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Three Free Tools to Help Value & Appraise Your Domain

Submitted by Spencer Yao on

In a previous posting, we discussed domain valuation and appraisal basics. In summary, domain name values are driven by four factors:

  1. Top Level Domain Extension
  2. # of Letters/Length of Name
  3. Existing Traffic
  4. Development Potential

If you are looking to price/validate a domain name that you want to buy or sell, I recommend the following methodology and free supporting tools:

  • Comparables method. Like when trying to buy or sell a property in a real estate transactions, the comparable methods is one of the best ways to help determine the market price. For example, if you own the domain Clothes.com, you should try to find the closing sale or listing prices for Clothing.com, Apparel.com, or Clothes.net to help you find a pricing range for Clothes.com
    • Unfortunately, closing sale prices can be hard to find but sites like DNJournal.com tracks the top domain sales every year going back to 2004.
    • You can also use the listing prices for domains from domain brokers like Sedo, BuyDomains, or Godaddy. Obviously, closing sale prices are better gauges than listing prices
  • Free Domain Appraisal Sites. Sites like Valuate.com or Estibot.com provide free domain valuation based on a proprietary algorithm which uses domain extension, name length, traffic, and comparable domains to come up with a price.
    • These sites should only be used for directional data only. IE is Chairs.com worth more than Chair.com? Nails.com vs Nails.net vs toenails.com?
    • We sold a domain for about 15% of the estimated value on Valuate.com, so these free appraisals are not perfect but can still provide valuable data points.
  • Google Keyword Tool in Adwords (GKTA). The GKTA is a free tool which lets users look up the traffic numbers for any search term. You can use this tool see if search term related to your domain gets more or less traffic its variants. Large keyword search term traffic can add to the value for a domain name.

As you can tell, valuing a domain name is as much art as science. The most important factor, development potential, is somewhat subjective, but you can use the methods and tools listed above to help determine an appropriate range. You can always hire a Domain Broker to appraise your domain for a fee, but they will use a similar methodology to what we has discussed in this article.

If you have any questions about how to value your domain name or where to buy and sell domains names in the aftermarket, please post them in our Ask a Question section.



Understanding Domain Name Valuation & Appraisals

Submitted by Spencer Yao on

I was hired by a Fortune 500 company to help them value a portfolio of 600+ domains they accumulated over the years and wanted to sell. From this project, I wanted to summarize the analysis and educate our readers to the major factors in valuing a domain name. You can use this information to help if you are thinking of buying a domain name in the aftermarket (from companies such as Sedo or BuyDomains) or to assist in appraising a domain of your own for possible sale.

I will use premium domain names to help explain the valuation process. A premium domain name is a domain that has already been registered (ie you cannot register it for $1.99 on Yahoo Domains) and can be expected to sell for at least thousands of dollars. The majority of domains are not “premium” despite the claims of the owners and brokers, but this analysis applies to all domains. It is also somewhat subjective which domains are premium - for example, you would not think MLB.com is a premium domain name until Major League Baseball wants to buy it from you.

DNjournal.com tracks the top domains per year and below of a list of the top domain sales for 2012. These are clearly premium domain names and helps us segue into the 6 types of domains.

Rank Domain Name Price Sold Date Sold
1 Investing.com $2,450,000 12/14/12
2 PersonalLoans.com $1,000,000 2/29/12
3 FreeWebsite.com $500,000 11/7/12
3 WebHosting.co.uk $500,000 10/31/12
3 Challenge.com $500,000 10/13/12
3 Jackpot.com $500,000 4/18/12
7 GiftBasket.com $350,000 11/21/12
8 VI.com $325,000 10/13/12
8 BJ.com $325,000 6/6/12
10 60.com $310,000 5/9/12

Premium domain names can be segmented into the following six categories, with Generics being the most valuable type.

  • Generics – Generic names like loans.com, candy.com, acne.com
  • Geo – Geographic domains like California.com, Thailand.com, or Dallas.com
  • Trademark – Trademark names like homedepot.com, botox.com, ipod.com
  • Typos/Misspellings – typos/misspellings like homedepo.com, Appel.com, diamondss.com. These have become less valuable as companies have been suing for trademark violations.
  • Adult – pornography and adult domain names
  • Combinations - Trademark misspellings, Generic typos,Geo generics like dallasloans.com

Listed below are the four major factors that drive the price or value of a domain name- the biggest factor is “development potential” which is the ability to turn the domain into brandable website business. Obviously, development potential is somewhat subjective, but can be broken down by the factors below:

  1. Top Level Domain Extension
    1. .com versus .net,.org, etc
    2. .com most valuable
  2. Number of Letters/Length of Name
    1. Loans.com vs. Bankloans.com
    2. Shorter names are generally better than longer ones
  3. Traffic & Monetization
    1. Existing traffic
    2. Revenue generated, if any
  4. Development Potential
    1. Brandable, with few or no substitutes
    2. Clear commercial intent
    3. Maps to common search term
    4. Industry/Topic related

In summary, the most valuable domain names will be short, generic domains with a .com extension, clear commercial intent, and high development potential - think Candy.com for a candy seller or Toys.com for a toy company. Existing traffic is always a plus.

