How high can you go? A look at domain pricing of some of the world’s most valuable domains

Question: just how much will a company spend to get the domain name they want? Answer: a lot.

When it comes to the right bunch of letters, usually with the magical .com at the end, domain pricing can go well into the millions of dollars. Here are some of the top figures for domain sales for each of the last ten years, according to the Domain Name Journal and Business Insider: with sex, money, booze and bling attracting some of the highest rollers. And before you gasp, you should know that the domain pricing here isn’t even the top of the scale. That’s because this list doesn’t include private sales that are subject to non-disclosure agreements, or sales that included other assets along with the domain—which can truly send the price into the stratosphere.

2004 $  7,000,000 $  2,750,000 $     700,000
2006 $  7,500,000 $  3,000,000 $  1,500,000
2007 $  9,500,000 (the largest amount paid in cash for a domain name to that point) $  4,900,000 $  2,100,000 $  1,800,000 (the lucky guy who sold this also sold in 2007 for $1,000,000)
2008 $  9,999,950 $  2,858,945 (the dollar equivalent of what Unister GmbH paid for this domain) $  1,659,000
2009 $  5,100,000 $  3,000,000 $  1,760,000
2010 $13,000,000 (literally one for the books: the highest price ever paid for a domain-only acquisition, as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records) $  5,500,000 $  1,750,000
2011 $  2,600,000 $  1,000,000 $  1,000,000
2012 $  2,450,000 $  1,000,000 $     875,000
2013* $  4,700,000 $  2,100,000 the highest known numeric domain sale in the last decade, bought by a Chinese company (114 denotes “information” in China) $     725,000

*(as of 9/8/13)

As you see, most of these domains are short real words that are readily understood and clearly describe some of the world’s most lucrative industries.  But are they really worth all that dough? We’ll leave that to another blog—or book, perhaps. For now, let’s just say that for product or company naming, if you’re willing to get creative or hire a good naming consultant, you can get quite a lot of bang for a fraction of these bucks.

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