You own a domain name you’re not using and someone asks if they can buy it from you. How can you figure out what it’s worth?
It’s not a simple as appraising a home; it’s very difficult to find comparable sales and attach a price to a domain. Every domain name is unique and it’s hard to compare one to another.
In fact, if you ask five so-called domain experts how much a domain is worth, you’ll probably get five different answers.
But you can get a decent idea of your domain’s value by taking a look at some of the factors that go into valuing a domain name.
How many other extensions are taken – if you own the .com of a domain and the .net and .org are also registered, that’s a good sign that the domain you’ve chosen is in demand. It means the term you chose for your domain (the second level domain) is popular enough that people are willing to register it in extensions that aren’t as popular as .com.
If similar domains are taken – In addition to if other extensions of the domain are taken, also see if similar domains are taken. For example, let’s say you own the domain PickleballHome.com. Pickleball, which is sort of a cross between tennis and ping pong, isn’t a very popular sport and there are lots of Pickleball-related domains are available to register. Instead of buying your domain, someone can register PickleballHouse.com, PickleballWeb.com or PickleballPages.com for their website. This makes your domain worth less. Compare this to BaseballHome.com, which is for a much more popular sport. Most of the good alternatives to BaseballHome.com are already registered, so the domain is probably worth more.
Domain age – Since most of the best domain names were registered a long time ago, the amount of time a domain has been registered can be an indication of value. This doesn’t mean that every domain registered in 1995 is more valuable than ones registered in 2010, but it can give you a general idea. You can see how old a domain name is by locating the “creation date” for the domain in WHOIS.
Search results volume for the term – It’s a good sign if there are lots of results for the search term matching your domain in Google. If you search for pickleball on Google, you’ll get about 500,000 results. Search for baseball and you’ll get over 400,000,000! Clearly, baseball is a more popular topic. The more people who have created web pages related to a topic, the more demand you can expect for your domain name.
Monthly searches for the domain – Pages indexed in Google are one thing. But the amount of searches per month for the term can be an even more important measure of demand. You can get an estimate of the number of searches for a keyword by typing it in at SEMRush.com.
Advertising competition – If a lot of companies are buying ads on Google for the term of your domain name, it’s probably worth more money. SEMRush also estimates the prices people are paying Google when someone clicks an ad for the search term.
Comparable sales – Although finding comparable sales (“comps”) is hard, there are a couple of sites to check. NameBio.com and DNPric.es offer a searchable catalog of past domain sales. Only a small percentage of domain sales prices are made public, but you’ll find over a billion dollars worth of sales on these sites. If you’re selling a two word domain name with baseball in it, it’s helpful to know what similar domains have sold for: BaseballGear.com $7,600, BaseballCap.com $4,601, UltimateBaseball.com $3,500 and BaseballMag.com $1,025.
No one data point will tell you how much a domain name is worth. But considering these factors can help you determine a relative value for your domain.