A Timesaving Site for Domain Flippers

November 15, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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The following is a paid review and is completely of my own opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having me review your site or product, please view my advertising page.

Several years ago, before I had multiple consistent streams of revenue coming in, one of the methods I used to make money online was domain flipping. Domain flipping, just like it sounds, is simply the act of buying a domain to sell at a higher price.

Domain flipping is actually one of the main things I suggest to those who are brand new to making money online and want to get started bringing money in. It’s a very low-risk endeavour and really only requires an $8 startup fee (to buy a domain). While domain flipping can be very tedious at times, it’s also very easy to learn and do and thus great to those dipping their toes into the make money online arena for the first time.

I had made some decent money back in the day by flipping domains. It was nothing spectacular: it started at around a $25 profit off a $30 investment, then as I learned more it grew to perhaps a $100 profit off a $60 investment, and then into the higher ranges such as a $600 profit off a $200 investment. It’s similar to house flipping – the more experience and cash you have, the more expensive houses (domains) you can invest in and flip.

In fact, I was so into domains that I even bought the domain and site DomainForums.com for $10,000 in 2005 (which I later flipped for $14,000 a couple months later).

To find the domains, all I did was (apart from checking recently expired domain lists and checking for available domains) frequent the various domain forums where domains were listed for sale. There are a number of very large webmaster and domain forums where members can post their domains for sale. I simply scoured these forums every day to find my domains names.

The four main forums I used were Sitepoint, DNForum, NamePros, and Digitalpoint. Those forums have so many new domains posted up every day it’s crazy. In addition, there are thousands of active members who scour those threads as well which means that when you post your domain up for sale it has an extremely high chance of being bid on, if not bought out altogether.

There are so many new domains added every day that it would literally take me hours to go through those 4 forums to search through all the domains. Finding a domain that you can make a profit on is like finding a needle in a haystack in those forums, simply because of the immense amount of new domains constantly being listed. Most of them are crap, but chances are you can find at least a few every day that you’ll be able to profit on.

This is where WeGotDomain.com comes in. WeGotDomain is essentially an aggregator for domain name classifieds listed on webmaster forums. It collects domains listed for sale on DNForum, Digitalpoint, Sitepoint, NamePros, eBay, DomainForums (Heh, coincidentally the site I used to own), and DomainState and organizes them all into a searchable database.

In addition, WeGotDomain lists the price, PageRank, number of backlinks, and other information for each domain to make evaluating each domain simple. This was another step in the equation for domain hunting manually that took extra time. Because of this, WeGotDomain makes finding used aged domains or domains with pr listed on webmaster forums very easy.

At the time of this review, there are currently 11,092 domains listed, with 532 of them being added today. Keep in mind that sold or cancelled domains are usually removed from the system in an effort to keep the database up-to-date.

The Search System

In addition to the default listing of all the recently added domains, users can search for domains by more specific data. For example, you could search by text, a certain character length, choose to return only certain extensions, or return only the results added in the past day or two. You can also mix and match between any of these choice to provide a pretty advanced search:

While the search capabilities are already pretty decent, they could definitely be improved to provide a very powerful advanced search. Some of the advanced domain search features I’d love to see in the future would be:

  • Ability to return domains by certain price range
  • Textbox to find a certain string either at the beginning, middle, or end of a domain (Ex. Finding domains that end only in the string forums).
  • Increasing the number of days listed in the Added in the Last dropdown list.
  • Checkbox option to exclude domains that contain numbers.
  • Checkbox option to exclude domains that contain hyphens.
  • Checkbox option to return domains by price-type (Ex. Auction, Fixed Price, Offer, or All).
  • Checkbox option to determine if the domain contains at dictionary word (as opposed to checking if the entire domain is a dictionary word).

However, the current search system is enough to help you find what you’re looking for. It would just be nice to be able to make it even more advanced.

The Listings

Overall, the listings of aggregated domains are pretty accurate, however there are a number of bugs and inconsistencies with the data. This is probably to be expected, though, since WeGotDomain is collecting and parsing all of the data from various forums, none of which have a standard protocol of how they list domains.

One of the bugs on WeGotDomain appears to be that the system cannot differentiate when a domain seller splits up their domain with a space. For example, one of the domains listed in the database is homes.net which is priced at a very suspicious $25. It turns out that it was actually mistaken for the domain mehomes.net since the domain seller listed it as "ME Homes.net" which some domain sellers often do in order to make them more appealing.

