How to Get Started with Domain Flipping

If you’re a big fan of HGTV, you’ve probably seen shows where people invest in damaged properties, make improvements and renovations, and then sell them at a decent …

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If you’re a big fan of HGTV, you’ve probably seen shows where people invest in damaged properties, make improvements and renovations, and then sell them at a decent profit. You may also know someone who makes living flipping collectibles, furniture, and other dilapidated products.

What if you did the same with something that didn’t take up space, require transportation, or need to be improved before selling; domain names? Yes, domain flipping can be a full-time business or simply a fun way to earn some extra income.

In this guide, you’ll learn what domain flipping entails, how it works, and how you can earn extra cash flipping domains. Just like house flipping, it begins with research.

Introducing Domain Flipping

If you’re less tech-savvy, you may not know what a domain is, so before you even consider flipping, it’s important to understand domain basics. A domain can be defined as the name, address, or string of characters that direct users to a specific site. It’s the URL that’s typed into an address bar to reach a destination.

Domain flipping is when you buy domain names at considerably low prices and resell them (without doing anything to improve or increase their value) at higher prices.

It’s not uncommon for domain flippers to go for months or even years without selling any domain names. But that shouldn’t discourage you to get started or keep going— it simply means that you need to be more patient with yourself and have realistic expectations.

Here’s some good news: domain flipping can be highly profitable if done right. Some of the most profitable domain flips include:

  • Hotels.com (sold for $11 million)
  • Insure.com ($16 million)
  • Shoes.com ($9 million)
  • PrivateJet.com ($30.18 million)
  • Cars.com ($872 million)

How Much Do You Need Before You Can Start Flipping Domains?

In 2007, Page Howe sold Seniors.com for $1.8 million after investing about $100,000 in the domain name. That sounds like a lot, right? Depends.

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Chances are you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around waiting for some investment opportunity to come by. And even if you do, you’re less likely to invest $100,000 in a domain name when you’re still a beginner. And that’s okay.

Here’s the thing: you don’t need that kind of money to start, especially if you’re a newbie. It takes time to learn the ins and outs of this business. As you’ll realize, the average domain name will cost you about $10 to $15. This means you can purchase a handful of domains, to begin with, and start making money.

How Do You Find the Right Domain?

Domain name selection is the most crucial step when it comes to domain flipping. As such, you need to have a strategy to find the right domain names that can earn you a decent profit. Here’s how you can find profitable domain names.

Start by Narrowing Down Your Focus

Chances are there’s an industry, market, or niche you’re already experienced in or familiar with. That’s what you should focus on. You’ll offer a lot more value and have it easier if you narrow down your focus to what you know. Starting out in an industry you aren’t familiar with might cost you as you’re more likely to buy domains ignorantly, without knowing the specific rules and guidelines that limit buyers in that industry.

Look for Domain Names that Have Value

If you were the one buying the domain name from someone, would you find it beneficial or valuable? If yes, why? This should be your approach and thinking when searching for domain names to flip.

Take the time to research the different domain names businesses and brands in your niche are using. You want to choose domain names that can help buyers not only be found online but also sound authoritative in their specific industry.

Generally, a good domain name will:

  • Be short and easy to spell. It’s best to choose names or words with fewer characters (say five to six characters in length). Avoid complicated words that are difficult to spell.
  • Use catchy and memorable names. Pick a name that’s easy for users to remember. It’s way easier to find a buyer and sell highly memorable domains.
  • Incorporate relevant keywords. To rank better in search results, you should consider adding keywords in your domain names. Alternatively, you could simply come up with a name with a relevant keyword in it.
  • Use the right domain extension. One common characteristic about the most profitable domain names ever sold is that they have .com as the extension. You should, therefore, consider choosing names with this extension as it’s more popular and generally preferred.

Remember to Check Domain Availability

Before you even think of sourcing potential buyers, you need to find out if the name(s) you’ve created is available so you can register it to your name. It’s not uncommon to find domain names that are already taken. Visit the aftermarket and see if you can purchase the name from the person who already owns it or who may have let it expire.

Look at the Price

Once you’ve done your due diligence and confirmed that the domain name is available, the next step is to find the right buyer. But before you get there, you want to make sure the price you’re paying is fair. You can also use a domain broker service to check and compare the domain you want to buy with similar ones that have already been sold.

How Do You Increase Your Chances of Finding a Buyer?

Now that you’ve found the right domain names, it’s time to start looking for potential buyers. Your focus and goal should be to advertise your domain names using the right avenues. The last thing you want is to be part of a scam that leaves you at a loss.

Here are some of the avenues that will make you look trustworthy and credible to potential buyers, thereby increasing your chances to sell.

List the Domain on a Marketplace

Most domain flippers prefer this route because it’s a more direct and faster approach. Take the time to research different auctions and marketplaces before listing your domain. You want to make sure you’ve understood their policies and agree to their fees beforehand.

Create a Free Landing Page

Design a landing page for your domain and clearly indicate that the name is up for sale. This is a more aggressive yet effective marketing approach that will appeal to potential buyers. Make sure you provide your basic contact details so it’s easier for those interested in buying the domain to get in touch.

Contact Potential Buyers Directly

As mentioned, it’s important that you focus on a specific niche that you know when domain flipping. So, if you’re creating domains related to healthcare, it would make sense to reach out to medical professionals and hospitals to see if they could be interested in buying your domain. It’s a cold approach that can yield great results.

Consider Disabling WHOIS Privacy

Finally, this might not be the best time to hide your contact details from the WHOIS database. At least if you’re trying to find potential buyers for your names. You want to make it easier for people who might be interested in buying your domains to find and get in touch with you. So, it’s best that you disable your WHOIS privacy.

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