Slate: "Internet Has Run Out of Four-Letter Dot-Com Names"

Slate: “Internet Has Run Out of Four-Letter Dot-Com Names”

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Slate Magazine has an interesting article today covering the report that all four letter .com domain names are now registered. The article was written in response to research performed by WhoAPI. The research only covers four letter .com domain names and not domain names with hyphens or numbers in them.

If you are thinking that this sounds familiar, you wouldn’t be mistaken. On DNForum in late October and early November of 2007, people were discussing that nearly all 4 letter .com domain names were registered, and later on in the thread, it was reported that there were no longer any available to hand register.

As I recall, news of all four letter .com domain names being registered created what I would call a bubble in the valuation of them. Even combinations of bad letters that made no sense were selling for much more than the registration fee. Unfortunately for many buyers of these domain names who bought because of the hype, the values dropped significantly.

Assuming this news is accurate (I can’t verify that close to 500,000 domain names are all registered), I hope people are mindful that there are plenty of bad 4 letter .com combinations that aren’t really worth anything. Just because this type of domain name is all registered doesn’t mean that all of these domain names have value. Of course, many do have value, but not all.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (48)

    Jason Thompson

    Nice find Elliot.

    “Of course, many do have value, but not all.”

    Well put, I ended up dropping a couple of them recently because of this notion.

    December 4th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Samit

    The buyout of llll.com was complete in 2007 and hasn’t really changed since.

    The occasional drop is picked up by drop services, you can’t hand reg one.

    As for ‘bad’ llll.com, there isn’t such a thing, permutations you find bad might make for a perfect acronym somewhere in the world.

    December 4th, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      RK

      Well said Samit!

      This is so true but not many people {even some bloggers :) – pun intended} know it.

      In reply to Samit | December 4th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Written like someone who has LLLL .com domain names they want to sell.

      In reply to RK | December 4th, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Peter

    Same with NNN.me nothing available and doesn’t seem to be worth 5 bucks

    December 4th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Ms Domainer

    *

    In 2011, someone allowed a boatload — thousands — of GoDaddy LLLL coms to expire.

    Many investors were able to pick up pronounceable LLLL’s at BIN prices to XXX.

    I nabbed a few, including some beginning with “W” and “K” (beginning of U.S. radio/TV call letters)

    Occasionally, a BIN LLLL will still pop up, but it is usually snapped up immediately and isn’t all that good.

    At the time, the doomsayers were predicting that the LLLL market had collapsed, but that hasn’t proved to be the case.

    *

    December 4th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Elliot Silver

      How many LLLL.com names have you sold profitably? Do you receive many offers for them?

      Not trying to come across rudely, but I own several and never received any interest or offers.

      December 4th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Acro

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    As I said in that thread 6+ years ago, the tasting of LLLL .com domains continues ad nauseam. The same garbage drops annually and is being scooped up non-stop. Only a small portion of LLLL .com domains hold value.

    December 4th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I would agree, although I think it’s a bit more than a small portion though.

      I hope the Slate article doesn’t fuel additional speculation like the 2007 rush though. Lots of money was lost (and made by sellers).

      In reply to Acro | December 4th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Acro

      A small portion of almost half a million permutations. We are not debating the obvious: four letter words, pronounceable “words” that can serve as brands etc. But out of 1/2 million combinations the majority of those re-regitered when they drop aren’t worth reg fee.

      Recently sold a LLLL .com for five figures. It wasn’t junk, it wasn’t premium. Unlike LLL .com domains, the four letter ones aren’t exactly liquid in every letter permutation.

      The Slate article cites some “research” by a Croatian – as one who generated availability lists more than a decade ago, I can tell you that such ‘research’ requires nothing but a couple of hours of WHOIS 😉

      In reply to Elliot Silver | December 4th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Acro

      It appears that the Slate article is nothing but a promo of the WhoAPI services, that are expensive ‘a la carte’ queries using a proprietary tool. $149 /month for 500k queries? Come on. If you ran the entire LLLL .com spectrum it’d take up your credits in one day. Suppose you want fresh data daily, you’d be SOL. 😉

      In reply to Acro | December 4th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      WhoAPI - Goran

      Wow, this is the first time I see someone saying we are expensive. Actually, our prices have gone up since December 2013 when this comment was made, and this was due to service improvements, and due to everyone saying the price is too low.

      Now that the price is up, we offer 30 whois queries per minute, which comes to 1.296.000 queries per month for $199.

      As for the Slate article, I haven’t endoursed them in anyway to write the story, however, I do my best to write viral content.

