Make Money with domain names

I just read an interesting article about a guy who 14 years ago bought the domain for $20 (and had to pay $20 each year to keep it). He didn’t really know what it was worth, so he recently decided to put it up for auction to see what he could get for it and it went for a cool $2.6 million. How is that for a nice return on investment?

domain nameI remember about that time looking for domains to buy because I had heard a few people comparing it to the California Gold Rush. I spent about 15 minutes typing in domain names and then gave up. Maybe I should have kept at it a bit longer.

While the story is remarkable and not the norm, people have been and continue to make money with domains. I haven’t gotten too involved in buying or selling domains, but if anyone is interested I would be willing to sell for a bargain price of $2.5 million (it’s not quite as valuable as hence the discount).

I found another article that talks about how you can still make money with domain names today. The domain name market has some similarities with the real estate market.

Here are a few of the ways the author suggested to make money with domains:

1. Buy existing domains and increase their value (or just flip’em) – it takes money to make money, but you can start small. The domain name aftermarket is extremely inefficient, meaning you can buy domains from one venue and sell them quickly on another. You can also buy underutilized domains, build them up, and watch the cash roll in.

2. Embrace the power of predictive domaining – One of the best new blogs about domains is Predictive Domaining. It discusses ways to determine tomorrow’s hot topics and keywords so you can register (or buy cheap) domains today. Here’s a case in point: the term “blog” wasn’t around during the original 1994 gold rush. There are lots of other terms that aren’t hot (or even known) today that will be tomorrow. I would consider myself a good predictive domainer, but the Predictive Domaining blog always teaches me something new.

3. Stay in it for the long haul – so domain parking revenues are down this year. Perhaps it’s just a speed bump. Will we look back ten years from now at domains that sold for millions when they are then selling for tens of millions? There are still great buy-and-hold strategies for those who are able to hold for the long term.

Real estate and “virtual real estate”

I see the similarities between real estate and domains, but the thing that stands out to me is that there is a limited amount of real estate. There are only so many square feet on the earth, however with “virtual real estate” it is a seemingly unlimited supply.

I understand that the most valued domains receive quite a bit of type in traffic, but it seems like sometimes it may not be worth the investment. For instance eBay, Google, and even amazon all chose not to go after the prime domains and built their brand around a more obscure name. It seems to have worked well for them.

Domain Name tools

If you are curious to see what domains are still available use this tool, it makes it very quick and easy to spot what is available. And if you are trying to find a domain with a particular keyword included – Nameboy is a good tool as well…

Buy your name

I have read a few articles that have suggested to buy if it is still available. Domains are cheap – $8 a year with and it is a lot easier and cheaper to buy it from them than a private party down the road.

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  1. I think is someone can be able to perfect the power of predictive domaining and then be able to stay in for the long haul, then definitely there is a lot of money to be made by buying and selling domain names.

    The problem is that if someone rushes in without doing due diligence first, their are high chances of loosing your hard earned cash.

  2. bob

    you know, the good thing is that even for someone who doesn’t do the “due diligence” the risk of losing money is minimal – $8 a year for a domain name is a pretty small investment – don’t you think?

  3. Trent Hamm

    I own the domain name for myself, my wife, and my two children – their full first and last names. I’m definitely planning on letting my children have them when they get old enough – right now, they’re mostly just picture compilations for family.

  4. Eden

    Sadly, it’s about 10 years too late to make any real money with domain names- unless you are blessed with magical powers to see the future and what odd names might become valuable some day. 🙂

    The low cost of investment is definitely a positive, so it’s worth a shot to buy something you think could turn out well, but seriously, any good names are already purchased.

  5. Mrs. Micah

    On the due diligence front…while $8/year isn’t so bad, I would think that domain investing would probably lead you to buying 100+ domains and an $800/year expense should always be questioned.

  6. bob

    @Eden and Mrs. Micah
    You know that is why I bought – I used my “magical powers” and I also only needed to buy 1 domain not 800 to make my millions 😉 – It is still for sale – $2 million anyone?

  7. Art

    If your interested in Making Money Selling Domain Names you have to be creative. You should find key word domain names. It also helps to have your own domain name web host business. I have mine If you want yours go to

  8. Matthew Brent Beaty

    Hi, I have been addicted to purchasing domain names for well over a decade now. I first learned how to register and transfer domain names when the Christian Radio Station that I worked for had sold and I was trying to get our domain name transferred to the new owner who I continued to work for. I was hooked! Here are a few names that I registered and sold for a small quick profit: – registered for $8.00 and sold it for $300.00 / – registered for $8.00 and sold for $350.00 / registered for $8.00 and sold for $300 in the first few minutes I sent out a mass email announcing it was up for sale. I emailed a bunch of organizations who went by Pinnacle Productions. So you see you can still make money on domains. Yes, the previous comment suggests that most of the good domains are taken but that person neglected to consider that many of the good domains are being abandoned or allowed to not renew and therefore are back on the market. I suggest using the Back-order tool at godaddy so you can track the domains you wish to buy if they expire and become available. It puts you at the top of the line to buy your desired expired domain name. I just bought a premium domain of GodsEconomy for $355.00 from Fabulous Domains in Australia. If you look hard enough you can get a steal of a deal. Great Article Bob!