When comparing domains with the same number of words, think of the likely audience and the commercial applicability of the domain name. Example:
Cars.com is a very obviously commercial one-word domain name. Semantics.com, while having some value, doesn't have a very clearly defined audience or potential use, and is much less commercial. Cars.com might ultimately be worth more than a thousand times the value of Semantics.com, yet they're both one-word domain names.
Just because a domain name is in the dictionary, it doesn't automatically make it valuable! It's a frequent myth on many domain name discussion and auction sites that any one-word domain name must be worth thousands - WRONG!
If the domain name has no COMMERCIAL value, it generally has little or no value, period.
Example: "Gerontocracy" is in the dictionary, but you're not going to get rich off Gerontocracy.com
Armed with the answers to the above questions, you can at least get some idea of the value of your domain name.
At one end of the scale, if you receive frequent unsolicited offers to purchase your correctly-spelled one-word commercially valuable .com domain, then you may be sitting on a real winner.
FAR off to the other end of the value scale (at the $0 point), if your domain name has 4 words in it, one of which is misspelled, you're out of luck.
You may be feeling frustrated at this point with the whole concept of trying to establish a value for your domain name... It's worth persevering, since without even a ballpark idea of value, you're going to find it much harder to locate a buyer for the name and close a deal. And if, after taking a long, hard, as-objective-as-possible look at your domain name, you come to realize that it's not worth anything, then either:
Develop a website using the domain name (this adds value to it)
Sigh, make a mental note that the domain name is not worth RENEWING (!) and move on to considering other domain names.
Selling your Domain Name Yourself
Going it alone...
There are three different ways to market a domain name yourself, depending on the effort you are willing to expend and how quickly you would like to sell the domain name. You can choose to do nothing, set up a basic web page, or create an active site.
The simplest way to market the domain name requires no extra effort after the domain name is bought. Just do nothing, and wait for a potential buyer to look up your domain name, see that it is already taken, and send you an offer to purchase it from you. As you can no doubt guess, the chances of success from such a passive method are fairly slim, unless you have somehow managed to reserve a truly fantastic name that everyone else missed.
Set up a basic Web page
The next step up is to create a very simple page connected to that domain, with a short message such as "The following domain names are for sale. Please contact <email@example.com> for more details." followed by a list of the domain names for sale. The benefits of this sales method is that it requires very little time and effort, yet it allows potential buyers to at least visit your site on the web, even if there is nothing there.
Call HitNet.com for help if you need help.
You will need to link your web page to your domain name. This is beyond the scope of this introductory document. Please consult with HitNet for more details.
Create an active site
If you are prepared to devote a great deal of time and effort to marketing the domain name, there is only one possible line of attack: create a fully-fledged web site, attract visitors to the site and place a notice prominently somewhere on the site to indicate that the domain name is for sale. The decision to create an active site should not be made lightly; in order to attract sizeable numbers of visitors and increase the chances of selling your domain name, the site should provide interesting, useful information.
The benefits of an active site are two-fold. Firstly, a site which attracts many visitors will have a greatly increased chance of catching a buyer's eye in the fickle world of cyberspace. Secondly, if the site is popular enough, it could be put on the market as a going concern: the buyer purchases not only the rights to the domain name, but also the information [and readership] of the site. This is similar to the goodwill factor for shops: purchasing a successful bakery will cost more than purchasing a vacant shop and turning it into a bakery, as the daily flow of customers has been factored into the sales price. Equally, a successful, popular web page is worth more than an empty site.
Selling your Domain Name with a Broker
Sit back, relax, pay a commission...
A number of different companies provide services selling domain names. As the market for domain names is still very young, it is difficult to rank the services offered by these companies in an absolute way. Instead, why not follow this four-step plan to help you select which company to use.
Visit the various brokers; explore their sites thoroughly to get a feel for layout and mode of operation.
Send an exploratory e-mail to the contact address on each site. Explain your interest in selling your domain names, and ask any relevant questions. Check how long it takes for a representative to contact you, and how appropriate their reply is to your requirements.
Choose a site after reviewing the information acquired through steps 1 and 2. You may decide that none of the companies fit your exact requirements. In this case, you will want to return to the "Going it Alone" section to plan the next move in your campaign to market and sell your domain name.
Appraised domain names
base the value on the following factors:
How profitable is it?
How large is the market it is targeting?
Does it apply to the entire market?
A domain such as dryflowers.com is without a doubt worth less than vacation.com. The reason is that dried-flowers market is less profitable. Vintagecars.com is worth less than cars.com since it applies to a minor portion of the industry.
Can it describe its content?
Can it be associated with a product, a service, a brand etc?
Bookshop.com or Musicstore.com have a great development potential since they're perfectly clear.
How memorable is it?
Will people easily remember it?
Will people easily recognize it?
A domain name should be easy to remember and easy to recognize. The easier to remember, the higher its price will be. Moreover a good domain name is hard to misspell.
Escrow.com, News.com, are easy to remember and hard to misspell.
cyberwebdiscountcoupons.com is difficult to remember and retains a good amount of value.
How popular is the domain name?
The more popular it is, the better it is ranked on major search engines.
Top Level Domain (aka extension)
What is its TLD?
e.g. com, net, org, ws, etc.
Dot Com names are the gold standard on the Internet.
carwash.net is worth less than carwash.com
Length (Please don't count the TLD)
How long is it? Is it easy to type?
When it comes to domain names, shorter is better.
carwash.com (7 characters) is worth less than car.com (3 characters)
fastsearchengine.com (16 characters) is worth less than searchengine.com (12 chars) etc.
How many words it contains?
The most valuable domain names consist of few words. Two/three words are good, and four words are about the limit.
carwash.com (2 words) is worth less than car.com (1 word).
veryfastsearchengine.com (4 words) is worth less than searchengine.com (2 words) etc.
[Each abbreviation, acronym, prefix or suffix is also considered one word.
e.g. eshop.com = 2 words]
Is it hyphenated?
Hyphenated names usually don't sell as well. It's very useful to register a name with hyphens in, if you own the non-hyphenated version.
car-prices.com is worth less than carprices.com
compare-car-prices.com isn't worth much.
Does it contain numbers?
top10.com is worth less than topten.com etc.
Does it contain substitutions?
i.e. "2" instead of "to", "k" instead of "c",
"4" instead of "for", "ez" instead of "easy" etc.
2morrow.com is worth less than tomorrow.com
ezshop.com is worth less than easyshop.com etc.
Does it contain abbreviations?
wallst.com is worth less than wallstreet.com
Last but not least: Be aware that trademark conflicts reduce the value of a domain name dramatically.
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