If you are thinking of trying to sell your domain name, please be aware the domain market is highly illiquid with only a small handful of buyers willing to pay full price for a premium domain. A prime example is Candy.com. It was held for 11 years before it was finally sold to an online candy seller for $3,000,000 back in 2009. Remember that most domains are not premium and people will just register some variation if the name they want has already been registered by someone else.

If you have specific questions about how to value your domain name or where to buy and sell domains names in the aftermarket, please post them in our Ask a Question section. In another article, we will summarize some tools and procedures that will help you put a price on a specific domain.



Thanksgiving 2012 Black Friday and Cyber Monday web hosting and domain deal round-up

Submitted by sbd on

Retailers, both online and brick and mortar, love to overload us with money-saving offers right after we finish stuffing ourselves full of turkey! The tradition of Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales is no different when it comes to web hosting and domain. We've rounded up the best deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a handy list below. Note the expiration date. Many of these deals expire after today!

GoDaddy Coupons and Promos - Offers Extended!

1and1 Coupons and Promos

  • Expired - Save 50% off 12 months of MyWebsite Plus plus get a 30 day free trial.
  • Expired - Save over $100 on select Linux dedicated servers.

Yola Coupons and Promos

iPage Coupons and Promos

SiteGround Coupons and Promos

JaguarPC Coupons and Promos

Midphase Coupons and Promos

WebHostingBuzz Coupons and Promos

BigRock Coupons and Promos



The right time to start your online store is now!

Submitted by sbd on

Have you ever thought about starting an online store? Did you know many ecommerce companies generate over 40% of their annual sales during October, November, and December?

The thought crosses the minds of many but just thinking about the potential complexity of setting it up can deter just as many. That's where Yahoo! Merchant Solutions comes in. This hosted e-commerce solution offers easy to use tools and all the analytics that you'll need to get your store off the ground and on its path to success. And now is a great time to get your online store started as the holiday shopping season is just around the corner!

There's a reason that Yahoo! Merchant Solutions is the world's leading e-commerce hosting platform. It enables billions of dollars in gross merchandise sales and hosts the smallest e-commerce start up to leading online stores such as The Oakland Raiders, Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong site, and SimpleHuman.com (just to name a few).

Yahoo! Merchant Solutions offers the following advantages (plus many more as well!):

  • Easy design and store building tools
  • Customizable shopping cart and payment processing
  • Inventory management, order management, and marketing resources
  • Extensive reporting and analytics of store sales
  • Uptime and reliability of Yahoo!

To help you get started, we have two special coupons for Yahoo! Merchant Solutions that fits anyone's needs:

Both offers have the $50 set up fee waived!

Take the hassle out of setting up your online store with Yahoo! Merchant Solutions. And there is no better time to get started. Yahoo! Merchant Solutions is a highly recommended and trusted service that can help you get your store up and running. Don't forget Cyber Monday is around the corner as well as the Christmas shopping season!

Also, if you'd like to read our in depth review of Yahoo! Merchant Solutions head on over to this page.

Start your online store today!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Current .com domain name deals - Get a domain name for a great price!

Submitted by sbd on

If you've shopped around some for domain names, you know they can be pretty pricey. So registrars can charge as much as $30 for a .com domain name. Occasionally, you just want to purchase the domain name and not web hosting so those buy-web-hosting-get-a-free-domain-name offers may not be for you either. Individually, the cheapest you can find a domain name for is usually around $10. But if you're a value-minded consumer, rest assured, there are cheaper prices. Check out some of the best, current domain name deals:

  • Yahoo! Domains - Purchase a domain name from Yahoo! Domains and pay only $1.99 for the first year. That's an 80% savings as normal price is $9.95 a year.
  • Register.com - Register up to 3 .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, or .us domain names for only $2.50 at Register.com when you use coupon code Reg250tj at check out.
  • Network Solutions - Register up to 3 .com, .net. or .org domain names at Network Solutions for only $2.95 each per year!
  • 1&1 Web Hosting - Pay only $3.99 the first year to register a .com or .org domain name with 1&1 Web Hosting


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