      In reply to Acro | January 12th, 2015 at 4:56 am

    Mark Hershiser

    Most of them drop like flies, not much value. There are 43 dropping tomorrow. Francois has all the good ones, lol…

    December 4th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Ms Domainer

    *

    I have not sold any LLLL — I don’t have too many, 20 at the most — and I haven’t priced them.

    Two of them I’m using in connection with a novel I’m writing, so not for sale (unless an I-can’t-refuse offer comes along, which I know is unlikely).

    At this point, I’m not too worried about sales because I can afford to hold my small cache, and I don’t plan to buy any more. I’m looking to see how the vanity gTLD market shakes out in connection with .com.

    *

    December 4th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Mark Hershiser

      I have sold some for OK money but they were CVCV pronounceables, I have 7 non CVCV’s still and definitely do not expect to get rich from them, I hold out on MySP which does get offers but it kind of says something, I also get inquiries on McMo, and while it’s not a CVCV I can say it so I like it and want money for it, as long as you don’t sell burgers on it I suppose…

      In reply to Ms Domainer | December 4th, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Bill Kara

    Any good players or buyers to connect with? I have a 4 letter I have no use for. No idea were to sell it though.

    December 4th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Bill Kara

      player = places

      In reply to Bill Kara | December 4th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Nikos

    Bill please drop me an email with your domains anelixi@ovi.com

    December 4th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Brandon31

    Bill please send me your domain list as well mailcentre@facebook.com, thanks

    December 4th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Bill Kara

      Sorry not looking to sell it here, wanted to talk about places these are going for sale most often. Selling domains in comment threads is like tracking mud in someones house.

      In reply to Brandon31 | December 4th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    todd

    Everyday they expire at Godaddy and every single one always has at least one bid so somebody wants them. I had a total of about 50 at one point and still have about 10. I never dropped any and made at least 10 times what I paid for them. My best 4 letter sale was for 3k on a name that I got at Namejet for $79 so you can make a really good profit from them if you buy the right ones. The true 4 letter acronyms you have to sit and wait a long time and that is probably why Berkens asks minimum 30k for his 4 letters and if they sell they sell and if not he sits and waits for the big fish.

    December 4th, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Domainer 101

    Samit,

    I am dropping 2 LLLL.com domains right now.. Your comment sounds more newbie 101 IMO.

    Keep carrying junk letters, eventually renewals will catch up..

    December 4th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      DNS

      Domainer 101,

      I’d be glad to take your 2 LLLL.coms for reg fee.

      In reply to Domainer 101 | December 4th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Samit

      You have three buyers in these comments itself, why drop them?

      In reply to Domainer 101 | December 6th, 2013 at 5:59 am

    DNS

    Have you guys seen some of the 4 letter .com sales recently? There are some crappy ones selling for 4 to 5 figures.

    If there’s anyone out there that wants to let their 4 letters drop, please contact me first. I’d be glad to take them for reg fee.

    December 4th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Elliot Silver

      There are clearly plenty of people willing to gamble registration fees for 4 L .com names. It becomes a problem when people start blindly buying any LLLL .com names for $xxx+ simply because they think it’s a supply issue and the prices will rise regardless of any other factors.

      I wouldn’t sell my 4 L names for reg fee and would quote very high prices if I received offers. Many end users would say that about any inquiry they make for any of my names (like $75,000 for MassachusettsRealEstate.com last night).

      In reply to DNS | December 4th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Elliot Silver

      It’s like I know I am probably going to lose when I am playing blackjack, but if I have a 14 against a dealer’s 10, I am not going to surrender even if I can get my full bet back. I didn’t invest in domain names to break even.

      In reply to DNS | December 4th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    BullS

    I bought about 20 LLLL at namepros really cheap ($10-30$)and my most valuable one is gxnx.com, she is my sugar daddy getting $200+.mth and sometimes more.

    I bought her from someone who claimed to be a domain expert.

    I sold some at ebay getting $50…not bad.

    wzwi.com is another sugar daddy of mine

    December 5th, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Goran Duskic

    Hi Guys!

    Elliot, thanks for the follow up article. Big fan of your blog!

    Some time definitely passed since the last 4L domain was registered for $10 (although some bad ones do drop now and then)… I think it’s a nice topic to talk about (as it is evident on this website as well), and also, a neat topic for the general public as well. Which is why we did the research (half a million domains), and wrote about it.

