The answer is yes, but personally it is not something I have ever engaged in nor will ever do. In this post I’d like to cover the topic of domain flipping, it’s pros, cons and if it can really provide you with a good opportunity to make money online as well as my preferred alternative/s. First, let’s get the most important thing out of the way…
A quick summary of domain flipping:
It’s basically the process of buying a domain name and then selling it after awhile for much more. Usually domain names which have good names attached to them will be more worth it than none domains.
It’s sort of like real estate, but in the online world. The domains you buy symbolize property and there may be people who would want that property that are willing to pay you good money for it.
Although I’ve never met anyone who runs a successful business doing just this (domain flipping), I know for a fact that it can be profitable and in my experience, there are 3 scenarios which are most common in this business:
Scenario 1: You buy a domain name with potential brand name value or something that sounds very catchy. You may have people emailing you quite often and giving you offers for it. This actually happens more than you think.
Scenario 2: Say a domain name you wish to buy isn’t available, but there are .net and .org extensions available (gTLDs). Since .com’s are most popular, a lot of people will either make up a completely different name OR wait until the .com becomes available.
I often get emails from different domain name providers that tell me a certain domain name has become available and I could buy it. Usually the price for it is much higher than just buying a non-existent domain name which is around $10 a year. In addition, sometimes the domain names will not be the exact ones you’re chasing, but something very similar in title.
Scenario 3: You own a website and it’s domain name, build a thriving online business out of it and then decide to sell it after awhile for whatever reason. This is what may likely bring the most profit potential because it’s not just the domain name you’re selling, it’s the actual business which has proven to make consistent income.
Although this isn’t directly related to domain flipping, there are people who do this and I’ve met at least one person that tried to pull this off. His website was making a consistent $10,000 a year but because he got tired of dealing with it, he then decided to sell it for $20,000. I’m not sure if he ended up doing this, but this was an example of what can happen. Businesses get sold to people all the time and online business is no different.
Keep in mind that in most of these scenarios, especially the last one, it’s not something that comes quickly. The last scenario was something that took years to develop and then potentially sell.
My personal opinion on domain flipping:
It’s certainly not a waste of time and it has potential to make good money, but I feel that it’s not for everyone (including me) and there are much better ways to succeed online than through this. I believe this because in today’s world of SEO and running a successful business, the domain name you have isn’t as important as your site’s content and information. Sure, it’s important to title your website correctly to represent your business and it should preferably be a .com since they generally rank better, but absent that, the most important factor is content in a website.
There was a time a few years back when EMD’s (exact match domains) were very popular and by that I mean a ranking factor of your website was it’s domain name meaning if you were chasing a competitive keyword, if you made that keyword the name of your site, you’d have a better chance of getting ranked.
But because too many people started using EMD’s, their value ultimately dropped and today it’s nowhere near as large as it once was. If it were still in the golden days of EMD’s, I’d give more weight to domain flipping, even though I’d still prefer my alternative to it.
I believe anyone who has proper guidance in building an online business can take any domain and make it profitable and the potential of that site can bring in far more profits than going around and trying to sell domain names.
Obviously there are 2 sides to this coin as I am not experienced in domain flipping to begin with and I’m sure there’s people who live by this, but this is really dependent on the person. I believe in having sustainable living and it can be done online by having just 1 website.
As for domain flipping, it really feels like too much work for potentially very little. I’d rather work on 1 site, let it build up then work for me, while I sit back and relax than worry about which domain to buy next and how to sell it. But again, that’s me.
In fact, if you’re reading this and successfully flip domains for a living or part time, I’d like to hear your take on this. I’m always up for learning something new.
There is also 1 scenario I neglected to mention above: It’s when you purchased a number of domains to promote different products but then they basically became irrelevant to use and in order to salvage something from them, you could then sell them.
There was a time when I had about 30 domain names. I didn’t have them for selling purposes, I had them because for each one I was trying to utilize paid advertising and make money with it. But the sites and the products I was trying to sell on them eventually lost popularity and I couldn’t really do much else with them.
In my scenario, I forgot to renew them and thus they became available for someone else to use. Looking back, I could have sold them for a decent price. Oh well, you live and you learn!
Update 1/24/17: How to Flip Domains, the general idea:
If what I suggested in this article is not enough for you and you are looking to make a business of selling domains and/or just have one you’re not using, you have several options:
1) Sell yours on Godaddy.com or Flippa.com, see where the price for your is bigger and sell it there.
However, if you have an established website that is making money, you can bet your page now holds an exponentially larger value.
1) Collect the stats for your site, this includes daily/monthly traffic. Also collect how much it makes and be ready to provide proof.
2) Head to Flipp.com and put the site up for auction with this information. Should people contact you, give them a reason for why the price is as it is. Generally a site’s yearly revenue should be multiplied by 2 (2 years) and that should be the set price.
3) If you want to make a business out of this, consider the option of buying domain names for different niches, writing articles on them that are keyword targeted (maybe 20-30) and then putting up the site for sale. Those types of pages can sell for up to a $1,000 if you carefully pick out the niche.
I have a friend who does this on one of his websites where he creates these premade pages and sells them to people who enjoy the niche topic and want to add to it when they buy it. He makes an excellent profit doing this.
But again, if I am going to persoanlly invest that much time into this, I’d rather see the site through to the point where it makes good money and let it work for me. Affiliate websites for example are easy to leave running on autopilot and generally do not require that much maintenance (as long as the site is up, getting traffic and your affiliate links are working). In the long run, an affiliate page can make more than it would if you sold it.
But this is my personal investment tip. If you don’t like your site, but it does work, by all means, sell it for whatever you can on Flippa.com, take the money and invest it into a site you will like, maybe by hiring writers for instance…