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guide 37 Factors Guide - Selecting and Valuating Great Domain Names

Namecheap

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
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I've decided to write another (hopefully) useful post today as you might have seen from me in the past. For the reason that they bring good value back to the NP community. Hope you'll like it. Here it goes:

The most important (and difficult) thing to get about domains is not really where and how you buy them.

It's how much they're worth.

If you can do this correctly, it means a few things. You have a few years under your belt. You can sell domains at a profit (since you know which ones actually have value). And it means you can also decide which is a good domain to use for your own projects as well.

One over another, being able to appraise / valuate a domain correctly is key in domaining. It's also the most difficult part and therefore also the most critical skill you need.

I'm going to show you a few things to think of when pricing domains. It's not exhaustive, it's not even sufficient, but this might be a good start list for that. And it's not necessarily in a particular order. Some might be more important than others, but read below.

1. Length


Length is critical with domains. It doesn't mean however that the shortest is necessarily the best. Words matter. So for example "Finance" is longer than "Fin" but much more valuable. On the other hand, a domain like "FinPad" is going to be very valuable. It's very short, and in such case the shorter version is valuable and appreciated by buyers.

I prefer to buy and hold domains under 12 characters if possible. But I have a bunch of longer too. It really depends. For example a domain containing "metaverse" is obviously going to be quite long. But I've sold a bunch of that, and guess what, they are quite long.

You can still sell longer domains, even 20+ characters if you want. But what you should keep in mind is, if your domain has the same price and appeal for a buyer as another competing domain has, the shortest one will tend to win the sale.

2. Words

Words, and their count are critical factors. Can't put an emphasis this more.

With .COMs, you should aim for (in this order):

- Single words (best but pricey!)

- Single word variations ( e.g. "Shopify" )

- Two words, carefully chosen (so they complete each order).

Stay away from 3-words or more.

While they sometimes sell, the sale ratio is far lower than 2-words. And since the average sales ratio is 1-2% per year with domain sales, and also the price of 3-words or more tend to be much lower, you'd better stay away from them. If you do the math, you'll realize that due to renewals and registrations, even if you sell such names overall you will tend to be at a loss. Side note, always do the math. Always. Factor in buy price and renewals. This is how you will know if overall you're making money or not.

I probably have only a dozen of 3-words in total (from a 16k portfolio, currently). I've tested them thoroughly and won't go back to them.

Brandable marketplaces might accept them but that doesn't mean they sell better.

Note: For non-COMs, use 1 word only. While you can sell 2-words .co or xyz etc, these sales are very rare and therefore (again) you're going to make a loss. Been there, done that.

3) Valuable TLDs

Valuable TLDs are constantly evolving. One thing to be said first is, .COM is and will remain king, no matter what naysayers will say.

The matter of fact that HALF of the world's domains are .COMs speaks for itself. And they get registered even faster nowadays.

Furthermore, my biggest advice to you as a beginner domainer is to stick to .COMs at first. Only much later once you got experience go into other TLDs.

That's also what helped me succeed in this business. I listened to this advice from seasoned people in the field.

The other valuable TLDs today are:

- .io
- .org (for nonprofits etc)
- .ai
- .co
- .net (decreasing in the last few years, but still there
- .xyz (single-word .xyz are on the rise and sell for a lot of money to tech startups)

As for the other TLDs, the sales are scattered so it's hard to say. Generally if you want to make money you have to stick to the above TLDs.

As a beginner, your best bet is with COM. And no, COM is not dead - that's a myth some ngTLD domainers like to spread. COM is still king and will continue to be for many, many years.

4. Trends

Trends are critical in domaining. For example, today a name starting with "Meta" is worth a ton. Couple years ago? Probably nothing as most of these domains were available to register at the beginning of 2021 (I got some in August). That's a huge change.

The same happens to older names. Whatever was selling in 2005 or 2010 is no longer selling today. Few domains are really evergreen, such as (for example) one-word .COMs.

When you valuate (and buy) a name, make sure that name is still viable today. Otherwise the value diminishes a lot, and so does the chance of sale as well.

