Can You Flip Vacation Home Domains? |
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Can You Flip Vacation Home Domains?


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was impressed that the owners of a vacation home in Vermont where I stayed had used to market its two homes. This was one of the deciding factors for me since there were a few that I liked fairly equally (the home was great, BTW).

That day, I ended up hand registering a few / domain names as speculative investments – and who knows, maybe I will end up using them one day.

This morning, I was looking through the NameJet’s 50 Most Active Pending Delete Backorders email, and I saw listed. I visited NameJet to place a backorder (more to monitor the auction than to bid), and the name has 18 bids and a current bid of $100 prior to the auction. I do not believe this domain name had been developed before, so the bidding appears to be on the name value alone.

It got me thinking about whether there is value in some of these unregistered domain names – and there are many large city / domain names available. This morning I hand registered several names like:


I like the singular names ( for individual home owners to market their homes, and I like the plural names for companies that may broker local vacation homes – or people that own more than one vacation home.

Anyhow, IMO, some of these types of names would potentially make good flip opportunities. VRBO is a great place to start finding potential buyers, as they allow you to email the home owners and many have phone numbers to call. As the HomeAway brand grows, more listings will be added.

People often ask me what types of names I would hand register to flip, and here’s a set of names I like and are available for you to buy if you do your research. I do strongly recommend you do your research before buying because, IMO, an available name like would not make an excellent investment. A domain name like or might be good.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (33)


    Case in point, you can be a real estate agent selling those vacation homes.

    Those agents that have GEOrealestate dot com have a higher sales than most agents in their area.
    Lucky for me I got a couple of GEOrealestate dot com too and I can open my own real estate company.
    For example, I have
    GENOACITYREALESTATE.COM, and a couple more, and just sell houses there

    You are on the right track!!!

    February 26th, 2011 at 2:35 pm


    I like those names. And there are some incredible plugins for real estate and rentals that can make for an easy website. good luck with them.

    February 26th, 2011 at 2:43 pm


    I think there’s some potential for North American destinations – in the rest of the world however the term ‘vacation home’ is not used, so you are pretty much limiting yourself to finding an American living in Tokyo for example who has a house he wants to market online to North Americans – a very small market IMO.

    February 26th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ JJ

    There are a lot of “vacation homes” in Tokyo listed on VRBO… With English language domain names, they would likely be targeting Americans.

    February 26th, 2011 at 2:56 pm


    Great dev domains possibly, but my experience is that they are void of direct navigation. Folks just don’t type them in.

    Also, the GKT shows very little in the way of search and 0.0 for the bid price.

    Additionally, I own quite a few and have never had one single sales inquiry on any of them. 🙁

    February 26th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Chang

    Some of the stats are poor, but in terms of a gut feel, they just sound like good and sensible names. I would imagine there are people who would buy them based on that alone.

    February 26th, 2011 at 3:34 pm


    One thing I learn about this domain crap is there is no right or wrong answers. As you said, go with your guts.

    I have some domains that no one ones, and I just built them and then sell them at a profit.

    Chang might not “like” them but he could be backstabbing you because he/she is hand registering vacation domains now.

    I think it is a niche market just like I reg those

    JUST DO IT!!!!

    Many times I reg a domain at 99cent special and sell them at big profit

    February 26th, 2011 at 4:27 pm



    Very inspiring post. I just found your blog a week ago while I was trying to find info about domain flipping. Since then this site has been my daily reading. I have gone through some old posts.

    I loved your articles about selling to end users.


    February 26th, 2011 at 6:11 pm


    I dunno E, when you use a drop auction like NJ for examples (valuation) youre doomed to fail. Those are fantasy land buyers, big and small. The auction does crazy things to peoples self control. It is a fact that names via other formats do not get the number they do on a drop auction (most times).

    They arn’t bad names though, just don’t forget to take those NJ numbers with salt, no a grain, a whole lotta salt.

    February 26th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Web Newbie

    I was curious and did a search on San Clemente Vacation Home because my wife’s cousin had her wedding there last year and they rented out a house there for a week. The names were taken and the owner listed $10k for that name. Seem unlikely the name will sell anywhere near that price given that the .net/.org are available. Other extension for the name you listed are also available.

    Under what situation would you hand register/acquire the other extension before approach an end user with the .com?

    imo, If I asked a name for $10k for the .com, I would make sure to register all other extension to remove any cheap supply. Is this step really necessary in your experience?

    February 26th, 2011 at 8:16 pm


    its hard to see the downside with these, considering Mike Berkins sold visitberlin for six figures there are certainly buyers willing to pay big bucks for names tied into the worlds largest cities and travel spots, you could not ask for a better city than paris outside of london or rome, imo..

    February 26th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ Web Newbie,

    I wouldn’t register the other extensions. I’d rather buy 2 additional vacation home .com names than have 3 in the same extension.