Other bugs and inconsistencies include prices and PageRank being incorrect. In fact, some domains are listed as -1 for PageRank which is impossible. I am curious if WeGotDomain returns this data on the fly or if it was taken at the time the domain was added into their database. If it is the latter, that could explain a lot of the inconsistencies, but also reveals the need to provide more accurate data.

I have a few suggestions for listings table:

First, it would be nice for each of the columns to be sortable. While you can do this with the search form, it is a lot more user-friendly and intuitive for the user to be able to click on the header of each column to sort it by ascending or descending order.

Secondly, an Alexa, Compete, and Age column would nice. While you can currently determine the age by comparing the Created and Expires columns, it takes a few seconds to work out the math; thus an Age column that returns the number of months or years with a decimal (Ex. 2.4 Years) would be welcome.

Lastly, WeGotDomain currently only lists the number of Yahoo backlinks. Considering Google is much bigger than Yahoo, it’d make sense to add a column for Google backlinks as well.

The Treasure

To reiterated what I said in the opening introduction of this review, finding a domain that you can make a profit on is like finding a needle in a haystack. Most of them are crap, but chances are you can find at least a few every day that you’ll be able to profit on.

Below are three great domains I found on WeGotDomain. They’re currently still available as I write this so don’t hesitate to buy one (or all 3) of them if you’re interested. I’m sure one of my readers will. Consider it a gift from me:

  • CruiseForums.net – The price is currently $1. This is a great domain, even better if you decide to build a forum for the domain. Estimated Tyler value: $50-75.
  • DiscussFaith.com – With an asking price of $129 this domain is a bit more expensive, but it’s a nice domain and is worth it in my opinion if you develop a site around it. As a bonus, it’s also PR3 :-)
  • TomClancy.org – Priced at $50, this is a steal. If you haven’t heard of Tom Clancy then you’re not a gamer or a reader. Beware of possible trademark issues, but you’re most likely fine – especially if you just plan to flip the domain. However, the domain is most valuable if you develop a site around it as you’ll get very high SERP’s and have a lot of related products you could sell (books or the Rainbow Six series games).

Summary

In the end, WeGotDomain is essentially a time saver by aggregating all of the domains from various webmaster and domain forums into one spot.

While not all the data is 100% accurate or up-to-date, the system still serves a purpose in that it can help you look through hundreds or thousands of domains listed for sale by sellers on various webmaster forums much quicker than you could otherwise.

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Posted: November 15th, 2008 under Paid Reviews  

32 Responses to “A Timesaving Site for Domain Flippers”

  1. Thai girl says:

    How do you actually “flip” a domain?
    Install WordPress? Hire writers? Do basic SEO?

    • Dave says:

      I wanted to ask the same thing.
      It’s a nice post about a web tool, but the real theme here is what you do after purchasing a domain. How do you develop it to increase its value?

  2. Problogineer says:

    I am a frequent domain buyer and search a lot.
    looks like a nice tool
    thanks for sharing :D

  3. Gaming says:

    Develop it with unique content, build some links, get it indexed, then sell via forums or domain brokers.

    ‘We Got Domain’ = nice looking tool, thanks for the heads up.

  4. Just install some content and write a few articles for it. Get it indexed in the search engines and then build backlinks

  5. browie says:

    Domain flipping sounds fun because you’re always building something new and exciting. This does sound like it takes quite a bit of time. Buy, write, watch links, sell. Interesting stuff.

  6. Gath says:

    Hi Tyler,

    Thanks for the writeup of WeGotDomain.com . To answer a few of your points:

    PR is taken when a domain is added to the database. Showing ‘-1′ indicates that Google has not assigned a PR to the domain (shows as a grey bar in the Google Toolbar). The ‘-1′ is used instead of ‘n/a’ to allow for sorting.

    Just Yahoo backlinks are shown because Google only shows a small percentage of the backlinks to a domain.

    Your other suggestions are good, and I’ll be updating the site soon :)

    Cheers,
    Gath

  7. Tyler Cruz says:

    I believe you guys are confused what domain flipping is.

    As stated in the first paragrah: Domain flipping, just like it sounds, is simply the act of buying a domain to sell at a higher price.

    You do NOT need to build a site for the domain, and in fact that only makes things difficult. I only recommend building the site for certain types of domain names because they are hard to sell to the general domainer market and are thus more valuable as a developed site.

    I recommend domaining to those who are new to making money online because you don’t need to have ever made a site before to make money with it, and in fact you don’t even need to have a web server. You simply buy the domains and resell back to the community at a higher price.

