Asset Values: The $199,999 Telephone Number
How much is a telephone number worth? Well, the value of any asset depends on several different factors. It seems, however, that even without being assigned to a famous person or being associated with a profitable business, certain area codes and certain digits demand high prices. In my search for market data, I came across an online dealer of telephone numbers at phonenumberguy.com. The website makes the following promise:
We make things simple. You can buy a phone number, and then within days be using it on whatever phone you want. It sounds easy because it is easy.
Since you're wondering - phonenumberguy.com also promises that this is 100% legit.
On the site, phone numbers start at around $279. Currently, the highest priced number for sale is (929) 999-9999 for $199,999. This number has a New York City area code that covers The Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and parts of Manhattan. My Atlanta-area telephone number looks like it might be worth at least $379 just because it has a 404 prefix. (Unfortunately, my phone number also has the number one in it - so there go the vanity number opportunities.)
I'm by no means the first person to find this subject or market makers like PhoneNumberGuy interesting. In fact, The Washington Post did a very nice piece on the website and the practice of selling phone numbers just last year (here's the link).
I do want to make the point, however, that before dismissing business assets like phone numbers, etc. as having no value, take another look. You may be sitting on a (404) FOR-TUNE.