5. Sources of information

Namebio is probably the greatest source of sales information over previously sold names. There is also the sales thread on NP that is quite valuable but it takes a bit to sift through it. You can also see a few of the older sales in the GoDaddy Appraisal tool when performing a valuation for your domain.

6. Automated appraisal tools

All automated appraisal tools are junk. All those prices there should be ignored. All experienced domain investors know this. The only one who can correctly appraise a domain is still, at this time, an experienced person.

BUT for a beginner there is still some degree of value in those tools: Comparing names.

The GoDaddy valuation tool is good for this. If a domain is valued by GD at $3K, there is a strong chance it will be more valuable than a domain valued by the same tool at $300.

However this doesn't tell us which exactly is the "good" price. That price you can establish using past sales history available such as from Namebio etc, and especially ... experience.

7. Age


Age is not a golden rule, BUT. Domains registered 5 years ago generally tend to be more valuable at this time than domains registered 1 year a go.

With the caveat that some domains registered 20 years ago might not be as valuable anymore, due to changing trends and them sounding very old-fashioned.

8. Niche

One of the other critical factors is the niche. There are probably tens of thousands of niches if not more, of domains you can sell.

The thing is, there is a huge difference between them.

If you have Meta domains today, chances of sale are excellent.

If you have Finance domains, chances are good.

If you have Cannabis domains, chances of sale are medium.

If you have domains in Cosmetics, chances are meh.

If you have plumbing domains, chances are weak. Plumbers don't really spend a ton on domains.

And so on. This not only influences the chances of sale, but also the price. The more demand exists in a niche, the higher the price.

If you want to make money, chose domains in a niche where money are rolling. Tech and finance are probably the best at this time and been quite evergreen over the years.

9. Order (for 2-word domains). Avoid reversed names.

The order of words in the domain name (for 2-word .COMs and not only) is vital. For example BioZone is much more valuable than ZoneBio.

Reversed names do sell (sometimes) but much rarely and for less, for obvious reasons. It's best to stay out of reversed names overall.

10. Match (for 2-word domains)

The first and second word should match and have a similar "energy" and "color". For example FashionZone is a valuable domain. On the other hand, FashionCluster is... not. (cluster might work for a Digital domain though). The match of the two words is critical for the value to still be there, if any.

11. Avoid negative words.

"Bad", "Junk", "weak" etc - just a few example terms. If the domain contains such words, it's probably not good.

12. Valuable domains are for businesses

That's it. Average Joe doesn't buy 4 or 5-fig domains for himself.

Only businesses pay top dollar for domain names, for the sole reason that they get a ROI on a good domain name.

Otherwise John here can always register "JohnsFancyBackyard dot com" at reg fee, and be happy with it.

When you buy a domain, always think if it is suitable (and desirable) for a business. Otherwise, stay out of it.

13. Would you use this domain for yourself?

If you would not, then chances are nobody else would want it, and the domain is bad.

14. Numbers


Avoid domains containing numbers. They tend to not sell (note, I'm not referring to 5-digit numeric domains which are highly valuable). I'm referring to mix of numbers and letters. Like "Fashion234.com". Not good.

If you still insist on having some numbers, certain numeric sequences are valuable. Like "24", "247","360", "365", "123" and such. Still I recommend against as these diminish the chances of sale (sale ratio) for the domain by a large margin.

15. Dashes


The problem with dash domains like "my-art".com is that they do sell, but the ratio is low. Also the overall price is low.

There are domainers here on NP making money in dashed names but I'd generally recommend against it.

If you insist, however, make sure that phrase is top notch and make sure you get it for cheap (reg fee, for example as a dropped domain). Otherwise chances are overall you will lose money with dashed domains.

Another critical rule here is: Only one dash. Multiple dashes tank the value of the domain.

16. Plurals

In most cases the plural is worse than the singular. But not always.

You have to ask yourself, which version sounds better, the plural or the singular? And if you got the lesser version, chances are you have a far less valuable domain there.

For example TraderPlatform is much more valuable than TradersPlatform. But you will also find situations where the opposite is true. Just make sure you always do this exercise with the domain.

