What Is Domain Flipping?

What Is Domain Flipping?

What if I told you that the mere act of purchasing a domain could pump money into your bank? No jokes or tricks. With domain flipping, nearly everyone can start making a lucrative income. Although identifying profitable domain names isn’t as easy as it used to be, it’s still very possible to make a few hundred or even thousands of dollars by flipping domains intelligently.

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to make money from domain names. Whether you’re brand new to the concept or you’re ready to make serious coin, this domain flipping guide has plenty of info to help get you started. 

What Is Domain Flipping?

Domain flipping is the practice of buying domains and reselling them for a profit. Of course, you don’t just buy any available domain name. You would evaluate a domain’s potential before investing your hard-earned money into the asset. The better you become at identifying high-potential domains, the more money you can make.

There are several reasons why domain flipping is a hot business these days. Below are some of its key benefits.

  • Easy to start: Anyone with a computer and a decent internet connection can start flipping domain names. It doesn’t require technical skills like writing code or managing databases. 
  • Low maintenance costs: Once you buy a domain, it will live on the platform where you made the purchase. You don’t need to purchase hosting or cloud storage to host your domains like you do for a website . 
  • Hands-off management: A domain flipping business can run itself once you have bought and listed domains for sale. As such, it can be a great way to earn passive income.

As for the initial investment, you can register a domain for as low as $14 per year.

Shopify Domain Name Generator

The hard part is finding profitable domains that aren’t already taken. Thousands of domains are registered every day, so don’t be discouraged if your preferred domains aren’t available. When it comes to domain flipping, you need to be relentless in your pursuit of high-potential domains. 

What Is Domain Flipping Called?

Domain flipping is called the buying and selling of digital assets. In this case, the asset is the domain name you buy cheap and sell high. You can find potential domains to acquire on platforms such as Hover or even look for them on forums and social media groups. Your acquisition cost is primarily the purchase price of the domain, after which you have to pay an annual renewal fee. Of course, you save on the fees when you sell the domain name before the renewal date.

Top 11 Domain Flipping Strategies to Consider

1. See What People Are Searching For

When you know what terms consumers are interested in, you’ll be able to identify more profitable domain names. Keywords Everywhere is an excellent tool for discovering the most searched keywords in a particular niche. If you want to see what keywords can be converted into a domain, combine your research with a domain availability checker. Shopify’s domain name generator not only shows which domains are available, but it also presents you with alternative domain names to choose from. So, if your preferred keywords are already taken, you can check out alternative domains to find good options. 

domain flipping

2. Think of A Brandable Name

Branding is one of those domain flipping strategies that will generate a higher profit. Use a name that’s easy to recall and fast to type into a browser. You might take inspiration from Kodak, Apple, or even Slack. The secret to choosing brandable domains is to let your brain loose. Make up a few words or put twists on existing terms. Trust your instincts and go for something catchy. Large-scale companies are known to invest thousands of dollars in brandable domains, so there’s an opportunity to earn a healthy income.

3. Research Timely and Geospecfic Domains

Imagine if you had bought a domain like washyourhands.com when the coronavirus pandemic was still in its early stages; you’d have an asset that you could have sold for a reasonable price (FYI, washyourhands.com sold for a cool $17,500). Use a tool like Google Trends to keep yourself up to date with new developments. Other than that, see if you can find geo domain opportunities related to cities, countries, or communities. Geographic names like vancouverjobs.com can be sold to solopreneurs, startups, or SMBs. Timely domains like these have the potential to become bestsellers.

4. Check Out New Extensions

You can also start a domain flipping business with new extensions like .me and .io. Because the majority of .com domains are already taken, a buyer may be willing to settle for another extension for their preferred name. The thing to be mindful of is that some extensions sell for a higher price than common extensions like .net or .org. Renewals, too, may cost an upward of $50 a year. When researching new domains, make sure to pick up a popular extension that others would be willing to buy (ideas: .store .pet, .green, .llc).

5. Invest in Expired Domains

An expired domain name is one that its owner failed to renew. You’d find many buyers for such domains because they have a history in terms of traffic, backlinks, and social mentions. Even if the domain name itself isn’t that great, if it has a good reputation in search engines, it’ll be much more valuable than if it was recently registered. You can find high potential expired domains with the help of domain flipping software. 

Pro tip: Invest in expired domains that have a high domain authority (DA). High DA implies that the domain used to rank well in search engines (something you can convey to potential buyers). 

expired domain

6. Be Ready to Negotiate

If you have your heart set on a particular domain, but it’s not available for purchase, don’t give up! Use a tool like WhoIs.net to see who the owner of the domain is. There’s an odd possibility that someone might have bought a domain but never used it, or they might be waiting for the right offer to sell it and invest funds elsewhere. Once you get hold of the owner’s information, you can reach out via email. Keep the conversation casual because you don’t want to come off as desperate when asking for the domain. Also, ask the owner about what price they have in mind and then quote your own figure. Lastly, keep negotiating until the price comes down to a sum that’s within your reach.

