Website Domains: How to Buy and Sell for Profit

Get ready – you are about to be shown insider tricks and secrets of the domain investment game! The strategies in this article are used by the top domain sellers to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars with minimal input of time or money.

You can start investing in domains immediately – with less than a $10 investment. How many other investment markets will let you in for less than the cost of a dinner at Denny’s?

This book is the result of months of research and years of experience – and it’s all here at your fingertips – just for you! You can invest and profit in domains in your spare time, on your lunch break at work, or in just a few minutes of time on a lazy Saturday morning.

Domain investing is cheap and easy to get started and can make you big bucks once you learn a few simple tips of the trade that the big traders don’t want you to know.

Top domain investors keep their methods secret and don’t like to share their system. This book breaks through the mystery surrounding how top domain investors have made millions.

I hope you enjoy reading the book, but don’t stop there. As soon as you learn these secrets – get in the game and start making profits for yourself. You don’t have to be a financial guru or internet whiz-kid to join in, so don’t let anything get in your way…

Congratulations on taking your first step to an exciting, profitable venture!

What is domain investing?

Domain investing is the process of registering or buying domain names as an investment for future sale.

In other words, just as you would invest in several real estate properties, you can build up a portfolio of domain names that can be sold in the future for a large profit, or you can flip them for instant profits.

Just like in real estate, you always want to by low and sell high. The big difference is that You can begin with only $10 and a vision.

The similarities between domain names and real estate as an investment vehicle are great; so much, in fact, that the online industry has coined the term “Virtual Real Estate” to mean “Domain Names”.

Just like with a real estate investment, you can:

Buy and Flip for quick profits

– Buy and Hold for long term gains through appreciation

– Receive cash flow while waiting to sell

Build “spec” properties

Before you begin, I would suggest reading the bonus book “The History of Domain Names”. Knowing the previous trends will help you predict where the market is going.

What domains are best for resale?

In this section, you will not be looking for domain names that will work best for your niche, but instead domain names that will appeal to buyers actively looking to buy domain names.

You may not be interested in baseball, but the domain woodenbaseballbats.com might still be a good investment. If you search this site on the web, you’ll see that it is not a developed site, but one that someone is holding onto as an investment (a parked site at the time of this writing).

There are three main ways to get domain names: (1) register a never-owned domain name (2) snap up an expired domain name or (3) buy a domain name from another party.

For investment purposes, the cheapest and easiest way to jump into the market is to register a name that is currently available. However, All three methods will be discussed below.

In this section, you will be given tools and tips on the types of domain names you should look for and how to research which ones are best. Once you know

how to successfully invest, you will be able to do it over and over again for more and more profit.

Study, Research, Learn – Profit

You must study trends — DN Journal is the online “Domain Industry News Magazine” and publishes weekly sales reports as well as archive reports for each year that has closed.

Looking at these reports is a great way to see what is selling for top dollar and can be a good indicator of domains to look for.

There are many other industry resources and reports listed on the page.

For All You Tech Heads

If you are reading this, there’s a good chance that you are more technically advanced than the average consumer. After all, you found this product on the internet and you are reading it on your computer (or printed from your computer).

However, having technical expertise when searching for domains can be both a blessing and a curse. I’ve found that people with even just a little bit of technical knowledge tend to only want to focus on technology, computer and internet related domains. This tunnel vision blinds them to the other 99% of the world that is interested in reading, job hunting, antiques, pets, sports, bird watching, genealogy, and everything else that people do while not on their computers.

There are pros and cons when delving into technology related domain startups as as an investment. The bad news is that they are harder to come by. Almost any computer proficient person out there knows how to search for and buy domains, so there is a disproportional number of technology related domains that are off the market. That’s right, the geeks bought up a lot of good ones early on.

But the good news is that by being creative and watching for new trends, it’s still possible to pick up some really good names. Plus, because there is a deficit of decent technical domains available, they tend to be worth more. And more good news… Many potential domain name buyers are technical people themselves and are blinded by the same tunnel vision, which makes them excellent customers.

So if you want to delve into the world to technology, computer and internet related domain names, here’s your line of attack — start by researching all kinds of NEW technological developments from major software releases, telecom developments, cell phone developments, etc. Once you find a hot trend that hasn’t hit yet, look for domain names related to the topic.

But be savvy – trends come and trends go – some more rapidly than others. When buying domains associated with trends, look at turning them around for resale quickly as soon as the technology hits.

The technology could go crazy and be around for decades OR could be replaced within a year… or even months. Either way, if you invest in a domain related to a tech trend, don’t make it a long-term asset in your portfolio.

Trends Not Related to Technology

Anything that is newsworthy can be a good short term investment. Whatever flash in the pan actress is hot today may not be hot tomorrow, so if you buy a domain name based on a social trend, sell it quickly. These do not have a lot of long term value and will not earn you heaps of money and if you can’t unload them quickly, you will be stuck with them. It’s best to avoid these for long term investment purposes.

Give the People What They Want

When looking for good domain names, it makes sense to search for domains in markets that appeal to markets with lots of consumers. I like to use the site www.magazines.com and browse through different categories looking for markets.

