Flipping domains can be a lucrative way of making money online, especially if you’re good at finding hidden gems or identifying potentially lucrative domain names. But as with any investment venture, you need to be smart and strategic in your approach.
At the top end of the scale, according to GoDaddy statistics, was Cars.com, which sold for $872 million, making it one of the most valuable domain names ever! Now, you won’t be in that league, but you can create a great side hustle making money flipping domain names 🙂
With the proper knowledge and understanding of web domains, you could be making money domain flipping in no time.
How Much Do I Need To Start?
In the beginning, as a new domain investor, I would advise having a budget of around $500 – $1000 to get you going. This allows you to buy a mix of low-priced and expired domains, starting at about $10, which I did when I first started.
Start low and build up as you gain more experience, slowly does it! This business is not a get-rich-quick type of deal; learn the ropes as you go, and build yourself a solid foundation for future success.
Make Money From Domain Flipping
1. Get a Feel For The Market
If you’re just getting started in the domain flipping business, congratulations on taking the first step. It’s an exciting and potentially lucrative venture, and with some know-how, you can turn a modest investment into a decent payday.
One of the most important things you can do as a beginner to flipping domains is research before buying any domain names. Knowing the market value, keyword volume, and other relevant factors can mean the difference between a profitable flip and a dud (I know, I’ve been there!)
Get a feel for the prices by visiting Flippa.com and checking out their recently sold section. This will give you an idea of the prices and what you can expect. Successful domain flippers that do this full-time carry out extensive research before buying anything.
Just to avoid any confusion, remember you are looking to flip domain names, not website flipping, two very different things 🙂
2. Identify Trends
Keep an eye on current trends and try to predict future ones. If you can get ahead of the curve, you may be able to register domain names that will become highly sought after in the future.
For example, if you think that a certain cryptocurrency or platform will become big in the next few years, consider buying domain names related to it.
I use Google Trends and Exploding Topics for this, they are free and will show you what’s hot right now and what is likely to become popular in the near future. Here’s an example below in the screenshot from Exploding Topics:
This platform seems to be taking off, so it may be worth digging deeper and learning more.
3. Picking The Right Domain Names and Extensions
Selecting the right domain names and extensions is crucial for successful domain flipping. Choosing domain names that are relevant, brandable, and easy to remember can significantly increase their resale value. Here are some tips to help you pick the right domain names and extensions:
Focus on relevance
- When choosing domain names, consider their relevance to popular search terms and industries. Domain names related to trending topics or high search volume are more likely to sell at a premium.
- Additionally, domain names that are short, easy to remember, and have a strong brand potential are more appealing to buyers. Avoid using hyphens, numbers, or uncommon spellings, as they may confuse potential buyers and reduce the domain’s resale value.
Choose domain extensions wisely
The domain extension, or top-level domain (TLD), is crucial in determining a domain value. While many TLDs are available, some are more valuable and popular than others. Here are a few tips for choosing the right domain extension:
- The .com extension is by far the most popular and valuable TLD. Many buyers prefer .com to flip domains, as they are widely recognized and trusted. If possible, focus on acquiring .com domains for your portfolio.
- Consider other popular TLDs: If a .com domain is not available or too expensive, consider other popular TLDs like .net, .org, or .co. These extensions are still widely recognized and can be valuable if paired with a strong domain name.
- Be cautious with new TLDs: While new TLDs like .io, .ai, and .xyz have gained popularity in recent years, they may not be as valuable or easy to sell as more established TLDs. If you invest in new TLDs, ensure that the domain name is highly relevant and brandable.
Use domain name generators
If you’re struggling to come up with suitable domain names, consider using domain name generators like:
These tools can help you brainstorm ideas and find available domain names based on your keywords and preferences.
4. Check The Domain Viability
There are several things I look for in a deleted or expired domain name:
- History: Understanding the history of a domain is important when considering its value for domain flipping. It could have been banned before or sandboxed by Google.
- Domain Authority: Check the authority of the domain with a tool like Ahrefs or Moz to get the score.
- Backlinks: Backlinks are the currency of the internet for ranking! They play a crucial role in search engine optimization and determine the quality and value of a domain for flipping purposes.
- Search engine rankings: Strong search engine rankings can increase the value of a domain and its potential for generating traffic and revenue.
- Traffic potential: A domain with high traffic potential is more valuable for flipping, as it increases the likelihood of a buyer generating revenue from the domain.
- Existing content: Existing content can increase the value of a domain by providing a foundation for a buyer to build upon when developing the domain further.
I like to use Ahrefs to analyze a domain’s history, authority, and performance. Doing so will help you determine if the domain has any value and assess its worth before making an offer. This is especially important when dealing with established domains that have a long history of ownership.
