2016 was a banner year for 4 letter .com domain names and was a major turning point in the domain industry. When Chinese investors started to invest in domain names the value of short domains <= 4 letters quickly rose sending shockwaves through the domaining world. Although China does not have an alphabet, they do follow what is called Hinyu Pinyin, an alternative writing method to the Chinese language which is made up of symbols. Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Mandarin Chinese sounds into the Roman alphabet. The following Pinyin chart is a great reference for creating pinyin domains.
To simplify the chart above, the following list summarizes the most popular Pinyin words. Although most of these are longer in length than 4 characters, it gives good insight into what 4 letter domains as acronyms may mean to Chinese buyers. To translate the below Pinyin words to English you can use the Pinyin Dictionary.
Chinese Premium 4 Letter domains
As you can see from the list of Pinyin words above, the majority of the pinyin dictionary is comprised of words that do not begin with AEIOU OR V, for this reason 4 letter domain names that do not contain Vowels or the letter V are higher in value than 4 letter domains containing AEIOU or V and are considered to be premium domains. At the time I write this the average value of Chinese premium 4 letter .com domains is $1,900 usd.
To check Reported Sales of premium 4 Letter .com domains you can visit LLLLsales.com and use the filters to show only “Chinese Premium” domains.
Quad Premium LLLL.com
Unlike Chinese premium LLLL.com domains you can also invest in Quad premium domains, which are considered premium in the English language. There are 21 consonants (B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y and Z) and 5 vowels (A, E, I, O and U) in the English dictionary. Quad premium domains are comprised of the following premium letters (B, C, D, F, G, H, L, M, N, P, R, S and T). These letters appear more frequently in the English language. The remaining letters are considered non-premium J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y and Z. At the time I write this the average value of premium 4 letter .com domains is $500 usd.
Standard LLLL.com domains
With the sudden rise in the values of both Chinese premium domains and Quad premium domains, the value of standard non-premium has also risen. Early in 2015 standard 4 letter .com domains could be acquired for as little as $25, Today the minimum sales price of 4 letter .com domains has risen to $305 usd.
Buying 4 letter .com domains
There are always numerous expiring domain auctions running for 4 letter .com domains. I use the following marketplaces to bid on and buy 4 letter .com domains.
DYNADOT EXPIRED AUCTIONS
Feel free to share which marketplaces you like to use below
You can also hit the forums and post a domain request thread and let the sellers come to you. Though this is a great way to get names, it is unlikely you will get a good deal, after all you are buying the names from other domain investors and they likely paid a hefty ransom for the domain in the first place.
Here are some domain forums I have joined