A practical guide to profiting from expired domain names in 2009.
Because of the economy and faltering parking revenue, you should expect to see more domain names expiring and dropping in 2009 and 2010. Most of these added drops will be of low or mediocre quality, but some of them will be worth backordering.
To new comers, buying expired domains can be somewhat daunting. But in many ways it’s easier now than in the days of many competing services slamming the registry’s servers for each domain. You had to backorder the domain at all companies and then watch auctions across all of them.
Yet when you see domain auctions with over 100 bidders, it’s natural to be scared away. This is a guide to playing the drops for people like me, who are ok spending $100s or even $1000s on an expired domain, but don’t have deep enough pockets to throw around $10,000s each week.
Do your research. It’s worth the money to use a service like FreshDrop to find gems. With thousands of domains dropping each day you can’t do it by hand. I personally filter out any domain that isn’t at least 5-7 years old, as most domains registered in recent years aren’t worth much.
Don’t fall in love with a domain. There are dozens of very high quality domains dropping each day. If a bidding war errupts, don’t let your ego get in the way. Let someone else win the domain and move on to the next.
Place the minimum offer at NameJet. To preorder a domain at NameJet you only have to bid $69. Some people are confused and place a proxy bid before the auction even begins. NameJet treats your proxy as your actual bid. All this does is increase the starting auction price. It doesn’t give you any benefits.
SnapNames may be easier for getting your feet wet. SnapNames has fewer of the prized domains and auctions aren’t as heated. You can pick up some good bargains because of this.
Forget about 3 and 4 character domains. These domains stand out and are usually backordered by dozens of people. The sales prices leave no room to quickly flip the domains to other domainers. The goal is to go after domains that people may overlook.
Watch out for deadbeat bidders. Sadly, a lot of bidders don’t pay. This has a lot to do with leniency by the auction house. If you are bidding against someone for a domain and it’s only the two of you that seem to be bidding up the domain, you may want to let it go. You may be bidding against someone who doesn’t intend to pay. If they don’t pay, the domain will be re-auctioned.
Don’t forget about Afternic. As mentioned above, SnapNames tends to have less competition than NameJet. Afternic has even less. Afternic auctions off some of Melbourne IT’s domains. You’ll rarely find anything worth four figures from Melbourne IT, but when a good domain does drop it goes for a steal. A couple weeks ago someone picked up CampusOnline.com for $1,300.