7. Buy Similar Domains with Different Extensions

In your domain flipping journey, you might come across clients who wish to buy similar domain names with different extensions. Businesses usually do this to prevent competitors and other parties from sharing their brand name. So, if you manage to come up or identify a high-potential domain, make sure to register as many extensions for it as you can afford. For example, you could buy a beelinejeans.com, beelinejeans.clothing, beelinejeans.net, beelinejeans.info, and more. Additionally, you can try improving sales by offering a set of similar domains with varying suffixes to the same customer provided they wish to obtain exclusivity. 

8. Experiment with Domain Parking

If you plan to hold on to your domains for a few months, you might as well park them. Parking lets you earn money by placing ads on your domain. You get paid every time someone clicks/views the ad. While you won’t earn a lot of money via domain parking, you might be able to make a few dollars (maybe even more if the parked domain is an expired one) in passive income.

9. Check for Trademark Protection

When deciding which domains to buy, you need to ensure that the names aren’t legally owned by someone else. Buying a trademarked domain name could get you in legal trouble. Plus, you’d eventually have to give up the trademarked domain. This is why it’s always best to check for trademark protection via USPTO’s (United States Patent and Trademark Office) website. If some of your preferred names show up as trademarked, drop them instantly! 

10. Get Your Domain Appraised

Doing so will give you an idea of the profits you could earn from its sale. You can either use a domain appraisal tool or have your domain appraised by a professional service. You can also pay to get a professional appraisal from another provider, but this could take a toll on your expenses. I believe it’s best to stick with free and low-cost domain appraisal tools when starting out.

Pro tip: Do some market research on domains that share similarities with your domain names. Visit DN Journal to see recently sold domain values, and then appraise your domains based on market trends and other relevant information. 

11. Set Up a Landing Page

You should make it clear to everyone that you intend to sell your domain. A simple way to do this is to put up a landing page that says your domain is for sale. The page should also include a contact form that enables interested buyers to send you a message. When buyers are searching for domains to buy, they will often type its URL in their browser to see if it’s available for sale. That’s where having a landing page can make a difference. You’ll get direct offers, and conversations with end buyers will allow you to build relationships that translate into future revenue.

You can create a landing page on your own or get a pre-made template from Shopify Themes. Most pre-made templates are plug-and-play, which means they’ll go live as soon as you place them on your domain (contact your domain registrar if you need help with the placement). 

website theme

How To Tell Which Domain Names Will Sell In Domain Flipping

A sellable domain has a few distinct traits: it’s been around for a while, the name is closer to a single word/acronym, and the domain’s got an excellent brand appeal. If the domain you’re looking to invest in has any of these characteristics, you can tell that it will appeal to buyers in the domain flipping market. How much would it sell for?  The best way to find out is to put it up for sale and let the market give you a price. Many domain flipping platforms allow sellers to list domains without needing to set a price. Just create a listing to receive offers from potential buyers.

How Much Time Does Domain Flipping Take?

Honestly, the time it takes to profit from this business can vary from domain to domain. For example, a brandable domain name could sell within a couple of hours of listing it on a marketplace. If you decide to hear offers through a broker, this can slightly extend the timeframe, but still, you won’t need to wait that long to make a successful trade. Other domains could take anywhere from 1-6 months to sell, and marketing them is an essential aspect of making a successful flip. 

It’s also worth mentioning that .com domain names sell faster than other domain name extensions. That’s because they’re popular with buyers and indicates that your domain name isn’t ubiquitous.  

Where to Buy and Sell Domains

There are platforms where you can buy a new domain or sell an existing one. Here’s a list of the most credible ones:

  • Exchange Marketplace: Exchange Marketplace is a platform where you can buy and sell websites. Not only will you get the domain you’re looking for, you’ll also get a pre-built business and possibly one that’s making money. Thus, making it one of the most profitable ways to buy or sell a domain online. 
  • Shopify: Shopify offers a domain buying platform where you can buy and manage custom domains. Setup and configuration are automated, and you keep ownership of the domain even if you don’t create a website. You can choose from standard, premium or country domain extensions. With more than 50 custom options to pick from, you’re sure to get a personalized domain name for your investment. 
  • Oberlo: Oberlo offers a business name generator that makes it easy to find unique domains. By entering names based on your keyword research into its search engine, you can generate hundreds of ideas for a domain name. Once you’ve found some options that you like, register that domain name before anyone else does!

  • Those looking to sell their domains can also check out auction sites. In auctions, you choose a minimum price for your domains and hope buyers will bid on your listings. Auctions typically last from 5-30 days. Many auction websites will deduct a commission from the sale. Still, the benefits you get will be worth the fee you pay (auction sites typically get thousands of visitors every single day, which means more eyeballs on your domain listings). 


    Domain flipping can be a great way to make some online income. Once you make a few trades, you’ll be able to understand better which domains will make you the most profits. As long as you’re patient and willing to learn, you can easily start earning money because great domains will always be in demand. So, get your first domain name today and let us know how it goes.

    P.S. You can also make money online by flipping websites. Check out How to Start a Website Flipping Business to learn more.