Where to find domains for sale or sell yours for profit

7 min read
Anastasia Dvorak

Finding the right domain name is one of the first and most important steps to starting a business. These days, every business needs a website, and every website must have a domain. But it’s not just startups that are wondering where to find domains for sale.

Savvy investors have learned that buying and selling domains for profit is lucrative, if done well.

Example of big-ticket domain salesWhere to find domains for sale

GoDaddy domain investing page

There are many domain registrars that provide domains for sale, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

Buying and selling domains is a niche that has grown tremendously over the years.

A domain name is not just a simple web address, it’s digital real estate whose value can be increased over time. Those who buy and sell for profit, known as domain investors, largely buy and sell through domain auction houses.

GoDaddy domain auctions explained

If you want to participate in GoDaddy’s domain auctions, you’ll first need to buy a membership. GoDaddy uses the verified bidder process to make sure that you are protected from any potentially fraudulent activity during the auction process.

Here you can browse hundreds of thousands of domains for sale.

When you are ready to sell a domain, you can also do this via the auction system.

There are two different listing types you can use in GoDaddy auctions:

  • Offer-style auctions — where you can negotiate the domain price or buy it nowGoDaddy domain investing app
  • Bid-style auctions — where you will compete with other buyers to win the domain name

You can download the free GoDaddy Investor app so you are aware of what’s happening with the auction for your domains (Apple, Google Play).

The app allows you to:

  • Monitor your auctions in real-time
  • Bid on domains
  • Find out immediately if you are the highest bidder or if your offer has been accepted

You can also view the history for each domain, and keep track of all your domains, auctions, and transactions. 

How to sell domains for profit

You may have heard of domain flipping. As with houses, this is when you buy a domain and then sell it for more than you paid for it.

If you want to make money with domain flipping, you need to find the right domain to begin with. The most lucrative domains are:

  • Valuable
  • Brandable
  • Short
  • Memorable

The goal is to buy a unique domain name that’s for sale at a standard rate and then resell it for (hopefully) more at the domain auction.

Ready for more? You can also buy domains in bulk using GoDaddy’s Search & Buy Domain in Bulk tool. While you’re deciding what to do with them, park them using the domain giant's CashParking Tool to make money on pay-per-click display ads.

1. Find (and buy) domains for sale

GoDaddy domain availability search screen

For most people, this starts with a domain availability search.

Domains with .com endings are more valuable than other types such as .net, .co or .biz. Domain names with other extensions are becoming more acceptable, but if you’re a cautious investor, you may want to start with .com or a regional TLD such as .ca.

Related: Why you should have a .ca domain

2. Determine the correct pricing for your domain

The domain price is determined by:

To price yours, you can check what other domains with similar stats have previously sold for. You can also type your domain name into the GoDaddy Domain Appraisal Tool to estimate the value of your domain.

3. List them for sale on an auction site

Be sure to choose an auction house run by a reputable company. This will help minimize your risk of fraud and maximise your earning opportunities.

A few pro tips

Domain investing is a mature industry now, one crowded with lots of smart people. Your best bet is to educate yourself and start small. Here are a few more tips to get you started: 

Focus on a niche and learn the lingo 

To make money in domain investing, many choose niches that they become experts in.

Let’s say you choose real estate.

You cannot buy a domain name with “realtor” in it unless you are a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or part of a member's firm. REALTOR® is a trademark owned by NAR, and it would be a trademark violation to own such a domain (more on this later).

No law-abiding Realtor would consider buying a domain like that, so it would be a waste of money.

Thanks to the hundreds of new domain extensions like .realestate, .rent and .casa, there are more names to be had in this niche — and just about every other niche.

You can scroll through the whole list of new domain extensions here.

Look for domains that are SEO-friendly

Search engines are a major consideration when buying a domain to resell. Domains that include high-value keywords could increase the value of the domain.

As long as it’s not too long or spammy-looking, a keyword-rich domain name may be a good investment. Use Google’s Keyword tool to see if your domain name’s keyword has a relevant number of searches per month.

Avoid domains that match trademarked names

There was a time when a person could buy, say, kraft.com (assuming it was ever available to average people) and then try selling it to the global food and beverage giant for lots of money.

Those days are gone. Now trademarks are fiercely protected in the domain sphere and cybersquatters are denied their millions.

Prepare for a long-term waiting game

Finding the right domain and selling the domain for profit can take some time. Many domain investors build websites and associated social accounts on promising domains they own in order to increase their value before selling them.

Amassing web traffic can take time, money and effort.

Practice patience and understand what the pros already know: sometimes the process is worth the wait. You will be potentially making more money if you wait for the right time and the right buyer.

Woman looking at papers in front of an open laptop

Don’t overlook backorders

If the domain you want is not available, you can backorder a domain to improve your chances of securing an expired domain. Before the expired domain becomes available to the public, it needs to go through a specific process that could take some time.

Potential buyers can purchase a backorder from GoDaddy, for example, and they will try to register the domain for you the second it becomes available to the public.

This service saves you time and money and is one of the safest ways to secure an expired domain.

There is also a free daily monitoring tool from GoDaddy that allows you to get timely status updates on the domain that you want.

If there is only one backorder on the domain you want, then you become the domain name registrant if and when it becomes available. If there are multiple backorders on the domain you want, you can participate in an auction and try your luck at winning the domain name.

Use GoDaddy's domain availability search to start now

Every year it’s getting harder and harder to find domains that are short and in demand. That’s because domain investment is an actual niche that has grown over the years. There are people searching and buying hundreds of domains daily.

But don’t fret, you still have many options for acquiring the domains you want with the help of reliable domain registrars like GoDaddy.

Search to see if the domain you want is available

The information contained in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice from GoDaddy on any subject matter.