The internet has been around since 1983, but the world only started to know about it about it in the early 1990s when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web. And some visionaries then felt that the internet could be an interesting source of business to exploit. And they were not mistaken.
Even today, many people are trying to register domain names in the hope that, someday, someone would want to buy it and they could sell it, thus gaining some profit (we invite you to re-read the good speculative operation of this american who sold the domain fakenews.com for nearly $175,000).
On dropcatching platforms, it is possible to find real nuggets, the so-called Premium Domain Names that are considered to be virtual and rare real estates with a high potential. You only need to be vigilant to get them to the auction at the right time, as on youdot.io.
If the cost of a blank domain name is approximately ten euros (the price varies depending on the type of extension), the price of premium domain names can rise very quickly as indicated in the list below.
- Business.com – $345 million: in our previous article, we talked about the top 10 of the most expensive domain names, and this one was not mentioned. An oversight? Not quite. The story about the domain name business.com is that it was purchased in 1999 for the relatively large sum of $7,5 million. Then, a few years later, there were proposals to buy business.com by the New York Times and the Dow Jones, but this domain was finally sold to RH Donnelly, one of the world’s 500 largest fortunes and CEO of a company operating in the SEO. For the amount of nearly $350 million, he inherited the domain name but also all the previous content. Also, we could wonder about the merits of integrating or not business.com in this ranking, as the amount of the sale includes other components than the simple domain name. Between 1999 and 2007, the value of the domain name was multiplied by 47. A really good investment!
- LasVegas.com– $90 million: this domain name has been purchased by the same holder as vegas.com for $90 million. It should be noted that the purchaser was able to benefit from payment facilities by paying 12 million euros as the first installment and then the remainder to be paid was staggered over several years. The least of it!
- CarInsurance.com – $49,7 million: in 2010, a few months after the acquisition of several interesting domain names in the insurance area, the company Quinstreet has handed out almost $ 50 million to purchase the domain CarInsurance.com, one of the 4 most expensive domains they bought and so one of these 20 most expensive domain names of this ranking.
- Insurance.com – $35.6 million: also bought in 2010 by the same company, Quinstreet, this domain joins their wallet of three domain names they have in their possession in the quite competitive Insurance area.
- VacationRentals.com– $35 million: bought in 2009 by Brian Sharpies, founder of HomeAway (which bought the French site Abritel in 2007). The latter admitted to have purchased this domain name to prevent his competitor Expedia from doing it!
- PrivateJet.com – $30,1 million: the company Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC has acquired this domain in 2012 for more than $ 30 million for its private jet rental and sales platform. Logic.
- Voice.com – $30 million: In late May 2019, Block.one, start-up behind the creation of the EOS cryptocurrency and blockchain platform bought the domain name in a 100% cash transaction facilitated by GoDaddy. The aim? Create Facebook’s biggest competitor. Investing in the voice.com domain name is a strategic choice. Indeed, the word “voice” is simple, short and easily understood. In addition, it is a very broad and popular search term on the Internet. Such a domain name (called ultra-premium due to its quality) will certainly help Block.one in view of the omnipresence of this word as a search term.
- Internet.com – $18 million: could this be the source of all things? Who would not be delighted to hold this domain name! Internet.com: where the internet begins!
- 360.com – $17 million: The Chinese company Qihoo 360 bought the domain name back in 2015 in an attempt to unite their brand around the “360” theme. The site 360.com was a very good choice for the company, since very short domain names and numbers are extremely popular in China, especially when you know the symbolism of numbers in the Chinese culture. Today, the site offers an antivirus service for Mac.
- Insure.com – $16 million : l’une des 4 acquisitions les moins chers de QuinStreet ! Ce nom de domaine avait initialement été acquis par Insure.com pour 1,6 millions de dollars puis revendu 8 ans plus tard pour 16 millions. C’était alors le premier achat effectué par QuinStreet dans le secteur de l’assurance
- Sex.com – $14 million: this domain name is considered the equivalent of the Monopoly Boardwalk and has even entered the Guinness World Records, punctuating the many twists and turns that this domain name experienced. In 1995, the business man Gary Kremen (founder of match.com) registered sex.com but did not create any site, preferring to focus on match.com. The domain name was then recovered by a third party following a scam worthy of the best police movies: false fax, business of tens of thousands of dollars per months, runaway in Mexico. Its, kind of, scandalous story was even the story of a book: Sex.com: One Domain, Two men, Twelve Years and the Brutal Battle for the Jewel in the Internet’s Crown. Resold in 2010 on Sedo, its valuation was estimated at nearly $14 million.
