Updated: Oct. 29, 2018 — Have you ever heard about those people who just magically find rare steals at antique roadshows? Like the Joseph Kleitsch oil painting that was purchased for around $100 and later appraised at $500,000. If you’re like me, and in this case, I think we all are, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “Why can’t that happen to me?” While I don’t typically dabble in oil paintings, I do spend time in the domain market. And let me tell you, after reviewing the most expensive domain names out there, there are definitely people who have sold them for enough money to pay a king’s ransom.
When most people think about the price of a domain, somewhere in the range of $15 usually pops up. But often, domain names sell for much more than that.
The average price of a domain name sold in the secondary market — buying a domain from someone who already owns it — is in the thousands of dollars.
It is not unusual to see public domain sales reported weekly in the tens or hundreds of thousands, and often enough there will be domain sales reported in the millions. You can check out dnjournal.com for weekly domain sales reporting, as well as annual historical sales reports. They report this year’s top sale as Ice.com for $3.5 million, for instance. It is always good use this report to see current sales and trends.
Nailing down the most expensive domain names isn’t easy — most of the parties involved often try to keep that information private. There are various reasons for this practice, ranging from wanting to keep their competition in the dark to not wanting others to know how much they’re willing to spend on a domain in the future.
It’s a pretty common assertion that the vast majority of high-value domain sales are done with some sort of non-disclosure agreement in place. Luckily for us, enough sales are public, so we can still have a good idea of the domain market and its health over the years.
The No.1 spot
The most expensive domain name ever sold has come to light — at $872 million. Yes, you read that right. Cars.com was valued at $872 million (we get that number from reading the SEC filing, courtesy of the parent company, Gannet Co., Inc.). Imagine the look on someone’s face when they were told their domain was worth that much!
While many people don’t report the sale of their domains publicly, top lists vary. But as a whole, most people are in agreement with most of the highest sales reported for domain names.
Editor’s note: Want to capture the coveted No. 1 spot in domain name sales? You’ll need to make sure your domains are worth their weight. With GoDaddy Domain Appraisals, you can get the most accurate and comprehensive domain pricing estimates available. We use an exclusive algorithm that relies on both machine learning and real market sales data to estimate domain values.
25 most expensive domain names publicly reported
Here are the 25 most expensive domain names publicly reported.
CarInsurance.com — $49.7 million
Insurance.com — $35.6 million
VacationRentals.com — $35 million
PrivateJet.com — $30.18 million
Internet.com — $18 million
360.com — $17 million
Insure.com — $16 million
Fund.com — £9.99 million
Sex.com — $14 million*
Sex.com — $13 million
Hotels.com — $11 million
Porn.com — $9.5 million
Shoes.com — $9 million
Porno.com — $8.8 million
Fb.com — $8.5 million
We.com — $8 million
Business.com — $7.5 million
Diamond.com — $7.5 million
Beer.com — $7 million
Z.com — $6.8 million
iCloud.com — $6 million
Israel.com — $5.8 million
Casino.com — $5.5 million
Slots.com — $5.5 million
Toys.com — $5.1 million
Please note that we’ve added five domain names to the list since we originally published this post in 2017.
* The sex.com domain name sold twice — Once in 2005 for $14 million and again in 2010 for $13 million.
What is your domain name worth?
Now that you know what domain names can potentially sell for, I bet you’re wondering what your domain name is worth. Check out NameBio.com — you can search by a specific domain or word and use various filters to find sold domains closely related to the one you’re thinking of selling. You can also check GoDaddy’s domain valuation tool to get an idea of the resale value of your domains.
If you are thinking about buying a domain name and selling it for more money, GoDaddy Auctions is a great place to find domains that might have good resale value. As with any other purchase, it’s always best to start slow and do your homework before spending your hard earned money and time looking for the next big domain sale.
Start your search today.