Have you ever used Fb.com to log into Facebook? A lot of people have not, but that didn’t stop the social media giant from buying the domain for $8,5 million – so no one else would have it. Although most domains are not nearly worth that much money, some of them can be worth ridiculously large amounts.
There are dozens of high-profile domain sales. Not every domain name is worth millions, but as long as you are able to buy and sell for a profit, you can make a living flipping them. To do so, we need to look at what makes a great domain name, and where one can sell it for a profit.
How to find valuable domain names
A good domain name is one that will help businesses grow. If we look at the most expensive domains ever sold, we can see that they share a few qualities: they are short, brandable, easy to remember, and extremely relevant. One-word domain names are usually the best ones, as they are easier to type, say, share, and memorize.
The .com extension should always be the preferred option. Even though there now hundreds of different options – such as Alphabet’s .xyz – .com is still the go-to extension if you actually want to make a profit flipping domain names, as it is still the most recognized, easily accessible extension outside of the tech world. Cognitive fluency forces us to go with something people already know, and whether we like it or not, .com’s are already known. If unavailable, we suggest you either use .co, .net, or a known ccTLD such as .ca for Canada, or .pt for Portugal.
Next, we have domain name search volume. Businesses are only going to make money off a domain if it gets them new customers. Premium domains names are typically exact, or close to exact, matches of popular terms people search for in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. An excellent way to assess search volume is through Google’s Keyword Tool.
Domain name age is also a factor, as it is known search engines take into account the age of a domain in their ranking factors. The older, the better. To find great available domain names use registrars such as GoDaddy, Google Domains, or NameCheap.
Avoiding domain name disasters
There are a few things to keep in mind in order to avoid disaster. Great domain names can be ruined by something that stops them from being as brandable and memorable as possible. Fresh-tomatoes.com, or FreshTomatoes054.com for example, are worse than FreshTomates.com. Hyphens and numbers are great examples of what one should avoid.
Some would think a great domain name could be related to a very popular company, a variation of Coca-Cola. Trying to flip a domain name that infringes another company could end up in a legal battle. When in doubt, we recommend talking to an attorney or a legal professional, so as to avoid future problems.
Where to sell domains
After buying an incredibly valuable domain, you will want to sell it to the right customers, in order to make the most out of it. There several websites that allow you to list your domains. Flippa.com is a great example, as it is already an established domain and website marketplace, in which sales often reach six figures.
To sell, you will need to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to sell one-word domains for millions, just because of their quality and potential. Most high-quality domains are sold for a few thousand dollars – enough to make a living, even if you don’t sell that often.
Editors Note: Hacked.com was bought by Jonas Borchgrevink (Founder of CCN.LA and Hacked.com) for $50 000. An amount that could have been more than 1 million USD for the right cybersecurity company.
Wrapping it up
Patience is a virtue. Don’t just buy a domain because you think you can sell it, do your research on it as there are a lot of factors involved in every sale. If a domain has, in the past, been penalized by Google, its value will be significantly reduced. Even legendary internet marketer Neil Patel once spent nearly $2,000 on a domain without doing proper research – and then had to buy a new one.
Whether or not you decided to start flipping domain names, you need to know that success doesn’t come overnight. You may come across domains you will never be able to sell, and you may come across gems that sell themselves. Keep in mind practice makes perfection.
A note from Jonas Borchgrevink (Director of Hacked.com): Try to focus on niche domains and point out the industry or companies that would be a good fit for the domains you buy. Be careful of buying domains on auctions like Flippa.com for a large amount of money, there is probably a reason for the sale. Unless you hit a “one hit wonder” like FB.com, you won’t make money fast or easy. If you have questions or want to discuss potential domain names, you are free to contact me on [email protected] or leave a comment below.