How much does a dash impact the value of a two-word .COM?

Dashed domains

An interesting question came up this weekend when I was talking to someone about domains – it’s a given that a dash decreases the value of the domain, but by how much? While I personally haven’t invested in domains with dashes in them, I know people who have and still do, and they do just fine, but they all agreed, the price takes a hit when compared to the same domain but without a dash.

I was thinking of putting together a report comparing two-word .COMs where both the dashed and normal form sold but realized this will probably take a while to compile. So instead I thought the next best thing would be to “ask the audience” as they do in “Who wants to be a millionaire” – the results look something like this:

Fun fact, the question above was actually the million dollar question, and it’s pretty clear here the audience likely helped out a lot. The tv show provided four options so I’ll do the same, how much do you think a dash decreases the value of a two-word .COM (compared to the domain without it):

A) It decreases the value by 25%

B) It decreases the value by 50%

C) It decreases the value by 75%

D) It decreases the value by 90% or more

Of course as usual, I don’t think it’s fair to ask all of you a question without me answering it myself so I’ll share my answer. I’d pick option D – I think the dash really hurts the value and you’ll be lucky to get 10% of the non-dashed version. That’s just my two cents and like I said, I don’t even lightly dabble in dashed domains so what the heck do I know!

Now it’s your turn, what do you think?

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Brad Mugford July 19, 2020, 7:11 pm

    I have no problem with .COM with one well placed hyphen. I have sold quite a few.

    However, I would say the value is a small fraction of the non-hyphenated version; in general well under 10%. You might be able to get $X,XXX – low $XX,XXX for a term worth serious 6 figures or more without the hyphen.

    Brad

    Reply
  • AbdulBasit Makrani July 19, 2020, 11:09 pm

    D

    Reply
  • Emeka July 20, 2020, 12:12 am

    D for me .

    Sold 2 this year.Almost $9k after commission on $40 investment.Held one for 3yrs hand reg.Sold for 3k plus Euro.2nd one was held for 3 months and netting $5k plus on afternic after commissio.

    You have to be smart when it comes to hyphens and be ready to hold for long. It takes guts 💪.

    Reply
  • RaTHeaD July 20, 2020, 4:21 am

    😀

    Reply
  • David J Castello July 20, 2020, 11:41 am

    D.
    Yes, you can sell them, but not for much. One of the great exceptions was Key-West.com. Sold for something like 800K, I believe.

    Reply
  • Fred Mercaldo July 20, 2020, 3:37 pm

    This brings up a memory for me. The first business name I ever registered and used was
    Desert-Golf.com. I believe it was 1996, and I started a company called Desert Golf and Vacation Rentals….a property management company and golf vacation company. And the DesertGolf.com name was taken! I built a pretty good brand with that hyphenated name; after building it to 240 properties under management, sold it to a public company called ResortQuest for low 7 figures in early 2000’s….all with a hyphenated name! One of the real problems the hyphen caused was in our ads….we were a big fan of small box ads in the back of Golf Magazine and Golf Digest Magazine….sometimes the domain name ended a sentence line, and the hyphen was used….most likely confusing the reader who would simply type in DesertGolf.com. Ironically, while I own Scottsdale.com, I may have even been able to register Scottsdale.com back then for $20!!!!!!!! Never thought of it! While I believe you all and select “D” as the answer, I thought I’d share a real life story built around a hyphenated domain name. Fred.

    Reply
  • Edward Hartley July 21, 2020, 1:28 am

    I started my successful company buying random non generic 4 letter dot.com’s that didn’t have a english meaning. I bought longer name dot.coms that nobody wanted. I bought all for about $4.87 each. The most expensive domain i bought is XM4.com for $318. Now offers are over $100k. I now sell a non generic 4 letter domain and others for $20k +. My long term vision was never cheap when i buying what others didn’t want. Now my domains are not cheap either. I bought and i waited quietly. So the question now is about domain names with dashes? Does no one look at the trends over the years?

    Reply
  • Edward Hartley July 21, 2020, 1:33 am

    Buy the way my company name is domain-buy-sell.com. See what $4.87 can buy.

    Reply
  • Michael July 21, 2020, 4:37 am

    I think Edward is on to something! Thanks for sharing. I am saying D too. The whole telling people about your site and that they have to hit the hyphen sounds lame! A number would be better.

    Reply
  • Edward Hartley July 21, 2020, 5:19 am

    My website domain-buy-sell.com as 2 dashes. The dashes does not affect my business. By the way just an FYI: If you have a domain name with dashes and someone else own the same domain without the dashes, there is a huge possibility that you can legally obtain the undashed domain without having buy it or trying to buy it.

    Reply

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