Eric Lyon Gives Update on NamePros High Priced Domain Sales Forum

NameprosIn March of 2011, there was a major change in the domain name sales forums at NamePros. The most noticeable change to me at the time was that NamePros removed the high price domain sales section. With domain sales being important to most people active in the domain space, this was a pretty significant change.

Yesterday evening, NamePros administrator Eric Lyon posted an update on my blog about some of the recent changes on NamePros. I thought his extensive post was important enough to call out in its own article, so what Eric posted in the comment section is below. If you have questions for Eric or anyone else on the NamePros staff, you are welcome to ask in the comment section.

Thanks to Eric for sharing this information.

There’s been lots of changes since 2011 / early 2012. Including the High priced forum that was brought back late 2012 / early 2013.

Evaluating domains is not an easy task if you want to have any type of accuracy. So just to outline the basics that NamePros takes into consideration now days with the new high Priced forum based on reseller values (NOT end-user). please refer to the below 27 variables:

1.) Is the domain Pronounceable?
2.) How many characters are in the domain?
3.) If a short character domain, are they premium letters?
4.) Is the domain currently developed?
5.) If developed, how many pages are indexed?
6.) If developed, Is it original or duplicate content?
7.) Was the domain previously developed?
8.) Does the domain currently generate any Revenue?
9.) What are a few development possibilities for this domain?
10.) What is the obvious target market(s)?
11.) Is there any keyword value (cpc)?
12.) Is there any keyword competition?
13.) What are the top competing sites for this domain?
14.) What is the Alexa score?
15.) What is the root domain PageRank (PR)?
16.) Is the domain a dictionary word?
17.) What language is the domain?
18.) Does the language of the domain match the extension?
19.) How many backlinks does the domain have?
20.) What have some similar domains sold for in the past?
21.) Is this domain a Trademark (TM)?
22.) Is this domain a trend that has a limited window of opportunity?
23.) How old is the domain?
24.) Is the domain taken in other top extensions?
25.) Is the domain Brandable?
26.) Does the domain have any traffic?
27.) If traffic, What are the traffic sources?

At the end of the day, a domain is truly only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. However, we would like to think that covering the above 27 variables helps a little more in determining whether or not a domain is high priced material.

There will still be instances where some disagree with what ends up in the high priced forum, however I’m sure we can all agree that everyone’s evaluation system is probably a little different, may have sentimental value attached, or may devalue something at first glance just because they aren’t fully familiar with the niche.

While our system may not be perfect, we feel that it does at least address the sanctity of a high priced forum and keeps it fair for everyone.

Eric Lyon

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


    • 3.) If a short character domain, are they premium letters?

      He is talking about 3 and 4 letter domains only.

      A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T premium letters.
      J, K, U, V, W semi premium
      Q, X, Y, Z non premium

    • @todd – Really? Letter “J” and “U” are just semi-premium letters? Yeah, (JPMorgan), (United Airlines), (Under Armour) – what a junk domain names, right?

    • Your example couldn’t be any worse.

      JPMorgan is a completely worthless domain name. UAL and UA would be worth whatever they’re worth on the domainer market, however you’re conflating the domain name with the business who bases their identity on that domain name.

      You’re doing it wrong.
      Zappos is a shit domain name, worthless from a speculative perspective (or, a 100,000 to 1 shot) but a fine business.

    • What Todd said is correct.

      @Mark: In your scenario you’re pointing out well known brand abbreviations and not just some random letter sequences. This is why there’s so many different variables to look at.

      How many people are going to invest in a huge TM abbreviation and not be concerned the TM owner will come after them at some point when they try to sell it based on the TM brand for financial gain?

      There’s Positive and Negative values for every domain name in existence. This is why we look at multiple variables and not just 1 or 2. It’s not a perfect science and will probably never be 100% accurate.

