As new domain choices are hitting the market many with different pricing models than the traditional .com, it brings up the age old question: What’s the most money a company has spent on a domain name?
The answer to this question is quite interesting. According to a list compiled by Wikipedia through a variety of sources, VacationRentals.com was the most expensive domain name sold (on record), and it went for $35 million in 2007. According to Brian Scharples, the owner and founder of HomeAway who purchased the domain, “I mean we bought a website in the United States called VacationRentals.com for 35 million bucks. The only reason we bought it was so Expedia couldn’t have that URL.” All of the domains in the list of the top ten most expensive domains on record sold for the mid seven figures or higher. Keep in mind that these are public sales, and there are many other private domain sales that have transacted that could be even higher.
Wikipedia’s List of the Top 10 Most Expensive Domain Sales
- VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
- Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
- Sex.com for $13 million in November 2010
- Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
- Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
- Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
- Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
- Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
- Beer.com 2004 $7 million
- Casino.com 2003 $5.5 million
You will notice that all of these websites rely on large amounts of traffic and excellent name recognition to be the category leaders that they are. Or like VacationRentals.com, they purchased the domain for competitive advantages. Regardless of purpose, strong premium domain names that are short and memorable are valued quite high by end users, and therefore command top dollar. While many one-word .com names may be taken or out of your budget, there are plenty of great premium domain names available upon which you can build a very successful business. Just look at our home page for a real-time list of domains that have recently sold. While you may have missed out on these names, yours is still waiting.