Home How Much Would You Pay For Your Next .COM?

How Much Would You Pay For Your Next .COM?

The days of speculating on Internet domain names have been with us almost as long as when one could first purchase a .COM back in the middle 1990s. But is there any way to really quantify things to figure out whether you are better off with a particular suffix? Given that the gTLD space (as these are called) is about to widen considerably, it is a good time to ask this question.

So let’s say you can’t afford the six-figure deal to buy your own gTLD, like .strom in my case. If you are going old school, is it better to go with a .COM, .NET, .ORG or one of the newer ones such as .MOBI or .TV? There is a service that can provide some insights.

It is called the Search Engine for Domains, or Sedo. Based in Germany, they have assembled a huge database of domain names for sale, with more than 15 million listings. Perhaps better for spam kings and phishers than ordinary mortals such as you and I, they do track trends about what people have paid for various domains. The nice thing about the site is that you can conduct some limited analysis of their data and produce your own charts, as I have done for the relative process of various domain suffixes over the past few years. Note that the .MOBIs are still doing the best overall, going for twice what they did back in the beginning of 2007. The .BIZ domains seem like a bad bet, trading at half of their 2007 prices.

“The .com extension, which targets the entire world, has outperformed regional champions. Even successful country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) like .co.uk and .de have not kept pace with .com since 2008. This casts some doubt on the viability of new regional TLDs that have been proposed, such as .nyc (for New York City),” says Sedo’s press release.

Sedo has taken things a step further, and cross-linked their domain pricing data with economic indexes, so you can track what happens during particular times and try to make some assumptions about what caused what. Here is a graph that maps the domain names to overall online ad revenues, just to pick two things that you probably wouldn’t want to link together.

But this begs the question: which is cause and which is effect? A classic econometrics problem. Still, their site was interesting and worth taking a closer look at.

Back in the day, I was fortunate to flip a domain and make some nice money on it, just by a happenstance really. My seller was honorable enough (he got a new offer after he had agreed to do the deal with me, and sent his new buyer to me to handle) and I still feel that the domain marketplace is not like buying books at Amazon or whatever. There is a lot of imperfect information out there, but perhaps Sedo can guide you in becoming the master of your next domain.

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