      As we’ve said before though, a domain is truly only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

      In my opinion, once someone identifies someone elses TM in a domain and tries to sell it blatantly based on that TM for financial gain, it narrows the buyers market down to 1. the TM holder them self and 2. High risk takers. This closes the doors on a majority of potential buyers and becomes a potential legal headache. It’s this legal headache and isolated buyers market that makes it near impossible to put a value on such a blatant tm name and 9 times out of 10 will end up in the devaluing it.

      Now, if you didn’t focus on a TM in an abbreviation as a selling point and just went after value based on random letters that could be translated into a new unregistered TM abbreviation nobody uses yet or at least pitch it in a different market sector than similar abbreviations, the value becomes a bit more clear.

      The above is just my opinion though amongst millions of others,

      Eric Lyon

    • @Mark

      I am not saying those are junk letters. Personally I don’t think ANY letter is a junk letter but your question was what is considered a PREMIUM letter and I listed the industry standard that has been accepted for many many years and is constantly used as a guide. Is it my guide? No. Is it most people’s guide? Probably not but it is considered the industry standard when it comes to domainer to domainer values. Remember this has nothing to do with end user values.

    • @Eric Lyon –

      I am pointing to brands, but owning two or three letter has nothing to do with brands. UA has thousands meanings, not just the one that is used for at If you own two-letter .com, there is for sure someone (who you should not even know of) who has brand that match your letters. Like today report of sale. Previous owner did NOT know about existence of the buyer at the time of registration… And? Bingo! So letters and its combination of size 2,3 or even 4 may mean anything…

    • @Mark / Marek:

      Right, Since you pointed at the TM brands at first we had to look at the TM variable, however since you are now retracting the TM stance and just focusing on say 2 letters in general with no emphasis on a tm, it changes the evaluation slightly (Still considering a TM as variable but with less emphasis), which leads us to look at other variables within the 27 mentioned.

      Keep in mind (as others have already mentioned) that NamePros high priced forum is based on domainer to domain (E.g. Reseller to Reseller) values and has nothing to do with End-User value.

      Domain investors take a risk every time they purchase a domain (E.G. initial investment, yearly renewals, legal issues, etc.). One must evaluate that risk before jumping in head first.

      Naturally, the higher the risk of loss, the less an investor is willing to tie up in a domain for an extended amount of time.

      Eric Lyon

    • @Joe – Yeah, Chinese low letter “J”, but Americans use it just for “Junk”, right? I wish I own all non-premium or semi-premium two and three letter .com names. I would be billionaire from that trash.

  1. Those are all good points, unfortunately they are not all ranked according to their importance.

    Weight. Weight. It is all a matter of priority. For the major part of high priced domains all those alexa ranks, links, already developed, etc.etc.are all crap.

  2. *

    I never even visit the high-priced section of Namepros, so it’s a moot point.

    I don’t sell through Namepros, either.

    I do believe the criteria are too long and will discourage members from selling via Namepros.


  3. Namepros is more of a newbie forum, sure if you are selling a high end name and want some PR post a link, and see what happens. Site has been in shambles since RJ left, I do not recommend it at all, waste of time, many of the arrogant mods were let go, or quit. Your time is better spent reading credible materials in regards to domaining, rather than going through pages of fresh reg domains for sale.

    Sorry Eric, and the team if you want domainers to follow you, come up with a meaningful forum.

    • A few questions for you,

      1. What would you suggest is more meaningful?

      2. What part of NamePros is in shambles compared to other domain communities?

      3. Are you suggesting that domain communities not cater to anyone new in the industry and become a private club?

      4. And if so on #3, wouldn’t that kill any communities growth potential by not recognizing and closing the doors on new potential in a growing industry?

      5. Whens the last time you participated at NamePros and what exactly was it that made you dislike the experience?

      Your answers to the above will help us isolate any existing issues (separating them from past issues that no longer exist), so that we can continue to focus on bettering the community as a whole.

      There’s been lots of changes since 2011 and NamePros gets better and better every day. Support is at an all time high and better than it ever was in just about every sector (E.G. Tech Support, Member Services, Account Investigations, Reported Posts, General Inquiries, Etc.)

