How Much Does a Vanity Number Cost?

Phone numbers are memorable, effective, and underutilized. When the right number for your business is incorporated into advertising efforts, advertising response rates increase, brand awareness improves, and return on investment is guaranteed. So how much does this magical marketing tool cost?

Phone numbers can sell anywhere from tens of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Surprising, we know. Most of you probably took the number assigned by the carrier when you purchased your first phone. However, there are numbers that are worth a pretty penny, and here we give you a sneak peek into the pricing algorithm.

Parts of a Local Phone Number

In order to understand how a number is priced, you need to know the makeup of a phone number. There are three main parts:

  • The area code, historically associated with a geographic region
  • The prefix or NXX, and
  • The line number or last 4-digits

The pricing equation evaluates these factors based on their rarity or specialty, and generates a value.

Now that numbers are no longer totally Greek to you, let’s break down price by segment.

Area Code

The first three digits of a 10-digit number are grouped as the area code. This indicates the user’s geographical location. There are two different area code categories, toll-free and local.

  • Toll-free numbers have the (8XX) “area code”
  • Local Numbers have area codes specific to your geographic location; for example, Manhattan, NY’s code is 212

Toll-free numbers have an infinite value. They are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); therefore, they cannot be owned. The number is licensed to a user and the user makes monthly payments until they are finished using the toll-free plan. These installments range anywhere from $15-$100+ per month depending on the prefix and line number.

Local numbers are a one-time purchase, and area code influences pricing depending on rarity. For many metropolitan areas, the original area codes are exhausted. That means that new numbers issued in the areas use a new, or “overlay,” area code. Examples of exhausted area codes include 212 for New York City, 305 for Miami, 713 for Houston and 310 for Los Angeles.  Focusing in on 212, this was New York’s original area code and it is viewed prestigious. If you were to sign up for new phone service in Manhattan, you would be assigned a number that begins with a 332 area code. Start-ups and long-established companies alike prefer to have the brand cachet of an original 212 area code, as it is instantly recognizable and projects a sense of longevity. The most expensive 212 numbers are almost $30,000. Talk about supply and demand.

From here, toll-free and local are priced similarly based on their prefix and line number.

Prefix (NXX)

Following the area code is the prefix or NXX. We label this middle group of digits as premium, pattern, or random.

  • Premium numbers are repeated digits such as XXX-222-XXXX
  • Pattern segments make it easy to remember and dial a number like XXX-202-XXXX, XXX-200-XXXX, or XXX-220-XXXX
  • Random number groupings have no rhyme or reason to their segment order

The order of the NXX helps to influence the memorability of the number. The more memorable, the more expensive. The pricing, assuming the preceding 4-digits are random, start just under $100 and increase depending on the rarity of the number.

Number Line (Last 4-digits)

Last but certainly not least, the last four digits. This ending segment has the most impact on the value of a number. Depending on the prefix or NXX, the order of the last four digits can continue a premium/pattern or make the number a vanity.

  • Premium numbers can be a super repeater XXX-2222222 or have double repeaters XXX-2225555
  • Pattern segments can occur through the whole number XXX-2022020 or be something simply professional and memorable like ending in 1000
  • Vanity numbers spell out phrases XXX-XXX-HOME and XXX-XXX-LAWN

This segment indicates memorability. It can create a call-to-action or branding statement with a phrase, or it can form a pattern that moves to a steady beat. Pricing ranges from $500 to over $10,000.

7-Digit Vanity Numbers

One of the more common requests is for a number with a pure seven-digit vanity that spells a word or phrase with only the area code containing numbers. These are the most premium of numbers, as they are the rarest.

For local numbers, not every NXX combination has been released, so some vanities are simply not available. But even if it was released, there will only be one of the exact 7-digit word you’re looking for per area code.  With local vanities, it is not recommended to choose an 8-digit vanity because a cell phone won’t register the phone call correctly if all eight numbers after the area code are dialed.  Luckily, RingBoost has the largest collection of curated 7-digit vanity numbers with local area codes available online. Examples include 559-DENTIST, 747-LAW-FIRM, 667-BACK-DOC, and 903-ROOFING.  Pricing can be from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.

Toll-free has more options for vanity keywords and phrases, considering that there are seven different 8XX “area codes” (800, 888, 877, down to 833) and all number combinations after are released. Also, if a caller dials more than 7-digits with a toll-free number, the call will still be completed, which is why longer vanity numbers like 1-800-HOMECARE are viable options. Pricing primarily depends on whether you want a nationwide number or are interested in licensing a premium vanity for a particular, direct market area. It typically ranges from $15-$1200/mo.

Get an ROI-Boosting Phone Number

Now you know that purchasing a phone number is a real thing and the logic behind the fluctuating prices. Investing in a new number is a long-term investment in yourself. This attainable asset will continue to perform for the longevity of your business. If you are looking to switch from your randomly generated number assigned to you by your carrier, RingBoost has over 500,000 phone numbers. Whether you want one that is memorable, significant, or even a bit random, RingBoost has the right fit for you.


Written by: on July 9, 2019

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