The Art of Domain Name “Flipping”

This is the story of the acquisition and sale of back in 2012.

I’ve never publicly reported all the details, but given that so much time has passed, I can do so now. Hope you enjoy the story.


I’ve been a domainer or domain investor for over 20 years. In that time,  I’ve bought and sold many thousands of Aussie domain names.

In the early days, I made plenty of mistakes! There was no school for domainers – you just had to try and learn from your peers. One person who helped me tremendously was Don Rankin from Brisbane. He was a wise old dog – and I’m very grateful to him!

The other important factor is that when it’s your own money on the line, you learn very quickly.

I learnt to look for potential, and always tried to ensure that any purchase I made would leave something in it for the next buyer.

If there is any one thing that defines my success, it is that I’ve never been greedy – or tried to hang on for top dollar. That’s my modus operandi – but I have enormous respect for those that do it differently.

The Acquisition of

Good geographic domain names were high on my hit list back in the early 2010s.

I looked up the registrant of this domain name on the WhoIs, and emailed him. No reply – so I kept emailing. Eventually, I got a tepid disinterested response. Then followed a bit of back and forth, and eventually I arranged to call him. This did the trick.

We locked in a sale price and worked out the best way of finalising the mechanics of the deal i.e. payment and Change of Registrant (selling and transferring a domain were a lot more difficult back in those days).

He lived near Cairns, and I lived in Townsville – a distance of around 350 km each way. Given there were potentially others interested in this premium domain name, I decided on a strategy to make the deal happen quickly.

We agreed on a price of $17,000, and I organised to drive up and meet him on a Sunday. I would hand over the money, and he would sign the manual Change of Registrant, and we would make a pre-arranged joint call to a senior employee of the seller’s registrar (where I also had an account). It helped that this registrar representative was a friend – not many people would do this on a Sunday! The seller gave him the EPP code, and we both confirmed that the domain was to be transferred into my account immediately. This was done.

The seller then bought me breakfast, and I drove back to Townsville. It was a 10-hour day, but it was so exciting.

We are still friends to this day.

The Sale

When I went about acquiring this, I was going to spend some more money and get it developed. The potential for advertising revenue was huge.

But within a short space of time, I got a very serious enquiry as to whether I would sell the domain, and, being a domainer at heart, I negotiated a sale price of $60,000. The buyer was very motivated, and the deal was done.

Three months from acquisition to sale ended up being a great result.

🔥 Pro Tip

If you see potential in a domain name, never be afraid to pay decent money for it. As we like to say, “You make your profit when you buy”.

🔥 Pro Tip

Initially contacting people by email or LinkedIn is fine, but then pick up the phone and have a chat. It personalises things – and it can work so much better.

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