17. Acronyms

Certain acronyms are valuable nowadays, such as NFT. But in general, acronyms are a hard sale. So stay away from them as much as possible.

For example: "URL" acronym - worthless. You likely won't be able to sell a domain containing this acronym.

18. Unicode domains (non-English characters)

Not valuable in my opinion.

19. Domains in other languages than English

They do sell (sometimes) but generally the value is lower and the chances of sale are much lower.

You can easily find domains in French, Spanish, Italian at drop. This also tells us they are in far less demand. I have only sold a couple Spanish domains so far so I stay out of that.

20. Domains for certain countries where CCTLD is preferred


For example, businesses in Germany will always prefer a .de domain over a .com. So if you target Germany, get .de names.

21. Mismatched TLD vs. niche

If you have a domain for a charity, better be a .ORG. Chances are, a .com will not sell for this particular purpose.

Conversely if you have a business domain, while a .org TLD is still valid for it as usage, it will likely not sell as the primary intent detected for .ORGs by the buyers is for non-profits and other organizations that are NOT regular businesses.

Similarly, a domain like "GoatCheese.AI" is not such a great investment.

Oh, and I'd also add, domain buyers tend to take things literally. This is also how you should look at names. So if it's a business, better not be a .org for example.

22. Misspells

Misspells ruin the value of most names.
With an exception, some carefully chosen misspells might still be valuable - for brandable marketplaces.

If you want to know which ones are good and which ones are not, hit the brandable marketplaces such as SquadHelp, BrandPa, BrandBucket and see what they sell (just use a search term there). This will give you some insight into which misspells are better.

23. Meaningful vs. Brandable names

As a beginner, you are going to find that it will be easier for you to purchase or even register at reg fee, brandables instead of meaningful names.

This is because meaningful domains are faster detected via domainer tools in general, while a proper brandable requires some more brain power there and therefore it might fly under the radar for you.

24. Play on words and variations

Be strict with domains based on word variations. Some are valuable, some are not.

I've sold "G/e/o/s/i/a" dot com for example, for 4-fig. "Geoification.com" would not have been a good name. (note - is written with slashes here in order to avoid search engine indexing the name)

25. TLDs registered

This is NOT the last important parameter in the list, but one of the most important ones although I've placed it here.

The number of TLD's in which the same domain name is registered is very important. The more TLDs, the higher the price (usually), but also the more difficult for you and pricey will be to get that domain.

You can use a tool like DotDB.com to find out how many TLDs are registered for a particular name, and also to get suggestions for other names to look at.

26. Word value

This is more difficult to assess, but anyway words have different values. You can get this with a Namebio paid account, it gives you access to word values via API. Anyway the "finance" word is high value, and so is "smart" and "super". "Dumb" and "cheese" words are obviously not so valuable.

27. Hobby domains

Stay away from hobby domains. You'll get $100 at most for them, if anything. Average Joe doesn't spend more on a domain than this. Same is for personal blogs etc.

28. Person Names

If they are of any good, chances are they will be caught at drop by big investors renting the name for email. Your chances of getting a good one of this kind are very very small.

29. Geo Domains (e.g. "ParisMarket" )

Geo domains are valuable but the value differs a lot from one domain to another. It requires a lot of experimentation and your results will differ between country, niche etc. Another important thing to mention is that GEO domains usually sell via outbound. If you are not comfortable doing outbound and putting a lot of sweat into that, you probably should not register GEO domains.

30. The Radio Test


If you speak out your domain over radio for example, will the listeners be able to type it correctly?

If not, the domain is likely worthless.

31. The Grandma test

Also tell the domain to your Grandma and ask her to write it down. If that fails, you likely either don't have a good one, or Grandma doesn't know what "NFT" is.

32. Word flow / pronunciation

The domain name when spoken out loud should be easy to to pronounce and understand. If you have hiccups there or the flow is not good, chances are domain is less valuable or not valuable at all.

33. Fitness for a particular niche

Certain words won't fit in a given niche for things like cultural issues, meme or whatever else. Especially if the words go against or might insult a minority - you will raise some eyebrows there if not worse.

