Dynadot

analysis 3-Letter .ORG Retail And Wholesale Domain Name Sales

Spaceship Spaceship
Short names are highly valued, both because they are easy to remember correctly and they are rare. This week I take a look at 3-letter (3L) .org domain names.

To focus on current and recent market conditions, I used data from the past 5 years only. While no dividing line is perfect, I separately analyzed a set of primarily retail sales, and a dataset with mainly wholesale transactions between investors. For the sales data, I used NameBio.

To get a feel for current 3L .org asking prices, I also looked at names listed with buy-it-now prices at Sedo.

Why 3L Names?

In many cases 3L names are used for brands which, at least originally, had a 3-word name, for example: BMW, IBM, CVS, NBC, KFC and many others. The abbreviation eases writing and sharing, while it may also provide a bolder brand, or one not tied to a specific language, region or specific product.

While businesses typically seek the .com, other legacy extensions are also valuable. WWF, IOC and BBB are just a few examples of major organizations that use the matching 3L .org.

A 3L name is easy to recall and to spell. Of equal, or perhaps greater, importance, short names are easier for customers and clients whose primary language is not English.

How Rare?

Value in domain names is largely driven by a combination of demand for that type of name coupled with supply. In the case of 3L names, if we do not consider hyphenated names or special characters, there are only 26x26x26=17,576 possible 3L names in an extension. By comparison there are 456,976 4L names.

.ORG Retail Sales Last Five Years

To produce a list that was mainly retail sales, I restricted the NameBio search to sales with a price of at least $1000 and that took place at Sedo, Afternic, BuyDomains, NameMarket or a Private sale. Since Afternic and NameMarket sales are not regularly reported on NameBio, the list was mainly Sedo sales with a few private sales and sales at BuyDomains. I also restricted the list to sales from the last 5 years.

With these criteria, over the 5 years there were only 97 probably retail sales of 3L .org names listed at NameBio. While the actual number would be significantly higher, because of venues and sellers that do not report to NameBio, I was still surprised that there were not more sales.

Retail Prices

The average price in the 3L .org retail dataset was $8020, with the median price not much different at $8150. The distribution by price for the predominantly retails sales is shown below.
Image-Retail-Prices-ORG.png

The highest-value sale was FTP.org, that sold for $35,000 in 2020.

Which Letters Are Popular?

I looked at the popularity of different letters, obtaining the histogram shown below. While there was some variability, not as much as I expected. Also, which letters were most popular surprised me somewhat, and we will see next week significant differences in a similar analysis of 3L .net retail sales.
Image-Letters-Retail-Org.png

The most frequent letters were R and T, present in 19 of the 97 names, followed by W in 14, and I, J N and O in 13 names each. The least common letters were Q (2), Y (3), and K (6).

I separately looked at the starting letter for each of the names. Here the most popular was R found in 9 names, followed by J and T in 7 names each, and C and N in 6 each.

Checking Out Vowel Consonant Combinations

When doing your own searches at NameBio use LLL in the Pattern section, along with other criteria, such as date, extension, or price, as desired.

But you can also search for combinations of consonants and vowels by entering C and V in the Pattern. For example, the word cat has a CVC pattern, as do many other 3-letter words. I checked how many of the 3L .org sales had a CVC pattern, and there were 21 out of the 97 total.

I also investigated VCC, present in 10 of the 97 retail name sales.

You can readily do your own searches on combinations of interest. Keep in mind that you must capitalize, that is CVC not cvc, in the NameBio Pattern entry.

Chinese Premium Names

Chinese Premium domain names, abbreviated CHIPs, are short names that do not contain the vowels a, e, i, o, u, nor the letter v. Read more about CHIPs in this NamePros Blog article by @James Iles: The Origin of CHIPs.

Fortunately, NameBio makes it possible to search by names that meet the Chinese Premium rule. To do this, by enter PPP (instead of LLL) in the Pattern box.

It turns out that 41 of the 97 sales in the retail dataset met the Chinese Premium rules, and those names had an average price of $8317, slightly higher than the overall 3L .org retail price.

@Michael published in the NameBio blog a clear article on doing various types of pattern searches: Pattern Search: Chinese Premiums and More.

Western Premium Names

There are also so-called Western Premium names, defined as domain names that do not include the letters J, K, Q, U, V, W, X, Y and Z. Again NameBio make it very simple to search for names that follow Western Premium rules, just enter WWW for the pattern.

