Dan.com
NameSilo
Whether prior to acquisition of a domain name, or to help with pricing, we often use comparator sales listed on NameBio.

But what do you do if a preliminary search does not yield any comparator sales for a particular domain name? With some names you should take that as a negative indicator, but there are times that it is worth digging a little deeper in search of comparator sales data.

Here are a few tips to help you do that. Be sure to carefully consider if the sales you come up with are indeed comparable, however.

Other Sources for Comparator Sales

Just because there are no prior sales listed for a particular term on NameBio, does not necessarily mean none exist. Keep in mind many sales do not get reported on NameBio. For example, the majority of Afternic sales from recent years, most Sedo sales less than $2000, the majority of Dan sales, and almost all sales from the brandable marketplaces are not included.

Here are ways to expand the list of comparator sales.

1. Try DNPric.es:

Some sales not in NameBio do get listed in DNPric.es, so the first step is to search that sales database as well.

You might think of DNJournal as another source of domain name sales data, but my understanding is that any sales listed on DNJournal are included in NameBio.

2. Use GoDaddy Valuation Tool:

Even if you do not use automated appraisal tools for worth estimates, these tools can be useful for other data. The GoDaddy appraisal tool, with access to the full set of Afternic sales, is particularly valuable in this regard.

First do a GoDaddy appraisal on the exact name that you are considering. Look through the list of comparator sales, not just the ones at the right, but also the longer list below. Decide which you consider comparable. That will probably expand your comparator sales list, but you are not done yet.

Now take the comparator sales that you find similar to the domain name you are considering, and do a GoDaddy appraisal on those names to further widen your comparator sales list.

Some other appraisal tools, such as Estibot, list comparator sales as well. However, it seems to me they choose comparators based more on similar estimated price than similarity of the search term.

3. Search for Sales of Synonyms:

If your target name, the one you are considering acquiring, is a dictionary word, go to an online dictionary such as Merriam-Webster and scroll down to see Synonyms. Be sure to click on See All Synonyms in Thesarus to get the complete list. There are various other online dictionaries that provide lists of synonyms.

Look up sales data for these synonyms, or at least those that you find applicable as comparator terms, in NameBio, and the GoDaddy appraisal tool.

4. Search Other Forms of Word:

Let’s say the word you are considering is a plural, and there are only a few NameBio-listed sales of that term. Search on the singular and you will often obtain a longer list of comparators. That is not to say singular and plural forms are equally valuable, or even have the same applications. Often the plural is used as a product match type name, and the singular as a brand.

Similarly, use the related words list in the dictionary to find other forms of the word to search, or if a word with different UK and American spelling, like ‘favor’ and ‘favour’, try searching both.

If it is a word that has a common abbreviation or colloquial form, try searching both options. For example ‘maxi’ is a common shorthand for ‘maximum’.

Colloquial terms often have different use in different countries, as this article on English Colloquialism Examples demonstrates.

5. Try Different Endings:

Here are some endings that are relatively common in domain names, especially brandable names: able, ably, ed, er, ful, i, ic, ing, ive, ly, and y. Let’s say you are searching for comparable sales WORDer, check for sales of WORDable, WORDic, WORDful, WORDy, and so on. Keep in mind they mean different things, so not all will be comparator sales data.

Use an accepted dictionary such as Merriam-Webster or Collins to check if that ending is an actual dictionary word, which generally influences value.

Also, use a Google search with quotation marks to see how common that exact word is in online results.

Of course, you could more broadly search for any sale that starts with WORD.

6. Ask Someone Experienced In Domain Names:

For a whole host of reasons, many sales are known to domain name investor veterans, even though they are not in any sales database. One idea to expand the pool of sales comparators is to simply ask someone who has been in domains for many years if they know of any major sales related to the term.

7. Do Component Word Searches at NameBio:

If you are researching a two-word, or longer, domain name, odds are you will not find a prior sale of that exact two-word domain name, except possibly when it was secured in an expired domain auction.

The first approach is to search on NameBio separately for each of the two terms. From the resulting lists, concentrate on two-word sales that are broadly similar to your word.

Sometimes the Begins With and Ends With NameBio commands work fine, but at other times you will want to do searches using the Prefix, Exact and Suffix commands. The difference is that Prefix will give only results where the remaining part is a word, whereas Begins With will give any term that has that starting term.

If you are getting too many unrelated terms, you can exclude a certain word using the ! separator in NameBio search. For example, I was searching for sales with the word road but the results included a lot of broad sales. I changed my search term on NameBio to road!broad to exclude them.

The GoDaddy appraisal tool does an excellent job of splitting two-word names, usually showing you comparator sales from similar two-word names.

8. Search NamePros Listed Sales:

There are many sales listed here on NamePros that are not in NameBio, mainly in the Report Completed Domain Sales thread. But searching the thread is hard, especially since often sellers want the name masked.

If using NamePros search, remember to first go to the Report Completed Domain Sales Thread, and then from the pull down menu on the right, instead of the default ’Everywhere’, select ‘This Thread.’

You can alternatively do a Google search using the site: command. That will allow you to use all the power of Google. Just precede the following with the search terms you want. site:https://www.namepros.com/threads/report-completed-domain-name-sales-here.83628/.You can use tricks such as quotation marks to find an exact term search, or without to find terms Google would consider broadly similar.

