Some time ago, I wrote an article about flipping websites and how I made 2 million Naira by flipping my 1-year-old Nigerian blog. I know it may be hard to believe for many people who are yet to experience the goodies of internet business. But this is possible. Very possible.
Today, I want to water down a bit and talk about the hidden business of selling valuable domain names. It is called domain flipping. But before I go into the details of this business, I would like to do a background refresh.
So, what is Domain Flipping?
Domain flipping is simply researching and buying valuable domain names for cheap, and then selling them to companies and individuals who need them.
Someone may ask, why don’t the companies or individuals buy the domain name themselves instead of paying exorbitant fees to domain flippers?
Well, that is because it is not easy to find a good domain name. Almost all the good dotcom (.com) domain names are already taken, so you need a lot of creativity and research to find the perfect domain name for your business.
This also takes a lot of time, which many business people do not have. Domain flippers invest their time, creativity, and resources to help companies find the perfect domain name for their businesses and they get paid handsomely for their efforts.
So, How Do You Start Flipping Domain Names?
Firstly, you have to be adept at finding valuable domain names. That means you have to be able to find domain names that can be linked to valuable companies.
You just don’t manufacture a domain name out of head and hope that someone would pay you for it. No, it doesn’t work that way. You have to first do your research to find valuable companies that are not using the right domain name, and then help them find the right domain name.
This strategy is best because you are first finding the customer before going all out to find the right domain name.
Also, you have to know how to use the right tools to research valuable domain names. The tool you use will depend on your strategy and what your goals are. Your goal might be to sell fast for as little profit as possible, or to hold long and sell as high as possible.
Note that the more you hold a domain name, the more expenses you might incur. Domain names are required to be renewed yearly, so the longer you hold the domain name, the more you are likely to pay for it.
Most long-term domain flippers prefer to register their domain names for at least 3 years so as to give them room to negotiate better deals for their domains.
On the other hand, short-term domain flippers prefer to register their domain name for just 1 year and then persistently push for an urgent sale. Both strategies bring results, but you need to find the one that best fits you.
Tools For Finding Valuable Domain Names
Finding valuable domain names is the holy grail of domain flipping business. The value of your domain names is directly proportional to the earnings you make in this business. You either get it or you don’t.
I’ve seen domain flippers with a bunch of useless domain names that are worth less than they were bought for. This is indeed a sad case. Imagine a domain flipper who invested $1,000 in buying 100 useless domain names for $10 each.
That should tell you that there is risk in this business, but thankfully the risk factor is usually the experience or inexperience of the domain flipper. So, the more you develop yourself in finding valuable domain names, the lower your risk as a domain flipper.
Savvy domain flippers know that using a few tools can help them lower their risk in finding valuable domain names that sell for more than 10X the purchase price. And they use these tools judiciously.
Expireddomains is the one-stop shop for finding valuable domain names that are either about to expire or already expired.
You might be wondering why you need to buy expired domain names as a domain flipper. Well, it is solely because you don’t want to always reinvent the wheel in finding a valuable domain name.
For some reason, a valuable domain name may be expired due to the owner’s negligence or abandonment. A domain name may be useless to someone else but valuable to you according to your criteria for valuing domain names.
So, instead of focusing only on using your creativity to find new valuable domain names, you can mix it a little bit and plunge into the ocean of already registered domain names on expireddomains. Sometimes, you might be lucky to find a valuable domain name when no one is looking.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for evaluating the value of a domain name before buying it. I use this tool a lot, both for evaluating domain names and finding new blog post ideas.
What Google Keyword Planner helps you do is find how many people are searching for that domain keyword. This can be a hint on how valuable a domain can be, barring other factors such as SEO.
For example, if I see a domain name like abujaeventcenter.com on expireddomains, I may not know how valuable that domain name is because I don’t know if people are looking for event centers in Abuja or if Abuja has an event center.
So, before buying that domain name on expireddomains, I will head over to Google Keyword Planner to find out if people are actually searching for the keyword Abuja Event Center. If I see that approximately 10k people are searching for that keyword, then I know that it is valuable, but if the people searching for that keyword are less than 1k, then I know it is not as valuable.
Namemesh is my favorite domain name generator. It is a great tool for creative people who want to find a new domain name that they can sell. So, if you are not using expireddomains to find domain names that are already registered, you can use Namemesh to find new valuable domain names.
On Namemesh, there are over 100 domain name suggestions for each keyword you search for. So, assuming that the Abuja Event Center keyword has a lot of search traffic, you might want to use Namemesh to find a new domain name on that keyword.