It turns out the 36 of the 97 retail 3L .org sales are Western Premium names. The average price, $8753, for those is a bit higher than for the Chinese Premium.

Current Status of Retail 3L .ORG Sales

For each of the 97 sales, I tried to visit the associated website. It turns out that 35 of the names were developed, with another 13 used for redirection to a developed site. In most cases the organization or business was using the 3L acronym to redirect to their full name site, although not always.

I show the full distribution below. I found that 13 of the 97 names were clearly for sale again, with another 9 using a parking service, and possibly for sale. For 27 of the names there was no operational site or lander.
Image-CurrentStatus-ORG.png

How Are Investors Pricing 3L .ORG Retail

I used Sedo Advanced Search to look at 3L .org names that are listed with a buy-it-now price. On the day I checked 1615 were priced between $1000 and $9999, with 528 between $10,000 and $24,999.
Image-Sedo-3L-ORG-BIN.png

There were far fewer names priced higher, including 18 at $250,000 or more. There were 3 of the 3L .org names priced above a million dollars.

Wholesale Prices

I then used NameBio to look at sales of 3L .org from the last 5 years that were probably wholesale transactions to another investor. For the wholesale dataset, I included all sales at GoDaddy auctions, DropCatch, SnapNames, NameJet and Sav. No doubt some of these were in fact retail sales. This dataset had 732 sales, over the past 5 years. I included all sales $100 and up, and did not set an upper cutoff.

There were 6 sales in this β€˜wholesale’ dataset $10,000 and up, and another 17 between $5000 and $9,999. The highest sale, VIP.org that sold for $36,888 at NameJet in 2022, was actually higher than the highest sale in the retail set considered earlier.

The average price in the β€˜wholesale’ 3L .org set was $458. The full sales price distribution is shown below.
Image-Wholesale-Prices-ORG-3L.png

Letter Distribution for Wholesale Set

I computed the number of names in the wholesale set that contained different letters, with the histogram shown below.
Image-Letters-Wholesale-ORG.png

The distribution is surprisingly flat, showing not very strong preferences for certain letters. The least popular letter, Q, was still present in 59 names, and was almost half as popular as the most popular letter, Y, present in 164 names.

It should be kept in mind that these are names that sold in most cases at auctions, and the wholesale letter distribution may indicate names that are actually less desired, with more desired names retained and not entering the wholesale market. For example, Y was the most common letter in the wholesale set, and one of the least common in the retail data.

Premium Letters in Wholesale Set

In the wholesale set there were 320 of the 732 names that met the Chinese Premium criteria, and those names had a significantly higher average sales price of $984, compared to $458 for the entire wholesale set.

While only 172 of the 732 wholesale transactions met Western premium rules, the average price was even higher at $2343.

A Few Observations

Here are a few observations on the analysis:
  • There are relatively few 3L .org retail sales per year, so the data may not be that statistically significant.
  • Retail prices for 3L .org have mean and median values of the order of $8000, but individual sales are often significantly less or more.
  • While Chinese and Western premium names tend to be somewhat more highly valued in retail sales, many of the names sold do not meet these patterns.
  • Just under half of the 3L .org retail sale names are in meaningful use.
  • The mean price for the wholesale dataset is much lower, $458, but there is a lot of variation, with the highest prices actually higher than most of the β€˜retail’ sales.
  • Overlap between retail and wholesale pricing is common with very liquid names.
  • Chinese Premium letters were favoured in many of the wholesale transactions, more than Western Premium.
  • Investors tend to pay a significantly more for premium letter combinations, especially Western Premium names. The average Western Premium wholesale 3L .org sale was almost 5x the price of the average 3L .org sale in general.
  • I don’t think much can be concluded from patterns in the distributions of letter popularity.
  • Given the pricing of names at Sedo, and the number of even β€˜retail’ sale names not in use, parked or for sale, I suspect many investors feel that prices will increase significantly for 3L .org in the future.

Please feel free to share your views and experiences with 3L .org domain names in the comment section below.

Next week I plan to share a similar analysis for 3L .net domain names.



Sincere thanks to NameBio for the data used in this analysis. Their pattern search feature provides an easy to use, and powerful, way to examine the data.
 
