Domain Name Price Guide for Startups (Infographic)

Having dealt with a variety of people and companies that have tried to buy my domain names over the years, I believe that price expectations for domain names vary wildly. Some people have absolutely no idea how much domain names are worth, and others seem to have a general idea about value but don’t know much about specifics. This could be a negotiation ploy, or simply, they know they need a good domain name but don’t know how much good domain names are worth.

Bill Sweetman of Name Ninja produced this handy illustrated domain name price guide for startups (shared below). Bill and his company have experience consulting with startups and other companies who need to acquire domain names, and I think the infographic is a fairly accurate assessment of current domain name market conditions. It is in an easy to understand format, making it a great tool to help people understand what domain names are worth.

Along with the infographic, Bill wrote a blog post with details about the infographic and some color commentary about the domain name marketplace.

One thing to keep in mind is that individual domain name values can vary considerably depending on the owner of the domain name, how the domain name is being used, and the owner’s future plans for the domain name. The domain name market is dynamic, and the value of seemingly similar domain names can vary tremendously ( vs. for example). Hopefully Bill will continue to update the graphic as market conditions dictate.

This illustrated look at domain name values will be something I share with people who inquire about my domain names and either balk at my asking price or simply don’t understand domain name values.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Interesting… Not sure I fully agree on some of those blanketed prices that aren’t compensating for niche specific domains and market shifts, but it’s somewhere to start.

  2. @ Eric, there will always be outliers, for sure. As you and I both know, every domain and its ownership situation is different, as is every domain buyer and every domain owner. The goal of this guide is to set some basic expectations for end-user buyers, most of whom are stunned to learn that you can’t buy a one-word .com for $5K. ;+) Thanks for your comment.

    • I don’t agree with you here. I think Bill is one of the more experienced brokers and he has a pretty good idea about what domain names are selling for.

      As I mentioned, “One thing to keep in mind is that individual domain name values can vary considerably depending on the owner of the domain name, how the domain name is being used, and the owner’s future plans for the domain name. The domain name market isdynamic, and the value of seemingly similar domain names can vary tremendously ( vs. for example).”

      There is no perfect way to predict the value of a domain name, but I think this can give someone without a clue a bit of insight.

      If you have great names, I am sure you get frustrated receiving dozens of $100 offers for a name you bought for $25,000. This illustration can give people a general idea about what certain types of domain names are worth.

    • Of course you don’t agree with me here, Elliot. I could have told you that you don’t agree with me here. You are as much a part of the problem when it comes to this issue as it gets. And of course you have good things to say about the famous Bill Sweetman.

      As for the disclaimer-style verbiage, that is not what the public sees. They gloss right over it, like boiler plate legalese. All they see is the continual brainwashing and drum beating, and they drink it in.

      Does Sweetman have “a pretty good idea about what domain names are selling for”? Of course he does. That reminds me a bit of the old “four out of five dentists surveyed…” The mere description of what commonly does occur is largely due to the prescription brought about the continual brainwashing to begin with. If what the public ever sees is industry luminaries and people with the loudest voice continually beating this drum then that is the natural result.

      If people really wanted to put their money where their mouth is then things like this would get expressed far differently. It would get expressed just as I have been writing in the blogs all these months, that there are many long domains also worth a fortune big and small to end users, some also *far* more valuable than many shorter domains, and so-called infographics like this would certainly not stop at “two-word .com” when it comes to that. Not even at three. And they wouldn’t be referred to as “outliers” and certainly not as “long tail” either as so many including yourself do.

    • Perhaps you should start your own blog instead of being a somewhat anonymous blog commenter? I would welcome additional insight about the market that I am neither seeing with my own sales and inbound offers – nor am I seeing on auctions or publicly reported domain sales. I am not being sarcastic here either.

    • Also – just so you and others are aware – I am having a SSL installed across the entire site in about 10 minutes. A whole bunch of changes on internal links are going to be made to accommodate the switch. Things might go a bit haywire for a bit of time – and there may be possible downtime. I don’t want you to think that this discussion – or your comment in particular – have anything to do with on-site funkiness. I am hopeful any issues will be short lived, but I would rather tell you now than have you or others think there is some conspiracy to prevent your comments from showing up.

    • There will never be something that is totally accurate and there will always be lots of outliers. I think it is a pretty decent look at the average name in various categories.

    • Which is why things like this are so harmful to the industry, just as I have been pointing out in the blogs all these months. But certainly works well for you since your main focus is one word .coms.

