Fifteen years ago, your assets might have included your home, your beach house and even your office building, but not we’re talking about Internet real estate. Millions of people have registered domain names, many of which are growing in value every day. Just how valuable is your domain name? And how do you get a domain name appraisal?
Just because you have a valuable domain name doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to profit from it in the future. For one thing, we don’t know how the landscape of the Internet will change over the next decade or two, and for another, what’s valuable now might not be worth pennies in just six months. So don’t count on domain name purchases to make you rich, but guard your Internet real estate just in case. It might also be a good idea to get your domain name appraised every once in a while.
The first thing that is considered when appraising your domain name is the extension. A .com domain name is going to be decidedly more valuable than a domain name with a .net or .biz extension. Some people contend that .org and .net extensions are just as valuable as .com, but you’ll automatically make more money selling a .com name.
The next thing that helps determine the appraisal of your domain name is the commercial value of the name itself. For example, a domain name like StocksandBonds.com is going to be more commercially relevant than StockAdviceFromSteve.com. In the first example, the domain name is specific but can also be used by a wide variety of owners. In the second example, the domain wouldn’t make much sense unless someone named Steve was running and operating it.
The commercial aspect of your domain name appraisal should also involve the commercial appeal of the name. How many people are searching for the subject matter of your website each month? For instance, far more people search for information on weddings each day than on plumbing or Bermuda grass. Knowing this, a domain name having to do with weddings will be instantly more valuable than one about buying, selling or growing grass. It’s just common sense.
Another factor in domain name appraisals is the length of the domain name. It is much easier to remember a website with the URL Cars.com than it is to remember CarsAndTrucksAndVans.com. However, length should not be sacrificed for logic, as a domain name that doesn’t make sense isn’t worth it. You might be able to get rjfk.com fairly easily, but it won’t be valuable because the name doesn’t make sense. The same goes for domains with numbers; they are significantly less valuable than domains without numbers.
Hyphenation is another factor that you should consider when determining the value of your domain name. GreatBuys.com is going to fetch far more money than Great-Buys.com, simply because most people can’t remember the hyphen and will wind up at a competitor’s site.
Knowing this, then, how do you find out how valuable your domain name really is? One way is to put it up for auction and see how high the bids actually get. This is dangerous, however, because if you decide to auction your domain name, you’ll usually be bound to selling it to the highest bidder, even if no one wants to pay more than $20. Another way is to use one of the numerous domain name appraisal sites on the Internet. Here are a few examples:
You can usually get an estimated domain name appraisal for free, but if you want a scientific value, you’ll need to pay anywhere from $20 to $200. You might be surprised how much your domain is offered, however, which is definitely a plus. AssociatedContent.com, for example, is estimated to be valued at more than $833,000 by LeapFish.com.