Making Money With Expired Domains

Most people believe there is two basic ways to make money with domain names. The first is to own a domain that someone else wants. These are typically names that are common type-in names or they are names that are easily branded or remembered. Sometimes they are names that will just fit a person’s project. You own the domain and you sell it to the person that wants to buy it. The other common way is to develop a domain and then sell the domain and the developed website as a package. This is actually fairly common. The recent sale of Youtube to Google is a great example of something like this. The domain name alone wasn’t worth much, but when it was developed into a very large site the domain name just because prime real estate. There is, however, another lesser known way of making money with domains and that is through the buying of expired domains.


Every day thousands of domain names expire. These names range from being domains that people bought and never used to websites people built and then abandoned to domains that people forgot to/couldn’t afford to renew as well as many other reasons. These domains are not renewed and eventually are added back into the pool of domains that can be purchased by other people. The trick for you is finding good ones that have value and buying them before other people do.


There are several factors that go into determining the value of a domain. For the most part these factors depend on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a domain that will fit your business or that you can brand, then the primary factor for you will simply be the name itself and not if it has any traffic or if it is indexed in search engines. If you are looking for traffic, your job is going be a little more difficult because the idea here is to find names that will have had sites on them in the past and have some traffic flowing to them. There are a few things you can do to check. First you can go to Alexa ( and see if the site has any reported traffic there. You can also check the major search engines and see if the domain has any listings. To check the domain in search engines simply go to the search engine and type in: and the search engine will show you any listings it has for that domain. If you find a domain that has some traffic going to it or some listings in search engines it may be worth looking into buying it.


There are several services out there that will sell you expired domains. The one I have used and find to be the easiest is Pool ( you can search for certain keywords in their “set to expire” list or browse the entire thing. If you find a domain you like and want to buy you can put in a claim on it. If you are the only person that puts in a claim on the domain it will be yours to purchase and will cost you $60. If more than one person puts in a claim then the domain goes to auction and you now have to bid against the other people that have put in claims. How much you bid is up to you. You will start with an automatic bid of $60 so you may be able to get it $70, but if it is a good name you may have go much higher. 

Once you have bought the domain (either through claim or auction) the domain is transferred to your ownership and you will be able to transfer it to the registrar of your choosing. For those that think this could be a very difficult thing to do I would say this: I just went to Pool and looked at their expiring soon list, did a few keyword searches and within about 10 minutes I found a domain that had 36 listings in Yahoo. Not too bad. The domain has also been around since 1993 (you can find this out by doing a whois on the domain) so it is an established domain. I put in a claim. It will make a nice addition to my search engine network.


This is the interested part. There are a few ways to make money with expired domains. As listed above you can just sell the domain outright. I have bought a few very brandable/catchy domains and have had some luck turning around and auctioning them off for a nice profit. If you are purchasing a domain because it has traffic then you have to decide what to do with this traffic. You can simply put ads up on the domain and use the traffic that way. Another idea is to develop the domain a little bit in an effort to improve you search engine rankings and you can make some sales that way. You can also simply forward all the traffic from your domain to an already existing site you have. A person I know who I promised to keep anonymous put it very simply to me. If you are paying $10 a year to own the domain and the domain is making you just 1 sale a year at $30 you are making $20 a year profit for doing nothing with that domain. If you own 1000 of those domains, you have a nice little second income with very little effort. If you are using those domains for their traffic, that could be a nice little source of traffic to build your other sites up.

Buying expired domain names is not something everyone will want to do. I do it simply as a hobby of sorts. It, like anything in this business, takes some time to learn and master, but for those willing to experiment and learn it can be a very profitable endeavor.

Reader Comments: (1 posts)

Ireland says:
Artlices like this make life so much simpler.
October 29th, 2011
at 1:30am EST
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