Use the excellent Wayback Machine website to see how the site was used before, check the domain is not blacklisted, or if it was previously used for malicious activities. This will help you determine whether or not to pursue a particular domain name.
In the screenshot below, I searched for the infamous Cars.com and set it to see what the site looked like in 2010.
Then you can hover your mouse over the date you want and pick a time, and then in the next screenshot, you can see what the page looked like:
Ahrefs is also a great tool for seeing all the backlinks pointing to the site, and as I mentioned, it will give you an overall authority score from 1-100, with 100 being the highest.
So, for example, the site may have lots of spammy-looking links and a low authority score, which could indicate a lack of trust and value from search engines.
You can also find traffic estimates with tools like SEMrush, or Google Keyword Planner to get an idea of how much traffic the domain is currently getting. This may give you an indication of whether the site has the potential.
5. Choose The Right Platform
When you are ready to purchase, choose the right domain marketplaces for your needs. You can buy through domain registration registrars like:
Take the time to compare prices and services between different domain marketplaces before you buy—not all are created equal. Some will offer better customer service, while others may have more options in terms of domain extensions, discounts, or payment methods.
Be sure to shop around and compare the different options before making a decision.
6. Tips For a Successful Domain Auction
When you’re looking to purchase a domain name through an auction rather than a new domain, here are some tips to help you get the best price:
- Research the domain name before bidding. Make sure it’s a valuable asset and worth the price you are willing to pay.
- Set a budget for yourself and stick to it. However tempting, don’t let emotions or ego guide your decision-making.
- Create an overview of all the domains that interest you so that you can compare them quickly and decide which one to bid on.
- Watch out for reserve prices when participating in auctions, as these will determine whether or not the domain name will be sold at all.
- If possible, try to bid at the last minute so that other bidders don’t have time to respond with higher bids.
7. What To Do With Your New Domain
Congratulations, you’ve just bought a domain! So now what?
You have a few options, which I’ll list here, rather than selling it on straight away.
- Developing a website: You can use the domain to create and host a website, giving your business an online presence by adding quality content.
- Parking the domain: You can “park” the domain, which basically means putting up a page with advertising on it using pay-per-click ads (PPC). You will get paid for clicks and views when people visit those pages. This works great using expired domains with existing traffic.
- Redirecting the domain: You can redirect visitors from one URL to another, allowing you to direct traffic from one page to another. If it has authority and links, these will pass the link juice to your target domain.
- Landing page: You can create a landing page with an offer that captures leads or simply advertises your domain for sale with your contact details.
8. Selling Your Domain
If you just want to flip the domain straight away and not use any of the tactics above, then your best bet is to sell it on one of the leading domain marketplaces, like the ones you may have purchased from.
First of all, I like to get an estimate of the value, and you can use GoDaddy’s appraisal tool. This is free, but be aware that the values are only an estimate and not always that accurate.
Then head to one of these sites to sell domains:
Please bear in mind it can take a while to sell domains, even months, so patience is vital! Many full-time domainers sit on them for years, so it helps if you have multiple domain names to give you more options.
Is flipping domains legit?
Yes, flipping domains is a legitimate way to make money online. It involves buying domain names at a low cost and then reselling them for a higher price. This can be done through auctions, private sales, or even by creating your own website and selling the domain name directly, as I’ve shown you here.
Is domain flipping still profitable?
Yes, domain flipping is still profitable! The key to success in this business is researching the right domains to buy and understanding how to market them effectively. With the right approach, you can make a good profit from flipping domains, and many domainers are making 5K a month or more.
Is domain flipping worth it?
Domain flipping can be worth it if you have the knowledge and experience needed to find valuable domains and market them successfully. However, it’s important to understand that there are risks involved with domain flipping as well as potential rewards.
How hard is domain flipping?
Domain flipping can be challenging because it requires knowledge of the domain market and an understanding of how to research valuable domains and market them effectively. It also requires patience, as I mentioned, as it may take some time before you see any returns on your investment.
What is domain drop catching?
Domain drop catching, also known as “sniping” or “backordering,” is a practice where individuals or companies attempt to register a domain name immediately after it expires and becomes available for registration again.
This is usually done using automated software or services to increase the chances of securing the desired domain before someone else does.
As you can see, domain flipping can be a profitable and exciting venture if you’re willing to invest the time and effort into researching the market, identifying valuable domain names, and learning how to market them effectively.
By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can start your domain-flipping journey with a solid foundation, and increase your chances of success. Remember, patience is key, as it may take time to see returns on your investment. With the right approach and a commitment to learning the ropes, domain flipping can become a lucrative side hustle or even a full-time business.