    December 5th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    J

    MAAC.com is one LLLL domain name that sold for over $60K 2-3 years ago. Any LLLL can be used as some kind of acronym. With 4 character dot com names, you have to play the hands like Poker to make a mint. Some 4 character dot com can be for cities and states such as NYNY.com.

    December 5th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Elliot Silver

      That same logic can be applied to five, six, and seven letter .com domain names as well. Just because you can think of a way to use a domain name, does not mean that it has value.

      In reply to J | December 5th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      J

      Just because we hear of domain names that sell for high prices doesn’t mean they have value. Many low priced domains have delivered top results. It is all about gaining results.

      An end-user can acquire an ideal domain that does nothing.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | December 6th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Sure, but the likelihood of buying a crappy 4 letter .com name and selling it for big money is slim.

      In reply to J | December 6th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Samit

    Here’s a post I made on this topic in 2008 http://www.mwzd.com/domain-names/the-llllcom-conundrum/

    Think the time might be right for a new post though, keep an eye on my blog – mwzd.com 😉

    December 6th, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Elliot Silver

    At the end of the day, I think people need to invest for a reason other than perceived scarcity.

    December 6th, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Spencer Dahl

    The offers I’ve received over the past 15+ years for bend.com ranged from double digits to seven digits.

    December 6th, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Elliot Silver

      There’s a big difference between a name like Bend.com and XYZX.com :-)

      Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of 4 letter names that have no meaning to anyone, or if they do have meaning to a few, they don’t hold much value.

      I might own 5 four letter .com names, so I would consider myself fairly impartial.

      There will always be exceptional names (like Bend.com) and the same can be said for 5, 6, 7, 8…etc letter .com domain names. :)

      December 6th, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Samit

      Elliot,the same can’t be said of even 5L, let alone 6L or 7L.

      And the reason is pure math / scarcity value.

      26 x 26 x 26 = 17,576 (lll)

      26 x 26 x 26 x 26 = 456,976 (llll)

      26 x 26 x 26 x 26 x 26 = 11,881,376 (lllll)

      And in a world where llll.xyz and llll.reallylongextension are to be launched, you can’t really lose with llll.com

      In reply to Elliot Silver | December 6th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I disagree…. plenty of people lost money buying garbage LLLL.com domain names for $60+ each in 2008 before the bubble burst.

      In reply to Samit | December 6th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Jeff

    Samit,

    You may want to hear this..

    http://www.domainsherpa.com/review-20131205/

    We all some sort of shit in our portfolio, just wait until .cluster rolls out.

    Not all LLLL.com domains are solid. Take away the good letters, names without a meaning, parking revenue most of the LLLL.com domains are pure junk.

    Who knows maybe you can roll out .LLLL in future

    December 6th, 2013 at 11:12 am

      Samit

      Jeff, there are some ‘crap’ names in all big portfolios, mine is no exception.

      But I’m fairly secure in the llll.com I do own, they’re well researched or have traffic or are brandable.

      Plus I only have about 70, so it’s not like my portfolio is the reason the buyout is holding.

      In a world with 300 million domains, 200 million more to be registered in the next three years, 457k domains of a limited supply will be needed by someone, somewhere, sooner or later.

      Isn’t that the reason the lll.com don’t sell below $4k each now?

      In reply to Jeff | December 6th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    domain investor

    First i want to thank the author for his valuable info.

    I have been researching 4 letter market place for a while and made a bunch of tools that find the best and profitable 4 letter domains out of all recently auctioned domains.

    it also finds cvcv,vcvc,vvcv etc combination and shows its recent sales price and whole sales rate.you can Download all 456,976 or filter by there type all from :

    http://dntoolz.com

    January 12th, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Lu

    I bought five 4 letter domains of GoDaddy auctions recently for not much. At the time I figured they were selling for a lot more on Flippa. I don’t think I was right though as I couldn’t sell the one I thought was the best.

    Any 4 letters are not better than well researched 4 letters.

    March 25th, 2014 at 7:12 am

    dimo

    how do you think – can I get 5k $ for taxc.com
    I got it for 4k a few years ago (as end user) for business called tax consult llc – it still has an web site. But since business is gone, I’m wondering whether to put it for sale. Its paid till 2023 – will those years be lost to the new holder.

    thanks
    dimo

    January 11th, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    domain auction

    For extensive LLLL.com domain research and cheap auctions visit http://dntoolz.com

    January 12th, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    similarto

    Increasingly it is becoming difficult to find dot com domains. I can’t even any five letter or 6 letter dot com domains. Lots of domain squatter have bought these domains and trying to sell these at very high prices.

    February 22nd, 2015 at 11:17 am

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