Bob Hawkes

Types of .IO Domain Names That Sell and Where

By Bob Hawkes, Jun 10, 2020
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Last week I looked at sale statistics for the .io domain extension, as well as the history and regulatory framework. In this post I analyze the types of names that sell in the extension, plus sales venue statistics. I also take a look at current status of major .io domain name sales.

    What Type of Name Sells in .io?

    I used NameBio to look at the more than 5300 sales (above $100) in the .io domain extension.
    • The majority of names are English single words, generally common nouns. As NameBio classify them, 52.9% of sales in extension are single English words and an additional 5.5% single Spanish words.
    • A few multiple-word domain names sell in .io, but they are rare. About 11.2% of sales are two-word names, and only 0.4% are three-word names. The higher value two-word sales include CoinPay ($22,500), TheWaller ($10,000), TheWallet ($10,000) and CryptoMarket ($5,525).
    • Short acronyms can sell and more than 24% of .io sales are 2 or 3 characters long.
    • Hyphenated domain name sales are very rare in .io. Only 7 of the 5358 names contained hyphens, all selling at prices less than $500. This is significantly less than for .com or .org and dramatically less than in .de.
    • As far as i know, it is not possible to definitively identify plural names using NameBio. Therefore I used the following approximate method. I searched for names that ended in s, but not in ss using the command s!ss. This will identify most plurals, but not include names like dress or kindness. This method is not perfect, as it does not include plural names that do not end in s, but does include names like Pegasus and DNS that end in s but are not plurals. I found about 14.8% of .io sales are plural names. The true figure is likely slightly less.
    • The highest value plural .io sales were esports ($40,000), worlds ($25,000), payments ($11,000), sports ($11,000), analytics ($10,000), groups ($10,000), casinos ($10,000), tanks ($10,000), tickets ($6700), lenses ($6200) and systems ($5500).
    • While I look at domain length in more detail below, most major sales are quite short. 47.1% of names sold are 5 characters or less. These short domains represent an even larger amount of the sales dollar volume, about 55.7%.
    • Only 4.6% of the sales include one or more numbers. By sales dollar volume, numbered and alphanumeric names represent just 1.9%.
    • There are occasional sales of domain hacks, but not many. The name sold for $6750 and for $2000.
    • There are a few alphanumeric sales. For example, there were 66 NL structure names sold, two of them above $1000, and 78 sales of LN format names, with four above $1000. By comparison, there were 45 LL sales and just 19 NN sales.
    • Using the NameBio classification system, there were 109 sales of names in the crypto category, 24 of them above $1000. Crypto names represented quite a few of the higher value two-word sales.
    I also went through by hand all .io sales of $6500 and more. My hand analysis suggested the following.
    • The vast majority of high value sales are common dictionary word nouns. Names like cook, home, voice, tile, music, call, kid, food, privacy, studio, gate, bundle, idea, concert, traffic, taxi, beauty, and many others.
    • There are also many sales of common verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Examples include crawl, give, charge, fast, pure, swipe, give, etc. Many words can be used as both nouns and verbs, and sometimes as adjectives or adverbs.
    • There are quite a few major sales related to payment systems. For example, names like swipe, pay, payment, payments, payable, entrust, bid, billing, bank, CoinPay, etc.
    • Not surprisingly math and tech keywords are popular, with major sales including matrix, FN, cloud, library, DB, tech, cipher, robot, wireless, doc, and many others.
    • I noticed a number of astronomy and space terms among the significant sales, including nebula, Pegasus, Titan, orb, pulsar and others.
    • For an extension so popular with coders, there are relatively few high value sales including the word code, only coders and CodeCamp sold at prices above $1000.
    How Long Are Most .io Domain Names?

    The graph below shows the number of NameBio listed .io sales (above $100) according to length of the domain name. Less than 7% of names sold are longer than 10 characters, and only 0.7% are 15 characters or more.


    I also plotted the average price for each domain length. It should be kept in mind that these are a mix of wholesale acquisitions and retail sales. Prices trail off for .io names longer than 7 characters.


