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New domain price guessing game warns against “asshole domain squatters”

Kevin Murphy, January 23, 2019, 18:07:20 (UTC), Domain Sales

You’re a domain expert, right? Think you could accurately guess which of two randomly selected names is on sale for the larger amount of money on the secondary market?
A simple new game, which appears to have been published in the last week or so, will now allow you test your l33t domain evaluation skillz.
Guessing Game
Click the name you think is the more expensive. The game will reveal both prices and keep track of your score.
You can apparently carry on guessing as long as you want. I went 20 rounds and scored an unimpressive 10 points. I’m not sure whether I should draw any conclusions from this 50:50 hit rate.
It appears that author Martin O’Leary sourced his pricing data from the landing pages of the domains themselves. If you dig around in the code you’ll find a JSON data set with just over 100,000 names and prices.
It doesn’t sound like he’s a domainer, either. A constant footer on the app reads: “please don’t buy any of these domains, they’re all terrible and you’d be supporting asshole domain squatters”.
UPDATE: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that these names had sold for the prices listed.


Comments (5)

  1. John Berryhill says:

    “which of two randomly selected domain names sold for the larger amount of money”
    No, Kevin, the game is not based on what the domain names have actually sold for.
    The game is based on prices at which they were listed at various listing services. In other words, these are the “list prices” posted by what are often optimistic domain registrants.
    “There’s no word on where author Martin O’Leary sourced his pricing data” – that is also obvious once you understand what the data actually is. In most instances, the names are listed on sites from which the data is easily scraped. So, with some zone files and a knowledge of where the list price may be found on marketplace lander pages at Undeveloped, BuyDomains, Sedo, etc., one can populate a database fairly simply. (It’s even simpler if one has access to one of the domain market listing syndication API’s)
    But, these aren’t prices that anyone actually paid.

    • Kevin Murphy says:


      • John Berryhill says:

        So, taking that into account, try the game again and see if you score better.
        The basic strategy for my 10/10 score is this:
        Do not ask yourself which is the more valuable name. Most of them are pure crap. So, instead, you ask yourself, “What would someone dumb enough to think that name has value be asking for it?”
        If its an obviously valuable name, then the person holding it may likely be less nutty than someone who thinks is a winner. In other words, with particularly dreadful names, there is something of an inverse relationship between its actual value and the “asking price” of someone who thinks anyone sane would buy it.

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          I found that, on the comparisons I got wrong, the price difference was marginal. Usually less than a few hundred bucks, iirc. It was a lot easier to pick a winner between, say, a one-word dictionary .com and anything else.

  2. Adam says:

    Kevin if you’d like to play the game you described without derogatory language and with actual reported sale prices, “The Domain Game” is available on Apple and Android devices.
    Test your knowledge against thousands of players including “asshole domain squatters” who actually bought and sold some of these domains 😉

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