10 things you shouldn’t do when flipping domain names

I am no stranger to domain flipping, and I’ve already written several times about it on our website. Including a short guide on domain flipping which I would definitely recommend if you haven’t read it already. The reason for another post, and why I am writing it today specifically, is the latest mistake. So let’s all remind ourselves what not to do when flipping domain names.

Guy who bought domain name for $300k in 2021 loses cybersquatting dispute.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has won a cybersquatting claim for the domain name binance.ae, and the domain owner is about to be out $300,000. Kirill Zalipaev acquired the domain name through Sedo in November 2021 for a whopping $300,000

Source: Domain Name Wire

In the dynamic world of domain investing, where digital real estate can be as valuable as its physical counterpart, navigating the market requires more than just a keen eye for catchy names. It’s an intricate balance of strategy, foresight, and sometimes, a bit of luck. However, even seasoned investors can stumble in this volatile terrain. Here are ten common mistakes that domain investors should avoid to ensure their venture into the digital arena is both profitable and prudent.

1. Ignoring Research and Due Diligence

Much like investing in real estate, domain investing demands thorough research. Overlooking the importance of understanding market trends, keyword popularity, and the potential demand for a domain can lead to ill-informed purchases. Free tools like Google Trends or paid tools such as SEMRush can provide invaluable insights into the viability and potential profitability of a domain name.

2. Overlooking the Value of a .com Extension

While there are numerous TLDs (Top-Level Domains) available, .com remains the gold standard. Investors often make the mistake of settling for less sought-after extensions like .net or any other non-com, hoping to save money or find untapped markets. However, the universal appeal and credibility associated with a .com domain often translate into higher resale value and demand.

What not to do when flipping domain names.
Are you confused when flipping domain names? Com, net, ai, org are all domain extensions valued the same?

3. Falling for Trends and Fads

Jumping on the bandwagon of a current trend or investing in domain names based on fleeting fads can be tempting. The last one is Artificial intelligence and .ai ccTLD. In the past we’ve seen kanabis related domains, four-letter .com craze, and so on. However, what’s in vogue today may be forgotten tomorrow. Investing in domains that are timeless and have a consistent appeal is generally a safer and more sustainable strategy.

4. Neglecting the Importance of a Clean History

A domain’s history can significantly impact its value. Domains associated with spam, illegal activities, or black-hat SEO practices can carry search engine penalties that deter potential buyers. Tools like the Wayback Machine or domain history checkers can help investors avoid these tarnished digital assets.

5. Overvaluing Domain Names

Emotional attachment or unrealistic expectations can lead to overvaluing domain names. This can result in holding onto domains for too long, waiting for an offer that may never come. Regularly assessing your portfolio and being open to negotiation can mitigate this risk.

For example if you’ve included numbers and dashes you’ve significantly reduced the value of a domain name. Why? Well because of reducing brandability.

6. Underestimating the Importance of Brandability

A domain that’s easy to remember, pronounce, and spell has a higher chance of being a lucrative investment. Ignoring the brandability factor in favor of keywords or trends can limit a domain’s marketability and appeal to potential buyers.

7. Overlooking Legal Implications

We finally arrive to the mistake our buyer made (mentioned in the intro of this article). Investing in domain names that are too similar to established trademarks or brands can lead to legal disputes and potential financial losses. Conducting a thorough trademark search before purchasing a domain can prevent these costly oversights.

8. Ignoring the Power of Networking

Being a successful domain investor often requires building a network of potential buyers, sellers, and industry peers. Overlooking the importance of attending Domain Name industry conferences such as NamesCon, participating in forums, and connecting with others in the field can limit exposure and opportunities.

9. Not Diversifying the Portfolio

Putting all your eggs in one basket is rarely a wise investment strategy. Diversifying your domain portfolio across different industries, niches, and types of domains can spread risk and increase the chances of a profitable sale.

10. Lacking Patience and a Long-Term Vision

Domain investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires patience, persistence, and a long-term vision. Impulsive buying or selling, driven by short-term market fluctuations, can lead to missed opportunities and potential losses.

In conclusion, while the domain investing landscape offers lucrative opportunities, it’s fraught with pitfalls that can challenge even the most astute investors. By avoiding these common mistakes, investors can navigate this digital terrain with greater confidence and a clearer strategy, leading to more successful and profitable investments in the growing digital real estate.


Goran Duskic has been the Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. since 2011, a company that specializes in developing APIs, including the well-known Whois API. He started his career in internet entrepreneurship in 2006 and has co-founded several online businesses, including a web hosting company that he later sold. Goran's work primarily involves creating practical API solutions to meet technological needs.