What is the most expensive domain name in the world? You don’t gamble with LasVegas.com at $90 million. The url was sold in 2005 and will be active for more than 35 years. The rest of domain names on our list represent a slew of businesses such as insurance, vacation and chartered jet. Here’s our complete list of the most expensive domain names in the world in 2020:
What’s in a name… domain name, to be precise? Everyday internet users like you and me simply type the URL of our favorite websites in the browser’s address bar without a second thought. But the truth is, some of the familiar and prominent URLs we know today are cloaked in gold. A simple eight-letter word can be fetch millions of dollars depending on the need of interested buyers. The brilliant fellas who snapped up these domain names before anyone else deserve all the luck and money for their foresight and planning.
Ibisworld.com reports that the web domain name sales industry grew 3.8% annually from 2011 to 2016 to post revenue of $2 billion in 2016. Revenue growth in this industry is driven by the pressing need for businesses to maintain an online presence. In addition, recent development of new domain name suffixes is also expected to boost this sector.
The rush to buy and reserve domain names can be compared to the land rush in the US in the 19th century when farm lands in states like Oklahoma were thrown open to the public. Businesstoday.in reveals that it is wise to invest in domains because they are limited in number. The holding cost is negligible and you can get a bonanza if the right buyer comes along. Even domains with typos fetch a good price. For example, cheptickets.com (spelling mistake for ‘cheap tickets’) went for $200k in 2009.
The rule of thumb for domains is basic: the shorter and easier to remember the names, the more valuable! Read on to learn about the top 12 most expensive domain names recorded in internet history till 2020.
Fb.com was registered by a nonprofit company named the American Farm Bureau Federation. They got a windfall when Facebook decided to buy this domain name for $8.5 million in 2010. Today, fb.com redirects to facebook.com.
Facebook decided to buy this domain to meet the demands of the brand’s continuing expansion. Their aim is to provide this domain for internal use by the company’s in-house staff members.
Porn is undoubtedly one of the major attractions of the internet. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and attracts a high number of internet searches. Therefore, it is not surprising that MXN Limited decided to shell out $9.5 million in 2007 to secure porn.com. At the time, it was reputed to be the biggest all-cash domain purchase.
Porn.com is a website for adult videos and content. Moniker.com brokered the sale of this domain name for MXN Limited. Their foresight paid off as this domain is top of the charts in the adult industry and receives a high number of visitors every day.
Currently, this domain name is available for sale. In 2008, it was bought by a financial services information publishing enterprise named Fund.com, Inc. Clek Media brokered this all-cash transaction. The site provided info on investments, mutual funds, stocks, and more. However, the company experienced a major decline in 2011 due to legal issues such as a Ponzi scheme, problems surrounding ownership and others. As a result, this site is currently vacant and up for grabs.
$11 million was considered a steep amount for a domain name back in 2001. But hotels.com buyer David Roche who was the president of Hotels.com Worldwide had made an astute decision. Today, this domain is a major online booking site where global travelers can reserve their lodging and accommodation.
David Roche averred that buying the right domain can lead to great success. The domain can easily go on to become a recognized brand. Roche knows what he is talking about as hotels.com was later sold for $1.1 billion. So, he in fact got it for a steal back in 2001.
For many people, sex is one of the major attractions of the internet. So it’s not surprising that sex.com fetched $13 million in 2010. This domain name has been in existence since the 1990s and has been a focal point of many legal tangles.
Sex.com is a site for adult content. It was bought for $13 million by Gary Kremen, a noted entrepreneur who is also the owner of the popular website Match.com. However, an interloper named Stephen Cohen misrepresented Kremen, took over the site, and made a lot of money via online ads. Kremen sued Cohen, won the legal battle, and gained a payout of $65 million for his troubles.
Money always has a ring to it and it is understandable that a website dealing with comprehensive insurance would command a premium price. Insure.com’s former owner has changed its name to Life Quotes after it was bought by California-based online marketing company Quin Street.
Insure.com provides news, quotes, and articles on insurance. You can get info and compare the prices of different insurance providers. Domain sales were affected by the 2008 economic slowdown. When Insure.com went for $16 million in 2009 it was a clear sign that domains were well on the way back to becoming a lucrative investment again. In fact, Insure.com fetched 10 times more than the amount it was sold for back in 2001.
Internet.com is another Quin Street acquisition. It bought the domain name from WebMediaBrands for $18 million in cold cash. Today, Internet.com is an ad-free site that gives comprehensive info on internet news, trends, and products.
WebMediaBrands sold this domain name to Quin Street because the move benefitted stockholders and improved the company’s balance sheet. Plus, the cash enabled the enterprise to focus on its core areas. On Internet.com today, you can become a consumer and get redirects to websites where you can buy your own domain names.
Privatejet.com was bought by Atlanta-based Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC from Don’t Look Media Group. They were willing to shell out the staggering price of $30.1 million because their aim is to attract high net worth clients. Privatejet.com is being marketed as a major online site for jet charter travel and its landing page currently sells flights starting at $1980 an hour. Customers looking for global business charter flights can visit this site for great deals and prices.
Vacation Rentals was an active site until Texas-based firm HomeAway purchased it for a cool $35 million, just to keep it off the hands of its biggest competitor Expedia. Today, the domain is a marketplace for vacation deals in the US and all over the world. If you’re a travel buff and love going on holidays, visit Vacationrentals.com to “build your best vacation ever”.
This high-value domain name was purchased by Quin Street, the online marketing company that also bought insure.com and internet.com. Insurance.com is a popular car insurance comparison-shopping portal and it also offers info on motorcycle, health, home, and life insurance, aggregating quotes from leading insurance companies. Quin Street certainly had a long-term goal in mind when they made the $35.6 million purchase.
On Insurance.com, you can compare insurance rates, view options instantly, save money on coverage, and see private info. The domain name is well worth $35.6 million because insurance is a popular keyword on search engines and the site also hosts informative and useful content that is sure to attract a large audience.
QuinStreet paid $49.7 million to buy the domain name CarInsurance.com, a consumer site for info and shopping on auto insurance. Insurance is an important vertical for Quin Street and that is why it was willing to pay such a high amount for the CarInsurance.com domain name. The company has built the online properties it has purchased to provide top rate consumer info and experiences.
On CarInsurance.com, you can find and compare various insurance policies and buy the ones that you want directly via the site. Simply type in your zip code and the portal provides a list of popular insurance providers such as Geico, CIG, and AARP. The website is an informative resource for research on car insurance choices and is stocked with a glossary of terms, a coverage calculator, in-depth articles and more.
Domain investing expert George Kirikos found that the domain name LasVegas.com was sold in 2005 in a transaction valued at about $90 million over 35 years. This means LasVegas.com tops our list of most expensive domain names thus far in internet history. VEGAS.com purchased this domain and agreed to pay $12 million upfront and the rest in installments till 2040.
Interestingly, LasVegas.com is a completely different site from Vegas.com. It is one of the top results for the search term “Las Vegas” in Google. The site is fully functional and offers bookings, tours, and accommodation in the tourist city.
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