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Marcus Glaad — 28/01/19

New year, new possibilities… And a new edition of NamesCon Global in Las Vegas

Just like every year when we visit the worlds greatest domain name conference, networking is key for us. To be able to quickly get in touch with domain investors, as well as the personal relationship with the large second-hand market places, adds great value for us at Dotkeeper.

But above all for our customers, who, when they need to get hold of an already taken domain name, need fast answers if the name is possible or not to acquire. This gives us an opportunity to keep a high pace in getting an overview of which name options that are available – and at what price.

Likewise, the more educational part, to acquire an understanding of where the market is going, what is new and what will be developed. Here we look to gain a good understanding of the area in order to be able to advise and motivate recommendations to our customers when it comes to issues within domain acquisitions, business development and “rebranding”.

Apart from that, of course, everything is bigger and grander over here, so one is struck by how incredibly extensive this industry (the secondary market of domain names) has come to be.

Getting to own your word and your name on internet interests me a lot. Name choice of your business, product and service, as well as the opportunity to get out on the market with that name as a separate domain name, led to companies worldwide spent over $ 1 billion. This is according to a forecast from VeriSign last year.

Companies around the world acquire their “words” at a fast pace. A few examples of words that have found new owners with companies in 2018:

Arrive, Beyond, Brew, Bungalow, Cabbage, Carrot, Christian, Close, Copper, Crypto, Do, Doc, Duck, Fallout, Gram, Groups, Hex, Ice, Indigo, Insider, Investigator, Invision, Island, Jump, Latitude, Ledger, Liquid, Lively, Mastermind, Note, Omen, Onyx, Packet, Pitch, Presto, Prime, Purple, Rain, React, Rock, Safer, Sandbox, Secure, Sierra, Signet, Slade, Spaceship, Super, Supernatural, Trailblazer, Triangle, Tube, Turbo, User, Valley, View, Visible, Visor, Wing, Workplace and Zoom.

A fascinating industry where an abstract combination of letters can cost several hundred thousand … dollars!

“What is my domain name worth?” is one of the most common questions I get, and I have previously written that the somewhat boring answer is often “How long a is a piece of string?”

It all depends on who the potential buyer is but also how much the domain name is worth for the person who wants to buy the name, the word, the letter combination.

“What is my domain name worth?” is usually a rewrite for “How can I price my domain?”. We can get the value first when we have a domain name, a potential buyer and a seller who is willing to sell their domain name.

“Does it mean that we are always anonymous when you contact domain investors / holders to purchase an already taken domain?”

No, quite rarely actually. Each negotiation is unique and the three components; buyers, sellers, domain names, give different variables and value each time. That’s also why it is never possible to say easily and accurately what a domain name is worth. It takes a couple of hours of preliminary work to create an initial good assessment of the value.

This is also one of the major reasons why automated valuation tools should not be considered as particularly credible sources. They should possibly be used for the purpose of trying to keep the price down if one intends to buy a domain.

As the buyer of a domain name, the most important question is to ask; “What could this name be worth to our company?”

We have previously published stories about famous domain purchases such as Uber.com and Great.com, and these are of course extremes that do not happen every day, but they are in no way unusual. Most large purchases are happening quietly.

One of the past year’s great talk in this industry was when Elon Musk tweeted and told us that he spent over 10 years and $ 11’000’000 to finally get hold of Tesla.com. At first glance, it’s of course crazy to spend so much money on a domain name. It’s not that Elon can’t sell his cars via teslacars.com which he also owns, but as an owner of a large global brand, Elon Musk apparently considered that tesla.com was worth $ 11’000’000.

Money can of course always be put into perspective on this type of comparisons and you can also ask yourself how much Elon has spent on his space rockets at this time? Being able to own these five letters as a domain name was obviously worth an incredible amount of money for him.

Domain names are one of the most important parts of the Internet and the value of a good domain name for a brand cannot be underestimated. This doesn’t mean that you must buy the name you are after, but it’s good to decide whether you want it or not and act accordingly. We see a continued increased trend in that companies do buy “their” names and keywords.

Supply and demand also control this industry, and with fewer available domain names the price rises. Once the domain names have ended up with “the end user” it is, for obvious reasons, a lot more difficult to get hold of a desired domain name.

All this is of course even more obvious when you collect a few thousand professionals at the same place and top it off with a large auction of these digital assets. It will be a real and important reminder of the great interest in good domain names.