Dynadot
NameSilo
Many investors dream of one day making a million dollar domain name sale. The odds are against you, with only 156 sales at this price point recorded on NameBio over all time. I take a look at those sales, and how the names are being used.

The Million Dollar Sales Data

I searched NameBio for sales of $1 million or more, all extensions, for any date. On the day I collected the data, there were 156 sales, with a total volume of $432.8 million. That represents an average price of about $2.8 million.

There may be additional sales added since the date in early August 2022 when I collected the data from NameBio, but here is the link if you want to go through the list yourself: all $1 million or more sales on NameBio.

Keep in mind that many sales are not included on NameBio. A number of high-value sales are covered by non-disclosure agreements (NDA). Some brokers and marketplaces do not disclose sales, even if there is no NDA.

Million Dollar Sales By Year

There has been some discussion that the number of large sales is increasing. I plot the number of million dollar sales by year below. While last year was very strong, in general I do not see a clear trend.

Annual-Graph.png


Keep in mind that what gets included in NameBio has changed over the years, making it challenging to use NameBio data for long term studies.

Also, during the last few years George Kirikos and a few others have used company financial reports to discover unrecorded domain name sales. These subsequently got added to NameBio after verification. That has increased the number of sales in the past few years in particular.

Some sales are reported well after the date of the sale, which is a possible bias against the current year. I did not adjust the 2022 data to account for the fact that we are only two-thirds of the way through the year. It appears we are in another very strong year, although probably less strong than 2021.

Almost All COM

All but 5 of the million dollar sales were in the .com extension. A pair of names, cruise/cruises, sold in .co.uk, and there was a single million dollar sale in each of .de, .xxx and .org.

Breakdown By Price

Here is the breakdown by price for the million dollar sales recorded on NameBio.
Price-Graph.png


The highest-value sale was voice.com at $30 million in 2019, followed by the sale of NFTs.com at $15 million this year. The next two sales were of the same name, sex.com that sold for $14 million in 2005 and $10 million in 2010. Connect.com sold for $10 million in 2022. The sale of fund.com in 2008 just missed the $10 million, with a sales price of $9.99995 million.

Sales Venue

The majority of the sales, 93 of the 156, were listed as private on NameBio. Here is the breakdown of the venues with multiple sales.
Venue-Graph.png


The sales are spread over many brokers and sellers – as well as the large number listed as private, there were 26 identified sellers with a single name on the list, under other on the graph.

Most Very Short

Most of the million dollar domain name sales were very short, 7 characters and less.
Length-Graph.png

The longest name was 15 characters, HealthInsurance.com. The shortest was Z.com, one of the few released single-character .com. It is used by Japan’s internet company GMO.

What Type of Names Sell?

Here are some observations on the type of names that sold:
  • There were no alphanumeric names on the list, and just six numeric names, four 2N and two 3N.
  • There were no hyphentated names on list.
  • The vast majority were either 2 or 3 letter names, or single English words.
  • There were some two-word names, although most expressed a single concept such as HealthInsurance.com, PersonalLoans.com, DataRecovery.com and DomainName.com. A few were genuine two-word names, such as MyWorld.com and MarketingToday.com.
  • There was one 4-word name on list, AsSeenOnTV.com.
  • While the majority of words were singular, plurals were not that rare. Plurals like NFTs.com, toys.com, clothes.com, CreditCards.com, coupons.com, and autos.com all sold for $2 million or more.
  • Some names included a suffix, such as gambling.com, investing.com and flying.com.
  • There were a handful of country names sold, Korea.com, England.com, Britain.com and Russia.com. Chinese.com also sold, as well as the state California.com.
  • A couple of astronomical terms were on the list, galaxy.com and Mercury.com.
Current Use

By visiting each site, I checked the current use of each of the domain names. Most of the names were used in some meaningful way, with 63.5% developed and another 11.5% used in redirection.
Use-BarGraph.png

In another 7.1% of cases there was only a splash screen, for example announcing coming soon. There were 6.4% of the names for sale again, and 11.5% were not in use the day I checked.

