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James Iles

Domain Data: How Much Is a One-Word .COM Worth?

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By James Iles, Aug 17, 2016
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Throughout our Domain Data series, in association with NameBio, we have explored new gTLDs, surnames and four-letter .COM domains. In this article, we'll be looking in detail at one-word, dictionary .COM domain names to see exactly what they're worth, what their average return on investment is, and how the figures compare throughout the past few years.

    The data for this article has been provided by @Michael from NameBio.com, and we're specifically looking at one-word, dictionary .COM domain names with less than 10 letters. The original data file contained 5,183 dictionary .COM domain name sales, with around 76% of those names being 10 characters or less, meaning that we have 3,958 domain name sales to analyse.


    The Highest Prices & The Average Prices

    We scoured the list to find the highest price and the average price for all domain names in total, as well as the highest sale and average price based on the length of the domain name. Here's what we found:

    Domain LengthAverage PriceHighest Domain Sale
    Overall$81,216Sex.com - $14mm
    2 Letters$1,064,187We.com - $8mm
    3 Letters$499,012Sex.com - $14mm
    4 Letters$213,704Fund.com - $9.99mm
    5 Letters$128,088Porno.com - $8.88mm
    6 Letters$48,685Casino.com - $5.5mm
    7 Letters$54,082Diamond.com - $7.5mm
    8 Letters$33,281Software.com - $3.2mm
    9 Letters$23,495Investing.com - $2.45mm

    Dictionary .COMs at Different Sales Venues

    Thanks to the data at NameBio.com, we're able to see where each domain name was sold. When you're analysing a lot of data, you can get some fascinating statistics from this information. Below, we've compiled a list of domain sales venues to see exactly how each venue compares.

    Sales VenueAverage Price
    Afternic$23,649
    Flippa$12,205
    GoDaddy$8,558
    NameJet$7,173
    Private$803,617
    Sedo$55,340
    Uniregistry$54,336
    Private sales stand out by quite a way in this comparison. Remember that the majority of seven figure sales such as Sex.com, We.com and Porno.com have been listed as private sales, so these will increase the average sales price.

    We can also see that marketplaces such as GoDaddy, NameJet and Flippa attract more investors than end-users, which means that the average sales price is kept fairly low. On the other hand, Uniregistry and Sedo have average sales prices in excess of $50,000 for any dictionary .COM domain, which is impressive.


    The Average ROI

    Out of the total of 3,958 domain name sales we analysed, 349 contained duplicate domain sales. This means that the same domain sold more than once. This direct comparison allowed us to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of each of these names.

    We concluded that the average ROI amongst all 349 names is 117.05%. The lowest ROI listed was an incredible -96.44% for the 2008 sale of breaks.com on Sedo for $68,000. The same name sold two years later for just $2,422. The highest ROI was 4,900%. This was the sale of Diamond.com, which sold for $150,000 in 1999 and then again in 2006 for $7.5 million.

    Throughout the ROI analysis, we found that there were a number of domain names that looked to be failed flips. These were names that sold at marketplaces such as Sedo or NameJet, and were then resold for a slight loss just a matter of weeks later.

    I think this shows that while these domains can be excellent long term investments, they are not always great for short term flips.


    The Average Price Per Year

    Since the introduction of the new gTLDs, have dictionary .COM domain names gone up, or down in value? It's said that since there is more choice, that dictionary .COM domains may have lost their value somewhat. We analysed the sales from 2011 to 2015 to see whether there was any sign of a pattern emerging. Please note that for this data, we removed the few seven-figure sales that were reported during this time, as their presence skewed the data by quite a way.

    upload_2016-8-17_16-10-38.png
    This chart shows the average sales prices from 2011 to 2015. The years 2011 and 2012 had fairly steady averages, but the average increased in 2013, which may have been down to more high five- and six-figure sales.

    The average for 2015 was $19,638, compared to 2014's $26,559. 2015 may, on the surface, look to be a poor year for dictionary .COMs, but while the average sales price was lower, there was a total of 475 sales, compared to 2014's 278.


    Sales Proportions

    To find the sales data, Michael from NameBio.com ran a dictionary data script that had a total of over 76,000 words. We noticed that the most common length for a dictionary word is 8 letters, with 16.172% of all words being 8 letters in length. Four-letter words accounted for just 3.359% of all words. However, when we compared this to domain name sales, it seems that four-letter .COM words account for 6.116% of all dictionary .COM sales.

    This is close to double the proportion of four-letter dictionary words, which would seem to suggest that four-letter, dictionary .COM domain names sell twice as frequently as we would expect. This is a trend that we see in other categories, too:

    upload_2016-8-17_16-23-11.png
    The chart above shows an abnormally large frequency of three, four-, five-, six- and seven-letter dictionary .COM domain names being sold. The popularity of longer eight- and nine-letter dictionary .COM domains are less than expected. This shows that short dictionary .COM domain names are in high demand, while long names have less of a demand.