    Sales and Acquisition Venues dominates the .io aftermarket with 64.8% of all sales. Keep in mind that sales from marketplaces such as Afternic, DAN, many registrar markets, Efty sites, and the brandable marketplaces are not normally reported to NameBio, but it is still surprising that more than 95% of all reported .io sales are at, Flippa, Sedo and Dynadot. Note that these are by number, and the Sedo share is higher if reported by sales dollar volume, where they have 18.5%. The venues shown here are the ones available in NameBio venue list. They account for most, but not all, of NameBio-listed sales in extension. A number of sales not plotted were at Uniregistry.


    I also looked at sales less than $100 using NameBio membership data. There were 7215 sales in this price range, supposedly all wholesale acquisitions, with almost 98% of them are at Park.IO, Flippa, Dynadot and Sav.

    A Brief Look at End Users

    Sometimes looking at how the high-value sales are being used in an extension provides insights on good investment niches. I looked at use of the 20 highest sales, $20,000 or more.
    • A full 45% of the sites were unused the day I checked, including 20% listed for sale again. Names for sale again include bang, CoinPay and studio. The names FN, cook, tank and matrix were unreachable or yielded a bad request, while esports is parked but not obviously for sale.
    • There is a cyptocurrency site at
    • The name is not surprisingly an online casino site.
    • is used for 3D printing documents related to Autodesk.
    • A workplace and process auditing company uses
    • The name could be used in many ways, but there is an artificial intelligence company at the site.
    • is another cryptocurrency site, which surprisingly did not use https the day I checked.
    • I wondered what I would find at and it is a site for Microsoft documents.
    • is a versatile name that is being used for a digital manual service.
    • Another cryptocurrency company is at
    • redirects to another .io site which is a gaming site.
    It is difficult to conclude with certainty from such a small sample, but it seems .io is finding major use in the cryptocurrency and payment sectors, and is also popular for online document delivery.

    Those seeking a broader look at companies using the .io extension are referred to this study by James Iles 7% of 2020 startups are using .io, as well as the one at the Dofo Blog that found 5.8% of Y Combinator companies use a .io extension domain name.

    Final Thoughts

    In a way, investing in .io domain names is simple: seek out relatively short, common dictionary words that might serve as a brand. However, the vast majority of such words are already registered, so finding dropping names, or purchases from other domain investors, are the normal acquisition routes.

    Do you feel that, as more names become registered in .io, we will see a higher percentage of multiple-word domain names, and also made-up words as brands will become more common in the extension?

    One positive is that there are not, as I understand it, registry premium names. However, registrations and renewals are relatively expensive for all .io domain names, so it is critical to make good acquisition choices.

    I urge readers who invest in .io domain names to share where you acquire your names, and the types of names that you think are most likely to sell.

    While please don’t list your entire portfolio, feel free to share a few names you hold that you think represent the sort of .io names with sound investment prospects.

    It would also be interesting to hear where you list your .io names for sale, and what venues have resulted in sales.

    If you missed part one, it covered sales statistics, history and possible warning signs.

    Special thanks to Michael and NameBio for the database that makes analyses such as this one both possible and relatively easy.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 43rd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
  5. Comments (72)

  6. 900Worldwide

    900Worldwide Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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  7. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam VIP

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    Thanks for sharing. Great article as usual
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  8. noonoo1

    noonoo1 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi Bob,

    Very informative and a good read.

    I hold just 3 .io: - Bought this in 2015 just at the beginning of numeric run. - Hand reg last year Hand reg last year

    Sold last Dec

    Sold back in 2016 I think.

  9. Zagalee

    Zagalee Established Member

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    great article .Thanks
  10. Ayobamms

    Ayobamms Established Member

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  11. unmark

    unmark Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks! Top stuff as always!
  12. Keith

    Keith Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I sold oasis for $10,000. Dot io is like any other extension.... pointed domains and short domains will always sell.
  13. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    @Bob Hawkes
    Excellent data and a great follow-up to your original article.

    Do you have a total number of domains using the .io extension?
    And - I'm not sure if this is even possible - a rough number of domains actually being actively used?

