How many 4 letter domains are available & are they worth the money?
4 letter .com names - a type of domain that can sell for absurd amounts of money. An outstanding example is the sale of "Room.com" which got a price-tag of 1.5 million.
If those domains sell for prices like that a question that arises is: Are there still 4 Letter domains available? Do they make great company names for me or can I use them as Investment?
That's what we're unpacking in this article and we're going to start by looking at the data first.
The data behind the phenomena:
Let's start with the most basic stuff: how many possible 4 letter domains exist?
The Alphabet has 26 letters, if we combine them in each possible way (26^4) we get 456.976 possible domains. That sounds like a ton of possible names, but how many 4 letter domains are available?
Short answer: none - all of the are registered since 2013.
But the long answer takes a little longer to unpack. Just because those domains are registered it doesn't mean that they're not for sale. So the real question should be: how many are for sale? Are those domains worth it & do they make great company/start-up names?
How many 4 letter domains are for sale?
Do learn how many domains are free to be registered we can use a "domain availability API" but this can't be used to learn about domains that are being offered by domainers. To learn this I've generate a list of 200 randomly generated 4 letter names and individually checked the status for all of them. Here is the data:
For sale 112 (56%) - Not reachable 35 (17,5%) - Businesses or redirected to one 32 (16%) - Private & other 21 (10,5%)
So now let's use those percentages to make an approximation about the total amount of domains for sale. Total amount of 4 letter domains: 456.976 * 0,56 percentage of domains for sale.
This sums up to approx. 256.000 domains with 4 letters that are for sale.
Are those domains worth it & do the make a great start-up or company name?
Some might, others only for a very specific need & most aren't.
Let me explain.
I've categorised all of the 200 domains I've investigated into 3 categories. Words & terms used, spell-able terms & not spell-able terms. And quite frankly I've Here's the data:
Words & terms used: 4 (2%) - spell-able terms: 23 (12%) - not spell-able terms: 172 (86%)
So of all terms only 14% could be somewhat interesting. That's still be up to 35.000 (256.000*0.14) names. Sounds like there could be something great. But what's the catch?
If you want to buy a spell-able 4 letter domain you quickly realise one thing. The absolute base price you'll need to pay is 10.000. All thought most will be sold for way more than that.
Of all 200 names I've investigated the cheapest name with a fixed price was "qotu" for $ 15.000 and the most expensive "xapp" for $ 210.000.
So if you want a 4 letter .com domain you'll end up searching for a long time to find a spell able name that could suit your brand.
In conclusion: If you want a spell-able/brandable name and you're not willing to pay $ 15.000 - 100.000 + you don't want to waste ages finding one, I'd advise you to head for a different type of name.
What other name could I use for my business?
That depends on what you actually want. Naming is complicated and you need to ask yourself some questions before hand.
What type of name do you want?
There are several types of names, from descriptive names spoiling what the product is about to brand-able names that want to communicate a certain feeling. If you want to have more examples you can read through our guide on types of names.
Do you even need a short name?
Short names can have the advantage of being easy to remember but that doesn't mean that each shorter name will be more brand-able than a longer one. But If you still want to have a short name you could also go for a 5 letter domain. There is 26 times (26^5) the amount of domains compared to 4 letter domains (26^4), which, at 11.881.376 possible names, increases the possibility of finding a name suited for you.
Already have a name but are uncertain if it is the right one?
Besides our article on different types of names we also have a blog entry talking about certain steps you can take while naming your business.
Are 4 Letter domains a good Investment?
This is not Investment advice, since I'm not an Investor but that doesn't really change anything, since I see simply buying a 4 letter domain and hoping it will sell for a high amount of money as gambling rather than investing. And I have two reasons for that.
1) All 4 letter names are already taken & most are being held by domain-sellers that already want to make a profit. Which already makes the entry to buying a 4 letter domain pretty high.
2) You need to find someone that wants to buy the domain for a higher price which can take ages. Of all 200 4 letter domains I investigated only 32 were actual businesses or redirected to a business. Of those some already have bought the domain before they were resold by a domain seller. Chances are most businesses will not see the value of your domain. Also, as we calculated approx. 256.000 4 letter domains are being sold by domain sellers. How would yours be different or wanted?
3) To increase the chances that one of your names being bought in the next years you'd need to buy a ton of names, further increasing price of entry.
With that said, the possibility for a good return does exist. But I don't know a way of calculation a likeliness of that outcome. That's why I repeat; to me buying a 4 letter domain and hoping for good returns is gambling rather than investing.