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What is a First Name Domain Worth

I originally published this article almost two years ago on DN Media and I thought it was time for an update. I checked for new first name domain sales since the article was first written and discovered 27 additions including Amber.com, Jean.com, Carol.com, and Josephine.com. We all know first name domains are hot sellers, but how much are they really worth?

I took a database of more than 5,000 common first names and compared it against past sales at NameBio to find as many first names as possible and I discovered 134 that I could use.  Some first names had to be thrown out because they clearly sold for another reason, examples include Candy.com, Christian.com, Art.com, and Guy.com.

The most obvious way to appraise a first name domain name is based on its popularity, the reason Michael.com would be worth a lot more than Ignatius.com is that it is more common.  I gathered the US census data for all 134 first name domain sales from this site and included it in the table below.

It is difficult to analyze because every domain is unique, they sold at different points in time under different economic climates, some people got steals and some people overpaid.  If any of you data nerds out there want to dig into it further, contact me and I’ll send you the spreadsheet.

I’m content with saying that the average sale price was $1.34 per person.  If you throw out all the sales where the per-person price was double digits like Jasmin.com, the average drops to $0.80 per person.

If you are spending around $1 per person reported by the census you are probably making a reasonable purchase.  Much more than that and you are likely over-paying, and a lot less than that and you can celebrate your bargain.  Of course this rule of thumb falls apart when you get to the extremes, otherwise Michael.com would be a $4m to $5m domain.

While my analysis leaves a lot to be desired, at the very least I’ve compiled the largest list of first name domain sales ever.

