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What do owners of premium domain names say?
By SmartBranding Team access_time 19 min read

There are many characteristics of premium domain names that make them more valuable than other domain names. Below, you will find some comments from entrepreneurs who have chosen to invest in a premium domain name for their business.


I originally made a toxic error… a hyphenated domain gear-source.com. Eventually, I was able to secure the “real” domain. Never made the mistake again and have bought a few classics since then.

Marcel Fairbairn, CEO of GearSource.com


In the world of toll-free numbers- there is STILL only ONE prefix that everybody wants and everybody thinks of- 800! Everything else is just noise. In domain names- dot com remains the one everybody wants and everybody thinks of. Everything else is just noise.

Troy Dunn, Owner of HomeGym.com

Premium domain names are THE “unfair advantage”. Once you experience benefits yourself, you won’t build on anything else. That’s why I’m building on DataAnalyst.com and own domains like ContentCreators.com or Dayoff.com and many others.

Alex Kirillov, Founder of DataAnalyst.com and BusinessAnalyst.com


I bought CallTracking․com for $20k one time & tried to build a simplified call tracking app on it. The project failed. But I was able to sell the domain for $120k about a year later : )

Peter Askew, Founder of Deep South Ventures (Onions.com, RanchWork.com, DudeRanch.com, GuestRanches.com)


Brandable domains in my portfolio had the best ROI for me. Wish I focused more on those vs other types of domains.

Val Katayev, Founder of Jocalio.com and MobileFuse.com


Turning great domains into what you expect them to be, like Towing․com, has given me a fantastic life. Domain names matter.

Drew Wash, CEO of Moving Sites, (Towing.com, CarTransport.com, TransportReviews.com, DJs.com, PhotoBooths.com)

A great domain will never hurt you, but it just might help. Plus the little cookie bonus of using it as an insurance policy can be nice.

Derek, Founder of RemoteJobs.com


Back when domain availability was high, your choice of URL didn’t matter. But today, it’s a status symbol. If you own socks.com, it signals to consumers you have tons of money. That makes you appear trustworthy.

Nick Saraev, Founder of 1SecondCopy.com


Back in the 90’s, we realized we would need to reinvent our entire business model if we had any hope of surviving this thing they called “the internet”. Discovering these digital real estate assets was quite a realization for me. I vowed to buy a domain anytime an idea came to me, or I saw a need. Never in my wildest dreams at that time did I think I would ever sell any or still own most of them 25 years later!

Troy Dunn, Owner of HomeGym.com


I used to think buying a premium dotcom domains were a waste of cash. I’d hear stories of people spending $500k on a dotcom domain and would silently laugh to myself. If only you spent that money on paid ads, viral videos etc. That 500k might be 100k customers! You’re just lighting the cash on fire for ego. But I was wrong. I recently started actually acquiring some dope domains. So, I ran an experiment. What if I took the same product and slapped on a new premium dotcom domain. A dot co for a dot com. And I started seeing the conversion rates jump 2-3x Same EXACT product, just a new domain, more customers. Pretty wild. But the dotcom adds trust and organic search.

Greg Isenberg, CEO of Late Checkout (BoringMarketing.com and 5tools5days.com)


Jim Campbell, CEO of Honeymoons.com

Investing in a premium domain has proven to be a transformative decision for my business, offering immense benefits from enhanced credibility to marketing advantages. While it presents challenges, including high cost and strategic planning, the potential for a strong ROI makes it a worthy consideration for small to medium-sized business owners looking to elevate their digital presence.

Jim Campbell, CEO of Honeymoons.com
HONEYMOONS.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount


Public.com – while obvs much more expensive – clean, simple, more serious, but still modern. And easy to remember. What’s easy to remember, becomes easier to trust. And finally, yes, works 2x-3x better for digital ads/cvr… but for non-digital (OOH etc), more like 50x-100x better.

Jannick Malling, Co-founder & Co-CEO of Public.com
PUBLIC.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount


Adam Robinson, CEO of Retention.com 
premium domain name

The one word domain gives us instant credibility. This can’t be quantified, but people trust us wayyy more than some company with a dash in their domain name or a .co domain.

