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Top Twenty Domains That People Sold For Huge Profits

A website can be easy to set up, but choosing a domain name is complicated if you are basing it on unclaimed web addresses. Not surprisingly, the best domains are unavailable. However, everything is usually for sale for a price, including domain names. For instance, the Dot Com domain and website for the Glitter as a Service project,, sold for $85,000.

This example is just one of the many domains that sold for high figures. Recently, sold for $2.45 million. That may appear to be a lot of money, and arguably, it is for many of us. Nevertheless, it does not even come close to the highest price someone has paid for a domain name.

Top-Selling Domains

Domain Name Journal put together a list of the 20 most expensive domains in the world. Not surprisingly, sex and gambling-related domains pulled in the biggest money. 

  1. This domain sold for $35.6 million in 2010.
  2. This $35 million transaction, which took place in 2007, is the highest deal made to purchase any domain to date.
  3. This 2012 sale came in a close second at $30.18 million.
  4. In November 2014, the pornography industry purchased this domain name for $24 million.
  5. This domain name sold for $18 million in 2009.
  6. In 2009, this domain sold for $16 million.
  7. This site sold for $11 million in 2001, although the new owner would not confirm the exact price in a BBC television interview.
  8. Even though this domain was purchased in 2008 for $9.9 million and intended for a financial service, the site is still not live.
  9. Another entry for the pornography industry, this site was acquired for $9.5 million in 2007.
  10. Facebook purchased this domain in November of 2010 for $8.5 million, even though it merely redirects traffic their site.
  11. This domain sold in December of 1999 for $7.5 million (making it worth more than the next deal on the list).
  12. This site, acquired in 2006 for $7.5 million, is now live as an online diamond shopping site.
  13. This site sold in 2004 for $7 million, and is currently for sale.
  14. Apple, Inc. purchased this domain for $6 million in 2011 when it was hunting for all i-domains.
  15. This site sold in 2008 for $5.5 million.
  16. This deal, which took place in 2010, made the previous owner $5.5 million.
  17. This domain, purchased by LA Group in 2000, was sold for $5.1 million.
  18. ToysRUs bought this domain for $5.1 million in 2009.
  19. Zappos acquired this domain in 2008 for $4.9 million. It redirects online shoppers to their site.
  20. This domain sold in 2014 for $4.8 million.
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Urban Legends

Many of us have heard about the child who allegedly registered back in the early 1990s and sold it to the McDonald’s Corporation for several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Actually, Josh Quittner, an American journalist, was the original domain-name holder of When McDonalds asked for the name, he opted to sell it and donated the proceeds to charity. Other myths include:

Myth: When you register a domain name, you become the owner of that domain. 

Fact: The truth is that paying to register a domain name entitles you to the exclusive use of it for a defined amount of time, usually between one and 10 years. A renewal fee is due after your primary registration period ends if you plan to continue using the name. If you do not renew it, you could lose the privilege of using it. Registering does not provide you the right to keep the name forever. However, as long as you renew the annual registration fees, and the domain does not encroach on a service mark or trademark, it is essentially yours until you decide that you no longer want it.

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Myth: You have to be a U.S. company or resident to register a domain name.

Fact: Anyone, regardless of whether or not they are a U.S. company or citizen, can register a domain name under most top-level domains (TLDs). However, some countries apply additional controls to individuals trying to register domain names under that country’s TLDs.

Myth: You can get rich quick by purchasing and then reselling domain names. 

Fact: You can make money buying and selling domain names, and there is an entire industry of domainers whose sole occupations subsist from this practice. Nevertheless, the most prevalent myth is that a one unique domain name will make you rich. It is true that some domain names have sold for enormous sums of money, and a few have even changed hands for over $1 million. However, it is important to understand that well over 90% of domains that are for sale never find a buyer.

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Myth: You need a website to own a domain name. 

Fact: You can register domain names for a projected website, or you can register domains and just hold on to them. In fact, many domainers frequently register domain names with the original intent of parking them with a parking service. In that way, they can make a profit from ad revenue. If you purchase a domain name and later decide that you want to use it for a website, you can effortlessly direct the name to your new site.

Myth: When you register a domain name, you get a website, too. 

Fact: A website is not something you automatically get when you register a domain name. A website requires a web hosting company that will store your files on their servers and make the site accessible on the Internet.

The Future of Domain Names

Domain names are more than web addresses. They are symbols that are synonymous with the World Wide Web. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit corporation that maintains all of the Internet domain names and other unique identifiers.

With TLDs running on short supply, ICANN has been busily adding new TLDs over the past few years to address the future of domain names. For instance, new rules will allow companies to register their particular brand names as TLDs. The only limitations are imagination and your wallet because applying to activate a brand-new TLD can cost upward of $100,000.

Top image ©GL Stock Images

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