      So if there’s anything you feel NamePros can do to continue bettering itself, please feel free to let us know with a suggestion. We’re listening πŸ™‚

      Thanks, your feedback is important to us,

      Eric Lyon

    • I don’t have the interest in going into a point by point discussion but I will say that the idea of Namepros being a newbie forum with essentially no professional gravity in the domain name world is not some ‘new’ idea.

      Everybody knows what that place is except for apparently the people who operate it.

      The inherent problem is the nature of domaining have no barrier to entry, the learning curve to success is steep and once you’re past it, there’s not a whole lot to talk about. In a forum like that, what you’re left with are slow learners and loud newbies.

      Forums are places where people go to learn. You can’t learn anything when your membership base has absolutely nothing to offer in the way of actionable knowledge.

    • *

      Why should anyone respect your opinion when you hide behind the moniker “anon”?

      Why not step out into the light and reveal who you are?


    • Hello Eric,

      At first glance, it seems to me that you are trying to make selection with some “serious” effort, so I want to congratulate you.

      I think that at this point you can open the 4 most important sections too, i.e.:

      1) one word domain for sale section

      2) domains for lease

      3) domain for lease with option to buy

      4) domain available with financing plans (60 months plan could be the standard to semplify the listing process and making immediately understanding each single offer)

      Thank you in advance if you will go to open those sections.

      P.S. Is the IDNs domains for sale section closed?

    • @MaxD

      Thanks for the suggestions. At the moment, our old Brokerage forum is doubling as Brokerage & Leasing to cover both topics since the activity of just 1 of the 2 topics normally is only generating 1 or 2 posts per month.

      As for the IDN marketplace, it’s not closed and is still open for new threads here: .. The threads you see closed with a red line through them sat for more than 30 days with no replies or updates & auto closed. At the moment our system auto closes any sales thread throughout the marketplace if there’s no activity for 30 days. This helps keep the sales that stay on top fresh and assists in members remaining a bit more active to keep their listing open (Which is appreciated by buyers knowing their questions will be answered promptly & they don’t have to wait 2 weeks for a seller login again).

      I have been monitoring activity in the leasing arena for a little while now and it hasn’t seemed to catch on to much yet on forums to justify it’s own dedicated forum (Activity wise), however I will continue to monitor it and if we see a spike in activity, we’ll naturally start to make adjustments to compensate for it.

      Thanks again for your suggestions, we’ll keep those in mind.

      Eric Lyon

    • Thanks to you.

      Unfortunately I don’t agree much with your vision, even if I understand that probably you have now a little audience of end users and 99% or domainers. But the Internet is beautiful because barriers can be removed simply, if people want…(so end users could find you…).

      So the reasoning would be too much long here…but at least I hope you will pay attention to the first lack, in my opinion, ie a new section reserved to

      1 word domains only

      (and, maybe, a financing section base on long plans…: a clear long term financing plan is not a leasing of course, neither a lease + purchase option… Also some kind of “optioning model” could born spontaneously within a dedicated domain financing section….). Of course a dedicated platform would be better for leasing and financing, since no one brings his car to a mechanic of bicycles to fix a problem or go to a stall market to buy a Rolex, as I already said in the past, anyway something would be better than nothing..

      Thank you anyway.

    • @MaxD

      In regards to your financing suggestion, it is agreed that financing is different than Brokering / leasing and we have updated that forum to encompass all three with a title: ” Domain Brokerage, Leasing, & Financing” –

      We’ll work more on expanding that in the future aas activity increases to justify the expansions.

      As for a dedicated “1 word domain forum”, we have something special planned for single-word domains in the future already. πŸ˜‰

    • @ Eric

      Last post, after that I will let you to your work on NamePros πŸ™‚

      You said: “We’ll work more on expanding that in the future aas activity increases to justify the expansions.”
      Unfortunately in many cases the market demand must be pulled, taking risks, especially when there are many other obstacles like in domain industry…Customers in this case must be pulled…
      You know that a prospect looking for a domain, to buy with financing, need a Rolex authorized dealer, i.e. a trustworthy middleman, a trustworthy platform in this case (and also useful and easy, characteristics that are always need when we speak about transactions occurrring online).

