Animal domain names such as Tortoise.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 Tortoise.com valuable?
Why are animal .COM domains such as Tortoise.com valuable? Well, let’s take Tortoise.com as an example here. Tortoise.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 Tortoise.com and the other exact match animal .COM names represent a very tiny percentage of all .COM domains. Rarity makes Tortoise.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 Tortoise, then you need to own Tortoise.com for your brand. By owning Tortoise.com, you are displaying a sense of trust to your customers or clients. As a consumer, would you trust Tortoise.com or GetTortoise.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 Tortoise.com. It shows a long term investment in a brand.
Unfortunately, animal names such as “Tortoise” are popular brand names. Because they’re commonly used, instantly recognizable names, it makes the equivalent .COM (Tortoise.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 Tortoise.com for a company called Tortoise 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 Tortoise.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 Tortoise.com and animal .COM’s in general:
Real world usage of domain names is a key indicator of value, which is why we have put together a series of small case studies below. 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:
Cat.com houses the worldwide homepage for the largest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world, with Wikipedia listing the company’s revenue as .5 billion in 2017. Caterpillar Inc, who also owns caterpillar.com, use “Cat” as one of their main brand names. According to DomainIQ’s WHOIS history, they’ve owned the domain since at least 2003 when DomainIQ’s records began. “Cat” is also the NYSE stock ticker symbol of the company.
For years, Google owned the Duck.com domain name after acquiring it in during the purchase of a company many years ago. Up until December 2018, Google redirected the domain to its search engine. That was until the domain was acquired by the rival search engine DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo now uses Duck.com to redirect visitors to its own search engine.
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 Tortoise.com is to take a look at verified domain sales data.
NameBio, a trusted resource for domain name sales, lists the following animal .COM sales in its database. There have likely been plenty more, but they haven’t been publicly disclosed:
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 – $60,000 (2017)
I wrote an article for NamePros in 2019 about how certain animal domain names are being used. You can read that here Some of the content here is quoted from that article.
Working out the intrinsic value of the Tortoise.com domain name (without any attached content, IP or other considerations) is a difficult process. Automated appraisals cannot be relied upon, and ultimately it comes down to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition or sale of the domain (with associated factors including motivation to buy or sell, the need for the domain, funding available, and current circumstances).
However, it can be easily proven that domains such as Tortoise.com are highly desirable, and previous sales data indicates that this type of name routinely sells for five ($xx,xxx) or six ($xxx,xxx) figures. In some cases, this will be higher.