Domain name investing has become a popular way to make money over the past several years. This is because domain names are one of the most undervalued and overlooked assets online. A good domain name can be worth a fortune, while a bad domain name can be virtually worthless. In this article, we will take a look at the ten most expensive domains in the world as of 2022. We will also discuss some factors that contribute to the value of a domain name and how you can get started in this lucrative investment.
The 10 Most Expensive Domains
CarInsurance.com: $49.7 million
In 2019, a website called CarInsurance.com was auctioned off for a whopping $49.7 million. The site, which allows users to compare car insurance rates, was purchased by Quinnstreet, a digital marketing company. The purchase price makes CarInsurance.com the most expensive domain name ever sold.
While the purchase price may seem high, it's common for insurance websites to sell for large sums of money. For example, just last year, another insurance comparison site called CoverHound was acquired by Allstate for $618 million. Given the large amounts of money in the car insurance industry, it's no surprise that companies are willing to pay top dollar for well-established websites like CarInsurance.com.
Insurance.com: $35.6 million
On September 3, 2020, the domain name Insurance.com sold for $35.6 million at a GoDaddy auction, setting a new record for the most expensive domain name ever sold. The previous record was held by Sex.com, which sold for $14 million in 2010. The buyer of Insurance.com was revealed to be Quinstreet, a publicly-traded marketing company that owns several other insurance-related websites, such as Compare.com and BankrateInsurance.com. Quinstreet plans to use the Insurance.com domain to power a new website that will provide quotes from multiple insurers. The high price tag for Insurance.com underscores the importance of having a solid web presence in the insurance industry. With consumers increasingly turning to the internet to research and purchase insurance policies, companies that don't have a solid online presence are at risk of being left behind.
VacationRentals.com: $35 million
In 2007, the vacation rental website VacationRentals.com was sold to HomeAway for a staggering $35 million. The sale was a record-breaker at the time, and it cemented VacationRentals.com's place as one of the most valuable domain names in history. The website was founded in 1996 and quickly became a popular destination for travelers looking to find rental properties around the world. In addition to its impressive sales price, VacationRentals.com also holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running websites in existence; it is now over 20 years old. Given its age and value, it is clear that the website is here to stay and will continue to be a powerful force in the vacation rental industry.
PrivateJet.com: $30.18 million
In 2019, a private jet website was sold for a record-breaking price of $30.18 million. The website, PrivateJet.com, is a marketplace that connects aircraft owners with charter companies and private jet operators. The sale represents a significant return on investment for the website's previous owner, who purchased the domain name for just $250,000 in 2012. The buyer is an affiliate of UBS, one of the world's largest investment banks. The sale price reflects the growing demand for private aviation services and the increasing value of premium web addresses. With its short, memorable name and vital keyword placement, PrivateJet.com is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing industry.
Voice.com: $30 million
The Voice.com domain name was recently sold for $30 million. The new owner is an anonymous LLC, but it's rumored that they are planning to launch a new voice-activated search engine with the domain. The massive price tag reflects the growing importance of voice search, which is becoming increasingly popular as a way to find information online quickly. With the Voice.com domain, the new owner will have a powerful tool for promoting their brand and driving traffic to their website. It remains to be seen how they will use it, but the possibilities are endless.
Internet.com: $18 million
In 1995, Netcom On-Line Communications Services Inc. paid $18 million for the domain name Internet.com. At the time, it was the most expensive domain name ever sold. The domain is owned by Quinstreet, a publicly-traded company specializing in online marketing and lead generation. While the part is no longer worth millions of dollars, it remains a valuable asset for Quinstreet. In addition to generating traffic from users who type in the address directly, Internet.com also serves as a powerful brand reminder for Quinstreet's other properties, which include websites like Bankrate.com and InsuranceQuotes.com. Given its strategic importance, it's likely that Quinstreet will continue to hold on to Internet.com for years to come.
360.com: $17 million
In 2015, the domain name 360.com was sold for $17 million. The website was originally owned by a Chinese internet company called Qihoo 360, but it was acquired by a U.S. investment firm in a deal that valued the website at over $1 billion. The high price tag reflects the global reach of the website and its strong brand recognition. In addition, the new owner plans to use the website to launch various new internet services.
Insure.com: $16 million
In August of 2005, Insure.com was sold for $16 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for an insurance-related domain name. The site was founded in 1998 to become the leading online resource for insurance information. Today, Insure.com provides users with quotes from different insurers, articles, and tools to help them make informed decisions about their coverage. The site also offers a directory of insurance agents and brokers, making it easy for users to find local experts who can help them with their coverage needs. Thanks to its comprehensive offerings, Insure.com has become one of the most popular online insurance sites.
Fund.com: £9.99 million
In 2008, Fund.com was sold for £9.99 million, making it one of the most expensive domain names ever sold. The company that purchased the domain, Guggenheim Partners, was a financial services firm that planned to use the site as a resource for investors. However, the company never launched the site, and it was eventually sold to a holding company in 2014. While the sale price was a fraction of what Guggenheim had paid for it, it still represented a substantial return on investment. The story of Fund.com highlights the importance of choosing the right domain name for your business. With such a high price tag, it's clear that a good domain name can be worth its weight in gold.
Sex.com: $14 million
In November of 2010, the domain name Sex.com was sold for $14 million, making it one of the most expensive domain names ever. The buyer was an undisclosed private company, and the seller was Escom LLC, a holding company that had gone bankrupt. The domain name had been registered in 1994 and initially belonged to a government employee named Gary Kremen. However, in 1995, Kremen lost the domain name to Stephen Cohen, who then made millions of dollars by redirecting traffic to adult websites. In 2006, Cohen was arrested and convicted of fraud, and the domain name was returned to Kremen. He then sold it to Escom LLC in 2009. The sale of Sex.com is just one example of the thriving market for premium domain names. As more and more businesses move online, the value of these digital real estate assets is only likely to increase.
How to Get Started with Domain Investing
If you're interested in buying and selling domain names, there are a few things you need to know.
Learn and Research
The first step is to learn about the domain name market. This can be done by reading articles, attending webinars, and talking to other domain investors. It's also important to research individual domain names to see if they are likely to increase or decrease in value.
Get a Domain Name Appraisal
Once you know the domain name market, you'll need an appraisal. This will help you determine the fair market value of a domain name. You can get an estimate by contacting a professional appraiser or using an online tool like Estibot.
Find a Domain Name Broker
You'll need to find a broker if you're ready to buy or sell a domain name. These professionals can help you find the right buyer or seller and negotiate the best price.
Set a Budget
Before you start buying domain names, setting a budget is essential. This will help you avoid overspending and only invest what you can afford to lose.
When starting out, it's best to stick with lower-priced domain names. This will help you minimize your risk and get a feel for the market before investing more money.
Domain name investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Finding the right buyer or seller takes time and negotiating the best price. So be patient and don't give up if you don't see results immediately.
Build a Diversified Portfolio
To minimize risk, it's essential to build a diversified portfolio. This means investing in various domain names across different industries and price ranges.
Domain name investing can be a great way to make money online. However, it's essential to educate yourself before getting started. By following the tips above, you'll be in an excellent position to succeed in this exciting industry.