What’s in a TLD? A lot when it comes to resale value

Tonight I was browsing through Twitter when I saw an interesting tweet from Logan Flatt. It covers a topic I’ve written about before on my blog and that we’ve all thought about and talked about for years, how pricing varies based on TLD. In Logan’s tweet he shared a great example, see below:

Domain sales by TLD

While yes, this is just one example it shows a general trend that we all know is true – .COM sells for the most and another TLD will sell for some multiple of the corresponding .COM.

Of course you can’t do the calculations based on this one example and yes, every name is different, but one thing I have seen more and more of lately is extensions like .IO going head-to-head with .NET. The point is, if you say one year that a specific TLD sells for one-tenth of what the corresponding .COM sells for, the following year that could get cut to a fifth or fall to one twentieth.

While in this example the .ORG sold for more than the .IO, I’m seeing more and more .IO’s sell for a lot more than their .ORG counterparts. But once again, they all sell for less than the .COM.

Typically when I’m buying a .IO name I look at what the .COM sold for divide by ten and use that as my general guide of what the .IO could sell for. Lately I’ve been thinking of maybe dividing by seven or eight as the market for .IO has continued to heat up.

I’ve been wondering if anyone out there is keeping track of how other extensions fluctuate compared to .COM. Do you know of anything? When you buy a non .COM how do determine what the fair market value would be if you know what the matching .COM sold for?

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Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Bold Metrics, a startup building technologies that make it easy for online shoppers to buy clothes that fit and arming retailers with more data than ever before.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Omar September 3, 2020, 10:07 am

    I think your post outlines some good points for making profitable investments. So for instance if you research the value of .io and conclude that on average, generic one word .io domains are selling for 10% of the value of the .com and you see a generic one word .io selling for 5% of the .com then it’s a potentially profitable investment. This can also work for asset classes like 3Ls.

  • John September 3, 2020, 10:42 am

    Where is he getting that? Mortgage.com is worth far more than $1.8m, and I’m pretty sure I read it sold for $8m or so already around the time I first got into domains in 2001. Or if he’s just trying to be illustrative with arbitrary figures he’s doing a disservice with that.

    • Logan September 3, 2020, 4:35 pm

      John, please use NameBio.com to confirm the data I posted.


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