The internet is the world’s marketplace and there are a bunch of ways to make money from it. One of the most basic ways is to buy and sell domain names. A good domain name is crucial for an internet-based business – and many new businesses would pay good money for that perfect name. And if you happen to own that name, you’re in the driver’s seat.

PROS:

  • Start-up costs are very low – you can buy domain names for as little as 99 cents.
  • Young people have unique expertise for this type of business because they often hear trendy phrases before the general public
  • You can run this business on your own time.
  • You have an almost unlimited number of potential customers.

CONS:

  • You have to spend money without any guarantee that you will make money.
  • It’s a crowded field and your chances of making a lot of money are highly speculative.

How to get started:

NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you start a business.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.

A domain is simply the unique name of a website – like facebook.com or google.com. Anyone can buy a domain name. And is someone else wants it, you can sell it to them.

So buying and reselling domain names is almost like playing the stock market – you buy low and hope to sell it high. But, unlike stock, domain names do not necessarily require deep and sophisticated knowledge of the business world to be successful.

In fact, this is a business where a young person may have an advantage over an older person. The key to making money on domain name reselling is to buy a domain name before someone else wants it. If you buy a domain name associated with a phrase or dance or idea and it becomes trendy and popular, businesses will often sweep in and try to make money off of it. Young people often know of trends before they become popular, and you can use that knowledge to buy domain names before those names become in high demand.

Supposing, for instance, you had thought to buy the phrase “bye, Felisha” when everyone was saying that? You could have sold it later to someone who wanted to create a website to take advantage of the popularity of that phrase. (FYI, someone already bought byefelisha.com – if you want to buy it from them, you can negotiate a price.)

The first thing to do is start creating a list of potential words or phrases that you think might become popular or trendy. Is there some new phrase you’ve been hearing? You might try googling “trendy phrases” to get some ideas. (But be sure that you are not registering a trademarked name — check with the U.S. Office of Patents and Trademarks, https://www.uspto.gov/trademark)

GoDaddy.com is a good place to check whether a domain you have chosen is already taken. If the domain comes up as available, you want to buy it as soon as possible (before someone else does). As mentioned, the price could be as low as 99 cents but GoDaddy will encourage you to purchase a lot of add-ins that could significantly increase the price. Unless you’re actually using the domain to develop a website, don’t worry about that stuff. Also, be aware that the low price is only for the first year — after that, it will rise sharply.

How much to charge:

When you are ready to start selling domains, a good place to go is sedo.com, a website for buyers and sellers of domain names. They will help you (for a price) determine how much your domain is worth. Or you can just determine how much you want to sell your domain for and sell it for that price. You can even auction off your domain to the highest bidder.

Depending on which option you choose, you may not have to pay any fees upfront, but you do pay a commission if your domain is sold.

While you could strike it rich — for example, California.com sold in January of 2019 for $3 million — most sell for a lot less. A recent spot check of Sedo.com showed that bids on domains for sale ranged from $400 to about $5,000.

Take it to the next level:

You can ramp up your efforts by taking advantage of their other services, such as parking domain names with Sedo.com and then monetizing the parked domain name with advertising, or joining their partnership program.

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