How Are Investors Pricing Their Domain Names?


Domain investor
Staff member
Article Credits and Research: namepros, Bob Hawkes .

A domainer can ask any price he or she wants for any domain name. Each domain name is different, so looking at what prices others ask will not inform how any particular domain name should be priced. However, since there are frequent discussions around prices being too low or too high, I thought it would be interesting to look at the distribution of buy-it-now prices.

With the Advanced Search feature of Dofo, it is easy to search for domain names with any set of characteristics, such as extension, length, pricing, etc. Dofo covers the major marketplaces, providing a large sampling of priced domain names.

Buy-It-Now .COM Prices

I first looked at .com domain names, and restricted the search to those with 4 characters or longer, representing the sort of names most common in domain investor portfolios. Had I included 2 and 3 character names, other than a few more high-price names, the overall distribution would not be much changed. I also excluded domain names with hyphens or numbers from all of the results presented here.

I repeated the search multiple times with different price bins, obtaining the results shown below. There were about 12.6 million priced .com names in this analysis.

Here are some of the features of the distribution.
  • 61.6% of the .com names were priced between $1000 and $4999.
  • Only 2.2% were priced at $25,000 or more, and only 0.2% above $100,000.
  • About 13.7% of the .com names were priced at less than $500.
The results were much as I expected, although the drop-off at $5000 was somewhat more dramatic than I might have guessed.

A Look At .ORG Prices

It is generally felt that .org domain names have lower prices, so I did a similar analysis for .org.

It is true that the drop-off in .org domain names priced above $5000 is somewhat more dramatic than for .com.
  • 78.1% of the .org names were priced between $250 and $4999.
  • About 2.4% were priced at $25,000 or more, not very different from .com
  • Only 0.2% were priced above $100,000.
  • About 10.6% of the .org names were priced at less than $250.
The results were more similar to .com than I expected, although there are fewer .org priced $5000 to $25,000.

What About .CO Pricing?

The .co extension has found increasing use among startups and other businesses as an alternative to .com. The distribution of .co domain name prices is shown below.

The .co results show more domains priced at the lower levels, although some are priced to $75,000 and a few beyond that.
  • 71.7% of the .co names were priced between $250 and $4999.
  • About 1.2% were priced at $25,000 or more, somewhat less that we saw for .com and .org.
  • About 21.2% of the .co names were priced less than $250, substantially more than for .com.
  • In fact, 12.1% were priced less than $100.
The results show a wide distribution in prices below $5000, with relatively few priced above that.

Prices of .IO Domain Names

The .io extension also has strong adoption by startups. As .io domains are relatively expensive to hold, I did not know if that would influence the prices sought. The distribution of .io domain name prices is shown below.

The .io results indicate a fairly wide distribution in prices, although fewer lower price names compared to .co.
  • 57.8% of the .io extension names were priced between $1000 and $4999.
  • Of that, 41.5% were priced between $2500 and $4999.
  • About 7.5% were priced at $25,000 or more, significantly more than for .com, .org or .co.
  • About 6.1% of .io domain names were priced less than $500.
The results show most price their .io names in the $2500 to $5000 range.

How Should .REALTY Names Be Priced?

During the summer there was a very good promotion on first year registration of .realty names. However, the renewal cost is very high, so most domain investors will try to sell the names within the first year. Since the sales record in the extension was minimal, and very few were even listed for sale in the aftermarket prior to the promotion, it was difficult for investors to know how to price .realty names.

I did the analysis for .realty extension names a couple of times, about two weeks separated, and there were dramatic changes. I think investors are still trying to decide on pricing levels. The following analysis is based on 6640 names listed for sale the day I did the analysis.

The .realty results indicate most are priced below $2500, although with a few much higher.
  • 67.8% of the .realty extension names were priced between $750 and $2499.
  • Only 1.1% were priced at $10,000 or more.
  • Just 0.9% were priced less than $250.
  • There seems a fair amount of value-pricing to promote a quick sale, or perhaps recognizing that many clients may be small firms. There were 12.0% of .realty domain names priced between $250 and $499.

Do-It-Yourself Price Distributions

If you are interested in price distribution for some other extension, or domain length, it is easy to obtain results for any type of domain name.

Here are the steps.
  1. Go to Dofo, and click the Advanced Search wording just below the search bar.
  2. Click the Extensions button and check the one you want. If you do not see it explicitly listed, just type it in, without the preceding dot, and it will appear and check it. If you do repeated analyses, Dofo keeps any previous extension selections, so be sure to clear that before you start.
  3. Under Sale Type select Domains For Sale and Buy Now Domains.
  4. If desired, under Length set a minimum and maximum number of characters.
  5. Under Price set the minimum and maximum.
  6. Click the Search button, and it will show you how many domain names for sale were found with that characteristic.
  7. Repeat the preceding two steps for each price range you want to check.
Through the More Filters options you can further restrict the search, for example to look at pricing on a particular marketplace. That is also how you set whether you want to include names with hyphens or numbers, or in a specific domain name creation date range.

Don’t be overly influenced by prices others are asking, but if you want to find out how typical your pricing is, it is easy to find out, thanks to Dofo. Keep in mind that these are asking prices, not sales prices.

Wonder what names are priced $25 million and up? Here is the list! Although many of the top ones seem listed by a single seller on Flippa, and have now been taken down.