Animal domain names such as Starling.com have a significant value to both domain investors and end-users. Animal .COM domain names can range in value from the low four-figure range ($1,000-$9,999) up to the seven-figure range.
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Why is Starling.com valuable?
Why are animal .COM domains such as Starling.com valuable? Well, let’s take Starling.com as an example here. Starling.com is one of just a concentrated number of exact match, animal .COM domain names that are in existence. There are over 134 million .COM domain names registered, which means Starling.com and the other exact match animal .COM names represent a very tiny percentage of all .COM domains. Rarity makes Starling.com a highly valuable name, especially to investors who pay top dollar to own the world’s rarest names.
There’s also the question of trust and stability. If you’re called Starling, then you need to own Starling.com for your brand. By owning Starling.com, you are displaying a sense of trust to your customers or clients. As a consumer, would you trust Starling.com or GetStarling.com more? The right domain name gives an instant sense of trust in a brand to anyone who visits the domain. A sense of stability and permanence also comes from owning a domain name like Starling.com. It shows a long term investment in a brand.
Unfortunately, animal names such as “Starling” are popular brand names. Because they’re commonly used, instantly recognizable names, it makes the equivalent .COM (Starling.com) valuable since so many companies are interested in using it. That makes it an expensive prospect for a brand to acquire.
An exact match domain name such as Starling.com for a company called Starling can also offer that company some security from data and traffic leakage that is commonplace amongst longer domain names.
These factors, and more, are why Starling.com is a domain name that has retained its value for more than two decades. The factors listed above are fine in theory, but let’s take a look at some examples of animal .COM sales to back up the overall value of Starling.com and animal .COM’s in general:
Here are several examples of companies that have acquired animal .COM domain names within the past few years. If several companies spend six or seven-figures on an animal .COM domain name, it demonstrates clearly that exact match animal .COM’s play an intrinsic value in the online brand of savvy businesses. Read our case studies:
The Penguin.com name is owned by Penguin Publishing Group, a multi-national book publisher founded in the UK in 1935. The name is a vital part of their online identity, with the name hosting the company’s corporate site and book shop. There are several other famous brands that using the “Penguin” moniker including Penguin, the clothing company. The fashion brand is using OriginalPenguin.com, but interestingly the company does own Kangaroo.com.
This marine based domain name shows precisely the wide range of uses for animal/wildlife names. The Shark.com name is owned and operated by a former golfer. Australian Greg Norman, nicknamed The Shark, spent 331 weeks as the world’s number one golf pro. After retiring, Greg created the Greg Norman Company, formerly known as Great White Shark Enterprises. Shark.com houses Greg’s multiple ventures.
In 2005, the Elephant.com domain name was the subject of a UDRP, filed by Admiral Insurance from the UK. The UDRP complaint was denied, and according to WHOIS history, Admiral acquired the name in 2006.
Whilst Admiral continues to use Elephant.co.uk for it’s UK insurance brand, it looks as though Elephant.com now focuses on insurance for the US market, operated by a subsidiary of Admiral, Elephant Insurance Services, LLC.
These are just three examples of animal .COM domains that have been acquired and put to use by brands willing to invest significant amounts of money into their online identity.
Another means of getting a face-value appraisal for Starling.com is to take a look at verified domain sales data.
Below is a list of verified animal .COM domain sales from recent years. You can use this data to gauge the value of your own domain name:
Snake.com – $135,000 (2019)
Walrus.com – $55,000 (2018)
Gorilla.com – $496,320 (2019)
Bird.com – $200,000 (2005)
Pig.com – $125,000 (2010)
Coyote.com – $65,000 (2011)
Pug.com – $61,000 (2016)
Hornet.com – $60,000 (2017)
I wrote an article for NamePros in 2019 about how certain animal domain names are being used. You can read that here Some of the content here is quoted from that article.
Working out the intrinsic value of the Starling.com domain name (without any attached content, IP or other considerations) is a difficult process. Automated appraisals cannot be relied upon, and ultimately it comes down to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition or sale of the domain (with associated factors including motivation to buy or sell, the need for the domain, funding available, and current circumstances).
However, it can be easily proven that domains such as Starling.com are highly desirable, and previous sales data indicates that this type of name routinely sells for five ($xx,xxx) or six ($xxx,xxx) figures. In some cases, this will be higher.