Domain values

By Dirk Hart

A few years ago one of my customers forgot to renew their domain name registration. Of course it was poached and when they discovered their website was gone they called me in a panic.

I poked around on the internet and found who owned the domain currently and called - $750.00 was the asking price. My customer thought it was an outrage and in a fit of pique we stopped pussy footing around, hyphenated their corporate name, registered a new domain and moved on.

Really $750 wasn't all that much and I've often wondered what domain names are worth. We often hear that they can sell for large amounts and as I write this you can buy for about $5000, Hot Teen Singles .com for $29.95 or Cute College Boys .com for the same price (! And sold in January for $55,000! That's a lot of booty!

How does anyone know if that's a fair price? How can you appraise the value of a domain name? Well, Mario, this is where comes in. This is a site that estimates the value of a domain and can actually compare it to other similar domains.

Of course I immediately plugged in to see what Tony might take for that domain. Unfortunately it's out of my league:

Estimated Base Value: $582.00 Estimated Actual Value: $56,454.00

It gets worse - here are the results for Estimated Base Value: $963.00 Estimated Actual Value: $154,562.00 even provides similar sales data based on similar domains. The similar domains seem to be based on common words parsed out of the domain you type in:

Similar Recent Sales Data
your domain name: wren, lawrence, ace
DOMAIN NAME CVS SALE VALUE SALE DATE 46 $451.00 02/16/2006 123 $400.00 03/13/2006 63 $210.00 03/23/2006 91 $400.00 12/13/2005 88 $460.00 12/22/2005 110 $750.00 12/30/2005

Maybe if they figured out that law is contained within things could be looking up even more for Tony. doesn't fare as well:
Similar Recent Sales Data
your domain name: mail, ails, star, mails
DOMAIN NAME CVS SALE VALUE SALE DATE 92 $750.00 02/03/2006 48 $3400.00 02/27/2006

I guess I'll just keep plugging away at the computer business. It seems to me that comparing the actual website keywords to the comparison sites would yield more accurate results. Leapfish is an interesting tool and with time and data it will get more accurate.

See also: What's a web page worth? and What's your blog worth?

Got something to add? Send me email.


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Fri May 19 11:28:16 2006: 2038   TonyLawrence

I've mentioned before that I wouldn't take anything less than two million for this site, just because of the potential for consulting income. Of course as I get older, I'd sell for less, but it's hard to imagine getting down to the $150,000 range.

Leapfish does say "It has been determined based on search results that this name may be extensively valuable beyond the scope of the domain analysis tool. It is recommended that you seek the services of a complete domain appraisal company rather than rely on this estimate. Thank You." for and, so perhaps they agree with me :-)

This morning they peg the value at over $200,000..

Fri May 19 14:44:59 2006: 2039   BigDumbDinosaur

Well, my domain came in at a paltry estimated base value of $291.00 and an estimated actual value of $14,114.00. I guess I better stay in business and not depend on any big profit from the sale of the domain. <Grin> BTW, my domain came in slightly higher -- apparently .com is worth more than .net.

Sun Mar 11 03:01:20 2007: 2913   anonymous

Your nuts if you think anyone would pay that kind of money. What will you do with your *valuable* name when domain names are out and an alternative naming scheme is implemented?

Sun Mar 11 12:51:14 2007: 2914   TonyLawrence

I don't think you understood this very well. Of course no one would pay that. No one would pay that for your sawed off right hand either, but I bet you wouldn't sell it for what they would pay, would you?

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