This post on the most expensive domain names is to show you what people are paying for domain names. Moreover, how you too can learn from this trend to secure a domain name today.
30 Most Expensive Premium Domain Names (PDN)
Wondering if there are domain names more expensive than the ones available on your domain seller’s inventory?
If you’re wondering of how much the most expensive domain name ever sold is?
There are lots of premium domain names that have been sold for ridiculously high amounts, supposedly because of their relevance to the people who were buying them?
This is fascinating, and something will uncover in this list of 30 Most Expensive Premium Domain Names ever sold.
In this list, we cover the total amount and time these domains were.
Jet.com – $3.3 billion – (2016)
$3.3 Billion sounds like an incredibly ludicrous amount of money to pay for a domain name, but when you are jet.com, and Walmart wants to buy you, it isn’t.
In August of 2016, Walmart offered $3 billion in cash to buy ownership rights of jet.com from the founders.
It’s coupled with a $300 million in stock which was paid out over time to the founders and other specific members of the company.
Walmart completed the acquisition in December of the year.
Founded by Marc Lore, jet.com was the big brand that came to the salvation of retailers who were trying to improve their defences against the assault of Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.
Cars.com – $2.5 billion – (2014)
When you tell anyone that you’ve just bought a domain name for $2 billion, they may immediately think you are crazy. Perhaps, until they learn it is cars.com.
Acquired by Gannett Co. in 2014 for $1.8 billion in cash, cars.com served as a platform for the sales of used and new cars and valued at $2.5 billion according to McClatchy Co.
Cars.com is a joint venture among McClatchy, Gannett, Tribune Media Co., Graham Holdings Co., and A.H. Belo Corp and is considered the primary asset of Classified Ventures.
In turn, McClatchy directly owned 25.6% of Classified Ventures.
This deal, sealed in 2014, was predicted to be in lieu of shaking up things, business-wise at Cars.com and expanding to accommodate more cars.
LasVegas.com – $90,000,000 – (2005)
Maybe there is some logic or explanation behind the move by VEGAS.com LLC to acquire the domain name LasVegas.com for $90,000,000 (or $90 million if that didn’t seem right in your eyes), but we’ll never really be accurate.
In 2005, the company acquired the premium domain name from its original owner, Stephens Media.
The company which bought this premium domain is VEGAS.com LLC which is a travel agency online platform that is destination-specific and was founded in 1998.
CarInsurance.com – $49,700,000 – (w/content-2010)
Sold in 2010 to QuinStreet for $49.7 million, Carinsurance.com comes in at Number 4 on our list of most expensive premium domain names ever sold.
Before buying carinsurance.com, QuinStreet, a marketing company based in California, was already in the business of purchasing premium domain names in the insurance space and was publicly traded.
It was their deal to buy up domain names and associated assets for the insurance space.
After the purchase of carinsurance.com in 2010, it became one of the most expensive domain names in the market.
Carinsurance.com subsequently became an addition to the list of insurance-related premium domain names owned by the company.
Insurance.com – $35,600,000 – (2010)
For a total of $35.6 million in 2010, QuinStreet added insurance.com to the company’s list of premium domain names under its ownership.
The publicly-traded marketing company bought the domain and all its other associated assets for a total of $35,600,000 and became the property of the company.
This immediately placed insurance.com on the list of most expensive premium domain names, making QuinStreet owner of a large number of premium domain names.
VacationRentals.com – $35,000,000 – (2007)
When Texas-based firm, HomeAway, bought Vacation Rentals domain for $35,000,000, it was a simple move to keep the juicy domain from the hands of their biggest competitor, Expedia.
VacationRentals.com has transformed into a digital marketplace.
Tourists, travel buffs, and working-class people and just about anyone can find and snag juicy holiday and vacation deals within the US and in several parts of the world.
Now people can visit the domain to find the best deals and explore the world in various countries.
PrivateJet.com – $30,180,000 – (2012)
In 2012, Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC, paid a whole $30.1 million to purchase the rights to the domain name, privatejet.com from Don’t Look Media Group.
The rationale for purchasing this premium domain for such an unbelievable price was in a bid to attract clients of high net worth.
Currently, this site is considered one of the most premium online places for jet charter travel with a landing page selling flights for as much as $1980 per hour.
And they serve a broad spectrum of clients in different industries looking to engage private luxury air travel for their business operations.
Internet.com – $18 million – (2009)
Internet.com is probably one of the acquisitions of QuinStreet that doesn’t have a direct link to insurance.
When the company paid $18 million in cash for the premium domain previously owned by WebMediaBrands, it was in the hopes of transforming it into something relevant across time.
WebMediaBrands is reported to have sold the domain to QuinStreet because it was in the best interest of their stockholders and was used to improve the company’s balance sheets.
Also, QuinStreet pumped the cash to enable it to focus on the areas that formed the core of its existence.
Today, internet.com exists as an ad-free platform where people can get access to quality information on internet news and trends.
