Get your catchy domain at it.com
Dynadot Dynadot
Dictionaries define more than a dozen ways that the word the can be used, but as a leading part of a domain name it is most used as a definite article
used as a function word before a proper name to indicate the distinctive characteristics of a person or thing.
or
used as a function word to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out.

We might refer to the iconic rock group as Rolling Stones, but most call them The Rolling Stones. Adding a leading the adds distinction.

There are well-known businesses and organizations that incorporate the as part of their name, such as The Home Depot, trademarked under that exact name. The company does own the full domain name, but redirect it to the shorter form HomeDepot.com.

Many publications include the as part of their formal name, such as The New York Times. Note, however, that their main domain name drops the, as well as abbreviating New York: nytimes.com.

The world’s largest museum of art is commonly known as The Met, although their formal name is The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum uses a variety of websites including MetMuseum.org, and TheMet.org in redirection.

I wondered how frequently domain names with a leading the sell, and whether that use was trending up or down. Here is what I found.

High Value Sales

I first looked at the highest-value sales, at least of sales recorded in NameBio.
  • TheMortgage.com, $500,000, 2000
  • The.club, $300,000, 2018
  • TheRecRoom.com, $89,888, 2015
  • TheFightClub.com, $60,000, 2021
  • TheCompany.com, $60,000, 2021
  • TheStores.com, $50,000, 2015
  • TheRake.com, $42,000, 2015
  • TheCube.co.uk, $40,919, 2006
  • TheCrown.com, $40,000, 2011
  • TheKingdom.com, $39,999, 2021
  • TheExchange.com, $36,000, 2013
  • ThePirateBay.com, $35,150, 2020
  • TheGuard.com, $35,000, 2014
  • TheResource.com, $35,000, 2013
A few of these, such as the.club and TheCompany.com had multiple recorded sales, but I only included the higher-priced sale.

High-Value Sales of Exact Word THE

Next I looked at the highest-value sales for the exact word the, again using NameBio data.
  • The.club, $300,000, 2018
  • The.market, $15,000, 2016
  • The.org, $9999, 2011
  • The.network, $9995, 2021
  • The.global, $8,000, 2017
  • The.party, $6,200, 2017
  • The.info, $5,000, 2012
  • The.com.au, $4,334, 2012
  • The.law, $2,700, 2021
The.club, The.network and The.org all had multiple sales that would have made the list, but I only included the higher-value sale.

Given the wealth of extensions that would make a great across the dot phrase with the word the, it is somewhat surprising that there were not more high-value exact sales.

Sales By Year

As the supply of great single-word .com domain names dwindles, I wondered if names with a leading the might be trending up.

I plot below the annual sales dollar volume, including only NameBio-recorded sales of $500 or more to mainly include retail sales, for names that start with the. Note that there would be some contamination with words that start with the but are part of a different word, like theatre, so these volumes represent an upper limit for recorded sales. For 2022 I extrapolated, assuming that the rate of sales continued from the first 81 days for the rest of the year.

IMAGE-Volume-THE.png


While the graph seems to imply that sales of domain names starting with the is increasing, the total number of sales of domain names recorded in NameBio is also increasing, and perhaps that is all that is indicated. Also, there have been changes over the years in what gets reported in NameBio.

Therefore, I looked at the percentage of total sales volume represented by domains starting with the, again including only data from $500 plus sales. While there is perhaps a hint of an increase in recent years, for the most part, this shows no clear trend with year.

IMAGE-Percent-THE.png


I also looked at average price for each year. In all cases the average price for names that did not start with the was higher than for those that start with the, sometimes by a factor of 2x or in a few cases 3x.

Sell-Through Rate

Another way to look at this is to compare sell-through rates for domain names that start with the versus all domain names.

To estimate sell-through rates I used Dofo Advanced Search to find the number of domain names currently for sale that start with the, 378,247, and all domain names listed for sale, 26,585,186. I then used NameBio looking at sales from the past 12 months. I obtained data for all sales of $100 or more, all at $500 plus and for $1000 and up sales only.

The data for annual, industry-wide, apparent sell-through rates is shown in the table. Keep in mind that by no means all sales are in NameBio, so the actual values would be higher in both cases.

IMAGE-STR-THE.png


We see that the sell-through rate is not significantly different for domain names that start with the compared to all domain names for sale. In fact at $500 and up they are almost identical.

That is the rate of sales. There are differences in average prices, however, that favours names without the. For example, when we look only at sales $1000 plus the average sales price for all domain names was $5720 in the past year, compared to $2658 for the names starting with the.

