A winning web address can add a lot to a business. But in the world of domain portfolios an in-demand domain can bring in millions of dollars. Here are the top ten domain sales that broke the bank…
On August 6th, 1991 Tim Berners-Lee published the world’s first website from a lab in Switzerland at the base of the Swiss Alps. Almost 23 years later the website is still around – you can view it here. The original web address was this clunky phrase:
The address actually still works as a link – go ahead and try it. Little did Tim Berners-Lee know that something as simple as a web address would turn into such a hot commodity. Most domains cost anywhere from $10-$80 a year, unless of course you are looking for a premium domain.
These hot domains are traded like baseball cards, well baseball cards with millions of dollar price tags. While .coms are dominating the highest price list, gTLDs are next on the list, creating a whole new market for buying and selling domains. Even in the short time since we last covered the biggest domain deals in history the price tags have added a few zeros on the end.
*Note: The following list excludes existing websites/businesses or any other asset associated with the domain. Figures represent solely the cost of the domain and nothing more. Higher domain sales have been reported when sold along with a business or existing content.
#10. Z.com – $7 Million
Sold in 2014 to GMO Internet, an international company, although the site is written in Japanese. Z.com is sort of an enigma due to the fact that very few single-letter domains are still in use.
#9. Beer.com – $7 Million
Sold in 1999 to Interbrew. The original owners acquired the site a year earlier for $80,000 – talk about a return on investment! The site is now up for auction and set to a redirect to aftermarket.com. I hope whoever is interested has deep pockets.
#8. Diamond.com – $7.5 Million
Sold to Ice.com, a European jewelry retailer in 2006. Perhaps domains should become a girl’s best friend?
#7. FB.com – $8.5 Million
Sold in 2010 to Facebook (surprise!) as a redirect to Facebook.com. Who knew that you could just type in FB.com to reach the site? You learn something new every day! We should all try to use it at least once so Facebook gets their money’s worth don’t you think?
#6. Porno.com – $8.88 Million
Sold to WGCZ s.r.o, a Czech Adult Industry company in 2015. Bought originally in in 1997 by a student for $5,000 and sold a week later for $80,000 to Rick Schwarz. I guess sex really does sell…
#5. Porn.com – $9.5 Million
Sold to MXN Limited in 2007. Apparently the surgical removal of the ‘o’ from Porno.com amounts to an extra $0.62 Million.
#4. Fund.com – $9.99 Million
Sold in 2011 to Eastern Services Group. The site currently shows a message saying “Please come back later to check FUND.com”. Maybe they ran out of ‘funds’ before they could contract a web developer?
#3. Hotels.com – $11 Million
Sold in 2001 to David Roche, CEO of Hotels.com WorldWide. Roche sold the company years later for $1.1 million. We don’t need Captain Obvious to point out that might have been a bad investment.
#2. Sex.com – $13 Million
Sold in 2010 to Clover Holdings. The checkered past of Sex.com is quite eventful. Originally purchased by Gary Kremen, the founder of Match.com, only to be stolen a year later (1995) when a man named Stephen M. Cohen tricked the registrar into giving him ownership of the domain. After five years in court Kremen got the domain back with a whopping $40 million compensation for lost earnings. Whoa!
#1. 360.com – $17 Million
Sold in 2015 to Beijing Qihoo Technology Company Limited to help drive their global strategy. As of today 360.com redirects to Haosou.com a search engine and Alibaba competitor.
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