Dan.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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Future Sensors

78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots
Impact
11,714
Apart from “The Netherlands” there are two other countries that contain ‘the’
They are:
“The Gambia” and “The Bahamas”
It is also common to precede United States [of America] with 'the'. But I'm not sure if it belongs to the country name.
 
Impact
14,051
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
30,385
“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
30,385
To answer your concern @biggie, I think that most NamePros members, new and experienced, make their own decisions and view any post as presenting information.

I disagree with your premise that this article is somehow not responsible. Among other things, the article points out that less than 1% of sold domain names start with the, and while there are some big sales as noted, average prices are less than for domain names without the. It also points out that the apparent, industry-wide sell-through rate for sales of $1000+ is 0.10% - although that is not different than for names in general for that price point. It also points out that at some brandable marketplaces relatively few are listed due to supposed acceptance rates.

The summary at the end did already, in bold , say the following (and go on to in next point stress that it be a highly-sought high-value term):
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.
I think that is the right way to look at it. Is there a term with obvious end-user value that sounds great when a the is added available? If so it might be worth considering. Most names registered and for sale don't pass this test. But same is true for names in general. Most names listed for sale will never sell.

Just because there is an article on a topic does not mean that people should rush out and acquire names in that sector or niche. Just because an article in .org, 4L .com, colors, flowers, .io, .xyz, names with The, .net, NFTs, metaverse, 2-word .com, etc. does not mean that is something everyone should consider. But some members of NamePros are interested in those, and other, topics. That is why we cover a breadth of topics in the NPs Blog.

I think the vast majority of NamePros readers view it that way. An article is a compilation of news, information, techniques, resources, or opinions. It may, or may not, have relevance to any particular investor.

Bob
 
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redemo

Top Contributor
Impact
2,315
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...
Hmmm. Always likes to be controversial this @biggie character. Agree newbies like to waste money on worthless domain names and disagree that @Bob Hawkes has any responsibility to post any disclaimers for them. It's an information article not qualified financial advice. Uninformed people are likely to make uninformed decisions full stop, regardless what @Bob Hawkes says or does.
 

Samer

Top Contributor
Impact
21,248
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)
 
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