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Beyond Domain Sticker Shock: Why Premium Domains Are Worth the Price

account_circle Network Solutions Team
man researching premium domains

Key Takeaways

  • Think of your premium domain costs as part of your overall marketing budget.
  • Prioritize acquiring the perfect domain name as part of your branding plan.
  • Make sure your preferred domain name is a good fit before buying.

If you’ve ever searched for a domain name online, you may have experienced a phenomenon that is common in auto shops, drug stores and car dealerships around the world: sticker shock. You see the high cost of your preferred domain, and you immediately freeze, your eyes wide, unsure of how you can justify paying a price like that for your preferred domain, even if it is the perfect choice for your business.

Before you click the back button on the domain of your dreams, you should take a few minutes to read why that price isn’t quite as high as you think. You’re likely to find that the cost of the premium domain you want is justified and that it makes sense as part of your overall marketing budget.

Understanding Aftermarket Domain Renewal Costs
An aftermarket domain is one that is already owned and has been put up for sale by the owner. In many cases, the domain owner purchased the domain specifically because they believe they can sell it down the line, which is why the initial price of aftermarket domains is often high.

One additional financial factor that intimidates many first-time buyers of aftermarket domains is the renewal cost. After all, even if you can pay a substantial amount for an aftermarket domain upfront, you certainly can’t afford to go on paying that amount on a yearly basis. Fortunately, the realities of renewal pricing aren’t nearly so harsh.

Let’s say you purchase a $3,000 aftermarket domain. You certainly don’t want to go on paying that price forever, and the good news is you don’t have to. Aftermarket domain names have a high acquisition price, but they renew at the normal rate charged by the domain vendor (typically less than $40).

“Over time, the longer you hold that domain, the lower the cost to you will be,” says Director of Product Management Anna Piatyszek. Just as investing in property is a wise long-term strategy, investing in domains that support your business goals and brand aspirations is a smart way to set yourself up for success down the road.

Keep Your Domain Costs in Perspective
Domain purchases are often thought of as one-time expenditures, unrelated to any broader marketing strategy. But the truth is that your domain name is a critical part of how you present your brand. The initial purchase cost of a domain may seem high on paper, but when you spread it over a longer period and compare it with the cost of even simple marketing campaigns, it begins to look far more reasonable.

When taking into account the value of a good domain name and the cost relative to your other marketing efforts, you’ll likely find that your domain name purchase is actually quite frugal. Your website is the focal point of your online marketing strategy, which means your domain has a large influence on how customers view your company.

Going with a domain name alternative that’s cheaper, but not quite the right fit, sends the wrong message about your brand. For example, let’s say your preferred domain name is, but and are available at lower prices. If you assume that will lead to more hits and be more easily recognizable for your customers,  you have to ask yourself what the long-term impact will be if you don’t pay to get the best domain for your business.

Prioritize acquiring the perfect domain name as part of your branding plan, rather than trying to work it in retroactively. The money you spend on your domain today will pay serious dividends in terms of your company’s future image online.

The Difference Between Aftermarket and Tiered Price Domains
Aftermarket domains are owned by an individual and often sell at a high price but renew at the vendor’s standard renewal price. Tiered price domains, on the other hand, have their prices set by registries, and may have higher renewal prices.

For example, a tiered price domain that is priced at $500 might also have a yearly renewal cost of $500. Tiered price domains aren’t always expensive, but even if your preferred domain name does have a high price tag, it may still be the right choice for your business. Just pay careful attention to the advertised domain renewal price, fine print and pricing terms to avoid an unpleasant surprise when it’s time to renew.

Stop the Domainia
Tiered price. Aftermarket. Renewal rates. With so many terms and considerations swirling in your head, finding the right domain name may seem like a tall task. Put an end to the domainia with a simple evaluation process.

Start by asking around. Read your domain name aloud to friends and family and ask them how they would spell it. If they come back with a spelling different than the one you have written down, that name may not be the right choice.

You should also ask for general opinions on whether your name is memorable. If it’s too complicated for your loved ones to remember, your customers are sure to have a hard time with it as well.

Always make sure your domain is easy to spell, can’t be pronounced in a way that is embarrassing or inappropriate and doesn’t include special characters that make it hard to remember or type. After all, if you’re going to spring for a premium domain, you should do everything you can to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your company.

Finally, when looking into a domain, think about the value the right one could add to your company. Think about how much each customer is worth to your business, and consider how many new customers you typically get in a year. If a great domain name increases your customer base by even 5%, chances are it will pay for itself. A domain name that is recognizable and easy to remember is simply one of the best marketing tools money can buy.

Start the Domain Purchasing Process Today
Like buying a home, getting the domain you want takes time. Start researching your preferred premium domain name using WHOIS, to learn as much as you can about it before starting the purchase process. Additionally, bear in mind that there are many vendors out there who won’t charge you unless you get the domain you want. That means there’s often no risk in attempting to acquire your preferred domain name.

Be sure to include your domain name cost as part of your total marketing budget, recognizing its importance to your brand. Be aware of potentially high renewal prices when buying a tiered price domain, but don’t let the cost of a perfect domain name scare you off, understanding how it compares to your other marketing expenditures. Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-positioned to get the premium domain you want, without succumbing to sticker shock.


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Images: Shutterstock