The number of markets and niche markets are almost endless. In sports there’s football, basketball shoes, hockey, bicycling, karate, bow hunting, and much, much, more. In the travel section there’s road trips, boating, backpacking, ranch vacations, etc. There’s almost no end to the what you can find. And best of all, you don’t need to be an expert in any field.

One thing that helps me is to visit my local library with my laptop. I’ll browse though the reference book section and the magazine section picking up anything that looks interesting. Then I’ll flip through the books and magazine and look for buzz words or industry terms. Then I’ll search, on the spot, and start buying available domain names.

Once you get away from the computer, technical and internet marketing niche you will begin to find that there are plenty of great domains available because the market is not as tech savvy.

You can do additional research online. By going to eBay and browsing the shopping categories. If eBay has a category for items, it means that it’s a market people are interested in. eBay also has a section called “Pulse”, at pulse.ebay.com, which allows you to see the top eBay search terms by either a universal ranking or by categories. This is a great way to stay on top of today’s top consumer trends.

Using Amazon.com is also a great resource. You can browse the top selling books at www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books and even break them down by categories. I would suggest reading the visitor’s comments to find out what the public thinks and pick up on key phrases used by certain markets.

If there is a market you are interested in, you can also do a Google search for forums. For instance, if you want to get ideas for camping market, simply type in “camping forums” (both with and without quotes) and start visiting forums. Read the posts and see what terminology the members are using.

To keep your finger on the pulse of the world, there is no better site than Digg and click on “Top in 24 hours” and you will see in an instant what people are talking about. Many times you will catch expressions and phrases in the headlines that will make great domain names.

At this point you may be saying “Hey, all I’m doing is surfing the web”, and that is partially true. However, you are searching the web in an organized way trying to brainstorm great domain names.

If you keep doing this on a regular basis, and use the tools provided for you later in this chapter, you will find more great domain names than you could ever afford to buy, even with a million dollar budget. It just takes a little creativity.

Short and Sweet

Shorter domain names have intrinsic higher values. You will not be able to get a two or three letter dot-com domain name by registering it yourself in the “primary market”, but if you are lucky, you might be able to score one from a distressed seller close to its expiration date.

Four and five letter domain names are still considered short and also have high intrinsic value. By intrinsic value, I mean “built-in” value. However, domain names that are too short and are not actual words and will have less value. Don’t bet on an indiscernible acronym (www.xzqba.com) instead, go for a short phrase that makes sense.

One and two word phrases are fine. Try not to go up to a four word phrase, but if you find a really good one, that’s okay.

Simple = Profit

Dictionary and “generic” names are worth big bucks on the resale market. As you can see on the list of the Top 100 (one of your bonus items), most of the top sellers were dictionary words or simple phrases.

While single word domain names are great… don’t expect to find any of them available. All the dictionary words were snapped up several years ago when an enterprising marketer ran the entire dictionary through a registrar and bought up all remaining dictionary words, whether they were valuable or not.

So today’s strategies involve looking for phrases instead of single dictionary words. It’s surprising the number of phrases that apply to daily life or business that are still available.

Another strategy is to watch for catch phrases on popular television shows or in hit movies.

The “I”s Have It

Soon after all the dictionary words were gone, another domain investor ran a list of all dictionary words through a domain registrar, only this time he added the letter “i” at the beginning. Instantly, he owned a portfolio containing thousands of valuable domain names and within months sold off enough to cover his entire investment several times over… and was still left with thousands of valuable domain names.

Then of course, it was done again by someone else, only this time using the letter “e”.

While the time for registering new single dictionary names with an “i” or an “e” at the beginning has long since passed, adding an “i” or “e” to a phrase can be an effective strategy for obtaining great domain names.

Anything associated with “eCommerce” is a good investment if the phrase makes sense and fits the other criteria recommended in this chapter.

Think Big Business

Domain names that appeal to corporations are automatically worth more. Businesses have more to spend to buy a domain from you than an individual buyer. As you begin to get experience in buying and selling domains, you should concentrate part of your efforts and research on finding and investing in domain names for resale to the big business sector. While focusing on the business sector, be careful not to infringe on any trademarks.

It is a good idea to research emerging business trends and try to register domains ahead of the technology curve. However, you will want to avoid registering anything that has a trademarked name as part of the domain name. Don’t register anything with “Microsoft” as part of the name. “Apple” is a more common word, but still, be careful. “WalMart”, “Xbox”, “Nintendo” and other registered trademarks like this are to be avoided.

Business phrases are a great idea! “EmailSolutions” or “GreatHotels” or “TopVacations” are good examples of this. Two or three word combinations that combine highly searched keywords would be very marketable for resale and there are a lot available if you do some digging and check expired listings.

What’s in a Niche?

Beyond technology trends, you can invest in niches and sub-niches – which are simply trends, but more in the social sense. Niches are things like weight loss or herbal remedies. Sub-niches are even more specific.

Using the examples from above, for weight loss, some sub-niches would be low-carb diets, vegetarian diets or grapefruit diets. For herbal remedies, you could break out by complaint such as herbal remedies for flatulence, migraine headaches or psoriasis.

