It’s estimated that more than 500 urls have been bought and sold for $US1 million or more.
We scoured domain name resource DN Journal and put together a list of documented million-dollar, domain-only sales. Some have been squatted on for 20 years and have only recently traded hands.
Not surprisingly, sex and gambling-related domains are some of the biggest money makers.
NOTE: Web businesses have other assets and are not domain only sales, so they were not eligible for this list. For example, Insure.com was bought for $US16 million as a fully-operating, profitable company. DN Journal only reports domain names sold after 2003 because prior sales are not verified by credible sources.
Date sold: July 2014
MM.com was sold for $US1.2 million through Sedo in July 2014. It was purchased by Hangzhou Duomai E-Commerce Co., Ltd, a company behind other domain names Game.com, JZ.com and 4.cn.
Date sold: October 2013
A man named Rick registered eBet.com in 1996 and held onto it until last September when he agreed to sell the domain.
'Network Solutions contacted me on August 29th with a $US50,000 offer. I did not think anything of it as I get these all the time,' Rick wrote on his blog. 'I countered at $US1.8M and went about my business. On September 3rd voila the buyer comes back at $US1MM...So I think, how to get that number where I can live with and at the same time they can live with. So I counter at $US1.35MM and that was my final offer. I hear nothing until the following Friday. September 16th. They accept the offer!'
Year sold: 2006
'Cameras.com attracted the highest bid in the live domain auction conducted by Moniker.com at the recently concluded T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East Conference in Hollywood, Florida,' The DN Journal wrote in 2006.
'The winning bidder, Sig Solares (the CEO of Parked.com), wasted no time ponying up the $US1,500,000 due, making that domain the first from the live auction that we have seen change hands.'
Year sold: 2007
'Tandberg Data, a leading global supplier and manufacturer of backup and archiving solutions, decided to take the cash offer for Tandberg.com from Tandberg, a leading global provider of visual communication products and services with dual headquarters in New York and Norway,' The DN Journal wrote at the time of the sale.
The deal was actually completed in December 2006 but wasn't made public until early 2007.
Year sold: 2007
In October 2007, Computer.com cleaned up at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. / Moniker domain name auction. WallStreet.com was almost sold for $US3 million there, but it didn't 'meet the set reserve prices,' according to DomainRich.
Date sold: November 2013
KK.com was sold through Moniker/SnapNames brokerage firm for $2.4 million in late 2013. The domain was owned by the Castello Brothers, who have been snatching up a bunch of valuable domain names since 1995.
Year sold: 2004
ClickSuccess L.P, a firm that sells financial tools and products online, purchased CreditCards.com in 2004. It was the biggest domain-only sale in years. Casino.com was part of a massive $US5.5 million deal in 2003, but its sale included a number of other assets.
Date sold: June 2014
Sex.xxx is the most-expensive .xxx domain name. In June it was sold for $US3 million through ICM Registry. Barron Innovations bought it as part of a larger $US5 million deal with ICM Registry which includes more than 40 keyword domain names.
Date sold: March 2014
Whiskey.com was sold by Castello Cities Internet Network in a domain-only sale, and it was purchased by Michael Castello 19 years ago, in March 1995 when it cost nothing to obtain.
'I had the original registration in March of 1995, and I registered it for free,' Castello wrote in DN Journal. 'I always liked Scotch whisky, but the real reason I registered Whisky.com was because of the Whisky a Go Go night club in Hollywood. I always enjoyed 'The Whisky', with its musical heritage and scene where the likes of The Doors and Janis Joplin played. Years later, I even offered Whisky.com to the owner's son and he told me he didn't need it since they already registered WhiskyaGoGo.com. That rejection would prove to be good for me.'
Date sold: April 2014
China's Xiaomi purchased MI.com in the biggest domain sale of 2014 during a private sale. It's said to be the most expensive domain name purchased by a Chinese Internet company, and Xiaomi intends ot use it to make its brand name easier to remember.
Year sold: 2009
ToysRUs paid just over $US5 million to have the powerful domain name, just months before Candy.com was acquired for $US3 million.
Year sold: 2007
At the time of its sale, Porn.com was the biggest, all-cash transaction for a domain name ever and the second largest domain sale behind Sex.com's $US12 million exit. Moniker helped sell the domain to MXN Limited.
Other expensive domain names not listed by DNJournal (either because they were sold prior to 2003 or other assets were sold with the domains):
- Insurance.com $US35.6 million in 2010
- VacationRentals.com $US35 million in 2007
- PrivateJet.com $US30.1 million in 2012
- Internet.com $US18 million in 2009
- Insure.com $US16 million in 2009
- Hotels.com was sold for about $US11,000,000
- Fb.com sold for $US8.5 million in September 2010
- Business.com for $US7.5 million in December 1999
- Beer.com 2004 $US7 million
- iCloud.com by Apple for $US6 million in March 2011
- Casino.com 2003 $US5.5 million
- Asseenontv.com 2000 for $US5.1 million
- Korea.com sold for $US5 million in January 2000
- Freeport.com sold for $US4 million in February 2008
- GiftCard.com by CardLab for $US4 million in October 2012
- yp.com sold for $US3.85 million in November 2008
- Shop.com sold for $US3.5 million in November 2003
- AltaVista.com for $US3.3 million in August 1998
- Software.com sold for $US3.2 million in December 2005
- Wine.com sold for $US3 million in 1999
- Loans.com sold for $US3 million in January 2000
- Loans.com by Bank of America for $US3.0 million in February 2000
- Pizza.com sold for $US2.605 million in April 2008
- Tom.com sold for $US2.5 million in December 1999
- Coupons.com sold for $US2.2 million in January 2000
- England.com sold for $US2 million in December 1999
- Express.com sold for $US2 million in March 2000
- Telephone.com sold for $US2 million in January 2000
- Savings.com sold for $US1.9 million in February 2003
- Mortgage.com sold for $US1.8 million in March 2000
- Branson.com sold for $US1.6 million in June 2006
- Marketingtoday.com sold for $US1.5 million in September 2005
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