Domain Manage

Could You Make a Living Flipping Free to Reg .co.uk Domains?

Discussion in 'Domain Research' started by accelerator, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Hi All

    Just an interesting question to ask the forum. Which of you feel you could make a living (let's say £20k a year) purely by flipping currently free to reg .co.uk domains?

    Would a shrewd domainer be able to find enough value in unregged .co.uk's to do this?

    Rgds
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. rob

    rob Founding Member

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    'depends' IMHO due to:

    Are you talking £5 -> 20-50 flips or catching money.co.uk for a fiver and 'flipping' it then working 1 day but spread earnings over 10 years :)

    Assuming the former...

    If £20k is 'take home' then profit needs to be fair bit higher.

    I dont think its sustainable or a 'career', I mean domainers seem to be quite short sighted to a degree as the landscape 10 years from now will be very different. Opportunistic gaps created by market inequality can be grabbed, but not depended on.

    I think it is doable in theory, but if you are the 'shrewd domainer' in question then why would you be doing that?!
     
  4. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Catching would not be allowed. I mean doing lots of little flips, probably to others on here. I think achieving £20k a year would be extremely difficult, but not impossible, and it's not something I was seriously considering.

    Once you've been doing domaining a while you know where the money is, but normally these exact keyphrase names are gone. So the question is would you be able to reg names that are slight variations but still good enough to flip on here.

    Rgds
     
  5. retired_member26

    retired_member26 Banned

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    Nothing flips here for more than 10 quids. If you flip 10 GBP10 domains a day it makes 50 profit a day (if you are non-VAT liable). That makes around 19K. Don't forget you need to flip 10 times. Even a domainer guy in romania can't do that :D continously.
     
  6. retired_member16

    retired_member16 Banned

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    No, I dont think its possible. It would take a lot of time and effort to get to that level and even then £20k isnt a living.

    Still, its easy to double your money and turn a £6 name into £12 in a matter of minutes, so if you were fully focused then you could earn a small amount to suppliment your regular income.

    I see it as a hobby, always will. Just a 'hobby that pays' as I say to anyone who is daft enough to ask me about domains.
     
  7. BG United Kingdom

    BG Active Member

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    Making £20k a year is easy...

    100% possible as I've done it a few times over...

    Callertones.com i regged at www.regme.com for $9.95 and sold it for $25,000 and Pokertalk.co.uk i bought for reg fee £5.00 and flipped it for a very nice profit too.

    All depends what type of names you're buying and whether you're prepared to put some leg work finding the buyers etc.

    100% can be done though, and has been done by many others I'm sure...

    Read the news, scan for new technologies / products or services coming out, just try and keep a head of the game if you can.

    i just purchased a name at reg fee and ill flip it for nice amount guaranteed.

    Good luck either way.

    As Cheeko would say PMA = Positive Metal Attitude :p

    Barry

    Regards,
    Barry
     
  8. cm1975 United Kingdom

    cm1975 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's achieveable, but I would say £20k profit is a hell of a lot more likely than £20k income, as the former would assume that you reinvest much of the profit from each sale, whereas income would suggest a steady withdrawal of working capital over the 12 month period.

    The more domains you have to work with, the better your chances, so I wouldn't restrict it to .co.uk and would expand across the whole .uk if you know what to go for!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  9. philiporchard United Kingdom

    philiporchard Well-Known Member

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    I'm changing my name to Barry - maybe that will help!!

     
  10. retired_member13

    retired_member13 Banned

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    I think it's easier to buy and flip names if you don't restrict yourself to one TLD, but I'd also have said that combining new regs with good aftermarket buys would be a better strategy.

    Whether you pay Nominet £5 or Mr A.N. Other £500 for a name when you acquire it makes little difference if you believe it's inherently worth more than the £5 or £500 in terms of how you personally value names. I look at aftermarket names as having a "premium" reg fee in terms of having to pay the "lost opportunity" cost - but after that they are all £5 per 2 years to renew.
     
  11. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I'm guessing you'd have the best chance if you had a large budget to sink into it at the outset.