Fun Fact The Report Completed Sales Here thread was started in 2005 by the person who started NamePros!​

9. Find Sales on Social Media:

I find searching social media really challenging, but increasingly some, who do not report sales to NameBio, are reporting the sales only on social media. This may be helpful if searching for sales in particular extensions where a few people dominate the sales.

You can search someone’s Twitter account by doing a Google search ending in site:https://twitter.com/TwitterHandle, where TwitterHandle is of course replaced with the actual handle, but I don’t find it very easy to find sales.

Make an Ordered List

If doing a rigorous analysis, make a list of all relevant comparator sales you have found using the above techniques. If you know the date of the sale, include that information, along with venue.

Next order the list from the most similar comparators to the least similar to the name you are analyzing.

Finally, zero-in on domain name sales that are closely similar and that are recent retail sales to end users. That should help you in determining a fair market price.

Search Similar Names for Sale

If you still can’t find many comparator sales, it may be helpful to at least know how similar names are being priced. Using your list of similar terms from above, search for names listed for sale using some combination of the following:
  • By seeing how similar names are priced at curated brandable marketplaces, such as BrandBucket and SquadHelp Premium, provides an indication of how an experienced sales team value similar names.
  • Search pricing of similar names at the sites of the big sellers, such as DomainMarket, BuyDomains, HugeDomains, NameFind and others. These have been successful over many years, which means you can place some confidence in their pricing.
  • Not all Efty domain names are priced and searchable, but more than 700,000 are Efty Market searchable. While this is not a curated marketplace, it is probably true that most sellers on this subscription service are more likely to be experienced and successful domain sellers, so pricing may be more relevant.
  • BrandPa is not humanely curated, but it does use an automated algorithm, based on their sales experience, to make acceptance and pricing decisions.
  • Next move on to pricing at non-curated marketplaces. Keep in mind that people can price their domains how they wish. Dofo lists names for sale from multiple places, all in one handy search. I also individually search Afternic, Sedo and Dan, scrolling down to find similar names for sale and how they are priced.
  • The automated appraisals provide pricing information, but keep in mind the biases and areas of application of each appraisal tool.
The advanced search box at BrandBucket allow you to search for listed names that begin with, contain or end with a term. This is handy when trying to price a two-word name that includes widely used brand words.

A Few Caveats

While there are many ways to add sales that have some similarity with the term, the sales you find will not be equally applicable. For example, for some term ‘WORD’, WORD.com might sell for millions, while WORDic, WORDed, GetWORD, or BestWORD might sell, depending on the term, for not much at all.

Very slight differences in two-word names can make the difference between a name that will never sell and one that sells for 5-figures. Write the name down, say it, if possible have friends see the names on a list and then ask them to recall the names a bit later.

Keep in mind that some terms change remarkably in value, particularly technology-related domain names, even over very short time spans.

NameBio is a mix of wholesale and retail transactions. You may want to use the Venue selection to concentrate just on likely retail sales. If you do use all sales, note the venue.

While you may find it helpful to look at pricing for names listed for sale, keep in mind that on non-curated marketplaces people can ask for whatever price they want, so a similar name with a high price is not necessarily relevant to how your name should be priced.

Finally, remember that it is name quality that is critical, and while it is helpful being able to point to a list of sales of similar names, that is not the only thing to consider.

Why not share your own tricks for finding elusive comparator sales data?
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

enterscope

Domain InvestmentsTop Contributor
Impact
1,157
Bob gets my vote for most informative NPer. (y)
 

Haroon Basha

Service.xyzTop Contributor
Impact
7,333
Thank you very much Sir @Bob Hawkes for giving us a very informative and useful article.
 
Last edited:
Impact
16,121
Hi Bob,

Great stuff, as always.
One thing to consider about the GDVT and their Comparator Sales list is they don't give the sales date, so before taking that into consideration you might want to check. ;)
What was a good (or bad) price in the past, may or may not be relevant today.

Thanks again for all your hard work.

Peace,
Kenny
 

karmaco

Top Contributor
Impact
11,340
Nice article for newbies . Pricing is and remains one of the hardest to pin down things about domaining. Until you can price your own names confidently not depending on anyone or anything you probably still have much to learn.

Even using tools like GD, NameBio does not bring clarity. For example why would a comparable sale from 2008 be applicable in todays market? It should be higher. Why are we pricing our names based on overwhelmingly wholesale pricing?

Brandable markets tend to price lower (under fair market current value) and closer to wholesale and aren’t a reflection of what a domain is or isn’t worth. Its priced to sell as quickly as possible and thats it.

I agree about researching similar unsold names and their current pricing. If no price is listed take the age into consideration. A person holding an aged name is likely going to price it higher than a 1 or 2 year old domain.

I do believe us sharing our sales can come with a heavy price (idiots hounding your buyer, regging other extensions before your buyer can, copycat registrations etc) thats in part why so many sales are private. I also believe we can gain the greatest info from these sales that are shared with other domainers so its kind of a catch 22.

Pricing is very subjective and individualized to your selling strategy. I feel like none of the tools provide real clarity on end user pricing. Someone is always trying to undercut your pricing so reviewing your pricing regularly is a good idea.