Business & Marketing

Top 25+ Most Expensive Domain Names Ever Sold

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Domain name speculation is not a new thing, we all know or have seen people that engage in the practice of identifying and registering or acquiring Internet domain names with the ultimate intention of selling them later for a profit. What could even come as a bigger surprise is how much these folks make through domain flipping

Quite unlike website flipping, the main target of domain name speculation and flipping are generic words which can be valuable for type-in traffic as well as for the dominant position they would have in any field as a result of their descriptive nature. Generic words and phrases such as cars, poker, Education, insurance, travel or Credit cards are attractive of choice by domain speculators in any top-level domain.

In this article, we’ve decided to come up with a list of 26 most expensive domain names ever sold up to the year 2014. We’ve decided not to include domain names such as shopping.de which was sold together with additional assets (websites) for a whooping $2.9 Million back in 2008, Yellow pages for instance went for over $100 million but that also included other assets. for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the domains only without the website or other web properties.

See Also: 30 Social Networking Websites used in Africa

Domain for sale-stamp

Featured Image Credit – depositphotos

Here are Top 25+ Most Expensive Domain Names Ever Sold

26. AltaVista.com, $3.25 Million

Year: 1998 (Compaq)

In June 1998, Compaq paid AltaVista Technology Incorporated (“ATI”) $3.3 million for the domain name “altavista.com” – The domain name was registered by Jack Marshall, cofounder of ATI, back in 1994, domain purchase price of $3.3 million makes it one of the most expensive domain names ever sold at that time.

25. Wine.com $3.3 Million

Year: 2003 (VirtualVineyard.com)

Back in 2003, A wine selling website “VirtualVineyard.com” swapped their not so easy to remember domain name for this generic keyword domain giant.

24. Shop.com $3.5 Million

Year: 2003 (Lee Lorenzen)

Prior to 2003, CatalogCity was a website that made it easy for it’s users to browse through catalogues over the internet. They upgraded to the more easy to remember shop.com in 2003.

23. YP.com $3.85 Million

Year: 2008 (AT&T)

In 2008, AT&T’s YellowPages subsidiary purchased the two-letter domain name YP.com (now redirects to yellowpages.com) last month from the company LiveDeal (formerly YP Corp.). An SEC filing revealed that YellowPages acquired the domain name for a cool $3,850,000 in cash payment.

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22. GiftCard.com, $4 Million

Year: 2012 (GiftCardLab.com)

Giftcard.com will now go down in history as one of the most expensive domain names ever purchased at a price of about $4 Million. “The GiftCard.com domain and brand is the crown jewel of the $100 Billion gift card market,” according to David Jones, CEO, Gift CardLab

21. FreePort.com, $4 Million

Year: 2008 (CCH Domains)

Freeport.com is today, a website promoting travels to Bahamas, back in 2008, Freeport.com  sold for $4 million

20. FreePorn.com, $4 Million

Year: 2008 (Owner unknown)

The sale of Free Porn marks the largest domain sale of 2008, and one of the largest domain sales ever. According to the Compete ranking, FreePorn.com receives over 200,000 unique visitors per month

19. iCloud.com, $4.5 Million

Year: 2011 (Apple)

Apple has purchased the iCloud.comdomain name for a sum of $4.5 million. The domain had been used until recently by an online storage firm of the same, but the company recently rebranded its service as CloudMe.

18. Clothes.com, $4.9 Million

Year: 2008 (Zappos)

Zappos is not only about shoes, shoes and shoes. When Amazon acquired Zappos.com in 2009 it was revealed that Zappos had bought clothes.com the year before for a staggering $4.9M. It redirects to their clothing line web shop.

17. Korea.com, $5 Million

Year: 2004 (Korea.com Communications)

The domain name, Korea.com was first registered in 1995 but was eventually resold in 2004 making it the most expensive country domain ever sold, it will be recalled that the domain name, England.com was also sold for $2 Million. New owner of this domain is Korea.com Communications.

16. SEO.com, $5 Million>

Year: 2007 (WashingtonVC)

Michael Mann, the founder of WashingtonVC understood the importance of SEO and the benefits of a good domain name, after selling his former company, BuyDomains, for $65 million, he started investing in SEO companies, one of those is SEO.com

15. AsSeenOnTV.com, $5.1 Million

Year: 2000 (LA Group, Inc.)