Adam Robinson, CEO of Retention.com
RETENTION.com was acquired for $800K

Alex Vetter, Cars.com, premium domain name

Cars.com is a pretty easy domain name to type in. We get a majority of our traffic directly and organically, which allows us to really invest in other things, which to us is product innovation as opposed to what a lot of our peers have to do is, is they have to keep spending marketing every dollar every day just to stay relevant.

Alex Vetter, co-founder and CEO of Cars.com
CARS.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Chat.com is absolutely brilliant in terms of simplicity, shortness and being totally *on point* and meeting the moment. It immediately creates user trust. Somebody (not me) will build a massively successful product/company on it.

Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of HubSpot
CHAT.com was acquired for an undisclosed eight-figure amount ($10M or more)

I never buy “fad” domain extensions. I stick strictly to “dot com” for the most part. There is nothing with the staying power and the mindshare of “dot com”. Everything else is a distant second. The only people who disagree are the one’s trying to sell something that is not a dot com.

Troy Dunn, Owner of HomeGym.com


The transition to Cats.com reflects our commitment to being the web’s most extensive and trustworthy source of cat knowledge. There could not be a domain name better representative of our intentions for this community, and it’s a privilege to call it home.

Doron Wolffberg, Founder of Cats.com
CATS.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

I always struggled to find a way to describe what our tool does in a sentence, but I can easily describe it in a word: monday. In becoming monday.com, our vision is finally encapsulated in our name.

Roy Mann, CEO and Co-Founder of monday.com
MONDAY.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

The power that a top level domain name, dictionary word has with the general public is phenomenal. It creates that authority automatically, instant trust.

Alex Tew, Co-founder of Calm.com
CALM.com was acquired for $140K

We felt as a company that Jets.com was tremendously powerful for our industry and the product that we’re selling. We figured that anyone who’s going to search for private jets is likely to go to Jets.com. Now when we tell people in general on the phone or in a meeting that we’re Jets.com, the credibility alone by saying Jets.com is worth it.

Damian Klinger, President and Co-Founder of Jets.com
JETS.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

If the word that you own is not on the dotcom domain, it falls off in value. People have a harder time remembering it if it was dot io, dot org, or dot tv. Moreover, if the word is too long, it falls off in value too. If 65%~ 80% of the money on commerce around the world is in English, and if you own one of the 1000 most important words in the English language, you can treat the domain as a business. 

Michael Saylor, Chairman and Co-founder of MicroStrategy

Having Trainual.com and not .co or another TLD has made us easier to search. We’ve also purchased a few misspellings of Trainual.com since it’s a made-up word. We want to make sure we capture all the traffic that’s searching for us.

Chris Ronzio, Founder and CEO of Trainual.com
TRAINUAl.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Recruiter.com is a powerful brand, and we consider our name recognition and high web traffic to be a powerful differentiator and asset for our business. We have top search placement and generate thousands of leads and referrals every month.

Miles Jennings, Founder, and COO of Recruiter.com
RECRUITER.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

I am pleased to have completed the acquisition of the Chill.com domain name. We are the proud owners of a highly brandable, premium domain asset reflective of a word that is pervasive in the everyday lives of consumers and is easy to say, spell, and remember.

Callum Sommerton, CEO of Chill Brands
CHILL.com was acquired for US$ 1,600,000

Switching to Paw.com has had a tremendously positive impact on our company. First of all, as mentioned before, we no longer are limited to dog products. As “Paw.com” we have the opportunity to build a major pet industry brand, across a wide range of pets and products. There’s a sense of trust and authority that comes with a great name like Paw.com, and that seems to give a positive boost to just about everything.

David Gimes, Founder and CEO of Paw.com
PAW.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

For the 25+ years I’ve been emailing, I’d say close to 95% of those email began with some variation of “Hey [Name]”. So when it came time to think about a name for a new email system we’d be building, HEY was a natural. 

Jason Fried, Founder of Hey.com
HEY.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

At that time, we were six people in an office above a fried chicken restaurant. $400K was a lot of cash. We only went for it because we had raised a $3M seed round, and I believed that the long-term branding benefit outweighed the short-term cost. I definitely don’t regret it.