360.com – $17 million – (2015)
When Qihoo 360 put up $17 million to buy 360.com from Vodafone in 2015, they were most famous for their mobile hardware, software for antivirus and web browser.
The company, founded in 2005, is reputed to have the most expensive domain name in the year they bought 360.com.
And it was considered a significant investment nevertheless, considering how well the domain represented the company.
Insure.com – $16 million – (2009)
When it comes to snagging up premium domains with future value and related to insurance, QuinStreet was raking in money.
They appeared behind every news of a big domain name buy that had anything to do with insurance back in 2009, and they were taking everything that was up for grabs.
There is a certain ring that money has that makes it understandable that a website related to insurance would naturally come at a premium price.
After QuinStreet bought the domain from them, the company that initially owned insure.com changed their name to Life Quotes.
Now, insure.com serves as a resource place for getting news, quotes and articles dealing with insurance.
On the platform, visitors can find and compare the prices of different insurers before settling for one.
Insure.com was sold to California-based marketing company, QuinStreet, in 2009 for a total sum of $16 million, fetching ten times more than it was sold originally in 2001.
Sex.com – $13 million – (2010)
When Reuters broke the news of the sale in 2010 for as much as $13 million, it says, “it was not immediately clear what Clover Holdings plans to do with the web address”.
But the reason for the sale seems to clear today.
After the sale, it was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest domain-only sale in history.
The domain is now serving a purpose that many have come to be familiar with.
This domain also has garner tons of users with a cult following.
Bankruptcy was part of the reason Escom LLC sold the domain name to Clover Holdings Ltd.
IRS.com – $12,500,000 – (2007)
When Intersearch.com bought IRS.com for $12.5 million, it did ruffle up some feathers in the US Congress.
Where lawmakers quickly changed into battle mode in preparation of a fight for the ban of the use of domain names which resembled government agencies.
However, Intersearch was vindicated as there was no case of logos or other symbols related to the Treasury, or the IRS.
Hotels.com – $11,000,000 – (2001)
$11 million may be considered a steep amount for a domain name back in 2001.
But to many people today, hotels.com buyer David Roche who was the president of Hotels.com Worldwide had made an astute decision.
Today, this domain is primarily the most significant online booking site for travellers.
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 they sold hotels.com for $1.1 billion. So, he got it for a steal back in 2001.
CardRatings.com – $10,200,000 – (2008)
When CardRatings.com – a site with just under 100,000 visitors a month – was sold for $10.2 million in an all-cash deal, many speculated that the deal might have been a whitewash.
CardRatings’s acquisition was another of QuinStreet highly-priced domain deal. And has been in the discourse of if it’s worth the price or not.
For the statistics they currently have, this price paid for cardratings.com seemed to be far too high. However, QuinStreet is not known for showing reservation towards spending large amounts of money on domain names.
Fund.com – $9,999,950 – (2008)
In 2008, after a deal that many people doubted its reality was brokered by Clek Media, Fund.com was purchased by a company called Fund.com in an all-cash deal.
Shortly after the sale, the company, Fund.com, ran into a lot of debt issues and had to declare much of its financials unreliable in 2009, failing to file reports continuously.
It is even more important to note that the man who was behind this company, Jason Galanis, is reported to have a very interesting history,
His history has not stopped this site from occupying its position as one of the top expensive domains in history. Now, the site doesn’t even load.
Porn.com – $9,500,000 – (2007)
At the sales of Porn.com, it was rated the highest all-cash deal for a single domain name and came in second-largest domain sale, right after sex.com.
Porn.com reached a sale agreement with MXN Limited in a deal brokered by Moniker comes in as a very strategic deal and has churned out a considerable amount of returns considering that it’s currently serving its purpose.
This sale has earned it a spot on the lists of the most expensive domain sales in the history of domain sales.
Porno.com – $8,888,888 – (2015)
In 2015, Rick Schwartz sealed the sale of porno.com earned it the title “Domain King”.
Something initially bought at $42,000 in 1997 from a college kid who bought it for $5,000 the week before, sold it at $8,888,888.
According to the reports and interviews of Domain King, after the sale of the domain, he made more than $20 million total from selling the scandalous domain to the same company in Prague who owns Swingers.com and PornoTv.com.
Rick got paid all cash for the domain name.
FB.com – $8,500,000 – (2010)
The American Farm Bureau Federation was the original registrants of FB.com.
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.
The initial aim was to provide this domain for internal use by the company’s in-house staff members.
Facebook’s acquisition of FB.com has been described as a two-way beneficial one for both Facebook and the original owners of the domain, also earning the domain a spot on the list.
We.com – $8,000,000 – (2016)
Temme sold his website, We.com to Chinese Banking Service for $8,000,000, Wealth Evolution.
And this sales has been described as one of his smoother transactions.
Also, the domain name fits perfectly as the acronyms of the company that bought it.
Diamond.com – $7,500,000 – (2006)
Diamond.com perceived as one of the priciest domain name swaps in the history of domain name swaps.
