You can register a .com domain name at Namecheap for about the price of a couple of morning coffees at Starbucks. But when a domain name is already registered, it can take a lot of coffees worth of dough to buy them.
The top ten public domain name sales this past year were all for at least $600,000. Many big domain name transactions are never made public, but DNJournal tracks the public ones and produces an annual sales chart.
Here are the top 10 sales of 2019.
Voice.com – $30,000,000
This record-breaking domain name sale is the highest price ever paid for a domain name, at least one that was publicly disclosed.
Block.one, a cryptocurrency company, bought the domain name for a new social media platform. The company apparently raised billions of dollars through an initial coin offering (ICO), so it had the cash on hand. Still, this is a hefty price to pay for a domain name.
It paid dividends for the seller, MicroStrategy. This business analytics firm was an internet pioneer and acquired lots of great domain names in the early days. It still owns fantastic domains such as Alert.com, Hope.com, Strategy.com, and Wisdom.com. So we might see its name in a top sales report again in the future.
California.com – $3,000,000
To get an idea of just how much of an outlier Voice.com was, the next highest sale on the list was 1/10th of its price.
California.com apparently sold in 2018, but its price was revealed and DNJournal charted in 2019.
Visit California.com and you’ll get what you expect: a portal into the United States’ most populous state.
EKO.com – $1,500,000
Facebook famously dropped the ‘the’ in its domain name. Video company Eko dropped the ‘hello’ instead. It started its business using HelloEko.com and spent a seven-figure sum last year to upgrade to just Eko.com.
TM.com – $1,250,000
TM.com sold in November last year, and we still don’t know who bought it. The domain name resolves to the same website it did before the sale.
While TM is commonly knowns as shorthand for ‘trademark’, it’s possible that this domain was purchased by a domain name investor. Domain investors love short domain names, and two-letter domains are among the most coveted. Domain investors easily pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for these short domains and sometimes pay over $1 million for them.
RX.com – $1,000,000
Remember how domain investors sometimes pay $1 million for two-letter domain names? That was about a sentence ago. Here’s an example. Brent Oxley, a Texas millionaire who invests in domain names, paid $1 million to buy RX.com. This could end up being a savvy investment; RX is a common shorthand for ‘prescription.’
Brent features his domain names for sale at Oxley.com. Some of his great domains are Broker.com, Uno.com, Create.com, and Message.com.
Nursing.com – $950,000
Some companies try to get cute by cutting vowels from their domain names. The buyer of this domain is an example.
Until January of this year, you found this website at NRSNG.com. The site helps people succeed in nursing school and pass their standardized tests. But in January, the company flipped the switch and became the much more memorable Nursing.com.
Before the change, the company referred to itself as N-R-S-N-G, so it was effectively a five-word brand!
OL.com – $900,000
OL.com is the third two-letter domain name to make the top 10 list. This domain name was sold by one domain investor to another during a live domain name auction.
Links.com – €700,000
Eko shortened its domain from HelloEko.com. This sale was similar; the buyer uses the domain name AllMyLinks.com. In this case, the company continues to use AllMyLinks.com and forwards Links.com to its longer domain.
Mastermind.com – $600,000
A domain name investor bought this domain name for $275,000 in 2018 and then sold it just a year later for a nice profit.
Online marketing company Click Funnels’ founder bought the domain name for a new project he’s launching with Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi.
Medidata.com – $600,000
Looking at the previous nine domains, each one makes sense. The prices might be more or less than expected, but there’s no doubt that they are great domains.
This one is a bit different. It doesn’t seem like a great domain on the surface. A medical data company called Medidata acquired the name. Later in the year, Medidata was acquired by Dessault Systemes, so it will be interesting to see how the company uses this brand going forward.
What Will the Top Dollar Domain Names Be in 2020?
Every year, the top sales lists start over from scratch. What will it take to get on the list in 2020? Will we see a sale rival that of Voice.com?
Only time will tell.