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How Much is Your Phone Number Really Worth?

How much is that telephone number of yours really worth?

Have you ever driven around town and noticed billboards for a popular attorney or realtor in your area? Their advertisement probably features a telephone number that either spells a word relevant to their industry or perhaps it’s characterized by a bunch of repeating digits.

Regardless, you might find yourself wondering how they happened to acquire such a number. Well, they had to get it from somewhere.

Once upon a time a telephone company likely randomly assigned that number to someone. And perhaps that someone randomly received a phone call from a certain realtor or attorney asking if they’d be willing to part with that telephone number for a four, five, or even six-figure sum of money.

Do you happen to be such a person who has a terrific number in your possession? We frequently speak with customers who believe their number is valuable. And like the folks we enjoy watching on the ever-popular Antiques Roadshow on PBS, they seek a professional opinion.

If you’ve come to this article looking for us to tell you exactly how much your number is worth, you may be disappointed. We’ll steer clear of telling you specifically how much to list your number for. But we’ll be happy to give you plenty of information, and also mention other options, like licensing out your phone number, so you feel confident when it comes time to set your asking price.

We have years of experience selling and licensing telephone numbers and are happy to share a few things we’ve learned along the way when it comes to setting the optimal price for your number. Let the learning begin.

The Chief Question: Do you want to sell fast or maximize your profit?

I know — the answer to the chief question above is obviously, BOTH. Why wouldn’t we want the best of both worlds, where we can sell fast and for the maximum amount of money? And for certain telephone numbers there just might be significant demand in the marketplace. But I wouldn’t bank on this always occurring. 

That’s why we need to break this chief question out into the two questions customers most commonly ask us when setting the price for their numbers:

  1. How much should I sell my number for?
  2. How fast will my number sell?

Let’s talk about these two questions. Very simply put, if you price your number higher than other, similar numbers in the marketplace, it may take longer to sell — if it sells at all. 

On the other hand, if you price it below others in the market, you may sell the number fast. But you may also feel like you left money sitting on the table.

At the end of the day, it all depends on your motivation. If you still want to try to sell quickly and maximize profit, let’s figure out how much your number is worth. 

The 3 Key Factors That Drive Number Value

As you look to assign a value to your telephone number, there are three questions that you’ll want to ask. The more emphatically you can answer “Yes!” to one or more of these will determine how much the number is worth. Here are the three questions.

1. Is your number easy to remember?

Have you driven by a billboard or a bus and seen an advertisement for a number like 310-555-5555?

That’s called a “repeater,” and the beauty of these numbers is that there’s a direct correlation between the number of repeat digits and ease of memorization. Repeaters can contain anywhere from 2-7 repeat digits and increase in value for each additional repeat digit. 

Chances are the company that owns that 7-digit repeater paid good money for that number. They obviously read our study from earlier this year that found that “almost 85% of people are likely to remember a Vanity Number after seeing or hearing it in an advertisement.”

Patterns are another quality that makes telephone numbers easy to remember. Perhaps your number contains alternating digits like 619-555-7676 or ascending digits like 305-555-1234. Either way, these patterns make your number stand out from the rest.

2. Does your number spell a word?

At first glance, 800-463-3339 and 800-356-9377 may not be particularly impressive or memorable numbers, but when you learn that they spell 800-GoFedEx and 800-FLOWERS, you realize that these are premium, vanity telephone numbers. 

A quick search on the NumberBarn website reveals thousands of numbers that spell words in a variety of categories. For those in the automotive industry, we have numbers containing CARS, TRUCK, and PARTS. Lawyers looking to elevate their brand can find numbers containing LAW, CRASH, BAIL, and PAIN. And the serious real estate professional can find SALE, SOLD, CONDO, DEAL, and more.

I could go on and on. The point is that if your number spells one or more words, it can seriously elevate its value.

3. Is your number from a high-demand area code?

In large urban centers, certain area codes have become so exhausted that the lack of supply can increase the value of numbers. This certainly applies to 310 in Los Angeles, 212 in New York City, 416 in Toronto, and 305 in Miami. Sure, people could reserve numbers in alternative or neighboring area codes. But if your business is headquartered in Los Angeles, there’s a certain cachet to having a 310 number.

So if you have a number from a popular area code and you don’t need it, there’s a chance that someone out there would love it for their business. And if it happens to contain repeating digits or spell a word, don’t be surprised if people are lined up and ready to make you an offer.

Do you have an idea yet of how much your number might be worth? Let’s take the next step in determining the value of your number.

Understanding the Number Marketplace

For anyone who has ever bought and sold real estate, you know that one of the biggest factors in appraising a home is looking at comparisons, or “comps,” with other similar properties that have sold in your area. Market comps give us a good idea of a general price range in the current market.

Applied to numbers, let’s talk about a couple of different ways to find market comps to determine the best asking price for your number.

1. Search the NumberBarn marketplace

Before you list your number on our site, try searching for similar numbers. If you have a number with five repeating digits, check to see, on average, how much others are listed for. If your number spells a word, you’ll likely find others with that same spelling. 

With this information, you can come up with a good range to list the number for. And if you need any help navigating the search on our website, this article will help you dial in the perfect search.

2. Reach out to our sales team

One thing you can’t find on our site is the prices of actual past sales. And while we can’t divulge specific details of our sales, a member of our sales team would be happy to look at some of our recent sales to help you come up with a good price for your number. 

Or perhaps you’re just window shopping and are looking for a valuation for your number. We can help you with that as well. You can contact us here at any time and we’d love to help you out. 

Should you choose to list the number in our marketplace, we can get you all set up as a NumberBarn Marketplace Vendor.

What if I Just Want to License My Number?

You may have seen that you can license a number instead of selling it. This is a great option if you love your number but you’re not ready to part with it just yet.

You can also offer your number both for sale AND for license to increase the likelihood of generating some revenue from the number.

Also, given the fact that you cannot sell your toll-free number in our marketplace, licensing is a great option. You can use the above guidance in setting the monthly pricing for your license, and we’re happy to help you with that as well.

Finally, it’s our sincere hope that you’re able to achieve the best of both worlds — selling your telephone number in a timely manner and for the right price. As with any selling marketplace, you can adjust your asking price whenever you want in our convenient, easy-to-use Seller Dashboard.

Happy selling (and licensing)!

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Written by

Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy Watkin is Director of Customer Support and Experience at NumberBarn. Not only does he love serving customers, but he's a prolific writer and speaker on the topic and has been recognized numerous times for his thought leadership. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter. His handle is @jtwatkin.