With last month seeing the world record for the most expensive UK domain name smashed, with the sale of Gold.co.uk for £600,000, we thought it would be a good time to look at what six of the biggest domain sales in history have been.
Not only is this the most expensive domain sale in history, it is also one of the most boring. QuinStreet, a digital and performance marketing company based in California, bought the domain for just short of $50m in 2010 for the sole purpose of lead generation. Whether the amount of leads it has brought in over the past five years has paid for the sale yet is yet to be revealed…
If QuinStreet were willing to shell out nearly $50m for CarInsurance.com, then you better believe they were also willing to shell out over £35m for a related domain too. As with their other purchase, this too was bought for lead generation purposes with the domain name being the primary asset. This purchase also meant that QuinStreet paid over $100m for insurance domains in 2010 alone!
When HomeAway bought this domain in 2007, it wasn’t to utilise their database or increase revenue. Instead Brian Sharples, founder & CEO of HomeAway, said in a 2013 speech they spent the money just so Expedia couldn’t have the URL! As one of HomeAway’s biggest competitors, we can’t tell if this was petty or genius.
Nations Luxury Transportation saw no qualms with spending big to purchase PrivateJet.com in 2012. The luxury aviation company saw the domain tying in with their manueverings in the aviation world including a Private Jet Magazine and a variety of strategic partnerships. The company saw the domain as integral to building their brand into a world wide leader both online and offline in high end travel.
Another purchase for QuinStreet, purveyors of dull but lucrative domains. As one of the largest Internet marketing services companies in the world, QuinStreet saw real potential in having one of the most obvious domains available and have turned the site into a news portal and platform for building websites and buying domains (which is ironic as if this list has shown anything that’s QuinStreet’s forte)
With one eye on global domination and the other on unifying its current stable of domains and brands, Qihoo 360 spent $17 million this year in order to purchase 360.com from Vodafone. The Beijing-based company are renowned in Asia for their mobile hardware, antivirus software, and browser, and turned to Brian Williams to broker the deal.
These are just the heavy hitters, with the famed sex.com and fb.com sales appearing further down the list of biggest domain sales in history. While we were aware of some of these domain sales, we weren’t aware that QuinStreet were such big movers in the market and we definitely weren’t expecting a domain sale from this year to show up.
You don’t have to pay over the odds for your perfect domain though, check out our cheap domain service and see if yours is available!