Let me guess… you need an exact .COM for your new brand name? And it has to be 3-4 letters, super easy to say, undeniably memorable and impossible to misspell? Plus you only want .COMs immediately available from a registrar for as little as $.01, right? 

Okay, you realize this is ridiculous because you know a little something about naming. You are reading this blog after all! But over the years, we’ve found a lot of savvy founders along with brand and marketing folks don’t fully understand what they are getting into when it comes to the world of domains, in particular appealing, exact .coms. 

We did some digging, and here are a few stats and insights worth knowing:

The Current Situation

Today there are more than 370 million domain name registrations in the world. In Q2 2021 alone, there were 157 million .com domains registered. 

While some domain flippers make hundreds of thousands of dollars with just one domain, most average $100-$1,000 profit. Some even lose money.

Which criteria factor into how aftermarket domains are priced? 

  • Length of name/URL 
  • # of words
  • Life of the domain registration
  • Spelling ease
  • Common vs. cryptic word
  • .COM or another top level domain 

But What About Those Unicorns? 

If you survey newly minted unicorns, you’ll see many have the exact .com. But before they were unicorns, many of these brands invested heavily in their domains on the journey to topping $1b status. 

They didn't launch with a pure .COM upon inception, but they acquired the domain after a significant round of funding. 

For example:

So How Much Does This Cost?

Truth be told, every domain acquisition is unique. While there are some trends and general guidance, it all boils down to what the seller is willing to accept, and what the buyer is willing to pay. Much of this goes unreported, but based on some quick research, we were able to uncover the prices (or suspected prices) of a handful of prominent brands that made the leap from their original URL to an exact .COM. 

Worth reiterating: Not all acquisitions reach five, six or seven figures. Just know that they can reach sky-high heights, depending on the domain. 

What are the Takeaways?

The world of domains is vast, wild and sometimes unsavory. While Tanj doesn’t broker domains for clients, we can help advise during the creative process, and we have partners who are extremely experience in acquiring domains. 

Based on the unique needs of your brand, and the resources you’re willing to wield, we can help you navigate this always-challenging landscape to land the exact .COM your business requires. 

Here are a few recent brand names we created that led to exact .COM acquisitions. 

  • Array.com
  • Ally.com
  • Wii.com
  • Veem.com
  • Fullsteam.com
  • Cerity.com
  • Treewalk.com
  • Waybridge.com
  • NameStudio.com

To talk more about domains in the context of your next brand name, say hello.

Scott Milano is the founder & managing director at Tanj.