How To Start Making Money Buying And Selling Domain Names

By Henry Reith, - In Entrepreneurs

Picture of a man dressed in colorful cloths buying and selling domains for money

Photo Credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg

A ‘domainer’ is an individual or company who engages in buying and selling domain names. According to David Lye, founder of Netfleet – Australia’s number one domain name trading platform – domaining can be described as the online equivalent of property investing but without the price tag. Last month, Australia domain registrations passed the three million threshold  and given this growth and the fact that supply of concise, meaningful URLs is limited, the prices are increasing exponentially. This new way of earning passive income is surprisingly affordable (you can get started for as little as $20!) and low-risk and the case studies of successful sales are wide and varied.

David himself is a success story and an expert in the art of spotting domain trends. “Back in 2007, a new phenomenon was being discussed in techie circles – apparently something called cloud computing was set to take off,” says David. “As soon as I heard, I registered for $25, not even sure what it meant! Four years later, I put it up for auction on Netfleet and it sold for $8,000. I was stoked – $60 in registration and renewal fees had turned into $8,000 with next to no effort on my part. That delight was tempered however when, the next day, I was offered $20k for the same domain. Too late, it was already committed! What’s more, had I held on to it I probably would be able to sell it at the $200,000 mark today.”

Domain trends tend to follow business and technology trends. Click to Tweet

“Domain trends tend to follow business and technology trends so the best advice is to become as familiar as possible with innovative products and services. If you think something is going to take off, there’s a good chance that acquiring a domain or a bunch of domains around that category will likely pay off.  So, to be successful you need to be well-informed with regards to innovative developments,” says David.

David’s five top tips for spotting a domain trend are:

Do Your Homework

Read the latest tech publications such as Gizmodo, Techcrunch, Wired magazine and more.  An hour or so spent exploring will not only be fascinating but should yield at least a few ideas for what areas are likely to see growth.

Stay Tuned To The News

Trends can pop up suddenly and when news breaks, the race is on.  It may literally be a matter of minutes before corresponding domains are snapped up.

Use Your Natural Advantage

Take advantage of your personal expertise. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll likely be way ahead of the field when it comes to spotting trends. Perhaps you work in an area which gives you a greater insight into a particular industry, product or service.

Google It

It’s a crude but effective method. Why not Google phrases like ‘the next big thing’, ‘emerging technology’, ‘revolutionising business’ etc?  Get creative and throw in some keywords to represent your interests.

Use The FREE Tools Available

Make use of online tools such as Google Trends, Netfleet’s Bulk Domain Checker or Namecheap (The domain registrar we use here at Fridge). If you find that a domain is registered in all the major extensions other than .au, it might be an indicator that this interest might follow suit. Watch what the pros are picking up on the expired domain market too.


Fridge Magazine Editor. WP Membership Plugin, Founder. "marketing is a commodity, process is priceless"