    Often, you can even buy domains and sell them the same day for a profit.

    Hmm… maybe I should make a detailed screencast tutorial for newcomers to domain flipping. It really isn’t difficult to make $50-$75 per day profit after even just becoming a domain flipper after the first 2-3 days. There are only two downsides to domain flipping: the low ceiling and the fact that it’s not passive recurring income.

  8. Tyler Dude,

    What do you think about domains with spaces in them. Like http://www.cruise-forums.com ? Do you think these domains are just as desirable? The only reason I ask is because I know search engines read the dash as a space, so it can yield a high SERP if you build a site around it. Just like http://www.cruiseforums.com . Your thoughts on that.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      This isn’t 1999 – search engines have come a long way since then. Personally I think dashes in domains are very overrated and devalue them, but many people still like them.

      It depends too if you plan on creating a quality, valuable site or a MFA/Scraper/Affiliate site.

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        Oops – just noticed your domain :-) I didn’t mean for that to sound rude. I have a dashed domain too: Movie-Vault.com. I hate myself for ever registering it though and wish I had the non-dashed version instead.

  9. Best domain flip I ever did was registering putterswap.com for $7. The very next day I got an email from someone wanting to buy it from me for $300. I never even listed it for sale!

    There’s a site on it now, so I guess it was worth the $300 to the new owner.

  10. A little condescending to a devoted reader but that’s cool. It’s just your opinion. I guess it depends on your strategy for the domain. If I had to do it again, I would not have gotten the dashes for my blog. It’s starting to gain traffic and traction. My problem is branding, which i guess if your flipping domains, is what people will look for. Is the domain brandable? I think it’s harder to brand a domain with dashes offline than it is online. Which makes dashes to some people less desirable. To me, it’s lame to tell your url to someone offline and you have to mention the dashes. They won’t remember it.

    On the flip side of that, I bought a domain with dashes to simply promote a clickbank product and it generates a decent income for me every month. For instance if the product was called “Blog Traffic Secrets”. I would get http://www.blog-traffic-secrets.com If the product does really well that’s free orgranic traffic I don’t have to worry about in addition to the other stuff i do.

  11. Bcarter says:

    Domains with dashes don’t do well when flipping because buyers are looking for a domain that’s brandable. If you have a domain with a dash it’s going to be confused with a domain without a dash and the website will lose visitors on type in traffic.

  12. Thanks Tyler, picked up DiscussFaith.com for 75 bucks! Talked him down :P

  13. Ryan McLean says:

    This sounds like a great tool to use.
    Tyler how can I learn about domain flipping where I can start making some decent income? Can you teach me or point me towards a good training program?

  14. John Motson says:

    You guys forgot to mention DNXpert.com and the DNXpert forums.

    John

  15. Gaming says:

    I stand corrected; sorry for the mis-directed post yesterday. My one track mind was thinking ‘website’ flipping, versus ‘domain’ flipping.

  16. Gath says:

    I have updated WeGotDomain.com so that you can exclude domains with hypens if you want to.

    I own a few domains with hyphens and haven’t had any difficulty ranking them in the search engines. I would agree it is harder to brand them offline, and you are probably going to miss a small bit of type-in traffic.

  17. Paul says:

    This is quite possibly the most useful site (to me) I have ever seen! Finally, after 2 years of reading tylercruz.com I have found something I can use to make more money than I do already! woo!

  18. Mike Huang says:

    It’s so difficult going into the domain business if you have no principal to start with :( I had a few good domains, but no one even wanted it for $1…lol

    -Mike

  19. Takes some skill but not much to flip a website!

  20. BusinessX says:

    I like this site as it helps more easily to review sites for sale. Sitepoint is a bear to find what is ending soon. Ebay you have to sort through all those $1 or million dollar domains prices.

    Also, uses forums I was not aware of, giving more options to buy.

  21. [...] Posted by Tyler Cruz Paid Advertisement A few days ago I did a paid review post titled A Timesaving Site for Domain Flippers in which the site in question was a domain listing aggregator. In the review I discussed domain [...]

  22. Whateverebay says:

    WOW! Tons of information. This can become costly, so its great to have the tools to make an educated investment. Thanks!

  23. [...] subscribe to ProTycoon.com via the RSS Feed or Via Email.Tyler Cruz posted about a great site for searching for domain names last week called We Got [...]

  24. u wud have to refresh the page every 1 second to be fast

  25. B2B says:

    Tyler, I did not find any good domains there. Moreover, the PR value is often invalid.

PeerFly

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