Domain flipping: the definitive guide

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Start with as little as ₹ 825

While a lot of confusion hovers around domain flipping, it continues to be a powerful way of making money if you do it right.

You can start with as little as ₹ 825 while sitting in the comfort of your house.

But here’s the problem— most people don’t know how to do it correctly and end up failing the business. So before you jump in, it’s crucial to get an understanding of domain flipping and how to do it in the right way.

Interested in starting a profitable domain flipping business in 2023?

We’ve got you. In this domain flipping guide, we’ll talk everything about domain investing in 2023.

Starting with the basics.

What is domain flipping?

A domain or a domain name is a unique and easy-to-remember address used to access a particular website.

Aajtak.in is a domain name. Another example is Cricbuzz.com.

 

Domain flipping is the practice of buying and selling domain names for profit. It involves:

  • Buying a domain name
  • Making improvements to the domain
  • Then selling it at a higher price

So basically, you buy an available domain name, improve its quality and credibility, and then sell it for a better price. The difference between the cost price and the selling price is your profit.

Here are a few examples of domains that have sold for top prices over the years:

  • laba.com — ₹ 81,81,818.19
  • tulo.com — ₹ 45,45,454.55
  • 5111.com — ₹ 41,32,396.70
  • picstart.com — ₹ 34,71,074.39
  • 7777AV.com — ₹ 25,74,462.81

You can learn more about domain flipping, also known as domain investing, here.

New vs. expired domain name

New domain names are the ones that are available and have never been bought by anyone.

GoDaddy domain search page showing
Search for profitable domains to sell here.

Expired domains are the ones that were previously owned by someone, but they’re now expired and have not been renewed by their previous owner. The domain registrar generally waits for a few days after the domain name expiration, and if it isn’t renewed, the registrar then puts the domain into an auction.

Buying and selling expired domains is better than flipping a new domain name.

The reason is that an expired domain name may have gained in value because of its age and backlink profile. If it has, it will increase the domain name’s selling price.

How much does domain flipping cost?

The cost of starting a domain-flipping business is very low. You just need to buy domain names, which start from ₹ 825 per year per domain name.

The cost could go higher, depending upon the words in the domain name.

While some professional flippers buy thousands of domains at once, you may start with only a few and then scale eventually.

Apart from the domain name, the auction house may take a percentage of your sale when you use their platform to list and sell your domain name.

Other than these, you will need to have a smartphone and internet connection.

The low investment cost makes domain flipping one of the best side hustles for anyone who doesn’t have much to invest.

Is domain flipping profitable?

Before starting any business, the most common question that hits any mind is — will this be a profitable business?GoDaddy Investor app on Google Play

The answer is yes, domain flipping can be very profitable, but it may need some time. However, if you’re dedicated and ready to invest time and effort in it, you can earn money in this business.

Is domain investing legal?

Domain flipping is completely legal in India.

However, while considering which domain name you should buy, there’s more to research than just checking the availability.

You will also need to do a trademark search to ensure that the name isn’t legally owned by someone else.

If you intentionally buy a domain name that’s legally trademarked by another business to make money off the company’s credibility, it will be illegal. This is known as cybersquatting.

How to do domain flipping

If you’re seriously thinking of starting a domain flipping business, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort, at least during the initial phase. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do domain flipping in the right way.

Step 1: Search for the right domain name

The first step is to buy a lucrative domain name. If you want to make this successful, you’ll need to dig deep and find names that are both worth buying and can easily be sold. The idea here is to find a low-priced domain name with potential so that the profit can be high when you sell it.

Related: 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain name

Step 2: Evaluate the domain

To ensure you’re buying a good domain name, you need to evaluate it before buying.

This is because not all domains are equal. You need to buy a valuable domain at a good price, and then only it will be profitable. But if you buy:

  • A domain name that is priced higher than it’s worthMan checking his cell phone
  • A domain name that is difficult to remember or no one wants to buy
  • A domain name with a high spam score
  • Or a blacklisted name

… you’ll end up losing money.

Here are a few key factors that you need to consider while evaluating a domain name.

Domain extension

A domain extension, also known as a top-level domain (TLD), is the suffix that follows the domain name.

There are several extensions available in the market today. Here are six to consider:

  1. .com— most lucrative
  2. .net
  3. .io
  4. .org
  5. .co
  6. .me

The most widely used extension is .com, making it the most trusted extension or TLD.

Branding

Before buying a domain name, anyone would first check if it is brandable or not. Brandable domain names are:

  1. Unique and distinctive
  2. Easy-to-remember
  3. Short and concise

Now here’s the catch: buyers are more attracted to some specific names that are closely related to their brand. This means they will be willing to pay more for such domain names.

Search-friendly

Search rankings are crucial when it comes to building an online business. After all, a high search ranking helps the website to get more customers. (Here is how to check the search ranking of any domain name.)

People prefer domain names that have popular SEO keywords in them. The better the keyword, the better the chances of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERP).

Search-friendly domains are more profitable than non-search-friendly domain names.

To ensure the domain name is SEO-friendly, it should have a keyword with:

  1. More than 200 searches per month
  2. Bidding on the keyword for Google ads

Google Keyword Planner results for best fish curry

You can use Google Keyword Planner to check the ranking of any keyword. (At the time of this writing, bestfishcurry.com was available at GoDaddy for ₹ 139 for the first year and ₹ 1199 every year thereafter).

Backlink profile

Backlinks play an important role in improving a website’s domain authority. High domain authority often means higher search engine ranking.

When you buy a domain, you can always look up its backlink profile and check if there are websites that are linking to it. To check it, you’d need to do a backlink audit. Several tools, like Ahrefs and SEMrush, can help you check this.

Step 3: Register the domain name

After evaluating the name, the next step is to buy the domain name and register it to your name.

The process is simple here:

Step 4: Find a buyer

Here comes the profit-making part — find a buyer who is ready to pay a good price for your domain name.

As aforementioned, you need to sell it at a price that is higher than the original price of the domain. This is how the deal will be profitable for you.

Here are a few ways to find the right buyer for your domain:

Domain Auctions: This is the fastest way to sell your domain name. There are auctions like GoDaddy Auctions, where you can simply list your domain name and get a buyer.

Domain name search GoDaddy auctions

The idea here is to put a price on it that is lesser than the price you want. This will get more bidders bidding for your domain and increase the selling price.

Sell privately: You can also do it by yourself. To do this, you would need to find potential buyers yourself.

The best way to do this is by researching on Google for businesses that would be interested in the keywords used in your domain name.

Once you build a list of such businesses, you can use tools like LinkedIn or Clearbit Connect to find the details of the prospects.

After that, you can reach out to them directly and negotiate a price if they’re interested.

Related: Free GoDaddy investor app makes bidding easy 

Step 5: Sell it

Here comes the last step — sell the name to the buyer and transfer the ownership to them. This doesn’t take much time as everything, even in this step, is done on the internet.

Buy it and sell it with our domain flipping guide

Domain flipping is undoubtedly a profitable business idea. You will need some time, extra effort, and some experimentation before you start making profits out of it. But once you understand the drill, there’s no going back.

Just start, stay consistent, and you’ll ace it soon.

Image by: Rob Hampson on Unsplash