    If you spent 30,000 pounds to register 5,000 names for 2 years each, then you priced them all at 2,000 pounds, you would only need 15 sales to break even. Sell 20 names and you've got yourself a 33% return.

    Of course, that could also be a quick way to lose your 30,000 pounds - but as I've posted many times before, as long as the names are generic and commercial then the wider the net you spread, the better the chance you have of selling something.

    The other route is as people have posted, to buy small quantities of names and flip them for 10 pounds or 20 pounds here and there, but then you'd need to have a sell-through rate of over 50% to really make anything of it, versus 0.3% if your goal is to sell 15 out of 5,000.

    Naturally, there's a lot of work - a LOT - involved in finding anything like 5,000 commercially viable, free to reg domains - but that's the ONLY way I can see that somebody MIGHT make a decent return without buying from 3rd parties or doing the drops i.e. only starting with what is still available to register.

    If you then spent all your effort to sell 1 name a month, that's 24 sales over 2 years i.e. 48,000 pounds return for 30,000 pounds invested. That's an 18K return, plus you've got the funds to renew the rest as well. And if you gradually refine your sales approach and bump up your success rate then your return will go up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  12. retired_member30

    retired_member30 Retired Member

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    No - I don't think you can make a living out of free to reg domains and flipping them. Barry might be the exception - but isn't his average sale price around the £100k level? :)

    As lee said it could be a nice earning hobby. Realistically you could make a few grand a year and perhaps get a nice sale every now and then. But if you reg loads of average free to reg domains you'll be left with an average portfolio that costs a lot to renew, earns nothing on ppc, and all your profit will be gone. So you'd need to know your stuff and carefully reg domains that a niche business sector would want.

    We regularly buy free to reg domains each year, but this is to top up our portfolio. If we looked back over the last year or two's purchases of free to reg domains I doubt that there is much profit from them. But there are some nice ones there that will sell one day - but we wouldn't want to be depending on our income from just those domains. It was easier to build portfolios from free to reg and drop catching when nominet were dropping vast numbers of domains some 5-6 years ago. But those days are gone. There is more money to be made from buying already reged domains at reseller prices (i.e. on acorn) and selling for end user prices. But that introduces an element of risk. A higher stake but the potential for higher rewards. But if you buy well then there are good profits to be made. As Barry can tell you :)
     
  13. Brassneck United Kingdom

    Brassneck Well-Known Member

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    Well thought out summary by Nigel. I think you would need to be flipping drop catches also in order to get close to the £20k target.

    Stephen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  14. Lucky Luke United Kingdom

    Lucky Luke Active Member

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    If this discussion is restricted to .uk land, then it has to be the unhyphenated .co.uk as the target.

    You could try selling hyphenated .co.uk or even unhyphenated .org.uk, but there is a big risk with that. The stock-in-trade has to be unhyphenated .co.uk.

    The available, free to reg .co.uk domains with more than 1000 uk exacts are few and far between and often a bit dubious. The cupboard with good domains is now bare.

    If you go down to those available co.uk with fewer than 1000 uk exacts, then there are more available but the risk increases. You have to follow Edwin's volume business model then - there may be some end user out there that wants the domain with say 200 uk exacts.

    I should add at this point that I believe the quality of Edwin's portfolio is far superior to anything that could be built up today from free to reg unhyphenated .co.uk domains. I also think that Edwin catches plenty of names (or pays others to do so) which affects profit margins.

    Barry clearly has a golden touch of thinking like a marketeer to generate domain ideas and then also being able to buy and sell very well indeed.

    I'm with Nigel & Stephen on this.

    Cheers, Luke
     
  15. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Just to make it clear, and as you've already pointed out, my business model isn't built on free-to-reg names. That said, some of the names I have registered from scratch in the last couple of years have sold at similar prices to domains I've owned for 5+ years or that I've drop caught.

    There's no guarantee that the strategy I outlined in my earlier post above would work for anyone. But it's the ONLY way that I can see that somebody MIGHT still make a decent amount of money purely out of free-to-reg domains (which was a restriction imposed by the original post).
     
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