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When most people think about the price of a domain, something in the $15 price range usually comes to mind. But often, domain names sell for much more than that. The average cost of buying a domain name that someone else owns on the secondary market 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. 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. However, enough sales are public, so we can still get a good idea of the domain market and its health over the years.
The most expensive domain name ever sold came with a hefty price tag of $872 million. Yes, you read that right. Cars.com was valued at $872 million (we get that number from 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!
Many people don’t report the sale of their domains publicly, so “most expensive domains” lists vary. But as a whole, most people are in agreement with most of the highest sales reported for domain names. Coming in at the number two spot is Insurance.com selling for $35.6 million, followed by VacationRentals.com at $35 million, then PrivateJet.com at $30.18 million and Voice.com at $30 million.
So, why are people willing to pay so much for a domain name? In the current decade, a brick-and-mortar address isn’t quite as important as it once was for many businesses. Instead, it’s your website address (or domain) that can act as a major driver for business traffic. In many cases, it’s worth spending more to get a premium domain name — one that is short, catchy and easy to remember.
Many premium domains end with .com, but they can use many of the newer domain extensions like .business, .guru, .app, .store and others. Adding dashes and creative spelling can give you more options, but those strategies also confuse potential customers. That’s why companies usually try to buy the domain name that exactly matches their business name.
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