Odimo.com handed over the rights to diamond.com to an online jewellery retailer, ice.com, for a whopping $7,500,000.
Though this deal got completed in a private sale, it quickly became front-page news in many places.
This deal made it took a prime position on the list of pricy and premium domain names in the history of domain names.
These days, diamond.com is home to the jewellery retailer’s online platform and serves its elite community of premium jewellery.
Z.com – $6,784,000 – (2014)
In 2014, a Japanese internet service provider bough z.com from Nissan Motors for a total of 800 Million yen which is the equivalent of $6,784,000.
The internet service provider, GMO Internet, declared that z.com was is one of only three single-character domain names currently existing in the “.com” space.
And stated that as the basis of importance for acquiring the domain name.
This site now exists under the ownership rights of GMO Internet and redirects to their websites.
Slots.com – $5,500,000 – (2010)
Slots.com got sold for a whopping $5.5 million in 2010.
And TechCrunch pointed out that the amount accounted for more than $1 million per character on the name of the website.
Slots.com was converted for online real money Casino where people play games and win stakes.
This domain that now garners about 50,000 dedicated players every month was once lying around and now dominates as one of the most expensive domain names ever sold.
People who use slot.com today may even be oblivious of the worth of this platform as far back as 2010.
Today, it is probably worth much more than that.
Toys.com – $5,100,000 – (2009)
A bankruptcy order against Toys.com originated the auction sale of the domain.
However, it was put on auction days later and was snatched up by what has to be the perfect company for the domain – Toys R Us – for a total of $5 million.
Today, the URL redirects to the official website for Toys “R” Us.
And this has worked as a perfect strategy to snatch up whatever amount of traffic that channel controlled or kept away from them.
This has scored this domain one slot on the list of the most expensive domain names ever sold.
Clothes.com – $4,900,000 – (2008)
When Zappos wanted to get the premium domain, clothes.com, they had to pay almost $5 million for it.
Now, both are owned by Amazon even though clothes.com is still redirected to Zappos’ apparel selection and not Amazon’s main site.
However, this doesn’t clear off the fact that this sale comes in as one of the most important and expensive domain name sales in the history of premium domain name sales.
Whisky.com – $3,100,000 – (2014)
When Castello Cities Internet Network sold Whisky.com in a domain-only sale, it was considered one very skittish deal.
Michael Castello purchased the domain 24 years ago, in March 1995, for next to nothing.
“I had the original registration in March of 1995, and I registered it for free,” Castello wrote in DN Journal, explaining the motivation behind his buying the domain.
Selling the domain for $3.1 million, the man had made more money than he had spent on buying for the domain itself.
Candy.com – $3,000,000 – (2009)
Rick Schwartz has a reputation for selling Candy.com to G&J Holdings for a delicious $3 million in 2009.
G&J Holdings, owned by Greg Balistreri and Joe Melville, were willing to pay for the domain as it meant a market coverage for their business which was mostly in sweets.
According to them, they wanted to create easy access to sugary sweets online.
So they made a big bet on the simple domain, setting up one of the most significant domain buys in the history of domain buys.
CreditCards.com – $2,750,000 – (2004)
Click Success LP, a firm trading in financial tools and online products bought creditcards.com in 2004 for a whopping $2,750,000, a sale described as the biggest domain-only sale for years.
The other rival for this position, Casino.com, was sold for $5.5 million in 2003 but the deal included several other assets.
On the other hand, creditcards.com was a better deal based on the factors considered in the sale.
Social.com – $2,600,000 – (2011)
Moniker brokered a deal to sell social.com for $2.6 million in July 2011.
But don’t expect any fun chat site: Salesforce bought the URL, and it now directs to one of the company’s advertising pages.
This deal is one of the most interesting in the history of domain sales.
Although this is not the most expensive premium domain sales, it still counts for something that the site got sold for such a whopping amount.
Investing.com – $2,450,000 – (2012)
Forexpros.com bought Investing.com in late 2012 for $2.45 million. It was the most significant domain sale of the year.
The site is now full of content about investing and the stock market.
When Forexpros bought this domain name, it was probably testing the waters.
But now, it’s stocked with content with a cult following of people who are interested in investing in foreign exchange.
KK.com – $2,400,000 – (2013)
The premium domain, KK.com sold for a total $2.4 million in 2013 through the Moniker/SnapNames brokerage firm.
A report from The Domains at the time held that Liang Zeng of Zijin Digital Plaza in Bejing, China bought the URL.
But if you try to navigate to kk.com now, and you’ll see a “Domain not active” message.
Many do not consider this the best deal yet it undoubtedly make up the list of expensive domains ever paid for.
Most expensive domain names Takeaways
While most of the instances seem to be some half a decades away, you might be the next custodian of a million-dollar domain transfer in the next five years if you take a position today. Check out our store to choose from a range of premium domains at very affordable prices. We want to help you secure your future today 🙂