Personal Story – Flipping Expired Domains Into Big Profits

This is about my personal experience with catching expired domains & flipping them for good profits. You may ask, what are good profits.. Well on average when I pickup a domain at regfee of $8 USD +- and flip it to cover a portfolio of 100 domain names, I consider that a good flip. Then the domino effect takes place & additional sales from that portfolio end up being pure profits. The main thing to keep in mind with this tutorial is that a good eye for finding drops from the daily drop lists & luck has a lot to do with maximizing profits.

The most important barrier I had to overcome was convincing myself that I wouldn’t be able to catch every domain I chased. After I understood this, things became easier & the profits from sales rolled in consistently. I like to believe I have a good eye for determining which domains I could chase, catch & later flip for profit. I notice that the most profitable domains seem to be in the product & service niche. product & service related domains are ones that descriptively describe a service or product that has high search volume.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I will go into detail on how I took a $500 investment & flipped it into $10,000+ over the course of a year. My initial $500 investment started over at Dynadot.com when they required a $500 prepayment to access their API for drop catching expired domain names. So I set forward & I prepaid my dynadot account & I started scouring the daily expired domain lists. Like most domainers who start off – I was registering junk domains I felt were worth money, but really weren’t. To my surprise one day I received an offer via email from an end user who wanted to purchase a domain name I owned. He asked me for my asking price & I quickly replied $800. After a low ball counter offer & email exchange, we agreed upon $500.

The $500 payment came in & I pushed the domain name to the end user’s dynadot account. He had to create a free account at Dynadot because he didn’t have one & didn’t know how a domain push worked. After requesting his dynadot forum id & email, the domain was securely transferred to his account. At this point, I had regged about ten domains & I had the luxury of registering up to 45 more free of charge after this sale.

I quickly got to work & became more selective about the domains I picked up. I think at this point I finally understood that quality was better than quantity while still not stepping over the good drops that had backorders at the major drop catchers as to not ruin my domain drop catching attempts with lesser quality domains.

Soon I realized I was starting to warehouse a small portfolio of domains that could be sold. I moved on to place the domains from my portfolio for sale at SEDO by parking domain & the domain forums were an outlet for my junk. I quickly learned that finding end users paid off a lot better than selling my domains at the major forums.

I decided to improve my communication skills with end users approaching me for my domain names & I sold a domain for $900 via my whois contact info on the domain & at that point, I had around 30 domain credits via dynadot’s API & I used them up more rapidly chasing a wider variety. I got to the point where I ran out of prepaid funds & had a good amount of domains – but no sales. It must have been around that time (Spring of 2010) – where I sensed a good wave of drops headed my way soon. I quickly decided to reinvest my profits into additional dynadot api accounts. I took my $1,400, invested an additional $100 and I put the money towards 3 new dynadot accounts.

I quickly got to work & split up the four accounts based on domain quality. As I started to catch domains with one account, I would push domains based on quality. In no time, I had built a mini system based on domains I felt were a.) garbage, b.) worth $20 – $60, c.) Worth $60 – $500 & d.) $500+ account. I was averaging 1-7 actual catches a day & chasing close to twenty domains a day. I basically rinsed & reused the idea & like wildfire people who could use the domains I caught would contact me for a sale.

The sales eventually churned good profits to the tune of tripling my initial investment & providing a stable of domain names for sale. A handful of sales kept the ball rolling which yielded nice profits. I’m not one to hold on to the same domains so most have expired now that I didn’t sell. I haven’t had a lot of luck holding on to drop catches for more than a year with my system.

I kinda lost interest & dwindled down from a a huge portfolio to a more sizable domain portfolio. I will keep you posted once I get back into drop catching. I haven’t been active lately, but really thinking about it & documenting via screenshots & videos – thanks to the support my blog gets.

Rock on domainers! There’s a lot of money to be made out there. You just need to pave your own path to success.

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4 Comments »

 
  • Troy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Are you convinced that most of the domains that you catch would have been caught by someone else if not by you?

    I have been selling domains for a few years now but have never signed with a drop catch service, choosing to just use tools like FreshDrop.com.

    I look forward to hearing your opinion.

  • John says:

    Couple of questions.

    1. Which channel (auction site, domain broker, domain newsletter) did you find most effective for selling drop catched domains?

    2. How do you price these domains?

    3. Do you use any specific tactics to market/promote the domains?

  • admin says:

    Hi John,

    1.) To be honest the best way I find to sell domains is by playing the spiderweb trick. I will usually wait on a buyer to contact me for the sale. It usually helps to have the domain parked at sedo or a parked / info page with more details & a price. Sometimes a buyer will contact me via my whois record email for a sale.

    2.) Pricing can be difficult. I like to trust my gut instinct on the domain’s worth. I may be leaving money on the table sometimes & other times I make out better than expected. It’s a win/lose situation, which I feel evens out in the end.

    3.) I don’t have any tactics I use, I like to filter the quality of domains I own at catch time which will usually yield a sale based on the domain’s quality. This can be tricky at first, but after successful sales, it helps fine tune into what buyers may be looking for.

    Dan

  • admin says:

    Hi Troy,

    Experience proves to me that most the domains I catch were chased by others. I know this because there’s days I build up a wish list, but don’t chase. Then a quick qhois check shows that the domains were scooped up by my competition.

    Drop catching entails building a list of expiring domains you’d like to catch & chasing them using API’s from one or multiple registrars. Freshdrop doesn’t offer such service to my knowledge. So you may need to look into registering domains on your own utilizing API’s & drop catching software.

    Dan

 

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