34. Bad connotation or hinting the opposite as intended

You have to make sure your name doesn't have a bad connotation in a particular niche or in general. "GenuineShoes" for example is probably not a good name because the first thing one user will think of when reading this is, these shoes are perhaps fake. Although they might not be fake actually.

35. Adult domains

Stay out of that. Money are likely not in these names. Not to mention most marketplaces don't accept adult names (some make an exception for highly sought ones only).

36. There is more than one price for your domain


A $3k retail value domain can be sold for $2000 at a discount, for $1K at a steep discount, for $300 at market range price or for $20 to another domainer if you don't intend to renew it for whatever reason (having better names, for example).

Neither of these approaches are wrong.

37. The value is in the eye of the beholder (the buyer)

Finally, the correct value of a domain is the amount someone will hit their pocket and pay for it. We all do only an approximate pricing of the names. Your end buyer will determine what the actual sale price is. So in the end, the market establishes and trims the value. You can however decide here - either stick to the price and wait for years if that's your strategy, or discount as much as you like. What matters is how you make most money, and therefore (again) experience will make the difference.

So with all these things at hand, maybe you can get some feet wet right now. Another tip would be, get into a brandable marketplace like the ones mentioned above and suggest unregistered names (these won't cost you a thing). If they are accepted, upon sale the marketplace will give you a cut so it's like free money with no risk but also a chance for you to make your hand at detecting good names.

I'm gonna stop here as I could continue forever and this post is already too long.

The end note is, when I evaluate a domain I have to think from 2 different angles (meaningful vs. brandable) which requires like 2 different brain settings, and also go through all these factors, in fact probably like 50 factors of more. Only after that, mixing it with your expertise in previous sales, you can put a price on the domain.

It's not easy, but if you want to be successful in domain sales, it's a must.

Happy domaining!

Edit: Corrected a numbering error in the tips/factors, they are 37 in fact
 
Last edited:

redemo

Established Member
Impact
2,143
I've decided to write another (hopefully) useful post today as you might have seen from me in the past. For the reason that they bring good value back to the NP community. Hope you'll like it. Here it goes:

The most important (and difficult) thing to get about domains is not really where and how you buy them.

It's how much they're worth.

If you can do this correctly, it means a few things. You have a few years under your belt. You can sell domains at a profit (since you know which ones actually have value). And it means you can also decide which is a good domain to use for your own projects as well.

One over another, being able to appraise / valuate a domain correctly is key in domaining. It's also the most difficult part and therefore also the most critical skill you need.

I'm going to show you a few things to think of when pricing domains. It's not exhaustive, it's not even sufficient, but this might be a good start list for that. And it's not necessarily in a particular order. Some might be more important than others, but read below.

1. Length

Length is critical with domains. It doesn't mean however that the shortest is necessarily the best. Words matter. So for example "Finance" is longer than "Fin" but much more valuable. On the other hand, a domain like "FinPad" is going to be very valuable. It's very short, and in such case the shorter version is valuable and appreciated by buyers.

I prefer to buy and hold domains under 12 characters if possible. But I have a bunch of longer too. It really depends. For example a domain containing "metaverse" is obviously going to be quite long. But I've sold a bunch of that, and guess what, they are quite long.

You can still sell longer domains, even 20+ characters if you want. But what you should keep in mind is, if your domain has the same price and appeal for a buyer as another competing domain has, the shortest one will tend to win the sale.

2. Words

Words, and their count are critical factors. Can't put an emphasis this more.

With .COMs, you should aim for (in this order):

- Single words (best but pricey!)

- Single word variations ( e.g. "Shopify" )

- Two words, carefully chosen (so they complete each order).

Stay away from 3-words or more.

While they sometimes sell, the sale ratio is far lower than 2-words. And since the average sales ratio is 1-2% per year with domain sales, and also the price of 3-words or more tend to be much lower, you'd better stay away from them. If you do the math, you'll realize that due to renewals and registrations, even if you sell such names overall you will tend to be at a loss. Side note, always do the math. Always. Factor in buy price and renewals. This is how you will know if overall you're making money or not.

