent approach to take is buying expired domains from places like Godaddy Auctions and Domaining that auction off domains at bargain prices. Sedo, Moniker and Flippa are also great places to shop for deals. For practical day to day advice, the aforementioned NamePros and DNForum are treasure troves of knowledge. When buying domain names, select short ones with generic keywords ending in a “.com” for the best results.
Your Burgeoning Domain Business
As with every other sector of the e-commerce economy, domain flipping requires detailed bookkeeping and a long-term strategy. If you’re not an Excel or LibreOffice Calc wizard, become one. You’ll have to use analytics tools to calculate ROI and determine whether or not you need to tweak your overall game plan. In spite of these challenges, you’ll find that flipping domains can be quite lucrative if you treat it as a business and adopt a serious, methodical approach.