In the Year 2000, LA Group purchased the domain AsSeenOnTV.com for a price of $5.1 million to redirect to their brand AsSeenAtTV.com. This has been described as the most expensive defensive registration ever made

14. Toys.com, $5.1 Million

Year: 2009 (ToysRUs)

This domain was sold to American market leader ToysRUs for its three retail properties: ToysRUs, eToys.com, and FAO Schwarz. It made $5.1 million for the owner

13. Casino.com, $5.5 Million

Year: 2007 (Mansion Limited of GIbraltar)

When Mansion Limited, a company that operates from Gibraltar and hosts several online games sold Casino.com, it paid back its investment many times over.

12. Slots.com, $5.5 Million

Year: 2010 (Bodog)

This domain was registered in 1995 and was set for sale in 2010 at a Snapnames domain auction, Moniker eventually managed to sell it afterwards directly to the new owner Bodog, an online gaming site for a whooping $5.5 millionAccording to Calvin Ayre from Bodog “Even at $5.5m, I’m convinced the Slots.com price was a steal.”

11. Israel.com, $5.88 Million

Year: 2008 (Anonymous)

This deal was done in 2008 by anonymous buyer, it was sold by Joel Friedman in 2008 who had bought it in 1994.

10. Beer.com, $7 Million

Year: 1999 (Interbrew)

This domain is featuring for resale on www.aftermarket.com, Interbrew initially acquired the domain beer.com from Andrew Miller and Michael “Zappy” Zapolin the year after they had acquired it for just $80.000.

9. Diamond.com, $7.5 Million

Year: 2006 (Ice.com)

The new owners of this domain acquired it for a price of $7.5 million

8. Business.com, $7.5 Million

Year: 1999 (Jake Winebaum and Sky Daton)

Business.com sold for $7.5 Million to Winebaum and Daton to create a B2B site back in 1999. Eight years later R.H. Donnelley bought the entire company for $345 million to compete with SuperPages and YellowPages. This investment paid off

7. FB.com, $8.5 Million

Year: 2010

Buyer : facebook

Facebook acquired fb.com in November 2010 from American Farm Bureau Federation at a price of $8.5 million. At its annual meeting in Atlanta, the non-profit Organisation made it known that it had earned a hefty $8.5 million on the sale of FB.com.

6. Porn.com, $9.5 Million

Year: 2007 (MXN Limited)

Here comes another domain from the Porn Industry, Just like in the case of slots.com, porn.com did not make the minimum bid at an auction (T.r.a.f.f.i.c. West), but it was later sold by Moniker to MXN Ltd. at $9.5 Million.

5. Fund.com, $9.99 Million

Year: 2011 (Eastern Services Group)

The website is currently under construction. A controversial sale from the beginning when acquired by Nevada-based company Eastern Services Group which worked as a tax advisor to casinos and which then went public. Later it was revealed that they did business with a number of shady companies such as Westmore Capital which was closed down by the SEC for running a $53 million Ponzi scheme. At the end of 2011 Fund.com had lost 99% of its revenue.

4. Hotels.com, $11 Million

Year: 2001 (David Roche)

This domain was purchased at $11 Million according to a recent interview with BBC, David Roche the CEO of hotels.com Worldwide, revealed that they had originally acquired the domain hotels.com in 2001 but later sold the company later for $1.1. Bn

3. Sex.com, $13 Million

Year: 2010 (Clover Holdings)

Sex.com was sold for $14 million, this deal happened in October of 2010.  This domain is currently doing very well as it’s linked with one of the most searched keywords on Google and other search engines.

2. Insure.com, $16 Million

Year: 2009 (Quin Street)

This deal took place in 2009 at the price of $16 Million from Quin Street, “an online performance marketing company helping businesses target their would-be customer audiences by using its proprietary technologies and media reach to generate sales leads”.

1. PrivateJet.com

This transaction happened not so long ago in 2012 at $30.18 million, making it one of the highest deals ever made from domain flipping

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