I probably have only a dozen of 3-words in total (from a 16k portfolio, currently). I've tested them thoroughly and won't go back to them.

Brandable marketplaces might accept them but that doesn't mean they sell better.

Note: For non-COMs, use 1 word only. While you can sell 2-words .co or xyz etc, these sales are very rare and therefore (again) you're going to make a loss. Been there, done that.

3) Valuable TLDs

Valuable TLDs are constantly evolving. One thing to be said first is, .COM is and will remain king, no matter what naysayers will say.

The matter of fact that HALF of the world's domains are .COMs speaks for itself. And they get registered even faster nowadays.

Furthermore, my biggest advice to you as a beginner domainer is to stick to .COMs at first. Only much later once you got experience go into other TLDs.

That's also what helped me succeed in this business. I listened to this advice from seasoned people in the field.

The other valuable TLDs today are:

- .io
- .org (for nonprofits etc)
- .ai
- .co
- .net (decreasing in the last few years, but still there
- .xyz (single-word .xyz are on the rise and sell for a lot of money to tech startups)

As for the other TLDs, the sales are scattered so it's hard to say. Generally if you want to make money you have to stick to the above TLDs.

As a beginner, your best bet is with COM. And no, COM is not dead - that's a myth some ngTLD domainers like to spread. COM is still king and will continue to be for many, many years.

4. Trends

Trends are critical in domaining. For example, today a name starting with "Meta" is worth a ton. Couple years ago? Probably nothing as most of these domains were available to register at the beginning of 2021 (I got some in August). That's a huge change.

The same happens to older names. Whatever was selling in 2005 or 2010 is no longer selling today. Few domains are really evergreen, such as (for example) one-word .COMs.

When you valuate (and buy) a name, make sure that name is still viable today. Otherwise the value diminishes a lot, and so does the chance of sale as well.

5. Sources of information

Namebio is probably the greatest source of sales information over previously sold names. There is also the sales thread on NP that is quite valuable but it takes a bit to sift through it. You can also see a few of the older sales in the GoDaddy Appraisal tool when performing a valuation for your domain.

6. Automated appraisal tools

All automated appraisal tools are junk. All those prices there should be ignored. All experienced domain investors know this. The only one who can correctly appraise a domain is still, at this time, an experienced person.

BUT for a beginner there is still some degree of value in those tools: Comparing names.

The GoDaddy valuation tool is good for this. If a domain is valued by GD at $3K, there is a strong chance it will be more valuable than a domain valued by the same tool at $300.

However this doesn't tell us which exactly is the "good" price. That price you can establish using past sales history available such as from Namebio etc, and especially ... experience.

7. Age

Age is not a golden rule, BUT. Domains registered 5 years ago generally tend to be more valuable at this time than domains registered 1 year a go.

With the caveat that some domains registered 20 years ago might not be as valuable anymore, due to changing trends and them sounding very old-fashioned.

8. Niche

One of the other critical factors is the niche. There are probably tens of thousands of niches if not more, of domains you can sell.

The thing is, there is a huge difference between them.

If you have Meta domains today, chances of sale are excellent.

If you have Finance domains, chances are good.

If you have Cannabis domains, chances of sale are medium.

If you have domains in Cosmetics, chances are meh.

If you have plumbing domains, chances are weak. Plumbers don't really spend a ton on domains.

And so on. This not only influences the chances of sale, but also the price. The more demand exists in a niche, the higher the price.

If you want to make money, chose domains in a niche where money are rolling. Tech and finance are probably the best at this time and been quite evergreen over the years.

7. Order (for 2-word domains). Avoid reversed names.

The order of words in the domain name (for 2-word .COMs and not only) is vital. For example BioZone is much more valuable than ZoneBio.

Reversed names do sell (sometimes) but much rarely and for less, for obvious reasons. It's best to stay out of reversed names overall.

8. Match (for 2-word domains)

The first and second word should match and have a similar "energy" and "color". For example FashionZone is a valuable domain. On the other hand, FashionCluster is... not. (cluster might work for a Digital domain though). The match of the two words is critical for the value to still be there, if any.

