Short domain names have impact, and there can be no shorter domain name than one with a single character to the left of the dot. Unfortunately, most of the single-character domain names in the major legacy extensions are not available at any price. There are, however, single-character domain names in many country-code domain extensions, as well as numerous possibilities within new domain extensions. In this article, I take a look at sales and use of single-character domain names. Also, there is a new free tool to find available single-character, and other short, domain names. At least as recorded in the NameBio database, there have been 605 sales of single-character domain names with an average price of $23,700. About 70% of the single-character domain name sales were in country-code domain extensions. The top sale was Z.com at $6.784 million. Why So Few Single-Character Domain Names in Legacy Extensions? In December 1993, it was decided by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), now part of ICANN, that any single-character domain names in .com, .net and .org that had not already been put into use would be reserved. That is why so few single-character legacy extension domain names are in use today. There has been talk in recent years to revisit that policy, and possibly release some of them. It appears that many of the single-number .org domain names have been released, as they are listed for sale. The letters Q, X and Z in .com, I, Q in .net and X in .org were already assigned at the time the policy came into force in 1993. These domain names continue in use today, although in most cases in different hands. A few others, such as Q in .org, have been put into use. The domain name X.com was used by Elon Musk and Greg Kouri for X.com, one of the first online banks. Following a merger with Confinity, X.com became PayPal in 2001. In July 2017 Elon Musk announced that he had reacquired X.com from PayPal for an undisclosed price. While one might think it was for SpaceX, Musk indicated at the time that it was largely for sentimental reasons. Currently X.com is rather underused - check out the link! The domain name Q.com is in use by CenturyLink, an Internet, phone and television provider. When I checked, it seems in use for account service, as opposed to a general redirect. CenturyLink were not the original owners, purchasing it from the 1993 owner. The domain name Z.com is used by Japanese-based Internet services provider GMO, one of the world’s major domain registrars. GMO have been in operation since 1991, but purchased this domain name in 2014 in a private sale for $6.784 million. The domain name Q.net is used by Q Networks. The original owner of I.net was INet Solutions, although it is currently used by Future Media Architects. The domain name X.org is used by the educational nonprofit X.org foundation. The domain name B.org is in use by the crowd funding site Benevolent, although it redirects to their benevolent.net site. The domain name Q.org sold in 2018 for $500,000 in a transaction handled by Braden Pollock of Legal Brand Marketing. The name is used by the Q cryptocurrency site. Single-Character Country-Code Domain Names While some country-code extension registries do not release single-character domain names, the majority do allow them. Therefore, many single-character country-code domain names exist. Among well known country-code extensions that permit single letter domain names are: .ai. .de, .gg, .pw, .to, .tv and .ws. Among the better known uses of single letter .co domain names. A.co used by Amazon G.co used by Google for URL shortening T .co used by Twitter for URL shortening and link security Many of the single letter .co domain names are currently for sale. There are also well known single letter .me domain names in use. G.me takes you to your Google accounts M.me used by Facebook Messenger T.me used by Telegram V.me used by Visa One of the larger single-character sales was 9.am that sold in 2017 for $169,000 at West. It is in use by an Asian multi-purpose redirection site that includes links to online casinos, payment systems and related services. New Extension Single-Letter Domain Names Although not all new domain extensions permit registration of single-character domain names, many do. Usually these are at substantial premium prices. In the next section I outline a new tool to help you find available names. The list of NameBio-recorded single-character domain sales has five .top and two .xyz among the top-10 sales, along with two legacy and one country-code domain name. A number of these new extension domain names are not in use currently, although p.top is in use by an Asian cryptocurrency operation, and 9.xyz is used by the XYZ registry to promote their premium sales. Among the interesting single-character end use examples is X.company which is used by Alphabet for The Moonshot Factory. A New Tool to Find Available Short Domain Names Recently a new online tool was released that makes it easy to search for available short domain names, and then to compare registration prices. The tool is at wee.domains. It is free to use, although it has monetized affiliate links. The tool allows you to search for available domain names up to 5N or 4L, but searches can be restricted to, for example, single-character domain names by checking the L and N in the Label Type selector on the left hand column. Wee.domains showed me, at time of writing, there were 5098 available single-character domain names. That is somewhat deceptive, since it includes many seldom-used extensions. Under the Pricing Model selector you can choose only standard or premium priced domain names. One can order the columns in wee.domains in various ways. For example, if ordered by price, it shows that 0.top is the most expensive, at $161,800, even at the cheapest registrar. A.career is a nice domain name expression, but it will set you back $112,000 just for the first year. For about $75 to $200 you can get a selection of single-character domain names in a variety of, mainly thinly used, extensions. The tool searches for all types of top level domains (TLD), but, if desired, you can restrict it to certain extensions or groupings. The Compare Prices column shows the prices at different registrars. The developer of wee.domains is the same person who developed TLD-List for comparing registration, transfer and renewal prices on domains, so the presentation is somewhat similar. I found a few bugs in prices - for example wee.domains showed me that the name v.pictures could be registered at a standard fee of $14 at one registrar, but it really was over $200. But with all of the functionality of the wee.domains, it is a powerful search engine for those who really have their heart set on a very short domain name. Finding Single-Character Domain Names in the Aftermarket While wee.tools is useful for finding available single-character domain names to register, you can also use Dofo.com for similar searches. Dofo has the advantage that it will also show you names listed for sale on all of the main aftermarket marketplaces. As an example, here is a list from Dofo of all domain names with the single letter X. At time of writing, there were 360 names available to register, 168 listed for sale, and 352 already registered. It is easy to use the Dofo filters to further restrict the list, or find links to where any particular name is for sale, as well as pricing information if available. How Frequently Have Single-Character Names Sold? While NameBio only covers sales from certain venues, and is a mix of wholesale and retail sales, it can provide guidance on how often single-character domain names sell. Here is a link to the NameBio list of single character domain name sales. It shows that there have been 605 NameBio-listed sales of singe-character domain name] with an average price of $23,700. The price range was from $100 to $6.784 million. The latter was for the Z.com sale noted earlier. Country-code extension sales accounted for 426 of the 605 sales, with an average price of $7079. New domain extensions accounted for 132 of the 605 total, with an average price of $26,700. I also looked at the breakdown between letter and number sales in the 605 sales. Just over 23% of the single-character sales were numbers. NameBio subscription plans allow you to look at sales under $100. There were an additional 56 domain names that sold under $100, including 11 in 2019. Internationalized Single-Character Domain Names I have not considered internationalized single-character domain names in this article, a whole topic on its own. This Wikipedia article shows you a number of single character internationalized domain names currently in use, but that is obviously a small subset of the total. Emoji domain names could also be considered single character. What Do You Think? What do you think about the policy to keep most single-character domain names in the legacy extensions off the market? Would you like to see them released? If so, what should be the mechanism and considerations for release? I hope readers will share in the comments section if they have single-character domain names. Also, if they have held any single-character domain names in the past, or brokered andy sales in them. If you have tried out wee.domains, share your thoughts on this new tool, or on other tools that you use to help locate very short domain names. Thanks to the creators of NameBio.com, Dofo.com and wee.domains for the tools I used for analysis in compiling this article.