How’s this for marketing: selling something that has no physical form? In essence, when you buy and/or sell a domain name, that’s what you’re doing; you’re dealing in a piece of “real estate” that exists in cyberspace. Yet, if done properly, the potential for profit is enormous! This is what has become known as the domain aftermarket.

One of the great things about a domain name is that you can register any name you want; it doesn’t have to be related to your chosen vocation, you don’t even have to make use of it. So long as you’re the first to think of it, and file the proper paperwork to register the name – it’s yours. If this market is something you want to get into, here are some tips and tricks to consider.

First, you want a name that’s natural (what some people call “organic”). A natural name would be something like “movies.com” for a movie website, “childcare.com” for information about childcare, and so on. Next is that ever important issue: a brand name. Let’s face it, if you can register the domain name “Hershey.com” or “Dell.com”, you could make a mint selling it to those respective companies. Of course, most of those are already taken. But, if you can find one that isn’t – maybe they’re a new company just building themselves up, you might be able to snag one of those names. And finally, there’s the potential for the future. In a sense, this goes back to the old axiom about real estate: location, location, location. If you can hit on a website name that has potential for the future, you can register it, and then sit on it and wait for its popularity to grow. The cost of the annual renewal is quite minimal; so a small investment has the possibility to pay off big! How big? Here are some examples: the site porn.com sold for $9.5 million back in 2007, business.com went for $7.5 million in 1999, and AsSeenOnTv.com sold for $5.1 million in 2000.

As an example for the future, the so-called “green” technologies have moved to the forefront – between rising gas prices and President Obama’s pledge to fully fund such researches. So, domain names like solarpower.com, biodiesel.com, and so on could be quite valuable in the years to come (if they aren’t already!).

A key element to all of these domain names (if you haven’t noticed already) is their simplicity. The website movies.com is very easy to remember and type in; this is what is known as direct navigation (type-in traffic), and it generates a huge amount of website traffic. Another aspect is how generic the names are. Now, while tying in with a brand name is good, it has its limitations: most are already taken, and they appeal to a limited client base. People interested in adult entertainment are not going to type in Disney.com; whereas the site movies.com (which happens to be owned by Disney) attracts all manner of traffic.

So, making use of these tips, you may just be able to find some domain names with the potential for profitable resale value. Welcome to the world of cyber real estate.