Brandable Marketplace Listings

I also had a look at listings from several brandable marketplaces to see how common names starting with the were. While BrandBucket showed 205 listings starting with the, the vast majority of these were actually starting with some other word such as theme, theta, theory, etc. Some made-up words were difficult to classify, but it seems only about 20 listings at BrandBucket start with the word the.

There is a higher percentage of names starting with the word the at BrandPa, with 53 listings from a significantly smaller total portfolio.

The hybrid Alter marketplace has a significant number, 416, names starting with the word the on the day I checked.

There are a relatively large number of names starting with the at SquadHelp: I counted 389. A number of additional SquadHelp listings incorporate the word the, but not as the lead word.

A Few Conclusions

Based on this analysis, I conclude the following.
  1. While the vast majority of sold domain names do not start with the, in recent years there are of the order of $1 million per year in sales with a leading the.
  2. Taken as a percentage of all sales, most years only 0.3% to 0.8% of all sales start with the. This is an over-estimate since some other words are included.
  3. There is no clear trend of increasing sales of names starting with the.
  4. A leading The can add distinction to a company or organization name. Many businesses that start with the in their formal name still use the abbreviated form in their main domain name, however.
  5. There have been 2 six-figure sales, and numerous 5-figure sales of names with a leading the.
  6. All of the brandable marketplaces have listings starting with the, but they seem more accepted at BrandPa and SquadHelp compared to BrandBucket. There are also many the-leading domain names listed at Alter.
  7. The sell-through rates of domain names starting with the are not significantly different than the rates for all sales.
  8. Average prices are lower in names starting with the, however.
  9. If considering acquisition of a name that starts with the, ask yourself if the full name sounds right, and if the adds to the feel of the name.
  10. The case is stronger for names where the tern without the leading the is very high value.
Please don't over-promote your portfolio, but if you want to share one strong name starting with THE from your portfolio, feel free to post in comments. Also, if you have had success with names using this structure.

Note: I am still looking for input for a future article on how to move to 5-figure sales. If you have had success at that price point, I hope you will provide comments at my input sought thread.



Thanks to NameBio, Alter, BrandBucket, BrandPa, dotDB, Dofo and SquadHelp that I used in this analysis.
 
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Samer

Top Contributor
Impact
21,249
I despise thePirateBay.com sale.

Otherwise, all good, Bob.

Dont forget about names out there in the wild; not just the newly sold; i used to think “The” was mainly for Journalism niche, especially when it is used with “Daily”

ALL .COM (Unsure when sold & for how much)
TheDispatch
TheWeek
TheDailyWire
TheDailyCaller
TheDailyBeast
TheDailyMail (re-directs to .co.uk since uk)
TheTimes (re-directs to .co.uk since uk)
 
Impact
30,400
“The” was mainly for Journalism niche
Thanks for the great examples @Samer, and agree that journalism is a strong sector for use of THE. Our major national newspaper here in Canada, goes by The Globe and Mail.

One of our major electronics retail chains, The Source, also use their The prominently.

It is also popular, at least in the city I currently live in, for named rental and condominium complex buildings, as well as assisted-care facilities. I suspect most use hand-registered domains, but possibly some market there.

Thanks again, and sorry about the PB. Just listing it as a sale cause it was in the NameBio list!

Bob
 
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Impact
23
Fantastic work! I have been trying to figure out the best pricing for my "THE" domains.

The100000.com
TheCraziest.com
TheCritical.com
TheDoctorIs.In
TheOutBidder.com


This helps. Nice research. Thanks for doing this.
Eric
 

RLKuhn

Upgraded Member
Impact
12
Great read Bob!

I only have one domain name that starts with "The" and it is a GEO

TheNetherlands . cc
 
Impact
9,525
Why TheWife.com is still not sold yet?
 
Impact
154
Another informative article, thanks Bob!
Domains that contain ‘the’ can add value to a name.
Two notable domain names were seen in the decentralised handshake namespace. These were:-
TheNetherlands/
TheJourney/
 

redemo

Top Contributor
Impact
2,331
Impact
858
TheGreat.US
and it's available....
PM back
1648160764287.jpeg
 
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franka46

Established Member
Impact
331
TheFederator.com
TheShadySide.com
TheVisibleApe.com
TheSnoopverse.com
TheLustfulApe.com
TheBigRebound.com
ThePowerOfHodl.com
TheDropshipKing.com
ThePowerOfHodle.com
ThePowerOfaName.com
TheNftRevolution.com
TheCryptoRoundup.com
TheCryptoUprising.com
TheArtOfNotCaring.com
TheEverythingStore.nl
TheFutureOfFandom.com
TheChristwhisperer.com
TheBitcoinBeliever.com
TheOtherHarryPotter.com
TheInternetOfBlocks.com
TheBusinessOfSelling.com
TheUltimateMetaverse.com
TheEmergingMetaverse.com
TheDogecoinFoundation.com
TheAlternativeMetaverse.com
 

Samer

Top Contributor
Impact
21,249

Great question.

