Have You Given a Domain Name as a Gift?

There have been quite a few times I have bought domain names on behalf of friends or for friends and family. Most of the time, these domain names were hand registrations for people who recently had babies or for friends who started businesses.

The 101Domain blog has an article about giving domain names as gifts. For several of the gift giving occasions they cited, they recommended a new gTLD domain name. I think this could be a good option, especially when the desired .com is already taken and the new gTLD domain name can be bought inexpensively.

I am curious if you have ever bought a domain name for someone as a gift. Vote in the poll below and let us know if you bought a .com or one of the new domain names (or something else).

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. I have given domains that I have paid up to $1000 away as gifts.

    The people NEVER understand the value of domains that I could sell it to someone else for a few thousand …

    So I have stopped that gift, and just give a gift certificate. They are MUCH more impressed by a $100 gift card than a $500 domain :).

    I am not going to pay $10 for FRIENDDomain.link and give it away.

    It has to have value…if it doesn’t have real value, why give it away..it isn’t a gift then. IMHO.

  2. I give domain names as gift to people I don’t know in domain forums. In the past and just last week I gave one out a .net

    The names I am giving away now is the ones I first registered when I returned to domaining 3 months ago. I want to stick with only .com, .net… I’m clearing up my very small portfolio right now.

  3. Yes I have. I agree with the first comment, both points. Domains in general are not good gifts unless you are getting for domainer or a business person that has already expressed interest in a certain name. Most non domainers receiving this gift will think you are just trying to push a service or something. Buying someone a new G as a gift? Even a worse idea, imho, and I’m surprised you would suggest it.

  4. 98%+ of the domains that people register aren’t assets – they are liabilities that people need to pay annual renewal fees. In the rare case where you give a name that has value to someone, will they recognize the value or will they be angry at you having to pay a $10- $?? renewal fee a year down the road?

    Giving a domain as a gift is not a good idea.

  5. I’ve given domains as gifts to domainers because my peers, at least, have some appreciation of what they’re getting.

    In the past, I attempted to give domains away free to non-profits whose work I admire or to companies I ran across. But they generally didn’t reply; or, when they did respond, it was with a curt refusal or deer-in-the-headlights confusion. Only rarely has an NGO or a company ever accepted a free domain from me or followed free advice.

    Now, when dealing with companies, nonprofits, and “poor college students”, I always charge them. People don’t value what they don’t work for. Also, unless there’s some place-holder expense in their accounting, they’re likely to forget about the domain altogether and drop it later on.

  6. I’ve stopped giving away domains after doing so a couple dozen times.

    It’s unreasonable to expect other people to be as excited about domains as I am. Few people understand them. Even fewer value them. It’s just a hassle for them. Most allow the domains to expire. Nobody in my immediate friends/family circles even seems to understand the value of relevant high-traffic generic domains pointed to their project websites.

    Some friends who are professional developers or system administrators don’t understand how domain registrations and renewals work, or what makes a domain valuable. Yet they’re totally comfortable registering four-word domains or some other piece of garbage when it suits them.

    Domains simply aren’t tangible enough to be considered valuable by most people. A gift certificate or simply a holiday card would usually be a better idea.

    One gift was a FirstNameLastName.com for a newly minted psychologist who used it to set up a professional website. She couldn’t understand the 60-day transfer lock for new domains. The domain suddenly became a trust-busting obsession for her. As soon as the transfer cleared, our friendship ended. This has not been a unique experience.

    For a couple family members, their FirstNameLastName.com/net domains have been held until they did something that needed publicity. Then I simply redirect the domains to whatever webpage best pertains to that project, along with some firehose domains that may provide relevant traffic.

    The lesson here is that if the people closest to you don’t understand or appreciate high-quality domains or relevant traffic, then it’s unreasonable to expect most people in the private sector to have any better grasp.

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