- IRS.com– $12.5 million: as for sex.com, the sale and ownership of this domain name was a run of bad luck in the history of domain names. In the United States, the IRS is a federal governmental agency which collect income tax and other various taxes. While Intersearch.com paid $ 12,5 million to acquire the domain name irs.com, the US Congress thought of regulating the use of domain names similar to government agencies, stating that websites like irs.com, irs.org and irs.net were doing business by offering services that US taxpayers could get for free on the IRS official website (irs.gov). Intersearch then stated that if there was a law prohibiting the use of the name Internal Revenue Service and its initials, logos and symbols to make it a business, this law did not extend to domain names.
- Hotels.com – $11 million: in 2008, Clek Media negotiated the sale of the domain name fund.com for nearly $ 10 million.
- Tesla.com – $11 million: The electric car manufacturer Tesla is well known all across the globe, but did you know that Elon Musk had to wait for more than a decade before finally buying Tesla.com for $11 million? Indeed, the whole world knew the company as Tesla and not as Tesla Motors. Acquiring this domain name was therefore important. He chose to wait until 2015 to be able to buy this domain name instead of continuing to use teslamotors.com.
- Fund.com – $9,9 millions : in 2008, Clek Media negotiated the sale of the domain name fund.com for nearly $ 10 million.
- Shoes.com – $9 million: Walmart, the world’s largest retail group chose to buy this domain name back in 2017. The simplicity of this domain name is very interesting for Walmart. Just like Voice.com, “shoes” is a very popular search engine search. At that price, the domain name almost felt like a bargain!
- Porno.com – $8,8 million: Rick Schwartz bought then sold the domain name porno.com making a capital gain of 4700%. He bought it for $ 42,000 from a student who had originally bought it for $5,000.
- FB.com – $8,5 million: without surprise, it was Facebook that acquired the two-letter domain name (commonly called LL.com) FB.com in 2010. FB is the abbreviation used for the Nasdaq but also by many users to talk about Facebook. FB.com (just like FB.me) redirects to the Facebook website, and the internal addresses of Facebook employees use the @fb.com. A short domain name that is well worth $ 8,5 million.
- RealEstate.com – $8,2million: the marketing and technology solutions provider for real estate professionals, Market Leader, paid nearly $ 8,25 million to acquire RealEstate.com in an agreement that not only included the domain name and website, but also the 250 brokerage firms network and “hundreds of other real estate domains”.
- Diamond.com – $ 7.5 million: Today, the diamond.com website has nothing to do with jewelery as its owners have chosen to make it the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. At this price, this domain name really is a gem!
- We.com – $8million: the creators of Wechat and Tencent (the biggest internet service provider portal in China) obtained the short domain we.com for an estimated amount of $ 8 million in an agreement with Sedo.
- Beer.com – $7 million: sold in 2004 for 7 million of dollars to Thought Convergence Inc, domain name registrar. Cheers! ????
- Z.com – $6,7 million: only six domains composed of one letter and a generic top level domain extension exist in the world: Q.com, X.com, X.org, I.net, Q.net and Z.com. The latter was sold for 800 million of yens to GMO Internet, one of the largest Internet service provider and registrar in Japan.
- Israel.com – $5,8 million: in may 2008, the domain name Israel.com was sold for 5,88 million of dollars to an anonymous buyer. When the registrar announced that this domain was being sold, the auctions then began at 5,5 million of dollars and the domain was sold in only 6 days. The previous holder – an American Jew – did not know that it would be so valuable when he bought it in 1994, explaining that he had registered it to prevent someone else from doing it wrong.
- Casino.com & Slots.com– $5,5 million: these two domains were both sold for $ 5,5 million to different buyers and at different times, casino.com in 2003 and slots.com in 2010.
The secondary market for domain names is in perpetual motion, so there is a good chance that this list of the 25 most expensive domain names will evolve in the future.
As for you, do you think that you have high-potential premium domain names and can speculate before reselling them at a higher price? Perhaps you should take a look at the YouDot platform to find the next future nugget!