How do you know what a domain name is actually worth? If you want to buy it, how do you know whether you’re paying too much for it? Tonight just for grins and giggles, I decided to see who owned Aldebaran.com – it redirected to another website, which meant to me that it wasn’t being used – so I figured I’d contact the owner and see if they wanted to sell it.
You can find out who owns a domain by using a domain name lookup tool. I looked up Aldebaran.com and emailed the owner who was listed. I simply asked if he was interested in selling the domain.
To my utter astonishment, he said he’d sell it for $50,000, that’s fifty-thousand dollars! Or he’d generously lease it to me for $400/month. I don’t know what the point of leasing a domain name would be – what a search engine optimization nightmare. But let’s get back to his price tag of $50,000: How do you know what a domain name is worth?
There are many free domain name appraisal tools out there on the web. One such tool is SwiftAppraisal.com. It said Aldebaran.com was worth under $100. It’s interesting to use one of these free tools to see what questions they ask to determine the worth. Things like number of words (fewer is better), whether the domain name is associated with the business/product, whether it was easy to spell/remember. Aldebaran.com failed all of these tests. So why would this fellow ask $50,000 for a worthless domain?
What is “Aldebaran” anyway? It’s a star; the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus. It has nothing to do with web design, or any other business for that matter. You can’t sell a star. ðŸ™‚
Needless to say, I turned down this ridiculous offer.
But what if I had somehow trademarked “Aldebaran”. Then I would call a trademark attorney and see if this guy was guilty of cybersquatting. I don’t know if I trademarked “Aldebaran Web Design” if that would be good enough, but it’s something to keep in mind.
In general, to avoid all of these headaches – I advise my clients, whenever possible, to get domain names directly from registrars that are available. You can use domain name checking tools to see if a particular domain name is available. If it’s available, it’s only $10 per year. What a bargin!Jill
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.