For one, torrents are a gray area.
For two, it’s the most infamous one.
My friend, one of those cases, where “.org” may be more known than com counterpart
They’re still trying to bring down PirateBay to this day. (everyone, even artists whose content distributed there illegally 2 this day

I compare shelling $35K+ for “ThePirateBay (.)com” to going Cave Diving; Personally, feel the risks outweigh the rewards. Many of these go under, but “thePirateBay” might be the most known one. Believe still active.

I cant say “Good luck to the buyer” unless .org. Lastly, the winner can have .org (see its traffic) come after you (!!) (.com > .org) assuming, its .org doesn't shut down, first.
 
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Samer

Top Contributor
Impact
21,249
Thanks for the great examples @Samer, and agree that journalism is a strong sector for use of THE. Our major national newspaper here in Canada, goes by The Globe and Mail.

One of our major electronics retail chains, The Source, also use their The prominently.

It is also popular, at least in the city I currently live in, for named rental and condominium complex buildings, as well as assisted-care facilities. I suspect most use hand-registered domains, but possibly some market there.

Thanks again, and sorry about the PB. Just listing it as a sale cause it was in the NameBio list!

Bob
Thanks Bob, agree it’s worth to report
Never omit, five figure record sales,

Not shooting the messenger!

But assuming the industry is legal, it’d be like if Wiki let anyone buy its .com for 35K.
(Yes, i know Wikipedia owns its .com, but having trouble recalling non-com, more known than com counterparts. sure there are others who dont luxury of owning both.

Edit: Zoom.Com redirects to Zoom.Us!
Idk why^^ This is my example two;
But Zoom’s priceless and neither has “The”

Someone, make a comprehensive “The” list of newspapers, yet alone, all other “THE”. Nice write-up. Great to see “THE” demand ;)
 
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wanfan

New Member
Impact
0
一些世界排名前 10 的报纸使用这些域名:


Thetimes.com 跳转到 thetimes.co.uk;

TheNewYorkTimes 使用 TheNewYorkTimes.com 跳转到 nytimes.com;

TheWashingtonPost 使用 TheWashingtonPost.com 跳转到washingtonpost.com。

印度时报 《印度时报》使用 TheTimesofIndia.com 跳转到 timesofindia.indiatimes.com。
 
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oldtimer

SaveThyWorld.com Let's not leave anyone behind
Impact
6,308
Ever since I registered "Thy Meta *com" a few months ago I always say Thy instead of The. :)

IMO
 

LiamWallace

Established Member
Impact
56
Nice article Bob,

Here's a good case in point that supports your findings.

Brand Name: The Huffington Post

Domain Name: HuffPost.com

guess who owns TheHuffingtonPost.com
 
Impact
6,888
I would avoid "the" as it is what comes after is the search term will likely just dilute till pointless. Unless branding one word does it have merit. A sentence shouldn't influence to buy it as domain.
 

Rockfish

New Member
Impact
1
Thanks to @Bob Hawkes
More great info Bob! Learning a lot as a rookie thanks to your content here and elsewhere.
TheGreatOne.xyz and TheUSA.xyz in my portfolio..
 
Impact
14,055
Hi

Thenewbies, seem to love stuff like this
gives them more reason to waste money.


there should be a disclaimer in bold font, at the end or beginning of blog post saying
"don't go out and register domains starting with "the" just because i started this thread."

responsible journalism.

imo...
 
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Impact
698
We've got a good one The Mightiest /com

If it makes sense, then it can work. Normally not a fan of The- domains though.
 
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Impact
30,400
I only have one domain name that starts with "The" and it is a GEO

TheNetherlands . cc
Wow that is a fantastic name. Best wishes for a successful sale. I had totally overlooked that at least one country starts with the word The.

I just checked and the term is registered in 34 TLDs according to dotDB, which is a respectable number, but I would have thought even more.

It reminded me of TheHague, which I see is registered in 40 TLDs.

I was wondering what phrase starting with The might be registered in the most TLDs. TheMetaverse is registered in 453. Can anyone think of one with more?

Bob
 
Impact
8
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