Frequently asked questions about domain flipping


You’ve heard the term domain flipping before. You’re interested but not really sure what it is. I had many questions about domain flipping. Here’s what I learned.

What is domain flipping?

Domain flipping is a great example of arbitrage. You buy a domain for a small amount of money and you sell it for a large amount of money. It’s very simple to understand, but can be challenging flip domains consistently and profitably.

a man backflipping into the sea
Domain flipper by Austin Neill via Unsplash

What’s the process from end to end?

  1. Search for a domain
  2. Research the domain
  3. Register the domain name
  4. Find a buyer for the domain
  5. Sell the domain

The steps are straight forward. Steps 1 and 2 require some work. However, step 4 is where you’re going to spend most of your time. Most people inherently think build versus buy. This is the case for starting a website. Instead of looking to see what someone has started and and what you can do to make it grow. Many people elect to start from scratch, but with the right domain, you don’t always have to take this route. If you’re flipping domains, the people who don’t start from scratch are your potential buyers.

Should I start small or large?

You should start small. You’re likely to make mistakes along the way as a beginner, which is a great learning experience. Starting small allows you to test assumptions cheaply.

If you go large, you will have to be willing to spend a larger amount of money on a domain. You might even fall victim to sunk cost fallacy. Because you put so much money into a domain, you may not want to be honest and throw in the towel when the flip doesn’t work out as intended.

How important is keyword research?

Keyword research is highly important and integral to the success of a flip. The keywords of the site tell you what people are looking for. Unless someone intends to use paid traffic from your flipped domain, you should do the keyword research.

find domain names
Find domain name by Markus Winkler via Unsplash

Should I look at sites with similar names?

This is a great idea. If similar sites look spammy, that’s a red flag for me. I would use caution with those sites, as anything with a whiff of being spammy can reduce your total profit. Always keep this in mind.

Should I create a landing page?

Yes, as landing pages make your intention known. There will be buyers that want to continue to grow the domain. There will also be other arbitragers you beat to the punch. You won the initial battle to capture the domain. They may want to give you a little extra money so they can take it further for a large pay day. Putting your clear intention on a landing page starts conversations to drive your flip to completion.

Is domain flipping illegal?

No, domain flipping is not illegal. It can actually be quite lucrative for some. I know of a few people that make a living flipping domains. However, domain squatting is illegal.

handcuffs and bitcoins
Handcuffs by Bermix Studio via Unsplash

Are domain and website flipping the same?

No, with domain flipping you focus on the domain. A domain flipper doesn’t build sites. Website flipping on the other hand focuses on taking a site that is already making money and growing the site’s traffic.

Is there a way to tell when a domain will expire?

You can search for expired, soon to expire, and delete domains at ExpiredDomains. There are a lot of tools out there. I found ExpiredDomains to be the easy to use. The free version is robust. It’s a perfect tool for anyone interesting see what’s available to flip.

What is domain drop catching?

Drop-Catching is the process of registering expired domain names by means of automated systems within a short period of time (even a fraction of a second) after being canceled by the registry. Simply put, the auto-registration of domains in the moment of their deletion.

Drop-Catching – ICANNWiki

Where is the best place for domain flipping?

One of the best marketplace for flipping domains is eBay. Most buyers aren’t just buying domains. The great thing about eBay is that you can buy all sorts of things there. Do you want to buy a car, a coat, or a domain to flip? If so, eBay has you covered.

a woman flipping her hair
Hair flip by Haley Johnson via Unsplash

What should my budget be for domain flipping?

I would budget for 3 to 5 domains to start. I would try to find domains to flip for under $10. If you buy 5 domains, that would be a budget of $50. I really encourage anyone to start small.

When is the best time to flip a domain to make the most cash?

If the domain is part of some viral campaign, you can sell it at the peak. That’s the best time. For example, when news about NFTs selling for millions of dollars broke through the internet. That’s when you should sell the domain.

Outside of viral events, you should try to unload your domain before you have to renew it. I would try to flip the domain by months 8 through 10.

How do I buy a domain?

A lot of people use GoDaddy. I personally use DreamHost and highly recommend them. Here are the steps for registering a domain at DreamHost.

Thanks for making it this far!

If you would like me to answer any more questions about domain flipping, post a comment down below. I try to respond to questions I receive within 2 days. If you liked this post, share it on your favorite social channel, and make sure to check out my other posts about business too.