Only so many good words to go around.

Your Domain Name Will Soon Be Gone.

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The domain name industry has always intrigued me. From the idea of registering a domain for $10 and selling it for thousands, to “owning” a word people type in you can have fun with, to the massive naming challenge in a global economy.

A small sample of one word .com domains sold this year already include:

Arrive, Beyond, Brew, Bungalow, Cabbage, Carrot, Christian, Close, Copper, Crypto, Do, Doc, Duck, Fallout, Gram, Groups, Hex, Ice, Indigo, Insider, Investigator, Invision, Island, Jump, Latitude, Ledger, Liquid, Lively, Mastermind, Note, Omen, Onyx, Packet, Pitch, Presto, Prime, Purple, Rain, React, Rock, Safer, Sandbox, Secure, Sierra, Signet, Slade, Spaceship, Super, Supernatural, Trailblazer, Triangle, Tube, Turbo, User, Valley, View, Visible, Visor, Wing, Workplace, Zoom…


It’s an industry where tech giants, real royalty and family offices have standing offers to buy great domains. An industry where just owning your name .com can result in $100,000 or more. An industry where some abstract combination of words could result in a lottery win when you least expect it.

If you think the industry is small and your $5,000 offer on a one word .com has any chance of succeeding think again.

Aftermarket domain name sales is a BIG BUSINESS. In a recent blog post Verisign estimated “that over $1 billion in annual secondary-market sales of .com domain names can be documented through publicly available data.”

This is above and beyond standard domain name registrations — every year.


How much is a domain name worth?

Unless you are an investor, this is a pretty silly question. Typically because it’s code for how much should a domain be priced? or what’s a fair value to pay?

Every domain name is unique. What you should be asking is how much that domain name is worth to you and your company.

Elon Musk recently tweeted it took him 10 years and $11,000,000 to acquire the Tesla.com domain. Do you think he cared how much the domain name is “worth”?

Honestly, for a buyer to get stuck on automated appraisals or comparable sales is a ridiculous approach.

Start with how much the domain name is worth to you THEN work backwards to find an offer strategy.

Was Musk crazy for spending $11,000,000 for a domain name? Very likely not. Some will say he was. Others will say great acquisition. A few will even think he got hosed (you know, those who don’t understand the history of the domain, the word, trademark law and everything else which contribute to the prior owner having as much right to the domain as Tesla Motors).

Money is relative and there are many examples of big sales around never reported. Plus spending $11,000,000 on a domain that is your brand when you are spending a Gazillion on rockets every week really isn’t a stretch.

In 2018 alone ALL of these .com domain names changed hands. Most have gone to brands meaning the only likely way to ever acquire one will be to purchase the company.

Arrive, Beyond, Brew, Bungalow, Cabbage, Carrot, Christian, Close, Copper, Crypto, Do, Doc, Duck, Fallout, Gram, Groups, Hex, Ice, Indigo, Insider, Investigator, Invision, Island, Jump, Latitude, Ledger, Liquid, Lively, Mastermind, Note, Omen, Onyx, Packet, Pitch, Presto, Prime, Purple, Rain, React, Rock, Safer, Sandbox, Secure, Sierra, Signet, Slade, Spaceship, Super, Supernatural, Trailblazer, Triangle, Tube, Turbo, User, Valley, View, Visible, Visor, Wing, Workplace, Zoom…

AND MANY MANY MORE.


How much did these domain names sell for?

Most high end acquisitions will never be reported but it’s safe to say almost ALL of them went for well over $100,000. In fact, there is a whole industry of domain name investors, family offices, tech investors and more who would pay $100,000 for most of these domain names in a heartbeat. Not to use, but to hold since somebody will eventually pay much more.

Domain names are a core part of the internet and the value a great domain name can bring to a brand can not be understated. However, this article is not going to explain why buy your best .com — 1,000 articles already exist for that.

Either you get it or you don’t.

What this article is meant to explain (or warn) is that demand for great domain names is at it’s highest level ever and the available inventory continues to shrink.

Holding for the right price is now a broader strategy by corporations and individuals. Why? Simple supply and demand has created greater liquidity options than ever before and the economics of a free market are working exactly as they are supposed to work.

If you are waiting to buy “your” best .com then it’s probably best to get serious now — before it’s gone forever.

Just ask all the other companies who are named:

Arrive, Beyond, Brew, Bungalow, Cabbage, Carrot, Christian, Close, Copper, Crypto, Do, Doc, Duck, Fallout, Gram, Groups, Hex, Ice, Indigo, Insider, Investigator, Invision, Island, Jump, Latitude, Ledger, Liquid, Lively, Mastermind, Note, Omen, Onyx, Packet, Pitch, Presto, Prime, Purple, Rain, React, Rock, Safer, Sandbox, Secure, Sierra, Signet, Slade, Spaceship, Super, Supernatural, Trailblazer, Triangle, Tube, Turbo, User, Valley, View, Visible, Visor, Wing, Workplace, Zoom…


Who am I?

Someone who has participated in over $50,000,000 of domain name transactions, heard almost every story in the book, understands how deals get done, and how they can fail from the start.

Don’t hate the player. Hate the game. The early bird gets the worm. You Snooze. You Loose. — yes, all those expressions apply right now.

Remember, you aren’t the only one playing and somebody always ends up winning.

Follow Alan Dunn on Twitter


Credit to Elliot Silver, Jamie Zoch, Ron Jackson, Shane Cultra and Andrew Allemann for sharing some of the reported movements for 2018