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Tuesday, 21 October 2014 8:34

How Much Should I Pay For a Domain Name?

By - Michael Rader

Customers need to know where to find you, especially as a young business. Imagine how many customers you will lose if they type in your business name and are sent to another company. Is it basic common sense: the easier customers can find you, the more often they will visit. Take for instance the travel company Travelocity. When one searches for the business by typing in “Travelocity,” they will be forwarded to the company’s website. Type in “travel,” however,” and any number travel sites pop up. Domain names that match your company name exactly are the ones that are going to provide you with the brandability you are looking for.

Deciding on a business moniker and corresponding domain name is one thing; knowing what to pay for it is an entirely different animal. What is the difference between a $1000 and a $20,000 domain name? How much is too much to pay for the perfect name? The answer may not be as helpful as you would like. In a nutshell, you must be willing to pay whatever it takes to secure the domain name you need. In most cases, that may be closer to $1000. In others, however, shelling out the big bucks is going to pay great dividends in the long run. Think of the old adage, “You have to spend money to make money.”

The most expensive domain names in history have cost millions of dollars. Business Insider estimates that over 500 domain names have been sold for over $1 million. The following is a list of some of the most expensive. Consider the amount of traffic each name generates as well as its usability for customers when considering its value.

  • Insurance.com  - $35.6 million in 2010
  • VacationRentals.com - $35 million in 2007
  • PrivateJet.com - $30.1 million in 2012
  • Hotels.com - $11 million in 2011
  • Beer.com - $7 million in 2004
  • iCloud.com - $6 million in 2011
  • Asseenontv.com - $5.1 million in 2000
  • AltaVista.com - $3.3 million in 1998

In 2013-2014, some of the most expensive names sold include:

  • Medicare.com - $4.8 million
  • eBet.com - $1.35 million
  • Camera.com - $1.5 million
  • Ticket.com - $1.525 million
  • Youxi.com - $2.43 million

Although most of these names are recognizable common words, only a few people may know that “Youxi” means “games” in Chinese. As more and more common domain names sell (think hotels.com and the other above mentioned domains), it will take a great deal more creativity and innovation to find names that offer the instant brand recognition and awareness you are looking for as a business. Fortunately, Brandroot has done the hard part for you. Our premium domain names are creative, brandable, and ready-to-use. Why reinvent the wheel when we’ve already done it for you? 

So how does one value a brand style domain name? What should you pay for a good domain name? Although there is no hard and fast rule, there are certain traits that make a domain name more expensive. As mentioned, domain names that carry a higher price tag also carry the most upside. The following traits will increase the worth of names:

  1. .Com Extension - As a rule, .com names are more expensive than .net and other extensions. .Com names are the extension most browsers default to and will therefore yield greater traffic, among many other reasons.
  2. Length – Shorter domain names (5-7 characters) are usually easier to remember and are therefore more expensive. Four and five letter domains are especially desirable and carry a higher price tag.
  3. Number of Words – As with length, domain names that include only one or two words are generally more expensive than those with multiple words.
  4. Memorability – Any new business owner can tell you that business names and corresponding domains need to be memorable and easily recognized. Customers generally frequent the first name that first pops into their heads. You want that name to be yours.
  5. Creativity – Creative names stay in consumer’s mind. Bland and unimaginative domains will be quickly replaced with names that offer the customers something different. While domains like Insurance.com have their value they are certainly not the type of domain a business looking for a brand should be after. A domain like Insurun.com would be much better suited for a company looking for real traction.
  6. Current Events – Entrepreneurs that capitalize on current discoveries, inventions, and/or trends will have the first opportunity to purchase domain names that have huge upsides. Think of the domain name iCloud.com, purchased by Apple in 2011. “Cloud” domains have since been a huge hit.

A domain name is the foundation on which a business can be built. In today’s technological age, websites are crucial parts of creating your brand. Even businesses with huge potential are often left behind because of poor naming/brand decisions. Don’t let that happen to you. Our marketplace of business names is sure to have something that is just what you are looking for. Our names are painstakingly chosen to give you the domain name you need to jumpstart your business. Choosing a business name and domain does not need to be an overwhelming activity. Let us do the work for you.

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 8:54

Michael Rader

With over ten years in web development and design, Michael Rader has expertise and technical know-how. But more than a skilled technician, he is an entrepreneur and innovator who helps startup’s and new businesses identify and define their future with a unique, brandable business name. Michael Rader is the founder and CEO of Brandroot®, a leading .com domain name marketplace. He currently lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where he operates the business and authors a blog dedicated to naming and brand name establishment.


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