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.



How Much is Your Domain Name Worth?

Submitted by sbd on
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So perhaps by now you've registered a few domain names. For some of them you have active sites pointing to these domains and for other domains they're just sitting there mostly inactive. Perhaps parked earning a few bucks a month. Have you ever stopped to wonder how much your domains might could be worth?

First of all there are people who just register domain names with the sole intent of holding them and hoping others will purchase them at a much higher cost. When you consider the cost of a domain per year is about $10 and then see that sales can often be in the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions you can see why they do this. Of course it creates an annoying situation with a lot of the better domain names being snapped up by these "domain squatters."

There are a few ways to easily judge if your domain name might have some worth or value.

Is your domain name a .com?
.com domain names are hands down the most valuable domain suffix. Though nowadays there are many different domains such as .me, .us, and so on, the internet began with .com and everyone knows .com.

How long is your domain name?
Shorter domain names are more valuable than longer names. For instance cookies.com would be much more valuable compared to ieatcookies.com or cookiesaredelicious.com. Shorter names are easier for users to remember.

Does your domain name include a hyphen?
Hyphens immediately reduce the value of a domain. While we might think it helps to make the name clearer, it won't help the value.

how much is your domain worth?

If you are receiving unsolicited offers for your domain name, that right there will tell you if you are sitting on a potential big seller. To get more of a dollar value for how much your website might be worth or for a value you can use as a basis, try a free website like Valuate.com. If you are very serious about selling your domain name you might want to get an expert appraisal from services like Sedo. These services are of course not free.

So even if you're not interested in selling or marketing your domain name, it can be interesting to find out if yours is worth something. And who knows, perhaps you can walk away with a paycheck for a nice vacation or an early retirement!



Save over 90% off Domain Names from Network Solutions

Submitted by sbd on

Offer Expired- Price increased to $3.95 per domain name.

Network Solutions is offering a deal that's almost too good to pass on if you're in the market to register domain names. Right now, but for a limited time, you can register up to 3 domain names for only $2.95 each for the first year. That's right, you can use this offer for up to 3 domain names. It gives you flexibility if you want to protect your brand with multiple domain names.

Normally, we do consider Network Solutions to be one of the more expensive domain registrars but this is a really good domain registration offer. There are also other cheaper domain deals such as the $1.99 Yahoo! Domain but that one only allows you to register a single domain name.

Also, there are some limitations with this deal. As said before, the limit is 3 domain names and the offer is only valid for new Network Solutions customers. But other than that you couldn't ask for a better price!


Network Solutions $2.95 Domain Name Offer


GoDaddy.com: For 3 Days only New Customers save 25% off all orders

Submitted by sbd on

Offer Expired

Have you been on the fence for the past year wondering which hosting provider to go with? Well, for 3 days until December 31st, GoDaddy is making that decision a little easier for you. For all new customers, GoDaddy is giving a 25% discount off all orders. Check out their banner below!


New Customer 25% off Sale from GoDaddy.com!  - 125



Free domain with purchase of web hosting, is it worth it?

Submitted by Editor on

Several users have asked whether its makes sense to purchase a domain name separately or get it free with the purchase of a web hosting plan; Nearly every web hosting provider will offer a free domain with the purchase of a web hosting plan.