One of the more interesting splash screen names was DuDu.com which has a countdown indicating the site will be operational in just over 1200 days. The site is from Adventor Management Limited and has an image of the Horsehead Nebula in Orion. Hopefully it will be worth our wait.

It is not surprising that most of the names are in use, since at a 5% interest rate, a $1 million dollar price tag means the effective cost per year is $50,000. That is if one does not account for any appreciation, or depreciation, in asset value.

Some of the sites and redirections point to well-known businesses. For example, toys.com redirects to ToysRUs, delta.com is in use by Delta Airlines, loans.com redirects to Bank of America, wise.com is in use by the payment processor of the same name, FB.com redirects to Facebook, zoom.com redirects to Zoom.us, freedom.com redirects to Freedom Mortgage, WallStreet.com redirects to The Motley Fool, and vista.com is in use by Vistaprint.

Those who remember the early days of the internet will recall search engine AltaVista.com, with that name now redirecting to Yahoo. Tandberg.com redirects to Cisco, I presume as a result of a company acquisition. topix.com redirects to Publishers Clearing House, which also own the great domain name PCH.com.

A few redirections were less obvious but clever. For example, rock.com redirects to Rocket Mortgage, mortgage.com redirects to CitiBank, who also own citi.com.

The name super.com has a splash saying they are now SuperGG.com. James Iles recently mentioned this rebranding in the NamePros Blog Super.com Rebrands to SuperGG.

A few that I found particularly interesting included auction.com for real estate auctions, chill.com handles CBD products, DXL.com sells large-size clothing, TM.com redirects to Test Masters, candy.com is in use for digital trading cards, and ASAP.com is a site to help find local restaurants.

Sectors

For each of the developed or redirected names, I assigned a single word or phrase to represent the main use of the name. Here is a word cloud I generated from my results using WordCloud Generator from MonkeyLearn.

WordCloud-MillionDollar.png


Under banking, I included both bank services in general and mortgages, and many of the names were used in that sector. I included both high fashion and clothing sales more generally under fashion.

Among the sectors most represented in the million dollar sales are banking, travel, eCommerce, adult, gambling, gaming, internet services, investment, marketing, monetized reference sites, and NFTs.

A Few Final Observations

While it should be kept in mind that many of these sales were a long time ago, product and service match names are well represented in the million dollar sales.

While there was a fair amount of diversity within the sectors represented, many have something to do with banking, mortgages, investment, or crypto.

A few sectors seem under-represented, including education or training, and health.

While most were English-language sites, a number were Chinese, and a couple Japanese.

Considering how little time NFTs have been around, it is somewhat surprising to see multiple sales on the list, including the top two places, are NFT related. It should be noted that the original plans for voice.com were in a different area.

A lot of the buyers are very big well-established companies.

The majority are in use by direct consumer-facing operations.

I suspect to get to this price level has a lot to do with the negotiation skills of the broker or seller.

If interested in more recent, but less lofty, high-value domain name sales, earlier this year I took a look at $25,000 plus .com sales from 2021 earlier this year in the NamePros Blog.


Special thanks for NameBio for their valuable sales data, and an easy to use and powerful interface.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

LoveCatchyDomains

Top Contributor
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1,243
Good to see that 60% of those domains did lead to developed sites. Thanks for your thorough analysis.
 

Namey123

Upgraded Member
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2
Thanks for always giving well-researched and detailed information, Bob... deeply appreciated!
 
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Last edited:

Bob Hawkes

Top Contributor
NameTalent
Impact
32,492
So the real number in the 1 column of the lenght-graph could be higher, at least 2.
Thank you for the information.
No doubt there are many sales, announced on social media, in press releases, or somewhere else.
I like to keep a consistent and verified set of sales, so use NameBio data. That does not mean that many other sales do not exist.
Bob
 
Impact
428
Great job as usual Bob! The big sales have always been the rarity but make the big headlines of course. We all like to see them! :)
 

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