Most people are not aware of how domains are priced or even valued.  It not just about the name of the domain but more importantly it is about it’s past.  You have to think of domains like a used car only the more seasoned and miles that are on the car, the more valuable it is.  You may have bought a domain years ago and put thousands of dollars into marketing or branding your domain name.  You may have a sign out in front of your store front that created community awareness around your brand or business.  You may even have done social media and created backlinks for your domain name.  All these things create tremendous value for a domain name (and remember this is NOT your website, strictly your DOMAIN NAME).  An example is you could have the domain dogfoodinhouston.com.  You have had it for 10 years and have had a steady business coming to your website to find your storefront.  The domain dogfood.com comes up for sale.  It may sound like a better and shorter name but you are essential going to start at ZERO when it comes to the search engines. This means you will be losing business.  Your original domain name probably ranks high maybe even number ONE in Google.  Once you lose that domain name, you also lose your rank and all those years of building up the credentials of being number one in google.  That is why domains are so valuable and can cost into the millions of dollars each.  LasVegas.com sold for $90,000,000, Bankaholic.com sold for $15,000,000.  You can assess your domain here.

Note:  This is very important! Too many people make the following mistake and lose a big chunk of their current business because they don’t take this seriously.  People think that they can just get another domain name and you will be fine.  IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!  Example if you had the domain TomsPizza.com.  You could be getting over 1000 unique visitors a month, searching for your location.  Many people think they can just go and buy Tomspizza.net.  Well what happens is that those visitors that were finding you, won’t find you anymore.  The 1000 people that were finding you before now goes to almost ZERO.  All your web traffic and branding goes away.  The value and traffic is almost exclusively associated to your specific domain, not your website.  That is why your domain is so valuable and somethings worth more than the actual business itself.  Your earnings every year are associated with people finding your business.  The MOST important factor in people finding your business is your domain name.  Add on the additional fact that all your print materials and the hundreds of sites such as YELP, YAHOO have indexed your old domain name, it makes sense to protect your original domain as much as you can.