      What I’d like to say is that without a serious investment in a trustworthy, easy and useful platform, neither leasing market nor financing market will never born.
      Same thing, unfortunately, for an ipotetical 1 word domain platform: without a trustworthy platform in the middle, offering leasing and, above all, financing, as an impartial third entity, also a one word platform would have little success.

      So….best wishes to all…. πŸ™‚ πŸ™

  4. I have noticed a very professional vibe at NamePros lately. There is a fair balance between new investors and experienced investors. Of course the new investors are having more discussions because they have more to learn, and the experienced investors are a little busier running their domain businesses. However, they are still there providing insights and participating in the forum. The negative claims are really unnecessary and misguided.

    NamePros has also made information about their site very transparent, and you can see the real demographics of the site by visiting Quantcast ( As you’ll notice, the site exceeds the Internet average for visitors with an income of $100-150k.

    I wish more companies would be this transparent. It helps everyone.

  5. @Chris

    I agree. I do miss RJ but still a good group of guys there and a pretty active forum compared to some others. I don’t post as much as years ago as busy like ya said but still like to help here and there.

  6. Ron

    Perhaps if you want domainers to care about what you say perhaps you should come up with a meaningful comment. Sorry.

    I like to add that sorry to indicate that I’m not in fact sorry and am just being a prick.

  7. Forums are what they are, same as blogs people post as ANON or Unknown although you are not unknown.

    @Ron the site is actually run more professionally since RJ left, so no shambles.

    • It’s rare to see many people using all 27 factors when they appraise a domain, so naturally there’s going to be different opinions and views on value. At the end of the day, we do try to limit the amount of questionable domains from being listed in order to retain some of the sanctity of the high priced forum. If some slip through the cracks that others don’t agree with, we apologize for offending you. However, there’s no perfect way to evaluate a domain that will please everyone. So we do the best we can. At least you don’t see names like:,,,,, etc… There’s more names than you can imagine that get declined every day from being listed. It’s a constant filtering process that never ends and occasionally, as mentioned before, one may slip through some don’t agree with.

      One thing we can all probably agree on though, is that everyone holds some sentimental value for their own names & thus feel’s theirs is better than others. Just like people that focus on a single niche will see more value in related niche names than names in other peoples niches.

      Thanks for understanding,

      Eric Lyon

  8. If the “old guard” is gone then it has to be a better site then if it was offline and in redemption…horrible on returning emails!!! Site was lackluster as fucbuster! Hope that tank will fly now…

    • There’s no implied corollary between ‘the truth’ and one using their personal identity on the internet. Matter of fact, some the biggest ‘truths’ ever exposed were done anonymously.

      For those of you who believe that, I have a proposal. Give me permission to do whatever I please with your personal identity and I will teach you the lesson the hard way… because every time you thrust your personal identity into the matrix, you’re exposing yourself to just that happening, perpetrated by people who won’t be so kind as to ask your permission.

      Ideas inherently stand on merit without identity.
      Identity has no inherent merit.

      The reason this industry has such an ‘identity fetish’ is because its small, incestuous and is largely made up of petty, incompetent people. Those are precisely the sorts of people who need things simplified into binary decisions; one of them being, friend/enemy. Without an identity associated with an idea, they melt down.

      I agree particularly harsh criticisms should be done in the context of standing up and in the light- just because that’s my own personal belief- but ordinary internet discussion, open identity is a liability.

  9. And in regards to ‘fixing’ namepros, another modest proposal.

    Take everyone who is a moderator or “VIP Member” and have them list their 5 best domains.

    The problem will be laid absolutely bare, right before your eyes.

    • Anon, what are your 5 best domain names?

      Let’s also be clear on what it takes to have the best domain names: age, wealth, and/or desire. Pay close attention to the “and/or.”

      For the purpose of this basic example:

      – Age: Someone who took advantage of the opportunity years ago to purchase them when they were inexpensive (relative to today).
      – Wealth: Someone who has the financial means to purchase them.
      – Desire: Someone who has the desire to invest in them instead of the many other ways people can wisely invest their money.