    • I love one word .coms and buy them when I can. That said, one word .coms is a small % of my overall inventory, so I think saying that is my “focus” is a bit inaccurate. Saying .com domain names are my focus is more accurate. I digress though…

      If you were a domain industry consultant who worked with startups that have various levels of funding and various levels of desire to buy a domain name, what would you use to guide them?

      Bill is a consultant who works to get his clients domain names. He is not an industry cheerleader who will be better served putting together an infographic with unrealistic and ridiculously high pricing just to “help” the domain industry. If Bill sets unreal expectations of domain pricing (ie telling them that domain values are far above where they regularly sell) clients will go elsewhere.

      Track some of Sedo’s weekly sales and I bet you will see that Bill’s price points are fairly accurate.

      I am not exactly sure what your beef is.

    • I am looking at the DNJ YTD sales report, and there aren’t a whole lot of long domain names there. at just over $50k is #51, and I don’t even see other 3 word sales in the top 100 sales so far this year:

      I looked at all of 2016 and I do not see any 3 word .com sales in the top 100:
      I looked at all of 2015, and I do not see any 3 word .com sales in the top 100:

      IMO, shorter domain names sell for higher amounts more regularly. I am not saying that 3 word domain names have no value. In fact, I have sold quite a few in private for relatively large amounts. I would rather own shorter domain names though (.com only of course).

    • Elliot just put the smack down. It’s common sense that two-word domains sell for more than 3-word domains probably 99% of the time. The infographic is meant to be a ballpark guide. After I read it, I didn’t think anything else. You can’t write an all encompassing guide. You aren’t gonna get screwed out of a big sale because some buyer read this infographic and if you do, become a better salesman. If anything it will bring more buyers up in price than bringing them down.

    • I am not trying to put any “smack down.” I have sold plenty of 3 word and several 4 word domain names. In my opinion, they are much more difficult to sell and their value is far less than shorter domain names.

      I also don’t think there is very much aftermarket value in the new domain extensions, but I think we have differing opinions on that, too.

    • I didn’t really think you were trying to put any “smack down” either, except perhaps just a bit, πŸ™‚ but if anyone did put the smack down then it was already Jon Schultz above as far as I’m concerned.

      If you mean you think you and I personally have differing opinions on the new gTLDs, I would say probably not very different. I consider them to be mostly all worthless with few exceptions. And most of my exceptions would consist of specific keywords within a TLD, not the whole TLD. Some of the geo’s are great imo, and I still believe people have been very lacking in vision regarding .gold (though the basic reg price doesn’t exactly help by a mile either). My main focus is .com, and I still maintain my belief in .US as the great still comatose sleeping giant which doesn’t have to stay that way. As for the topic here, I will probably have more to say later tonight or tomorrow too but need to make a phone call now. Later…

    • What kind of disingenuous comment is that when five figures and mid four figures is hardly just “over $1k”? And you left out the not even trying part.

      And who are you to declare .US to be worthless?

  3. I could say more, but I’ve already done it in previous blog threads for months now. There is no point in continuing here in this context and forum. People who think this way are shortsighted as I have characterized this before. They don’t see because they lack vision and lack experience. They lack the vision, perspective and experience of an end user. They have forgotten what concepts like “top of mind” and “authority phrase” even mean, even though I never encountered those phrases until I entered the domain name industry. They don’t realize that phrases like “free credit report” and “credit report” will resonate in people’s minds and be sought after far more often than merely the word “credit,” for instance. And perhaps they simply never looked at the traffic stats as I have as an end user, when it was possible to see just how willing and even eager people were to type out multi-word phrases if they are the “top of mind” and the “authority phrase,” even the very .com itself, because all the former mostly do is buy and sell and focus on what they can see in front of them. And what they can see in front of them is nothing but reported data which is largely conditioned by what the market has been constantly told to begin with. It’s sad, and yes even the brokers are losing out as a result.

    But it’s as plain to see as the nose on your face and it doesn’t get any simpler. It’s about what is “top of mind,” and what is “authority phrase,” and what kind of business and revenue can be achieved and realized with a given phrase by an end user, no matter how long the keyword phrase is. One of the recent examples I have used is “home improvement loans,” but it seems the same party behind the .com for that may also own the one for “small business loans.” It doesn’t get any plainer: no matter how you slice it, the .com for “small business loans” is far more valuable than a vast multitude of even great one and two word .coms. Anyone who says otherwise is either totally lacking vision, a liar, or simply without the slightest insight whatsoever into the pertinent industry involved. And that’s despite any stats one can point to about what reportedly sold for what and so forth.

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