    February 26th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Web Newbie


    In my example, the guy wanted $10k. Assuming he is serious and actively looking for a buyer…would you have bought the other extensions to dry up supply?

    February 26th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ Web Newbie

      I wouldn’t buy them…. I don’t own very many non .com names.

      February 26th, 2011 at 10:50 pm


    I like the real estate side of the vacation home/homes.

    If you could develop a link between all GeoVacationHomes (dot) com you might have something going as well.

    I did pick up one city name tonight … thank you for the info!

    February 26th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Stu Maloff

    I actually sold (not .com) several years ago and it appears the person I sold the name to dropped it as there is a new owner or he just took his site town. It was not for a huge amount, but did make Ron Jackson’s report.
    I find that the terminology vacation rental does at least as well as vacation home domains.


    February 26th, 2011 at 10:49 pm


    No we can’t.

    February 27th, 2011 at 4:40 am


    I like the idea of buying Geo type names and linking them to vacation homes. My question is? What’s wrong with Detroit? I’ll need a vacation home when I pick up my new Chrysler 300

    February 27th, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Phil is a name I have been deciding what to do with.. I know it’s not the .com but I think it has good potential ..

    February 27th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Joey Starkey

    I like Geos in just about any form related to tourism. What do I like most about them? They Sell.

    February 27th, 2011 at 3:00 pm


    “its hard to see the downside with these, considering Mike Berkins sold visitberlin for six figures there are certainly buyers willing to pay big bucks for names tied into the worlds largest cities”

    @ Don – He has’nt sold that one yet, he turned down a six figure offer for it but he did sell visitstockholm for $70000.

    I’v been buying a few holiday rental related ones recently, hopefully to offer paid yearly listings for vacation/holiday home owners.

    The most recent ones I’v bought in the drops were:



    some chalets are renting for over £50,000 per week…EEEK

    I don’t have the skills or the spare money to develop them out at the moment but I’m pretty sure there’s big potential to earn from them if done right.

    …One day 😉

    February 27th, 2011 at 4:00 pm


    WOW, EXCELLENT – I totally missed that article, great stuff!

    Thanks Elliot

    Sorry Don 🙂

    February 27th, 2011 at 4:39 pm


    In opinion, overpaid for that domain. Maybe the constant discussions on the domain made the Berlin travel agent rethink the $100K rejected offer.

    Not every end-user is paying big bucks for these travel names. It’s the ones that have a reputation for overcharging the end-user that make the money. IMO, not just any people with average skills or no company backing will get a 6 figure deal for a vist—.com domain.

    I’m sure the will sell for $50K. What a joke. If you have money to burn, then I guess it’s acceptable to waste it. I presented a top domain that is worth 120 times more that Berlin site. No takers, even to one of the top domainers in the world.

    The prices you’re seeing are end-users overpaying. You will not make a sale like that to a domainer who is too cheap to pay. You won’t make that sale to a company that needs more education on the value of a domain. They enjoy overpaying for advertising, even if it means no business and wasted money.

    Many resume writers have no clue of a domain. They’re not even stable business owners. They will tell you that they can register any domain to capture business. Moreover, they never review their results to determine when their 5 figure advertising costs are producing results.

    One lady didn’t know whether to put sample resumes up because she assumed people would take them and not need her services. She didn’t know whether to keep writing or to stop.

    In any case, own a company to present quality domains You will convert sales much quicker to avoid playing around with frugal people.

    February 28th, 2011 at 1:08 am


    “Not every end-user is paying big bucks for these travel names. It’s the ones that have a reputation for overcharging the end-user that make the money. IMO, not just any people with average skills or no company backing will get a 6 figure deal for a vist—.com domain.”

    “The prices you’re seeing are end-users overpaying.”

    Yes its end-users buying but why do you think it is overcharging/overpaying ?

    How does the price of VisitBerlin or VisitStockholm compare to a 3 min ad on TV that last for…well…just 3 mins 😉

    How much is a one page ad in a top travel magazine for just one edition and how many people read that one edition ?

    How much is a big advertising billboard in a prominent high traffic postion for a month?

    How much is tourism worth every single year for the Local economy?

    How much is tourism worth for the local job market?

    How much a year does a tourism destination spend on infrastructure, services and events in order to pull in more visitors?.

    How important is it for a tourism destination to pull in tens of thousands of visitors each and every year whilst competing against thousands of other great destinations around the world.

    Sure, big sales don’t happen everyday but if you put $200k into perspective against other current advertising options I personally think its the bargain of the century.

    A domain is not just for christmas 😉 ITS FOR LIFE 😉

    February 28th, 2011 at 8:19 am



    I can see your reasoning, but purchased the domain to boost their traffic because apparently they took a steep decline. They looked desperate to acquire the domain with 100k, 150K, and then 230K. Their traffic took a severe dip into the gutter.

