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Domain names are a diminishing resource. Existing .com names have been sold for as much as USD16M. Over 150M .com names have been registered, increasing at about 5% p.a. The .uk registry is at around 10M names and growing by about 10% p.a.
The low cost of name renewal means that relatively few are allowed to lapse.
For UK based organisations preference for .co.uk is strong with over 80% of web site visitors saying they prefer .uk sites when presented with a choice of a .uk or any other top level domain type (including .com) in search results. A Google search within the UK gives precedence to .uk domain names. Even non-uk companies buy .uk names in order to give the impression they have a presence in UK and to benefit from Google's preference.
Viewed simply as an investment property, the increase in valuations for premium domain names has far exceeded growth in any other investment category such as art, fine wines, antiques, precious metals or stock-market investments.
Having key words relevant to the content of a web site in the domain name is widely believed to confer significant advantage in search engine results.
Pairs of names: .co.uk and now the "bare" .uk variant block competitors from obtaining a closely similar name and causing confusion or leeching off some of your traffic.
On printed materials some people prefer to use camel-case to highlight the individual words in a domain name like MyDomainName.co.uk - this is a perfectly acceptable and helpful practise, the effect is identical to mydomainname.co.uk
The potential value of a domain name depends on your assessment of the benefit you will derive from it. We value few-cutting-tools.co.uk at £POA.
The highest reported price paid for a .CO.UK domain name stands at £560,000. For less sought after names prices start as low as a few hundred pounds.
How to pay: To make the transaction quick and safe for both parties I use an Escrow service www.transpact.com that web site explains the process. Escrow is an independent third party that, for a small fee, takes your payment and only releases it to me when you confirm that the domain name transfer has worked.