      And there are certainly members on NamePros that have seven-figure domain names in their portfolio.

      Further, you are mistaken if you think there is a correlation between a great moderator and someone who has the “best domain names.”

      The best moderators are those who are passionate about the success of the forum. Their main role is to keep the forum running smoothly so that the *members* can have a pleasant experience and contribute to discussions.

      All that being said, I’m willing to bet the moderators have better domain names than you. I mean, you can’t even stand behind your own identity, so you surely cannot stand behind your business’s identity or your assets. πŸ˜‰

  10. “Anon, what are your 5 best domain names?”

    If I’m anon, what’s the likelihood that I post domain names of any kind? Even proposing that in this context suggests you’re probably dumber than a dirt clod. As tempting it is to take an ‘internet bet’, I’ve found the logistics to be impossibly difficult, so I guess you’ll just have to never know.

    As noted, all your dumb hysterics and rationalizations aside, if you want to see the ‘problem’ at Namepros laid bare, then simply undertake the exercise noted and the problem will be glaring.

    Why do you fear and oppose this?
    We all know why.

    You need to break the culture of ‘pretend’ and ‘dreams’ that exists over there- and as expected, participants resent the hell out of anyone who requests a demonstration of competence rather than accept implication of it- by bringing in people who aren’t failures at this

    There are a lot of ways to tame the pony but a pretty good symptom of someone who is not a failure is someone who can show five domain names that, at the very minimum, someone who knows their ass from a hole in the ground would BOTHER TO RENEW, never mind actually reach out and purchase. Your regular posting members have names worth millions? Great! Lets see it because if we were sitting in Vegas and betting, I’d bet it would look a lot like the posts in Elliots weekly brokerage listings.

    • Anon,

      Congratulations, you didn’t take the bait — which only makes you slightly more intelligent than the average Internet troll.

      I guess my comments fell on deaf ears, so I won’t bother repeating them.

      Now, why are you attacking Elliot’s brokerage listings? How exactly does being a troll benefit you? You are providing zero value. You should spend more time analyzing yourself rather than the sites that are actually trying to provide value in the industry.

  11. Just for a bit of added clarity: I don’t think that place is a totally lost cause.

    If they’re working on adding some substance, good for them. It won’t happen overnight, it will be a long road but they’re not within light years of getting on the right path until they first acknowledge that their credibility issues run very, very deep and aggressively address them.

    • Let’s stop pretending like you’re exposing some large-scale government operation and you need to remain anonymous for your own well-being or safety.

      Your message was simple: “They need more successful domainers as mods.”

      The only reason you needed to post anonymously is because you wanted to be troll. You could have made the same suggestion professionally and you would have had no reason to post anonymously.

    • I have no idea why you keep squealing “troll”. I’ve posted here for quite some time as “Anon” and will continue to do so, long after this lame conversation is forgotten.

      I am not “attacking Elliot’s brokerage listings”. I am point out a dead simple, in arguable fact about them. The fact you feel it’s an ‘attack’ is yet another demonstration that you’re still in the shallow end of the pool. I think its safe to say that ELLIOT HIMSELF sees exactly what I see in the brokerage listings, what you don’t see and perceive to be an ‘attack’.

      You probably aren’t the best person to be acting as ‘spokesman’ on this issue for Namepros; as the conversation has progressed, you’ve demonstrated exactly the phenomenon I was talking about and stood up as a sterling example of the sorts of people who populate that site.

      Until that is changed, the place will suffer from reputation and credibility issues. Can it be done? I believe it can. It begins with ignoring people like you and, hell, IGNORE ME TOO but reach out to people who are voluntarily above-the-fold with their success at this and ask them their opinions. They will parallel mine, not yours.

    • “The toll road of denial is a long and dangerous one.”

      If I were a spokesperson, it would be against trolls like you — nothing else. In reality, no one takes you seriously anyway. You can’t even recognize your own trolling behavior anymore; it’s become the norm for you.