Simply go to Namemesh, type the keyword with space between each word, and then click search. The domain name generator will generate hundreds of keywords for you to choose from. You only have to find the most valuable one with the dotcom (.com) extension.
How To Flip Your Domain Name
So, after finding and buying a valuable domain name, how do you sell it for a profit? How do you monetize it for higher earnings?
There are many ways to do that, and the method you use will largely depend on your domain flipping strategy. You could either position yourself and wait for the right buyer, or you take the bull by the horn to quickly find a buyer.
There are many routes you can take in flipping your domain name, as listed below:
Brandbucket is a marketplace for creative webmasters and dominers. It’s a great place to monetize your domain name in different ways.
On Brandbucket, you could sell your domain name, rent it, suggest domain names, and enter several domain name competitions. It is like the game yard of domain nerds.
If you are passionate about domain flipping and you want to learn more about the business, camping on Brandbucket will help you a lot.
Dan is one of the top domain marketplaces to sell, rent, or auction your domain name. It is one of the most trusted platforms by domain flippers. This is because they give visibility and massive exposure to your domain name.
If you have a highly valuable domain name that you believe would sell for a high amount, then Dan is the place to go.
When you register on Dan and put your domain name up for sale, you will get a landing page for that domain. So, when someone searches for that domain name, they would land on that landing page, which also serves as a sales page.
This makes it possible for domain flippers to sell their domain names quicker than on other platforms.
Just like on Dan, you could sell or auction your domain name on Flippa. Flippa is probably the biggest platform for all things domain names. But they are quite pricey especially if you want to take the auction route to selling your domain name.
That said, Flippa can give massive exposure to your domain name and help you sell faster. Most domain flippers on Flippa do not just sell their domain names. They create sample websites for the kind of ideas that can be launched with the domain names, and this increases the value of their domain names.
For short-term domain flippers who do not have the patience to list their domain names and wait for buyers, sending cold emails has been the most effective route.
It is also the cheaper alternative because you wouldn’t need to pay any listing fees or adhere to the strict guidelines of most domain listing platforms.
To do effective cold emails, you could have identified a list of potential buyers for your domain name, and then construct a professional email to send to them.
You have to send the email individually to the appropriate contact person for each company you are pitching. Also, you have to be a good negotiator and be able to sell the value of buying your domain name.
Cold emails could be a hit or miss depending on how skilled you are at digital marketing, and the perceived value of your domain name. But it is always good to try since it provides an avenue to develop the necessary skills for the domain flipping business.
How Much Should You Sell Your Domain Name?
The value of a domain name is subjective to many factors. Many things can come to play when pricing your domain name such as:
- The cost price
- The domain’s industry
- The buyers’ need
- The domain’s intrinsic value
- Your negotiation skill
There are some domain flippers who just want to make a profit on what they paid for a domain name. So, if they paid $10 for it, they are happy to get $50 in sales, no matter how valuable the domain name is. This ensures that they are constantly making volume sales all year round.
Also, the industry that a domain name serves could greatly affect its price. Domains in industries such as medical, construction, legal, and commercial, are worth much more than their counterparts.
However, in some cases where the buyer really needs a domain name for branding or copyright purposes, then the domain name can quickly become very valuable.
There are domain names that can be sold without any marketing especially due to their high intrinsic value. For example, a three-word domain name like Dan.com would sell for over $100,000 without too much marketing.
Likewise, a domain name with keywords that are high in demand would sell for a considerable high amount.
But most importantly, is the negotiation skill of the domain flipper. It doesn’t matter how valuable a domain name is, if you cannot negotiate the right price, then you would always be selling for less than what you should be getting.
So, you need to know when to hold your ground, and when to give up your price sentiment. It’s a skill that must be learned if you want to be a successful domain flipper.
Domain flipping could either be a guaranteed money spinner or an absolute disaster for you. So, you have to learn the trade before putting in your money.
It is wise to play around with a few platforms and see what domain names are selling and what domain names are stalling. That would give you a hint on what types of domain names you should start with.
Also, there are numerous domain flipping forums that are dishing valuable advice on how to start and grow a successful domain flipping business. You can camp on these forums and learn as much as possible before taking the plunge.
There are a lot of domainers making money by flipping domain names, and likewise, a lot of domainers losing money by flipping domain names. You have to choose which group you want to belong to, and match that with the right skill set and work ethic.