42
•••
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Awesome article. Great read!! πŸš€πŸš€πŸš€πŸŒ‘οΈ
 
3
•••
That’s for the Analysis Bob!

I’ve sold two 3-letter .orgs in the past few months in the $5-7K range each, out of the 23 three-letter .org names that I own; so I am very bullish on the market for them. Three letter acronyms are very common for non-profits, so they fit the extension great.

Keep up the good work!
 
6
•••
For example, Y was the most common letter in the wholesale set, and one of the least common in the retail data.
Hi

that's interesting!

are some buying them up on the drops and holding names with letter "Y", while waiting for higher roi's,

or are they buying them, because there are more of them for sale with lower bids and less competition?

imo...
 
2
•••
How Rare?

Value in domain names is largely driven by a combination of demand for that type of name coupled with supply. In the case of 3L names, if we do not consider hyphenated names or special characters, there are only 26x26x26=17,576 possible 3L names in an extension. By comparison there are 456,976 4L names.

I took a look at the (3) letter .org for sale on SEDO and Dan.

Here is what I found -

SEDO -

2,512 total
(176) $1K or under
(9) $500 or under
Lowest - $300

Dan -

1,072 total
(37) $1K or under
(3) $500 or under
Lowest - $340

Brad
 
1
•••
There are also so-called Western Premium names, defined as domain names that do not include the letters J, K, Q, U, V, W, X, Y and Z. Again NameBio make it very simple to search for names that follow Western Premium rules, just enter WWW for the pattern.
There are only 4,913 total Western triple premiums when you exclude those letters. (17x17x17)

The lowest priced one I could find on Dan or SEDO is $2,464.

Brad
 
Last edited:
2
•••
There are only 4,913 total Western triple premiums when you exclude those letters. (17x17x17)

The lowest priced one I could find on Dan or SEDO is $2,464.

Brad
Hi

to me, it depends on the placement of each letter in the domain, as a whole.

with .org, many of the acronyms taken, are in use, when compared to some other extensions.
as "new" terms become trendy like "verse" then the letter "V" becomes premium, if and when combined with two other letters, that can give the domain some added "visual and applicable appeal".

a few of our past sales wsm org, svh org and mvn org all had letters that some consider non premium, but they sold within retail price ranges.

imo....
 
Last edited:
3
•••
Hello

Valuable information. Thank you

Can you give us an idea for 5L .org?

How they are appraised, is there a demand for them?

Regards
 
0
•••
Can you give us an idea for 5L .org?

How they are appraised, is there a demand for them?
This article just looked at 3L, but I had a quick look on NameBio. 5L .org over the past 5 years have ranged in price from $100 (the cutoff for their 'public' display) to $169,888, with an average price of $1138. That average price, is deceptive for two reasons. One, it includes a majority of wholesale transactions, since I included all venues, and that pulls the average down. But two, the few huge sales dominate the average, and are not reflective of a 'typical' 5L .org held by the majority of investors, and that pulls average up.

Here is a link if you want to go through the top sales yourself:
https://namebio.com/?s==kjMxADO3EDN

The 5L .org names that go for a lot tend to be words, or in-demand acronyms, and in important sectors. The highest sale was for ready .org, which sold at DomainMarket in 2020.

I don't think they are necessarily appraised that much different from anything else. Consider things like organization or business value of term, pronounceable, positive, and the sector. The multi-year studies I have done show .org has steadily edged upward, and data indicates a solid sell-through rate on good .org names. As we have more distributed businesses/organizations, the .org suits them and is a choice, particularly if the .com and .io is not available.

I may at some point look at 4L and 5L .org in detail, but it won't be right away.

I would place more emphasis on the quality of the term rather than it contains 5L versus 6 or 7 or 8 letters. Although short is important, there are almost 12 million 5L combinations, so just being 5L alone is not nearly enough. Stick away from unpronounceable or random 5L, and try to concentrate on either single words or a slight alteration on a highly-desired term.

As always alternatives available to the potential buyer is key. So always check the status of the .com, and probably the .io, .net and .xyz, if relevant the .ai, and possibly others, prior to deciding for sure about acquiring the .org. You ideally want to see them developed, or priced exceedingly high.

-Bob
 
Last edited:
5
•••
Great analysis as always, very interesting read Bob.

Makes me wonder if the 3L.ai market will rise in the future?
 
1
•••
Thanks for the information.
 
1
•••
Back