9. Avoid negative words.

"Bad", "Junk", "weak" etc - just a few example terms. If the domain contains such words, it's probably not good.

10. Valuable domains are for businesses

That's it. Average Joe doesn't buy 4 or 5-fig domains for himself.

Only businesses pay top dollar for domain names, for the sole reason that they get a ROI on a good domain name.

Otherwise John here can always register "JohnsFancyBackyard dot com" at reg fee, and be happy with it.

When you buy a domain, always think if it is suitable (and desirable) for a business. Otherwise, stay out of it.

11. Would you use this domain for yourself?

If you would not, then chances are nobody else would want it, and the domain is bad.

12. Numbers

Avoid domains containing numbers. They tend to not sell (note, I'm not referring to 5-digit numeric domains which are highly valuable). I'm referring to mix of numbers and letters. Like "Fashion234.com". Not good.

If you still insist on having some numbers, certain numeric sequences are valuable. Like "24", "247","360", "365", "123" and such. Still I recommend against as these diminish the chances of sale (sale ratio) for the domain by a large margin.

13. Dashes

The problem with dash domains like "my-art".com is that they do sell, but the ratio is low. Also the overall price is low.

There are domainers here on NP making money in dashed names but I'd generally recommend against it.

If you insist, however, make sure that phrase is top notch and make sure you get it for cheap (reg fee, for example as a dropped domain). Otherwise chances are overall you will lose money with dashed domains.

Another critical rule here is: Only one dash. Multiple dashes tank the value of the domain.

14. Plurals

In most cases the plural is worse than the singular. But not always.

You have to ask yourself, which version sounds better, the plural or the singular? And if you got the lesser version, chances are you have a far less valuable domain there.

For example TraderPlatform is much more valuable than TradersPlatform. But you will also find situations where the opposite is true. Just make sure you always do this exercise with the domain.

15. Acronyms

Certain acronyms are valuable nowadays, such as NFT. But in general, acronyms are a hard sale. So stay away from them as much as possible.

For example: "URL" acronym - worthless. You likely won't be able to sell a domain containing this acronym.

16. Unicode domains (not English)

Not valuable.

17. Domains in other languages than English

They do sell (sometimes) but generally the value is lower and the chances of sale are much lower.

You can easily find domains in French, Spanish, Italian at drop. This also tells us they are in far less demand. I have only sold a couple Spanish domains so far so I stay out of that.

18. Domains for certain countries where CCTLD is preferred

For example, businesses in Germany will always prefer a .de domain over a .com. So if you target Germany, get .de names.

19. Mismatched TLD vs. niche

If you have a domain for a charity, better be a .ORG. Chances are, a .com will not sell for this particular purpose.

Conversely if you have a business domain, while a .org TLD is still valid for it as usage, it will likely not sell as the primary intent detected for .ORGs by the buyers is for non-profits and other organizations that are NOT regular businesses.

Similarly, a domain like "GoatCheese.AI" is not such a great investment.

Oh, and I'd also add, domain buyers tend to take things literally. This is also how you should look at names. So if it's a business, better not be a .org for example.

20. Misspells

Misspells ruin the value of most names. With an exception, some carefully chosen misspells might still be valuable - for brandable marketplaces. If you want to know which ones are good and which ones are not, hit the brandable marketplaces such as SquadHelp, BrandPa, BrandBucket and see what they sell (just use a search term there). This will give you some insight into which misspells are better.

21. Meaningful vs. Brandable names

As a beginner, you are going to find that it will be easier for you to purchase or even register at reg fee, brandables instead of meaningful names. This is because meaningful domains are faster detected via domainer tools in general, while a proper brandable requires some more brain power there and therefore it might fly under the radar for you.

22. Play on words and variations

Be strict with domains based on word variations. Some are valuable, some are not.

I've sold "G/e/o/s/i/a" dot com for example, for 4-fig. "Geoification.com" would not have been a good name. (note - is written with slashes here in order to avoid search engine indexing the name)

23. TLDs registered

This is NOT the last important parameter in the list, but one of the most important ones although I've placed it here. The number of TLD's in which the same domain name is registered is very important. The more TLDs, the higher the price (usually) and also the more difficult for you and pricey will be to get that domain.