    Thanks again :)
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    The extensions section of Dofo, or other sources, indicate that there are currently about 495,300 .io domain names registered. I note it has increased by a couple thousand since I was researching for part 1 just a few weeks ago.

    Dofo can also provide an approximate answer to how many actively used. I did an advanced search for .io domain names with active websites but not listed for sale since their check counts a lander as an active website. 307,750 I suspect there are still some getting through though as being for sale privately or at marketplaces not covered by Dofo. Here is structure of search link.

    The ratio in use is high compared to the majority of extensions.

    Thanks for your kind comments and questions.

  15. coolhands

    coolhands Established Member

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    @Bob Hawkes
    Another great article👍

    I only hold one:

    Thanks again
  16. NickB

    NickB it's a mystery VIP

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    I think a certain Network Solutions Promo has a part to play in this :xf.wink:

    Great breakdown as well, appreciate the work you put into these posts.....
  17. DeliDomains

    DeliDomains Oswin

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    Thank you Bob for part 2 of the .io education.
    One more thing I would like to add is - Apart from single words and tech, .io also sells in the brandable segment of the market. Lot of sales have been reported with made-up words, misspells and words ending with ly.
  18. CraigD

    CraigD Top Contributor VIP

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    So, from Bob's supplementary data, there are 495,300 .io domain names registered, and roughly 307,750 sites actively being used (although as he points out that may include some landers).

    I'm impressed!

    Thanks again Bob :)
  19. 4better

    4better Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks for the remarkable, thought-provoking post. Yes, registering/renewing .io names are somewhat expensive but I believe this will be compensated for later on. Previously sold a few of them with good ROI. Currently, I have several .io names in my portfolio some of which are being sold at Squadhelp and Brandbucket.

  20. Haroon Basha

    Haroon Basha IZUQ.COM VIP

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    Thank you very much Sir for your very informative article on what type of .io names are sold. More powers to you @Bob Hawkes
  21. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Thank you for your comment. Yes, I am sure this part of the .io sales record is significantly under-reported in NameBio, since the major brandable marketplaces (some of which handle .io) do not report their sales to NameBio. It would seem natural that with the main use startups that there would, as you say, be many sales of this type. The top of the NameBio-reported list does not have many, compared to dictionary words, however. Thanks again for adding the insight that already lots of made-up brandable words are selling.
  22. kandyan

    kandyan Top Contributor VIP

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    Nice read Bob! Thanks for sharing.
  23. MediaCode

    MediaCode VIP ICA Member

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    Thank you, Bob. Great work.

    I generally pay more attention to the Sedo .io sales as those feel more like end user acquisitions to me with prices to match. Most of the others, esp, are primarily domain investor acquisitions at wholesale prices. So, I tend to focus on the specific .io names Sedo sells to keep tabs on the end user market.

    Our top .io names include:


    Oddly, another .io name, hotdog, receives 200+ visits per month, on average. Not sure why.

    We also have many two-word .io names with code, tech, pay, trade, etc. as keywords. As your data indicated, very little interest to date in those from end users.
  24. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Nice work, Bob! love the visuals!
  25. DeliDomains

    DeliDomains Oswin

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    My .io sales.. these were mostly in the finance and crypto space. sold between 2.5 -4k

    Bitcard - Fundz - Bigcoin - EcoCoin - Banky - Interlace- Liker

    Name names we currently own.
    Nube - Dockyard - Glyde - QXC - Motherly - Miny - Helicon - krow .... and about 60+ more.
  26. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Didn't think you could top your best but you did it.

    Be aware you've just raised the bar for all your posts to come :)
  27. Domainers-Den

    Domainers-Den Established Member

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    Yup!!! .io is growing and has lot of leads now a days:
    I recently acquired
  28. Riz M.

    Riz M. Founder @ Previously Empire Names VIP Gold Account

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    I own some .ios holding till yet

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  29. NickB

    NickB it's a mystery VIP

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    Possibly linked to - just a landing page, but might be a company in the making?
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