DomainPriceSale DateFrequency
jasmin.com$310,250 2/28/200612,651
alice.com$250,000 11/26/2008564,552
amber.com$180,000 2/8/2015256,084
lela.com$100,001 11/30/201144,279
dora.com$100,000 2/7/2006132,836
jake.com$100,000 7/9/200839,534
kathy.com$65,000 2/27/2008430,135
violet.com$65,000 3/26/2011102,790
britt.com$64,980 6/30/201211,070
pat.com$63,000 5/1/201198,045
katie.com$62,120 5/29/2008178,696
jane.com$60,000 11/5/2012395,345
diego.com$58,830 5/31/200917,395
jean.com$50,000 1/17/2014560,184
susan.com$50,000 6/18/20081,255,614
marguerite.com$45,000 2/28/201589,629
tatyana.com$45,000 4/16/20141,601
claudia.com$35,000 10/28/2008142,324
judy.com$30,000 4/25/2007436,460
adriana.com$29,500 9/9/200739,534
derek.com$29,100 5/6/2008177,114
gary.com$29,000 3/13/20071,031,058
teri.com$28,000 9/20/200752,185
mara.com$28,000 5/31/201214,232
cristina.com$25,890 2/26/200952,185
hugh.com$25,000 8/27/200994,883
john.com$21,500 2/23/20075,191,664
carol.com$20,750 8/27/2014913,900
maisha.com$20,310 2/21/20131,581
irene.com$19,388 12/23/2008398,507
katherine.com$18,150 4/22/2010494,971
pete.com$18,000 12/29/200850,604
angie.com$18,000 4/25/200785,394
emmanuel.com$17,500 11/21/200728,465
camilla.com$16,100 6/30/200912,651
elin.com$16,000 1/18/20111,581
lavon.com$16,000 5/21/20156,402
randy.com$16,000 7/24/2011371,624
bret.com$15,501 11/11/200828,465
bobbie.com$15,000 9/9/2009118,603
tobi.com$15,000 7/30/20111,581
geraldo.com$14,888 4/8/20107,907
lorena.com$12,650 1/17/200745,860
hector.com$12,500 6/26/2008148,650
josephine.com$12,000 3/19/2014283,293
patti.com$12,000 7/2/200845,860
charley.com$12,000 5/7/200814,232
kathryn.com$12,000 2/27/2012370,042
kristin.com$12,000 4/3/2008156,556
silvana.com$11,988 3/24/20153,201
zola.com$11,666 12/28/20066,326
carlo.com$10,403 6/9/201414,405
kristina.com$9,400 1/21/2007102,790
yuki.com$8,850 7/7/20081,581
trish.com$8,655 1/11/20114,744
bess.com$8,000 10/22/201411,204
nicki.com$6,505 4/18/20097,907
lucie.com$5,600 1/26/20156,402
grover.com$5,400 8/13/201125,302
octavia.com$5,384 1/14/201312,651
kera.com$5,201 5/14/20081,581
hyun.com$5,100 3/21/20133,163
meagan.com$5,100 8/28/200823,721
bessie.com$5,045 4/28/2008151,812
rubin.com$5,011 7/7/20139,603
sherron.com$5,000 10/16/20134,802
octavia.com$5,000 12/14/201212,651
kena.com$5,000 1/21/20113,163
marcela.com$5,000 1/10/20119,488
alissa.com$4,988 2/12/201417,606
lise.com$4,300 1/11/20116,326
kandis.com$4,000 9/14/20091,581
dagmar.com$4,000 1/2/20083,163
daniella.com$3,800 9/18/20146,402
maritza.com$3,600 1/26/200725,302
hollie.com$3,501 1/2/200714,232
maddie.com$3,427 6/7/20141,601
tosha.com$3,322 8/17/20138,003
torrie.com$3,256 3/12/20151,601
tisha.com$3,100 10/21/201314,405
isabell.com$3,100 7/7/20129,488
illa.com$3,013 6/25/20131,581
izola.com$3,000 1/10/20111,581
nickolas.com$3,000 4/15/201315,814
alysha.com$2,700 1/25/20073,163
nellie.com$2,633 7/4/2006140,743
kylee.com$2,600 2/18/20134,744
valda.com$2,511 9/10/20143,201
coleen.com$2,510 3/1/201314,232
emeline.com$2,500 7/16/20141,601
fatimah.com$2,500 3/11/20131,581
magan.com$2,500 11/18/20123,163
isaura.com$2,500 4/1/20113,163
elda.com$2,400 11/7/200812,651
devona.com$2,388 9/16/20133,201
rosalyn.com$2,325 9/27/201422,407
cari.com$2,300 6/11/201111,070
julissa.com$2,174 10/14/20134,802
ellena.com$2,150 1/28/20131,581
elizebeth.com$2,050 3/16/20096,326
suzan.com$2,000 11/3/20139,603
allena.com$1,700 2/10/20151,601
stefany.com$1,610 3/24/20081,581
marya.com$1,601 1/14/20093,163
shayne.com$1,544 5/4/20137,907
waylon.com$1,525 5/27/20136,326
wendolyn.com$1,500 3/18/20131,581
benita.com$1,494 1/30/201120,558
tegan.com$1,450 7/13/20121,581
shaina.com$1,445 12/9/20136,402
joanie.com$1,400 1/27/20116,326
annett.com$1,346 10/11/20143,201
zofia.com$1,218 1/4/20123,163
leandra.com$1,200 12/29/20044,744
marcelino.com$1,150 5/1/201414,405
regenia.com$1,130 3/9/20113,163
korey.com$1,100 8/17/20116,326
ellan.com$1,058 7/16/20111,581
beckie.com$1,021 9/15/20123,163
marcella.com$1,000 5/17/201158,511
suzan.com$9506/8/20139,488
quintin.com$9118/18/20087,907
jeneva.com$8975/26/20131,581
imogene.com$8113/12/201430,410
dorie.com$76412/7/20123,163
dione.com$7391/25/20113,163
rebecka.com$6626/11/20081,581
candra.com$6611/7/20141,601
lucrecia.com$6288/19/20123,163
tomasa.com$5888/18/20129,488
shante.com$5805/17/20086,326
altagracia.com$5356/28/20126,326
nettie.com$5102/10/200942,697
lonna.com$5003/21/20073,163
Michael Sumner is the CTO of NameBio.com, and is the lead developer at State Ventures which owns and operates geo domains such as OceanCity.com and Maryland.com. Michael is also the co-founder of DN Media, a company that has been involved in seven figures worth of domain name transactions.

18 thoughts on “What is a First Name Domain Worth

  • By Andrew - Reply

    What do you think Casilyn.com would be worth?

    • By Michael Sumner - Reply

      Not very much, it’s a pretty uncommon name in the US. Census is showing fewer than 1,600 people with that name, and White Pages is showing only 12 people. Maybe a few hundred dollars unless it is more common in other countries and just not in the US.

  • By Andrew Hyde - Reply

    Thanks, didn’t figure it being much, but had to be better than the reg fee so I picked it up a few weeks ago.

  • By Mark Williams - Reply

    SO cute article……….lol
    I wish I would had Mark.com but that’s so sad that its running a site. Anyways first name are really hot sellers

  • By Francois - Reply

    In a future article, it will be great to know for each domain if it:
    – not resolve
    – parked
    – for sale page
    – developped
    This way we know if it was potentially an end-user or domainer purchase and if there is a serious possibility to buy the domain again.

    We will wait you get sponsors in your blog so they pay your time!