      Take care.

    • OK, so we’ve arrived at the point where you’re sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting the ‘ura troll’ mantra.

      Better luck next time.

      Meanwhile, go back and re-read what I said and ask yourself why it offends you so much.

      I can tell you why…

    • Anon,

      There’s a reason that you’re familiar with this “mantra.”

      But don’t confuse yourself. Nothing you’ve said has offended me. I just like to put trolls in their place. However, you’re doing a fine job of that on your own.

      I’m enjoying the show. πŸ™‚

  12. I must say I always enjoy reading Eric’s posts, always on target and always respectful… Thank you Eric.

    For all the jealous haters, you can say what you want about NamePro’s, it will never change the FACT that;

    NP does NOT engage in censorship to the degree of it’s competitor.

    NP does not FLOOD it’s pages, threads and YOUR posts with Google ads.

    They will NOT SPAM your inbox.

    When Administrators announce a change, they WILL follow through with it.

    When a private message is sent to administrators, they RESPOND to it.

    When a member clicks on the report button, it actually WORKS and a moderator contacts you and goes out of his/her way to resolve the issue.

    NP has individual moderators assigned to each subforum.. No Larry, Moe and Curly system of moderation here.

    When a suggestion is made, Eric and administrators LISTEN to members with a OPEN and OBJECTIVE mind.

    NamePros may have more newbies, but they also have a lot less ARROGANCE and EGO’s because of it, making it a much friendlier environment.

    NamePros does not have sub forums dedicated to blog owners, and if they did, the last thing they would allow is teaser titles that divert traffic to amateur content.

    NP will NOT ban you for making a political comment.

    NamePros is based in the United States.

    Lastly, NamePro’s is %100 FREE… They will NOT charge you for the privilege of posting.

    “NamePros”… Where the cool domainers have gone too.

  13. Okey, here seems to be many domain professionals and I need your help guys. I have few domains that I am looking to sell. But I do not know how to go about. Some of them are really good. I have this domain called . I suppose this is a good geo domain, what should it be worth and how do you think I sell it.

  14. I remember when RJ had the high priced domain forum and I thought back then they did a fine job keeping the lower valued names out. To me these new rules sound like the high priced forum is actually welcoming high priced websites along with high priced domains. Any confirmation on that Eric?

    I kind of like it and think the rules will help keep lower quality reseller names out. There is a big gap between end user values and reseller values and I agree that the high priced forum should only contain domains and/or websites that actually have $XXXX+ reseller value.

    • We do have a website for sale section that normally includes the domain along with the website, content, branding, etc. The 2 forums in the section are “Established” and “Turnkey”. Established generally meaning the content, design, branding, etc. is unique, while the turnkey means mass produced cms script, stock templates, auto feed or spun content, etc.

      We would like to keep those types of marketplace listings in the appropriate forums. However, there may be some exceptions to the rule which is why a couple of the values used are referencing development. In some cases, a domain may be sold that is developed but they don’t want to sell the actual site, just the domain. Even though the site wont be included in the sale, it allows a buyer to map all the old pages easily so that they can recreate the page url’s with NEW unique content of their own to insure they don’t lose to much organic or referral traffic those pages were getting.

      Again, it’s not a perfect process, however it does help shed light on areas some of us may forget about when we have a checklist to follow.

      There may be other exceptions as well on a per case bases. Would we allow a wordpress, joomla, drupal, etc. type site development on a domain generating $1k to $5k per month in a domain specific high priced marketplace forum? Probably Not… Would we allow a well known brand + domain + website clearing over $50k per month in the high priced forum? Maybe… It really depends on the situation, the proof, and probably some verification.

      Even with a “Maybe” though (Which is very rare to be accepted), it’s normally best to keep everything on-topic and in the proper forum categories. However, there is one way to insure your domain or domain + website is seen in the high priced forum, and that’s to invest in an advertising option for that forum. Obviously a paid ad supersedes the rules of that forum (As long as the ad doesn’t violate the TOS).

      Hope that helps answer your question,

      Eric Lyon


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