Top Selling Domain Names of All Time – Trends, Analysis, and Speculation
By andy on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 4:55 pm
Being an owner of a category dominant, generic domain name, it is part of my business to track the market values of similar domain names. Everybody seems to have their list of top selling domain names, and many of these sales have been covered in the press. However, I’ve never seen an all-encompassing list. So, I found it worthy to post these findings here.
Over the past years, I’ve met and established relationships with some of the largest domain buyers in the business. Sitting over a cup of coffee with others in the know, you’ll glean a lot of information that may have not been publicized otherwise. Names that I never see mentioned in these lists are Hotels.com, RealEstate.com, and Loan.com. These names are widely known to have fetched big dollars, but total numbers have never been confirmed. Details of the prices are provided in the spreadsheet notes.
RealEstate.com, Loan.com, and Hotels.com are are important sales when establishing comparables for Realty.com. These lie more closely into the housing, financial, and vacation categories which encompass the “realty” term.
Know that for the purpose of this list, we are focusing strictly on sales of domain names. There are several generic domain sales which were excluded from this list because they were coupled with businesses and other assets. Names in this category include Interest.com (sold for $30mm), Property.com (touted to be an 8 figure sale, but was complete BS and more of a PR move for the king domainer himself), Internet.com (sold for $18mm with several other domains and yearly revenues of $14mm, operating at a 10% net), or the 2007 sale of Business.com (sold in 2007 for $345mm).
Sales over Time
This wasn’t possible 3 years ago, and wasn’t really possible last year. But, with recent sales and 10 years of premium domain sales history, charting the trends reveal a lot. When charting all domain sales ($2mm and above) over time, you can see that the average market value of category dominant names lie in the range of $4mm-$8mm just for the names alone.
Some names tap a higher profitable market. Some have more traffic. Some names had a better salesman sell the name. Some names were fire sales. Some names sold in a down market, or down economy. And many of the premium names which sell for under $2mm, often sell below the radar without alerting all potential buyers, or the right buyers.
How does Realty.com compete?
Does it compare in traffic?
When comparing Realty.com’s traffic to the 19 names (Counting Hotel.com and Hotels.com separately) which have sold for $4mm and above, Realty.com’s traffic exceeds the traffic of 12 of the 19.
Is it a one-word category dominant name?
Yes. Realty.com is the last independent URL in the real estate category that has the opportunity to steal consumer mind share away from Realtor.com and other competing brands.
Is the category high volume, high priced
Even in a down market, people are always moving, relocating, buying and investing in real estate. Current traffic is an indicator of the strong category volume.
If you have a category dominant, short URL. If the category is in high demand. If you are able to sell (particularly sell online) products and services within this category. And if these these products and services can be sold for high profit margins… Then you have a premium asset.
A ten year history of domain sales places the average price tag for such an asset at $6mm. Selling a category killer domain below $4mm is selling short. Selling above $8mm and you’re doing great. Monetizing the traffic is a must. Building a business on top of the traffic and the domain will catapult your domain value well above these figures.
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Comment from Kian Gray
Posted on Monday, 26 July 2010 at 10:15 am
monetizing a website is really a great way to earn money in a passive way just like real estate.:~*
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