What’s in a name, one might think. Especially when it is a domain name, which is not a big deal as far as the Internet is concerned. Every website on the Internet is bound to have a domain name. Moreover, the usual trend is to just type the keywords and we are provided a list of options of the pages related to the same.
Therefore, it is rare that one actually thinks about a particular domain name. However, one might be surprised to know that domain names of some of the most frequently used pages throughout the world are cloaked in gold. If the reports are to be believed then the web domain name sales industry has been growing at an exponential rate.
The rush to buy and reserve domain names is driven by the pressing need for businesses to maintain an online presence. The basic rule of thumb for domains names is, the shorter and easier to remember the names, the more valuable.
The agreement to sell lasvegas.com for $90 million was made in 2005 between VEGAS.com, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, who bought the domain name, and Stephens Media. VEGAS.com, a destination-specific online travel agency, purchased this domain and agreed to pay $12 million upfront and the rest in installments till 2040. LasVegas.com, the most expensive domain name thus far in internet history, is a completely different site from Vegas.com. It is one of the top results for the search term ‘Las Vegas’ in Google. The site is fully functional and offers bookings, tours, and accommodation in the tourist city.
This is yet another high-value domain name purchased by Quin Street for $35.6 million in 2010. Insurance.com is a popular car insurance comparison-shopping portal where the customers can compare insurance rates, view options instantly, save money on coverage, and see private info. In addition to this, the website also offers info on motorcycle, health, home, and life insurance and aggregating quotes from leading insurance companies. Insurance being a popular keyword on search engines, the site also hosts informative and useful content that is ought to attract a large audience.
Vacation Rentals, the domain, which is a marketplace for vacation deals in the U.S. and all over the world, was an active site until Texas-based firm HomeAway purchased it for $35 million in 2007 to keep it off the hands of its biggest competitor, Expedia. The portal provides a huge selection of vacation rentals (both luxury and medium range), vacation rental deals, freebies, owner discounts on vacation rentals, and destination information. The information is so organised on the website that the customers are sure to find the perfect vacation rental home for their next getaway.
CarInsurance.com, a consumer site for info and shopping on auto insurance, was bought by QuinStreet for a whopping $49.7 million in 2010. Insurance being their important vertical Quin Street had already purchased other domain names in the insurance space like Insurance.com, insure.com and internet.com. On CarInsurance.com, the customers can find and compare various insurance policies and buy the ones that they want directly via the site. They simply need to type in the zip code and the portal provides a list of popular insurance providers. For making its services more transparent, CarInsurance.com also has a glossary of terms, a coverage calculator and in-depth articles.
Don’t Look Media Group, a leading intellectual property holding company, sold the domain name Privatejet.com to Atlanta-based Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC for a cool $30.1 million in 2012. Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC, a website that mainly aims to attract high net worth clients, markets itself as a major online site for jet charter travel and its landing page currently sells flights starting at $1,980 an hour. It is believed that since the domain name was bought in cash and stock, it was the highest pure sale of a domain name ever.