    --

    Thanks to @Michael for providing this data, and to @Eric Lyon for the original idea. Do you have a suggestion for a future Domain Data article? Submit your ideas to [email protected].
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 242nd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (24)

  6. DomainSherpa

    DomainSherpa DomainSherpa.com DomainSherpa PRO ICA Member Gold Account VIP

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    Great summary, James! Thanks for putting this data together.
     
  7. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi

    maybe people who own 8 /9 letter or higher dictionary words are holding them, while they sell off the shorter one's.

    :)
     
  8. Ceejaye

    Ceejaye Active Member VIP

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    Nice post, James
     
  9. Konga

    Konga Active Member VIP

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    Great post, thanks for sharing
     
  10. trap3

    trap3 Active Member VIP

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    Really informative and useful article. Thanks !
     
  11. MR Harrist

    MR Harrist Established Member

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    5L.com 128k usd ? I have 5 letter! I think I gonna rich ! yipee :P
    hehehehe
     
  12. trap3

    trap3 Active Member VIP

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    Be interesting to know the average prices for those 2-9 letter .coms, taking out those private sales. Do you have that info James ?
     
  13. kmnsh

    kmnsh Active Member VIP

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    Very brief yet informative post James. Thank you
     
  14. Mr. Deleted

    Mr. Deleted mrdeleted.com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    4 Letters $213,704 Fund.com - $9.99mm

    Is this only for 1 word, pronounceable, or now is this defined in your "average"? How many names were added to this list to average it out?
     
  15. Michael

    Michael NameBio.com NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great analysis James! I find it really interesting when something we know anecdotally is proven with numbers. For example we know from experience that 3-letter words are more liquid than 9-letter words, but that last chart proves it.

    When a category of domains, say 4-letter words, sells at a higher frequency than it represents in the set (in this case it is only 3% of words but 6% of dictionary sales), that is high liquidity proven in numbers.

    With 208 private sales removed, these were the averages:

    Overall: $40,708
    2: $380,441
    3: $287,804
    4: $109,286
    5: $66,437
    6: $35,347
    7: $22,223
    8: $20,478
    9: $12,562

    Of course that is still including lots of end user sales at venues like Uniregistry, Sedo, Moniker, etc. If you were trying to see wholesale averages a better way is to look at the Venue chart that James did, particularly Flippa, GoDaddy and NameJet.

    Removing sales where the venue is Private doesn't really tell you anything unique since they aren't much different than Uniregistry sales for example. It does cut the average down significantly but it is still quite a bit higher than wholesale numbers.

    The list of sales was generated by cross-referencing our entire sales database with a list of 76,015 common English words. All sales in James' analysis are actual dictionary words, not just pronounceable. There were 318 sales of four letter words used in the average.
     
  16. Grossu

    Grossu Established Member

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    Good reading, thanks.

    As suggestion, ROI by gTLDs, for your next reports?
     
  17. namerav

    namerav Market Restricted

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  18. Asfas1000

    Asfas1000 Active Member VIP

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    Thanks for the charts.

    However, it needs to be pointed out that if you calculate the average of a $1,000 reseller sale and a $10,000 end user sale (say, for similar value 1-worders), you end up with a meaningless $5,500 average price....
     
  19. WatchDogue

    WatchDogue Active Member VIP

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    Very well presented data re one word .com domains, thanks!
     
  20. Fancy.domains

    Fancy.domains Selling gTLDs like delicious hotcakes Gold Account VIP

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    Very, very interesting and educating.

    Thanks a lot...
     
  21. NetworkPearl

    NetworkPearl Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP

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    Well I would like to know how much smaller.com is worth.
     
  22. Michael

    Michael NameBio.com NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  23. 900Worldwide

    900Worldwide CommercialName.com VIP

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    Nice information put together..
     
  24. GTLD92

    GTLD92 Established Member

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    Informative
     
  25. garptrader

    garptrader Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I recently received a low $XXX offer on a seven-character one-word Spanish .COM domain - a bit below my target price low $XXXX. GAKP monthly search volume is only 4400.
     
  26. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN Active Member VIP

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    Thanks. Nice Article. I have few of them.

    Dehydrate.com (100K-1M EMS)

    Mesenteric.com (33K EMS)

    Unicellular.com (30K+ EMS)

    Carboxylate.com (6K EMS)
     
  27. Avtar629

    Avtar629 MarketDN.com Gold Account VIP

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    I have one Superconductive.com
     
  28. Tunababa8v

    Tunababa8v Established Member

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    I have chaptalize.com
     
  29. satyadeep singh

    satyadeep singh Established Member

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