You can use a tool like DotDB.com to find out how many TLDs are registered for a particular name, and also to get suggestions for other names to look at.

24. Word value

This is more difficult to assess, but anyway words have different values. You can get this with a Namebio paid account, it gives you access to word values via API. Anyway the "finance" word is high value, and so is "smart" and "super". "Dumb" and "cheese" words are obviously not so valuable.

25. Hobby domains

Stay away from hobby domains. You'll get $100 at most for them, if anything. Average Joe doesn't spend more on a domain than this. Same is for personal blogs etc.

26. Person Names

If they are of any good, chances are they will be caught at drop by big investors renting the name for email. Your chances of getting a good one of this kind are very very small.

27. Geo Domains (e.g. "ParisMarket" )

Geo domains are valuable but the value differs a lot from one domain to another. It requires a lot of experimentation and your results will differ between country, niche etc. Another important thing to mention is that GEO domains usually sell via outbound. If you are not comfortable doing outbound and putting a lot of sweat into that, you probably should not register GEO domains.

28. The Radio Test

If you speak out your domain over radio for example, will the listeners be able to type it correctly?

If not, the domain is likely worthless.

29. The Grandma test

Also tell the domain to your Grandma and ask her to write it down. If that fails, you likely either don't have a good one, or Grandma doesn't know what "NFT" is.

30. Word flow / pronunciation

The domain name when spoken out loud should be easy to to pronounce and understand. If you have hiccups there or the flow is not good, chances are domain is less valuable or not valuable at all.

31. Fitness for a particular niche

Certain words won't fit in a given niche for things like cultural issues, meme or whatever else. Especially if the words go against or might insult a minority - you will raise some eyebrows there if not worse.

32. Bad connotation or hinting the opposite as intended

You have to make sure your name doesn't have a bad connotation in a particular niche or in general. "GenuineShoes" for example is probably not a good name because the first thing one user will think of when reading this is, these shoes are perhaps fake. Although they might not be fake actually.

33. Adult domains

Stay out of that. Money are likely not in these names. Not to mention most marketplaces don't accept adult names (some make an exception for highly sought ones only).

34. There is more than one price for your domain

A $3k retail value domain can be sold for $2000 at a discount, for $1K at a steep discount, for $300 at market range price or for $20 to another domainer if you don't intend to renew it for whatever reason (having better names, for example).

Neither of these approaches are wrong.

35. The value is in the eye of the beholder (the buyer)

Finally, the correct value of a domain is the amount someone will hit their pocket and pay for it. We all do only an approximate pricing of the names. Your end buyer will determine what the actual sale price is. So in the end, the market establishes and trims the value. You can however decide here - either stick to the price and wait for years if that's your strategy, or discount as much as you like. What matters is how you make most money, and therefore (again) experience will make the difference.

So with all these things at hand, maybe you can get some feet wet right now. Another tip would be, get into a brandable marketplace like the ones mentioned above and suggest unregistered names (these won't cost you a thing). If they are accepted, upon sale the marketplace will give you a cut so it's like free money with no risk but also a chance for you to make your hand at detecting good names.

I'm gonna stop here as I could continue forever and this post is already too long.

The end note is, when I evaluate a domain I have to think from 2 different angles (meaningful vs. brandable) which requires like 2 different brain settings, and also go through all these factors, in fact probably like 50 factors of more. Only after that, mixing it with your expertise in previous sales, you can put a price on the domain.

It's not easy, but if you want to be successful in domain sales, it's a must.

Happy domaining!
Any chance you can add a numbered contents list at the top and corresponding numbered items down the page. We humans like to scan things but my eyes are sore already! Cheers mush.
 
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twiki

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Any chance you can add a numbered contents list at the top and corresponding numbered items down the page. We humans like to scan things but my eyes are sore already! Cheers mush.
I was still formatting the post. With bold chapter titles it should be fine now.
 

redemo

Established Member
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My O.C.D. (borderline schizophrenia) begs you to add a menu!