    I don’t think no other end-user other than the Berlin Travel agency will pay $230K for a can of worms. I can tell you that I’ve presented domains 100 times better than that Berlin domains, and end-user object and there’s some debating sessions.

    Berlin was desperate to acquire the domain because I suppose they want more visitors to their world’s greatest city.

    Are we going to see a $200 million offer rejection on You can’t justify these deals. If with no traffic is purchased for $5500 to start a WordPress blog, then my domain with 2,000+ unique per month better get far more.

    However, you made good points, and you didn’t frustrate me with insults. I respect your analysis. IMO, if didn’t fall off the charts, they would have never made the 2nd and 3rd offer. They took a gamble on the site, so hopefully more people visit because of the purchase.

    For the most part, the site is not worth $230K. I do thank Mike for inspiring me to ask more with his absurd prices. Maybe I should asked double than what I did on a domain to a big traffic company.

    When you own domains people want, you can call the shots. If Stockholm didn’t buy the other domain for so much, then the second sale could not be justified.

    I know all about the debate on the price because I have a long comment on my blog from Mike trying to build value in his rejected offer. IMO, I still believe the end-user overpaid.

    We should all ask 100 times the value so we can get what we deserve too. Why let WWMI enjoy making the big sales?

    I suppose the .de traffic tailed off from 13K to under 100 visits per month, so the site had to get their hands on the domain. Good for them. Hope it all works out. Only one person benefited. I will keep an eye on their traffic to determine whether the helped them to improve their traffic.

    Thanks for the post. Good content. It’s not the bargain of the century. There were actual cities being auctioned off at Sedo this past year. The reserves were within reason. If you think it’s the deal of the century, then that’s a fair argument. Thanks.

    February 28th, 2011 at 10:56 am


    I think “vacation rental” may be a better term for short term rentals… like:

    February 28th, 2011 at 11:34 am


    The only beach/rentals domain I own is It’s no .com but it can work. It has good metrics.

    February 28th, 2011 at 11:45 am


    “…and you didn’t frustrate me with insults”

    Good, because as far as I know I did’nt insult all. 🙂 I was just discussing other possible viewpoints.

    “if didn’t fall off the charts, they would have never made the 2nd and 3rd offer. They took a gamble on the site, so hopefully more people visit because of the purchase. ”

    Possibly, or they may be thinking of spending a few hundred thousand running some new TV ads and know that if they do alot of those viewers around the world would end up going to the .com by mistake.
    .de is VERY popular in Germany but most people in Germany already know about Berlin.

    “If Stockholm didn’t buy the other domain for so much, then the second sale could not be justified. ”

    Why?, what about the visitflorida sale 7 years ago in 2004 for 175 k ?

    What about the dozens of other visit prefix country, city, island, towns that have found their way into the hands of local tourism authorities around the world, (there are ALOT) just because we have never publically heard of a higher sale other than the florida one it does’nt mean there has’nt already been a bigger one done in private.

    Berlin is just a city, Florida is just a state, what about a whole Country?






    VisitFinland …etc

    I personally think the Stockholm one was a great deal for them considering the official site of Sweden is, they’re also now number 3 in Google for just the word Stockholm…a very nice place to be.

    Its not always just about the type in traffic either, I doubt most visit domains get a huge amount of natural traffic, I have one that gets a few hundred visitors every month with a 50%+ click rate but I have others that get next to nothing at all, but as a call-to-action brand name they’re a natural when used alongside other forms of advertising like print & TV.

    They sound good, look good, makes sense, are easy to spell, say and more importantly.. very easy to remember.

    Yeah, I may just be “slightly” biased as I own a few but I think its a pretty fair assement/opinion all the same.

    “I know all about the debate on the price because I have a long comment on my blog from Mike trying to build value in his rejected offer.”

    What’s your blog address, I would’nt mind reading that article.


    February 28th, 2011 at 1:29 pm


    correction – VisitFlorida was sold for $186,000

    February 28th, 2011 at 1:31 pm



    I’m linking with the site. It’s in January archives. us an entire state. Florida is much more popular then Berlin. That website scoring at least 200K in traffic per month.

    I believe it already had traffic. .de website drop. They needed the domain.

    The comparisons are not the same. Using to justify the value of is another inaccurate example.

    It’s like saying that should sell for 6 figures because is a 6 figure site.

    Florida is much more popular than Berlin. An entire tourism state versus a city. has more value. The domain only sold at Sedo for $10,100 this past year.

    I think is one debate that can last. I haven’t written as much on the blog because the publish button is missing. Check around early Janurary for the article and the comments (Mike and mine).

    Thanks. Cool debate.

    February 28th, 2011 at 5:22 pm



    Just want to say thank you to both of you for an outstanding debate here. I have learnt lot from both sides’ arguments.

    February 28th, 2011 at 5:32 pm


    @Jason, I posted a comment over on your blog, we have gone waaaay off topic on Elliots post

    Sorry !

    February 28th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

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