Stay away from domain name niches and sub-niches associated with religion, politics and charitable organizations. Even if you find a great domain, this is not a niche where high dollars are spent.

Should you Abbrev?

Sometimes using an abbreviation in a domain name will open up a world of possibilities. Look for words or phrases that you can add “etc” after. It worked out well for “Mail Boxes Etc.”

Also, think about adding “dr” for Doctor, or “mr” for Mister in front of words or phrases to find unregistered domain names.

You Can Use Acronyms

Acronyms like IM (instant messaging) are becoming extremely popular as domain names are getting swooped up. The problem with many common acronyms such as LOL is that the website really needs to be branded to make it understandable.

For instance, if you used “LOL” in a domain name, then there should be a logo on the site, and on every page, showing a laughing face so the visitor (or a potential buyer) subconsciously understands the domain name.

Think About Spelling

If you are buying domains for development or parking, typos (deliberate misspellings) can be a viable strategy, but for resale purposes, this is a very unreliable investment.

Extensions

As you are aware, .com domains tend to have the highest resale value. A .com is like Fifth Avenue real estate compared to any other extension. The second most valuable extension (according to resale statistics) is .net. But the new .mobi extensions are catching up.

It can really tempting when a good .net domain comes along

After you get a few sales under your belt, then you can start trying out some .net and .org names.

Depending on the domain name you are considering investing in, .org may be a viable and valuable alternative as well. It tends to do well with search engines and especially with sites getting traffic from PPC systems like Google AdWords. The reason is simple… people tend to trust .org domains and feel safe clicking on .org links.

For resale purposes, avoid country codes, unless you plan to market your domains to companies in specific countries that match the domain extension code. The one exception would be the .tv extension. This extension was created for the island country of Tuvalu (country code TV), but is used extensively by companies that deal with television media.

Avoid the new .net extensions (read the section about the new.net extensions in the History of Domains bonus book).

Strange Components

While it’s possible to create clever domain names by playing around with the three domain levels, these domains generally do not do well. The obvious exception is the social bookmarking site del.icio.us.

Hyphens

Remember in English class when you could never remember which words were okay to hyphenate?

I‘ll make it easy. “Hyphens will ALWAYS lower the value of a domain name.”

A good case in point is Wal-Mart. This is now the world’s largest company and actually has a hyphen in their name. When Wal-Mart first launched their website, they used the domain wal-mart.com, with a hyphen, in all their marketing and advertising, but later switched to walmart.com since the vast majority of visitors were typing in the domain name without the hyphen.

So should domains with hyphens be avoided? It depends. In very competitive markets, a good two word domain with a hyphen may be better than a bad domain name. A hyphenated domain name tends to work very well in non technical markets or local markets. For instance, you could build a spec site to try and sell to a lawyer in Anyville and call it anyville-lawyer.com.

Is it Catchy?

Companies looking to buy a domain name typically want something that their customers will find memorable and that they can brand and market around. If it is a catchy phrase or one short word, it will be easy to recall and revisit. The same is true for marketing and branding – if it is one short interesting word or a catchy phrase, it will be intrinsically easier to brand and market.

Sometimes names don’t have to make sense to be catchy, like FlipDog.com

Google It

When pondering a domain name for purchase – be sure to Google it and see that it returns a lot of results. Also go ahead and check it out on Yahoo and MSN as well, for kicks. You don’t want to invest in a domain that no one is interested in. If there are no Google results, you can anticipate that there is little interest in that topic.

If you have a multi-word domain, be sure to search them all at once on Google with a “+” in front of each. For example if you are considering the domain bamboofishingrods.com, you need to type into the Google search box:

 

+bamboo +fishing +rods

 

This will show you all results that contain all 3 words together. The caveat is that the order of the words will change the results. The “+” sign first causes all sites with “bamboo” to pull, then searches them and eliminates all that do not include “fishing” and then finally eliminates all that do not include “rods”.

 

+bamboo +fishing +rods

 

37,900 Google results

 

+fishing +rods +bamboo

 

96,300 Google results

 

+fishing +bamboo +rods

 

63,200 Google results

 

+rods +fishing +bamboo

 

296,000 Google results

No matter how you cut it, bamboofishingrods.com is a domain with traffic potential for its market. Just bear in mind when testing out your potential

domain that word order can matter. If you have paired a more common term such as “cars” with a less common term like “pewter”, type in “cars” first in your domain search to get the truest reflection of traffic potential.

I have something to add

This is probably the easiest way to get a great domain name in today’s marketplace.

One way to build a quick portfolio of quality domain names is to add a single word to a popular phrase (or even a singe word) either at the beginning or at the end.

As an example, when the web was first coming online in the mid 90’s the domain dogtraining.com was registered in 1996 to sell dog training items. Almost 10 years later, a company came around wanting to promote their dog training course. Since the domain dogtraining.com was taken, they snapped up dogtrainingfast.com and made their product geared towards quickly training your dog. A great name was created simply by adding a word.

Fast isn’t the only word that can be added. Just think of and good word to add at either the beginning or the end and quick visit to www.thesaurus.com will yield plenty of short alternate words that are memorable.