1. Length
2. Words
3. Valuable TLDs
4. Trends
5. Sources of information
6. Automated appraisal tools
7. Age
8. Niche
9. Order (for 2-word domains). Avoid reversed names.
10. Match (for 2-word domains)
11. Avoid negative words.
12. Valuable domains are for businesses
13. Would you use this domain for yourself?
14. Numbers
15. Dashes
16. Plurals
17. Acronyms
18. Unicode domains (non-English characters)
19. Domains in other languages than English
20. Domains for certain countries where CCTLD is preferred
21. Mismatched TLD vs. niche
22. Misspells
23. Meaningful vs. Brandable names
24. Play on words and variations
25. TLDs registered
26. Word value
27. Hobby domains
28. Person Names
29. Geo Domains (e.g. "ParisMarket" )
30. The Radio Test
31. The Grandma test
32. Word flow / pronunciation
33. Fitness for a particular niche
34. Bad connotation or hinting the opposite as intended
35. Adult domains
36. There is more than one price for your domain
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
16,417
My O.C.D. (borderline schizophrenia) begs you to add a menu!

1. Length
2. Words
3. Valuable TLDs
4. Trends
5. Sources of information
6. Automated appraisal tools
7. Age
8. Niche
9. Order (for 2-word domains). Avoid reversed names.
10. Match (for 2-word domains)
11. Avoid negative words.
12. Valuable domains are for businesses
13. Would you use this domain for yourself?
14. Numbers
15. Dashes
16. Plurals
17. Acronyms
18. Unicode domains (non-English characters)
19. Domains in other languages than English
20. Domains for certain countries where CCTLD is preferred
21. Mismatched TLD vs. niche
22. Misspells
23. Meaningful vs. Brandable names
24. Play on words and variations
25. TLDs registered
26. Word value
27. Hobby domains
28. Person Names
29. Geo Domains (e.g. "ParisMarket" )
30. The Radio Test
31. The Grandma test
32. Word flow / pronunciation
33. Fitness for a particular niche
34. Bad connotation or hinting the opposite as intended
35. Adult domains
36. There is more than one price for your domain

Well you made a TOC here. Unfortunately I cannot edit the post anymore.
 
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twiki

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16,417
I would like to mention that certain specific types domain names are not included in the post for various reasons. Like for example:

- Full numerics like 12345 = I don't deal in those
- Liquid domains like 3-letter and 4-letter: I have a few, but not my biggest target.
- Single words / high value domains = each of these domains is pretty unique and must be valuated as such. In the end it depends on how much an end buyer will pay for it and whether the seller accepts or not at that time.

But the post should cover the bulk of names registered by domainers, beginners but not only.
 
Impact
27,884
Thank you so much @twiki for this comprehensive guide on selecting and pricing domain names. It should be a must read for any domain investor, new or experienced. I am glad that @James Iles highlighted it so I did not miss it.

I think the two points that most resonated with me is get names that businesses will use (and as you say ask if you would start a business on this name), and keep in mind that some sectors pay better for domain names than others.

What incredible sharing goes on in the NamePros community.

Thanks again, and best wishes for the new year. Congratulations on your steady stream of sales.

Bob
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
16,417
Thank you so much @twiki for this comprehensive guide on selecting and pricing domain names. It should be a must read for any domain investor, new or experienced. I am glad that @James Iles highlighted it so I did not miss it.

I think the two points that most resonated with me is get names that businesses will use (and as you say ask if you would start a business on this name), and keep in mind that some sectors pay better for domain names than others.

What incredible sharing goes on in the NamePros community.

Thanks again, and best wishes for the new year. Congratulations on your steady stream of sales.

Bob

Thanks Bob for the kind words. But its perhaps a bit too much for me, maybe. I'm just giving something back - to the community. It's nothing big however, but still I hope it helps.

Not everyone shares information back here on NP. I could not have gotten here if others haven't have shared their experience on NP. I think fear of copycats and such has to do with it. You know, getting more competition.

But that's the wrong mindset, cause in the process you always get better. Like whatever you give back finds a way to get a plus for you as well. I hope more people would share the great knowledge they have.
 
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