All Domains Are NOT Created Equal
One of my favorite things to do is look if certain domain names are available. I can’t explain why. It’s a weird habit I’ve developed.
When I hear a good phrase or name, I immediately check to see if it’s one I can buy the .com for. Often times, they are taken (I’m looking at you UnderwearEntrepreneur.com!), but sometimes you get lucky.
Once you own it, you can start your own website (like this blog for example), but if you really want, you can also sell the domain for extra cash.
It’s honestly addicting.
History of Domain Flipping
Flipping domains has been around since the dawn of the dot com.
Granted, it’s in part what caused the bubble. Everyone would sit on domains (think pets.com, dogs.com, apple.com, orange.com, etc.) hoping to one day get paid off BIG TIME. It worked for a look of people. But largely, this kind of speculative business fell by the wayside.
That is not to say domains still don’t have value though!
As recently as 2015, 360.com sold for a whopping $17 million. That is a rare case obviously. But if you can get even 2 people interested in your domain, then you can likely get them into a bidding war for it. Even with only one person interested, you can still turn a domain into profit.
But how do find domains that are valuable to other people?
5 Tips For Acquiring a Domain That Sells!
1. Go for the .COM!
I’m biased, but the data still seems to back me up. Dotcoms are still the most popular and valuable domains on the market.
If you can grab a quality .COM for a normal price, then you likely have a good chance to sell it for more than you bought it for!
The average .COM goes for $15 per year. If you can catch a deal, they go as low as $5 – a pretty low-stakes investment really.
And again, I’m biased. .IO have become increasingly popular with tech start-ups. .ORG and .NET are fine if they have a lot of backlinks and some SEO juice.
I would avoid any other TLDs, to be honest; they are still risky. There just isn’t a proven track record of people being able to resell them as easily as a .com, .org, .net, or .io.
2. Spell It Correctly
Speaking of tech startups, it’s a trend now to intentionally misspell things in order to get the domain.
It’s pretty popular nowadays to take away the vowels or spell a word with y’s instead of i’s in order to make the name “more unique” or snag the .com.
Don’t fall into that trap!
If someone asks you to spell the name of your blog or website, you’ve already failed – making it a risky investment. While it’s not super important, the short, pronounceable, and easily spellable domains will always fetch more on the open market.
3. No Hypehens or Numbers
I realize that my own domain name betrays this rule. But it’s true. If you can, avoid numbers and hyphens.
Every time I tell someone about my site, I will have to say “the number 2, not T-W-O”. Years in your domain can be even more annoying.
The hyphen makes it awkward too, especially if they are in between some words, but not others! work-at-home.com might look nice, but if you have to clarify how it looks or is spelled, you’ve already failed.
4. Don’t Be A Squatter!
Not only is it frowned upon, it can often be illegal.
Even if it’s not, something like iphone2018.com may appear to be a high-value domain. But rest assured that Apple will not knock on your door looking to buy it.
In fact, if they really wanted to, they could actually just take it for copyright reasons.
It’s a much safer bet to not “domain squat” on any brand names in hopes of getting a big paycheck. Instead, come up with something that could become a brand name!
5. Make It Brandable
Make sure the domain is fun. It will your sell that much easier.
Domains that have rhymes in them are great for building an internet brand. Think to yourself: would I name my company this? If the answer is yes, then it might be worth swooping that domain and waiting until the ideal customer comes along!
Just be sure to avoid long phrases – three words maximum!
How 2 Sell Your Domain
All right. Now you’ve acquired your domain. What’s next?
Do note that ICANN requires that you own a domain for 90 days before it can be transferred to someone else. You can make handshake deals until then, but try waiting until that 90 day period is up for a smoother transaction.
The world’s largest domain marketplace. Think of it as the eBay for domains and websites.
You can either list it for sale on their site, or start an auction for the domain. There’s now a listing fee (which didn’t used to be there), in order to get your domain on the marketplace.
GoDaddy Auctions is another great place to sell a domain, especially since your listing will appear in the GoDaddy general search.
You can price how you want or put it up for auction just as with Flippa. There is a fee, but a much more favorable one if you ask me. You instead pay a fee to be a member of GoDaddy Auctions, and it’s only $5/year!
FreeMarket is on the rise. Part of the Freelancer.com network, listings are FREE. You can start a domain auction to see if you can generate any interest. And since you can use Escrow.com, transitions are smooth and easy.
It’s a smaller network right now, but it’s bound to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years!
This is another good trick. Throw your domain into Google, and see what comes up.
You can reach out to those websites on the first page and beyond to see if they are interested in acquiring it.
Don’t get spammy and email everyone, but this is a good way to generate some interest in your domain portfolio if you see some potential for them.
It’s a shot in the dark, but if you get some bites from it, you can always handle the transfer yourself and cut out the commission costs of Flippa and GoDaddy!
What Does It Take 2 Flip Domains?
The Larger The Domain Portfolio, The Better
In order to have this turn into a steady stream of income, you will have to buy more than just one domain. Don’t buy up 100 domains at once, but try to swoop up good ones whenever you can.
The more domains you own, the better chance you have to flip one for a profit, which leads to my next point…
Play the Long Game
A domain is an investment. If there’s truly a market for it, leads and interested parties will eventually come.
However, it may be months or YEARS until they do so. Don’t get impatient and drop the domain just because it hasn’t sold after the first year.
As with any side-hustle, the work won’t do itself. People will have to know your domain is out there AND available if you ever want it to sell.
Just keep at it, and you can turn domain flipping into a viable source of income!