I'm often asked by people who own, or want to own, a domain name to give my opinion on what the "fair market value" of a particular domain name is.
I usually begin my reply by mentioning that the vast majority of domain names sold on the re-sale market go for less than $1,000. This is greeted by sighs of relief from the folks who want to buy a domain name, and gasps of incredulity from the folks who own a domain name: "Well, my domain name is worth much more than that..."
I then outline some (but not all) of the criteria that, in my opinion, make a domain name more valuable than others:
- .com extension (versus .net, .org, .ca)
- seven-letters or less
- no hyphen(s)
- easy to read in all lowercase
- easy to say and hear (passes the radio test)
- easy to type
- consists of word(s) found in the dictionary
While these criteria are helpful in order to gain a rough idea of what a domain name might be worth, I always caution people to take this with a grain of salt.
Quite frankly, there's really only one accurate way to determine the "fair market value" of a domain name: a domain name is worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay for it. Period.
I've seen "$10,000" domain names trade hands for $1,000, and I've seen "$1,000" domain names trade hands for $10,000. In my experience, when it comes to domain names, beauty (and value) really is in the eye of the beholder.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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