How many times have you tried buying a domain name for your blog or website only to find that it’s unavailable? Or, that the domain name you want is owned by someone who is willing to sell it to you at a very high price? You can always go ahead and buy that domain from the seller, provided you are prepared to pay the price or place a bid. And if you do, you just took part in domain flipping.
Domain flipping is buying a domain at a low price and later selling it at a much higher price, thereby making a cool profit. It’s a profitable online business for some people who know what they’re doing.
However, the practice of domain flipping had started much before the term had been coined, or before people bought domains with the intention of selling at a higher price later. In the beginning; it just happened. Serendipitously.
As a result, a few domains have made to the coveted list of the most expensive ones by the sheer amount of money that changed hands. There’s a bit of history and surprise hidden in their stories. Here are the top 10 most expensive domain names.
World’s Most Expensive URLs
The top 10 most expensive domains have a few things in common. They all have one or two words, they all have the .com extension, and they belong to one or more of the following categories: business, money, travel, sex, or porn.
1. LasVegas.com – Sold back in 2005 the Las Vegas domain that represents the city tourism, entertainment and gambling industry, holds the crown as the most expensive domain name ever. $90 million is the total projected cost associated with this domain name.
LasVegas.com was acquired for $12 million dollars cash in 2005 (by owners of Vegas.com, LLC). However this was just an initial one-time payment. Vegas.com owners entered into a purchase agreement that specified additional future payment obligations. Monthly payments of approximately $83,000 for the next 36 months, $125,000 for another 60 months, and then $208,000 for the next 36 months.
Per the terms of the agreement, after June 30, 2016, following the 132 initial monthly payments, Vegas.com, LLC in its sole discretion may terminate the agreement and forfeit the domain name. If Vegas.com, LLC chooses not to terminate the agreement, they will continue making the monthly payments of approximately $208,000 until June 30, 2040, at which time the seller will transfer the domain name to Vegas.com, LLC without further payments or cost to Vegas.com, LLC.
So this not really a one-time bid and sale transaction, it is more like a rent-to-own contract. Still, we have decided to add it to the list as it represent the top most expensive domain name.
2. CarInsurance.com – $49.7 million, sold in 2010. It should be noted, that this was listed as “domain with content” sale (so basically selling an existing website). However the domain itself hold much higher value than the associated content. The domain value was derived from one of the most expensive insurance keywords with high search volumes.
3. Insurance.com – $35.6 million, sold in 2010. Again, this domain name came with some preexisting content, but obviously the primary target was the iconic insurance.com domain. This only confirms that the insurance sector never “loses” and that they are confident about the future – money to be made.
4. VacationRentals.com – This is an entity of the HomeAway family, which is a comprehensive and trusted source for vacation rentals. Through the site, vacationers can find the perfect accommodations to enjoy a lovely holiday. The founder of HomeAway, Brian Sharples, bought this domain for a cool $35 million in 2007. This is the highest bid ever made for a domain…so far.
5. PrivateJet.com –Coming in second, this domain sold for $30.18 million in 2012. And what does it do? It helps you charter a business jet within minutes, but make sure you are big shot first.
6. Insure.com – Didn’t I tell you to look out for one-word domain names that smell of money?! In 2009, www.insure.com sold for $16 million. It had remained the second highest paid domain until PrivateJet.com broke its record. And it does what it says – sells insurance.
7. Sex.com – This domain sold for $14 million in October of 2010, and it sells what it says it sells. The keyword ‘sex’ is the most searched keyword on any search engine. There’s little room for doubt that the domain owner is reaping huge profits.
8. Hotels.com – The company that owns this domain has 85 other websites in 34 languages that aid in creating a comprehensive database of over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Hotels.com also lists bed & breakfasts, condos, and commercial accommodations. The domain seller says it was sold for $11 million, but the buyer couldn’t remember what he paid to buy this domain in 2001.
9. Fund.com – In 2008, www.fund.com sold for $9.9 million, but at the moment, the website is not live. It automatically redirects to http://www.igloo.com/domain/fund.com. There is no doubt that this domain would host a website offering financial services, and it’s a pity that a domain this expensive is lying barren. Is the seller planning to resell this domain? Maybe it will be at the top of this list soon.
10. Porn.com – The second domain from the porn industry within the list of top ten most expensive domain names says it all. Purchased in 2007, at a substantial $9.5 million, the site owner is no doubt making the most of the domain.
11. Fb.com – FB is synonymous with Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg’s company grabbed the domain in November of 2010 at $ 8.5 million. So, if you type www.fb.com on your browser, you will automatically be redirected to www.facebook.com. The domain was originally owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
12. Business.com – This is also one of the oldest domains flipped. Business.com sold for $7.5 million back in December 1999. The website offers assistance to entrepreneurs in gathering relevant knowledge and skill, and in comparing products and services before making business purchases.
13. Diamond.com – In 2006, this domain was acquired at $7.5 million, and is now an online diamond shopping hub.
There you have it! The top 10 most expensive domain names, plus 3 additional ones;). Have you ever bought or sold a domain?