As I was goofing off yesterday as I normally do (usually around 3pm when my coffee high leaves me all strung out), I stumbled across Go Daddy’s domain auctions and started randomly looking up new urls to buy. As if a) I had the time to build out yet another project, and b) I had the money to get a decent one anyways ;) It doesn’t help my domain addiction much either, for that matter.
Somewhere during these searchings though, I came across a list of the most expensive website names ever sold. With names like Sex.com and Porn.com of course being some of the biggest ones. No pun intended. (I wonder how much NoPunIntended.com went for? ;)).
The first list I found seemed to be quite outdated, so I researched some more and kind of combined a handful of the ones I found in hopes it’ a bit more complete/accurate. But who knows with these internet folks, eh? All I know is that it’s days like these that I really enjoy my job :)
The most expensive website names in the world:
- Insure.com –> $16 Million (2009, by QuinStreet – the same folks who bought out personal finance blogs GetRichSlowly.org, FiveCentNickel.com, and ConsumerismCommentary.com. Scroll to the bottom of this page to our list of ALL the PF Blogs we know have sold for a pretty penny so far!)
- Sex.com –> $13 Million (2006. The history on this one is pretty wild!)
- Fund.com –> $9.99 Million (2011)
- Porn.com –> $9.5 Million (2007)
- FB.com –> $8.5 Million (2010, to Facebook!)
- Business.com –> $7.5 Million (1999, originally bought for around $150,000)
- Diamond.com –> $7.5 Million (2006)
- Beer.com –> $7 Million (1999, was bought a year earlier for $80,000)
- Israel.com –> $5.88 Million (2008)
- Slots.com –> $5.5 Million (2010)
- Casino.com –> $5.5 Million (2007)
- Toys.com –>$5.1 Million (2000, bought by Toys R Us)
- AsSeenonTV.com –>$5.1 Million (2000)
- SEO.com –> $5 Million (2007)
- Korea.com –> $5 Million (2000)
- Clothes.com –> $4.9 Million (2008 – bought by Zappos.com!)
- FreePorn.com –> $4 Million (2008)
- YP.com –> $3.85 Million (2008, short for “Yellow Pages”)
- Shop.com –> $3.5 Million (2003)
- AltaVista.com –> $3.25 Million (1998, old ass search engine!)
- Software.com –> $3.2 Million (2005)
- Candy.com –> $3 Million (2009)
- Vodka.com –> $3 Million (2006)
- Wine.com –> $3 Million (1999)
- Loans.com –> $3 Million (2000, bought by Bank of America!!)
- Shopping.de –> $2.86 Million (2008)
- CreditCards.com –> $2.75 Million (2004)
- Social.com –>$2.6 Million (2011)
- Pizza.com –> $2.6 Million (2008)
- Tom.com –> $2.5 Million (1999)
- Investing.com –> $2.45 Million (2012)
- Coupons.com –> $2.2 Million (2000)
- Computer.com –> $2.1 Million (2007)
- England.com –> $2 Million (1999)
- Express.com –> $2 Million (2000)
- Telephone.com –> $2 Million (2000)
- Savings.com –> $1.9 Million (2003)
- Seniors.com –> $1.8 Million (2007)
- Mortgage.com –> $1.8 Million (2000, bought by CitiBank!)
- Fly.com –> $1.76 Million (2009, bought by Travelzoo)
- Dating.com –> $1.75 Million (2010)
- Auction.com –> $1.7 Million (2009)
- DataRecovery.com –> $1.659 Million (2008)
- Branson.com –> $1.6 Million (2006)
- Ticket.com –> $1.525 Million (2009)
- Russia.com –> $1.5 Million (2009)
- Cameras.com –> $1.5 Million (2006)
- Tandberg.com –> $1.5 Million (2007)
- MarketingToday.com –> $1.5 Million (2005)
- Ad.com –> $1.4 Million (2009)
Others that purportedly sold in the $11-$30 Million range are below, but couldn’t find much info on:
Pretty fascinating, huh? It seems if you just plucked out a bunch of bland boring categories back in the day you’d be a multimillionaire by now ;) Contrary to the belief that squatting on BRAND names would have done the trick (though of course it did before laws were enacted to protect people and companies. Remember “cybersquatting?”)
Interestingly enough, 7 of these top 50 center around personal finance phrases too: Mortgage.com, Savings.com, Coupons.com, Investing.com, CreditCards.com, Loans.com and the whopper of them all – Insure.com. That’s a total of $30.1 Million dollars we could have made had we been smart enough to pick them all up years ago! At least in theory (most those domains sold as-is without any sites attached, but some of them like Insure.com came built out with content/traffic and all).
Personal Finance blogs that have sold for millions
If you’re interested in seeing how much *personal finance blogs* have sold over the years, here’s an awesome list w/ help from The Dough Roller. In these cases though they sold the ENTIRE sites, not just the domains like our original list above. Most of these are undisclosed, but you can safely assume they went for $1-2 Million and up:
Bankaholic.com –> $11.9 Million (2008)
- Bargaineering.com –> $3 Million (2010 – You can now follow Jim Wang @ Microblogger.com where you can learn how to make money blogging from someone who’s actually *done it* ;) )
GetRichSlowly.org –> Undisclosed (2009 – You can read why and how J.D. sold it here.)
- TheSimpleDollar.com –> Undisclosed (2011 – Here’s a note on why Trent sold his site too.)
- ConsumerismCommentary.com –> Undisclosed (2011)
FiveCentNickel.com –> Undisclosed (2010)
- MoneyBlueBook.com –> Undisclosed (2010)
We’ll see how long it takes for BudgetsAreSexy.com to hit these lists, but I’m not holding my breath :) If only I registered Budgets.com, And.com, and Sexy.com all separately!! Haha…I’d be able to fulfill that penny dropping dream I shared with y’all yesterday no problemo ;)
Happy domain hunting!