  • By Jagan - Reply

    Good to know information as I keep purchasing first name domains. Thank you.

  • By Josh - Reply

    Nice article, as far as first names go I have sold quite a few and still have a killer name for sale.

    For example I have sold…

    Jacob.com
    Derek.com
    Doug.com
    Marilyn.com
    Gregory.com
    Johns.com
    Laura.com
    Leah.com
    Jeremiah.com

    And many more premium names which I cannot disclose, you will also notice 90%+ of my trades are not reported or you would have found them. Currently I have another super premium name for sale Ariana.com, hugely popular and has a high bid of $90k USD at the moment. Link below! I found large corporations love first names as well and a lot of interest is from them.

    http://www.dnforum.com/threads/ariana-com-premium-popular-and-aged-first-name-domain.535330/#post-2231810

  • By Adam Strong - Reply

    Some first names really would throw off the metrics. Like Bill.com

    First name nickname variations add more to the mix :
    Which is worth more ? Michael.com, Mike.com or maybe Mikey.com
    Susanne.com , Susan.com , Suzie.com, or maybe Sue.com
    Robert.com, Bobby.com , Rob.com , Bob.com ?

  • By Josh - Reply

    I agree Adam, good points.

    Honestly I have found personally it is all subjective to a degree. One thing for certain is the most valuable names are generally popular one’s. End user trades trump this generalization though and at the end of the day a good investment should be to obtain the most popular available. Short, long, no difference as long as popular!

    May I add I know of several other names that sold for big 6 to 7 figures not reported. My own name dot com would not take $100K short or long.

    End of day beauty is in the eye of the beholder when deciding long or short to be honest. I have found a few cases like Bob vs. Robert,where Bob checks off more positive boxes than Robert to a domainer but again if buyer is end user it does not matter.

  • By Pat - Reply

    Here’s another to add to the list: Packy.com. I recently purchased this at NJ auction. Without looking it up, what do you think it is worth?

  • By Faheem - Reply

    Hi,

    How to check the popularity and frequency of any name? Kindly share any sites which can help to measure the name if it should be bought or not?

  • By Julian - Reply

    Good info. How about the last name analysis?

  • By Josh - Reply

    @Faheem, I was simply using country census data and baby name sites that show years past to present, rank, trending names etc.

    @Julian, last names can be as good as first names when in fact they are literally the same ;) I do know of good 4-5+ figure trades for surnames but those were end user deals. Your typical last name that is not wildly popular nor the same as a first name is not a good investment imo. For example how well do you think I would do offering Yacyshyn.com for sale…odds are not well :)

  • By George - Reply

    How does first names differ from last names when it comes to value? Roughly the same?

    • By Julian - Reply

      Hi George. That’s actually the same concern I had (in my previous comment).

      It would be great to have a Jasmin.com domain name or Alice.com – Jasmin name is used by 12k in US, but making an analogy with last names, and accordingly to this page, the most popular last name in US would be Smith, followed by Johnson, Williams and Brown. From the email address point of view, I’d guess that it is better to own a popular last name vs. first name as it allows you to put @.com in your business card, but for online presence and brand awareness maybe the first name takes precedence? Hmm. Will be great to hear more opinions on last names vs. first names when it comes to domain value.

      Julian M.
      – InternetDN

  • By Josh - Reply

    @Julian/George, I think you guys are over thinking it and I already answered the question basically the last time.

    Very very simple, if a last name is the same as a first name or as mention extremely popular, such as Smith/Johnson etc it is in my opinion NOT worth investing in to be honest or I should say more than reg fee to $XXX.

    I see no where and have never heard of a six figure last name purchase UNLESS it is identical to a first name, is a large end user purchase as it may be a business name (example law firm) etc.

    A way to get the ball rolling would be to open a phone book, use google and find the mosts popular last names that are not also first names. If they can be bought at reg fee to $XXX the potential exists to contact all those lasted named people and offer it for $XXXX. Getting 5 figures would be highly unlikely.

    I am not sure what more I can say, in 12-13 years of buying and selling first names I have NEVER seen a success run of the mill last name marketed with much success. I do know a couple domainers who paid 5 figures for their last name but again, end user buys imo and or they also had another meaning. Hope this helps you understand a bit more.

  • By Josh - Reply

    Oops what I ment ot say was ….

    Very very simple, if a last name is NOT the same as a first name or as mentioned extremely popular, such as Smith/Johnson etc it is in my opinion NOT worth investing in to be honest or I should say more than reg fee to $XXX.

  • By Ed - Reply

    Michael – I failed way back to register my dysfunctional first name…
    ED

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