No one gets into domain investing wanting to make a tiny profit. Domain investing can be very lucrative but it takes a lot of knowledge, skill, and smart use of data to hone in your strategy for investing in the brandable domains that future startups will want – and be willing to pay for.
Data analysis is important and 2017 brought plenty to look at from the top 100 brandable domain name sales.
Here’s what we will cover in this analysis:
- Raw data of top brandable domains
- Major insights from analysis
- Takeaways for domain investors
Let’s get into it!
Raw Data of Brandable Domain Sales
4 Major Insights From Top Domain Sales
The data from analyzing all the domain sales to venture-backed startups gives a wealth of excellent actionable information, but narrowing it down to the top 100 sales reveals some unexpected trends.
This information can be used to further hone an investor’s domain-hunting strategy to find the names most likely to produce a large pay-off.
Our approach was as follows. We obtained the top sales data from the Namebio database. We then analyzed the data in Microsoft Excel to extract insights.
Let’s get to it!
1. Marketplace with Highest Sales Numbers ($)
When looking at the top 100 sales by revenue two clear marketplaces emerge. Uniregistry was the preferred marketplace by far with an estimated $1.6 million in sales just from their share of the top 100 domains.
Sedo once again comes in second with an estimated $800K in sales from the top 100. NameJet and DomainMarket fight closely for third place with GoDaddy and DropCatch behind them.
Worth noting is that the number of marketplaces involved in a top 100 domain sale fell from 13 in 2016 to only 9 in 2017.
2. Marketplace with Most Volume of Sales
The marketplace numbers based on the volume of sales are generally what we would expect based on the revenue numbers from the top 100.
Uniregistry accounts for nearly half of all sales with 47 of 100 domains sold. Sedo is next with 26 of the top 100 sales. NameJet was third with 7, which is up two from 2016.
The biggest mover was DomainMarket with 6 domains sold, up from the 2 they had last year. One year of data doesn’t make a trend, but this is worth keeping an eye on if the numbers keep moving up.
3. Number of Words in Top Branded Domains
Data on total domains sold show that one-word domains are always the most popular and it’s never close. However, once again when it comes to the sales numbers of the top 100 2-word domains punch above their weight class.
In 2016 two-word domain names beat out one-word domain names in the top one hundred list. In 2017 the two were tied with 49 each, and three-word domains filled out the final two.
Considering that most years one-word domains make up 53-58% or more of the total domains bought by VC-backed startups, and two-word domains generally cap out at 35% of the total bought, the case for spending enough time searching for brandable two-word domains gets stronger.
Good ones might be harder to find or sell, but they have a better chance percentage-wise of selling for a top 100 price.
4. How Many Characters in Top Domains?
The 2017 data shows some interesting trends when it comes to characters in top-selling domains. This year 4-character domains were the winners with 20 of the 100 top domain names coming in at 4 characters.
This is especially worth noting because they were the second most popular in 2016. This brings strong supporting evidence to the idea that while good four-character domains are hard to find, they are much more likely to sell at a very high price point.
9-character domains came in second place with 16 website sales. It’s also worth noting that again in line with 2016 data, domain names in the traditional “sweet spot” of 6-10 characters all did pretty well.
The same is true of shorter domains as 5-character domains held their own once again. Shorter domain names continue to provide massive opportunities to domain investors looking to sell to startups.
Final Takeaways for Domain Investors
The 2017 data helps to paint a more detailed picture of what types of domain names are most likely to be gems and how to get the most out of them.
- Uniregistry is still the top place to sell domains with Sedo coming in second once again.
- Good two-word domains sell extremely well, hitting the top 100 at a higher percentage than one-word domains.
- 4-character domain names dominated this year followed by 9-character domain names
Combining this information and analysis with the information from total domain name sales to startups can provide a detailed map for investors looking to increase their chances for big sales.