PS: After doing all this researching of mixing list #1, #2, and #3, I came across this master domain list by Domaining.com, d’oh. Oh well, always fun to poke around and learn yourself, eh? Check out some of those links for more background info on the sales though – pretty interesting stuff!
[Photo by amitp]
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I love looking through lists like this. One thing I don’t get is why porn.com costs more than freeporn.com? After all, isn’t free less? Haha
Porn is much shorter and easier to type/remember :) Pretty much the only time “being shorter” in porn is good! (Buh dum-ching)
Haha. We could go on and on. I hear ya on the shorter domain name. There are not many good short domain names that remain.
Surely it would be harder to make money from a website offering it for free – isn’t paid subscription the backbone of the industry…if you’re only attracting visitors who don’t want to pay then you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
If only I had had the foresight. I just bought my kids names as domain names. Maybe that will help them out. I suppose it won’t be 18 million dollars though….
That’s a GREAT idea actually though. Nowadays it’s all about branding yourself professionally online, so you’ll be setting them up for a good start later on! If the internet’s still around then, of course ;)
Wow that is crazy! I wish I would have started some stuff earlier in the day! :)
Unreal. When the internet started exploding, it would have been incredible to capitalize! Whew, I’m sweating over here…
Some of those are just nutty, though I am sure there were some very happy people getting bank for their domain name.
I think the better stories might be what have these people who sold these domains for this type of money are doing with their lives now? :)
I agree! That WOULD be interesting to see – just a lot more work to find out, haha… Maybe a new series on your blog? ;)
Were they smart with their money or squander it like many lottery winners? That would be interesting.
That’s really a lot of money involved. I happen to do domain flipping but I haven’t got any buyers yet. It’s really hard to find great domains that can easily sell these days.
Oh yeah? That’s cool you’re trying though. I’m considering putting up a few of mine on the auctions just to see how it goes, but like you I probably don’t have any real winners unless it magically coincides with a project someone is right now looking to do. But you never know!
Damn. Why didn’t I know about buying domain names back in the day? haha
Wow – I better start thinking about what word might be the next big thing…! Crazy amounts of money flying around there!
Sexting.com? :) Actually, just looked it up and of course it’s taken. And for sale, oddly enough… Maybe you should make them an offer, haha…
How wild! I always kick myself for not grabbing something I might like more back in the 90s when no one was really thinking domain names would be useful. Oh well…
Wow, 3 millions? Jim is rich! :)
Be honest, who didn’t type in porn.com back in 1999? Lol! My friend called me over one day to help him clear the internet history because he had gone to porn.sex and various other sites.
HAHA! Oh gosh that’s hilarious. And yes I remember I didn’t know how to clear the internet history. :D
Oh man, the good ol’ days haha… most people don’t know/pay attention to the history settings even today!
I never knew there was such a market for domain names! Hopefully I can turn mine into a million dollar one from the $7.99 I paid for it. :) I wish those blog sales weren’t undisclosed, I’d be interested in hearing what they sold for.
It’s amazing what people will pay big money for! Too bad I haven’t invented a time machine.
Beats buying stocks and houses during 1999. That’s some crazy return, several million for basically 10 bucks. I’ll have five of those domain names please.
Well, $10 and a lot of smarts/patience to wait for the big pay off in the end and not sell out too early :)
Call me a dreamer but The Money Principle is chasing MoneySavingExpert.com: in 2012 it sold for £87 million which is over $135 million. Who said that frugality doesn’t pay? (Oh, pish, it was me :).)
Nice! Not too familiar with that site myself over here (except from hearing you mention it), but it’s good to have big dreams :) Can’t chase one if you don’t, right?
Most of them are “one word” and easy to remember. Amazing list.
I used to invest in purchasing domains too, hoping that I would hit the spot with some and get such a huge deal. I used to have around 50 domains at one point until I realized that they weren’t really good and will only cost me in registration fees. But I’m still dreaming that some day I’ll be able to sell one (or some) for millions…
Ya never know :)
I stumbled on your post on blog carnivals earlier this AM as I was doing some research on reigniting an old fitness and fat loss blog I’ve had up since 2009. It brought back a huge memory rush, which only intensified when I came to this post.
I too ran a personal finance blog, Debt Free. I eventually grew it to an Alexa ranking of under 20K, and had it in the Top 20 on the Fire Finance PF blog rankings. Seeing the names of so many of the PF blogs from the old community brought a tear to my eye. (We really were a small group back in the day)
I also used blog carnivals as a cornerstone of my traffic strategy. It worked very well and traffic grew steadily. 75% of my traffic was from organic search rankings. In the early days of social, pre Facebook and Twitter, blog carnivals were a social media of sorts. The better ones had good followings, so referral traffic was plentiful, in addition to the all important backlinks they provided. I at least varied my anchor text, which may have helped somewhat.
Unfortunately for me, I never had the chance to see a precipitous SERP drop due to Panda or Penguin. I learned a bitter lesson about backing up everything. While I regularly backed up the blog, through ignorance I neglected to do likewise with the MySQL database. On July 18th, 2008 I logged in to do my regular post, only to discover I couldn’t. Sadly, I was never able to resurrect it. In retrospect (and especially after seeing what many of the other PF blogs sold for soon after) I should have invested in paying someone to rebuild the database. Live and learn…
Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane. I hadn’t thought about Consumerism Commentary, GetRichSLowly, and FiveCentNickel in years.
Have an excellent weekend,