Waseem Daher, CEO of Pilot.com
PILOT.com was acquired for $400K

Operating through stoggles.com helps us to reach more people and follow our purpose of inspiring the importance of everyday eye protection through innovative and seamless design.

Max Greenberg, CEO of Stoggles.com
STOGGLES.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

This is the company’s most significant evolution in a nearly 50-year history of serving the rental industry. This is much more than a name change. It is the outward signal of our evolution from an advertising company to a technology and software driven company.

Jon Ziglar, CEO of Rent.com
RENT.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

We didn’t have much cash at the time, we’ve just raised a little round of capital but what I knew was that this name would allow us to be taken a lot more seriously by future investors because it is a lot easier to raise venture capital when you’ve got a domain name like we have because the first thing you see on the deck is the title, and if it says Scan.com it is making them turn to the next page.

Charlie Bullock, founder of Scan.com
SCAN.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount 

It was important for us to have the top level domain (TLD) for our brand strategy, so we secured Denim.com. Our experience has been incredible. It may seem trivial, but people take you a lot more seriously when you have a clean, one word .com domain with no prefixes or suffixes.

Bharath Krishnamoorthy, CEO and Co-Founder of Denim.com
DENIM.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

We saw our conversion rate dramatically jump when we rebranded from usefedora.com to teachable.com.

Ankur Nagpal, Founder of Teachable.com
TEACHABLE.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Our domain name was initially CHILI.tv but we changed to CHILI.com in order to become more international and to emphasise our presence on all devices.

Giorgio Tacchia, CEO and founder of CHILI.com
CHILI.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Our plan is to build a strong, memorable brand. Cal.com is the kind of domain/brand name that achieves exactly that.

Bailey Pumfleet, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Cal.com
CAL.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Standing out just gets harder when people confuse you with other companies. That’s why we went right to the source. There are many copycat Sumo names in the market but by owning Sumo.com, we’re positioned as the original. We are the Sumo.com.

Noah Kagan, Co-Founder
SUMO.COM was acquired for US$ 1,500,000

Beyond just the benefits of properly aligning our brand with the .com name, we knew that owning this domain would illustrate to future customers that we’re here to stay for the long haul.

Steli Efti, CEO of Close.com
CLOSE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

You will lose all word of mouth marketing if you don’t have a good name. Most people choose their name because the domain is available. That’s a really bad idea. I spent 3 months and $182,000 negotiating for Mint.com, and it was the best purchase I ever made.

Aaron Patzer, MINT.COM
MINT.COM was acquired for US$ 8,100,000 (cash + equity deal)

If you’re talking to someone at a bar about your company, they just won’t remember TeamworkPM.net. One of our competitors is Basecamp, which has Basecamp.com. If someone is comparing Basecamp.com against TeamworkPM.net, many will choose the .com because it has credibility and the right image.

Peter Coppinger, CEO Teamwork.com
TEAMWORK.COM was acquired for $675,000 in 2014

Over the decades, I’ve learned about the importance and value of domain names. WordPlay.com (my word-game) has hit 150 million games played and 16 million users. I know for a fact that a lot of this is because the domain is easy, memorable and fun.

Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of HubSpot
WORDPLAY.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Buying Tesla.com took over a decade, $11M & amazing amount of effort. Didn’t like teslamotors.com even when we were only making cars.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla
TESLA.COM was acquired for $11 Million in 2016

Compared to the earlier domain XAircraft.com, XA.com is simply more than a memorable, easily recognisable online identity. It undoubtedly better carries XAG’s brand value and prospect to shape the future of sustainable agriculture for 7.6 billion people, by unceasingly exploring smart farming technology.

Chinese Agri-Tech Company XAG
XA.COM was acquired for US$ 1,600,000

We’ve grown over the years – and we’re now much more than a taxi app. This new brand is an important evolution that represents our goal to outserve our customers. We are not only providing passengers with a transport service, we are saving them time and ensuring they have a safe ride.

Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-Founder, Grab
GRAB.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

We started with PerchHomes.co and then moved to Perch.com when we had an opportunity to get the domain. Ultimately, your website domain is a big part of your brand, particularly for a B2C company.

Phil DeGisi, Co-Founder at Perch.com
PERCH.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

If we didn’t own RTS.com we probably would have changed the company’s name. It was very important for us to have a simple brand that has the ability to be recognized and understood globally.

Greg Lettieri
Recycle Track Systems co-founder and CEO
RTS.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

People are trusting us with their finances and TryDave just didn’t seem to give me the same confidence as Dave.com.

Jason Wilk, Co-founder and CEO of Dave
DAVE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

We saw a big growth with our repeat customers. We had an average return of repeat customers of over 200% from where it originally was and that was definitely attributable to the brand. When you are Pacific Pillows, you can stumble across a bunch of pillow sites, but when you are Pillows.com, its pretty clear that there is only one Pillows.com.

Craig Clark, Pillows.com
PILLOWS.COM was acquired for six figures

About 70% of traffic comes from the domain directly – we don’t have to purchase the keywords as much any longer.  The domain name is pretty valuable in and of itself.

Tor Sweeney, Owner of Dresses.com
DRESSES.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount

We saw a 40% increase in traffic immediately after securing our preferred domain.

John Furneaux, Hive.com
HIVE.COM was acquired for an undisclosed amount in
partnership with the domain owner

We saw our customers confusing us with some of the other companies in the industry, and wanted to remedy that issue. Our service is so different and unique in comparison with the competition that these confusions might cost us a lot of opportunities.

Oliver Dlouhy, CEO of Kiwi.com
KIWI.COM was acquired for US$ 800,000

We have seen a 5x in our web3 calls to our Alchemy instances that coincided with the procurement of sushi.com. I think from a branding perspective it has been a boon.

Joseph Delong, CTO of SushiSwap
SUSHI.COM was acquired for undisclosed amount

As Badger expands to become the most trusted place for anyone to put their Bitcoin to work, it’s important that the first experience for non native crypto users is comfortable and that we help them quickly overcome the common stigma that surrounds the cryptocurrency industry today.

Chris Spadafora, founder of BadgerDAO
BADGER.COM was acquired for US$ 300,000

As the founder of the branded payment platform Recharge.com (500 million annual revenue), I know how to launch a worldwide fintech platform and how important it is to have a good domain name that is easy to remember.

Robin Weesie, Founder and CEO of Exclusive.com

Fleksy.com acts as a primary touch point between us and potential customers, our website is a representation of who we are and what Fleksy is all about.

Olivier Plante, CEO of Fleksy.com
FLEKSY.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

It was important to us to have a brand name that consumers could get to easily without having to come up with some clever derivative or other domain that’s close, but not really. Autonomy.com we think obviously handles that.

Scott Painter , Founder and CEO at Autonomy.com
AUTONOMY.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Having a strong keyword .com domain name brings a lot of inherent value, such as trust and a sense of being well-established, recognizable and not to mention web-based.

Rolf Larsen of CEO Desktop.com
DESKTOP.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Having the right domain is very important, and having a short, unique name that resolves in a .com has been super helpful versus, I don’t know, modern-dresses-best-shop.com or something.

Elena Silenok, Founder and CEO of Clothia.com
CLOTHIA.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount


Since Yought was a unique name, buying the .com was straightforward and was one reason we wanted to go with something unique. As a marketer, I understood having a .com presence would be beneficial in the long run, especially as a SaaS product.

Richard Liu, Co-Founder at Yought.com
YOUGHT.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

After a few years of effort, we landed our dream web address of Ahead.com, replacing ThinkAhead.com. Our name finally matches our domain!

The team behind AHEAD.com
AHEAD.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

Acquiring the aura.com domain is an investment in the Aura brand as we grow our business and build the best all-in-one digital protection platform for consumers.

Lark-Marie Anton, Chief Communications & Branding Officer
AURA.com was acquired for an undisclosed amount

There are many characteristics of premium domain names that make them more valuable than other domain names. Below, you will find some comments from entrepreneurs who have chosen to invest in a premium domain name for their business.
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We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.


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