Are These Million Dollar Domains Being Sold Short?

Are all the best domains already taken?

Hundreds of millions of top-level domains are now registered, and you’d better believe that includes all the short, snappy, easily-brandable one-word domains.

Having a short and memorable domain comes with a lot of perks. For one, your users are much more likely to remember a domain like “www.photo.com” than “www.quality-stock-photos.com” or even “www.photoapp.com.”

Besides your audience, there are search rankings to think about, too: the shorter, more meaningful, and older your domain is, the higher you’re likely to be ranked in search results. Google still loves exact match domains (EMDs): domain names that match the exact keywords your target users are searching for, without any hyphens. Today, unregistered EMDs are hard to come by.

Longer domains tend to be difficult to remember, and can even look spammy to your visitors (and Google), especially if you have to use hyphens. And you also hazard the risk of people mixing up your domain name with another website – possibly even sending your potential visitors straight to your competitors.

That’s why shorter domain names often come with a premium price tag. Forget $10 a year – premium domains are often valued at hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Taking the example above, the domain photo.com is, of course, already registered. Actually, it’s been sold twice in the past five years, for over $1 million each time.

Spending that much money, you’d think someone has a killer business plan to earn their investment back, and then some.

But with photo.com – and many other million dollar domains – that’s far from the case.

Photo.com is sitting in limbo today, currently parked with domain registrar Sedo.com since it was last sold in 2009.

What a waste.

We took a look at some of the top million dollar domains and imagined the possibilities. Here’s what we would have made with an unlimited budget – how about you?

million dollar domains being sold short

Transcript: Are These Million Dollar Domains Being Sold Short?

Can you imagine spending millions of dollars on something and never using it? People spent millions on these domains, and they aren’t even being used! Here’s what they could have been if someone worked on them.

fund.com

  • Sold for $9,999,950
  • March 2008
  • Last buyer: Philip Gentile
    • In 2008 Gentile was appointed the COO of Fund.com Inc.
    • com was an Institutional and Consumer financial services company.
    • Clek Media Inc. brokered the cash deal.
  • The domain currently reads “Please come back later to check Fund.com”
  • What it could have been:
    • A site like morningstar.com
      • Recommended as one of the AAII’s (American Association of Individual Investors) top 10 websites for fund information
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Investment firms
    • Financial advisors
    • Brokerage firms

beer.com

  • Sold for $7,000,000
  • January 2004
  • Last buyer: Thought Convergence, LLC
    • Thought Convergence is a domain management and services company.
    • Associated with 1,395 other domains.
  • The domain is currently for sale on Aftermarket.com
  • What it could have been:
    • beeradvocate.com
      • Ranked number 2 (after Heineken.com) by the Beer Bloggers Conference in their list of the 20 Most Influential Beer Websites in the World
  • Potential end users:
    • Restaurants
    • Beer enthusiasts
    • Home breweries

ticket.com

  • Sold for $1,525,000
  • October 2009
  • Last buyer: Stromboli
    • com sold the domain and Buydomains brokered it
    • At the time, it was the 5th highest sale in the domain industry
  • What it could have been:
    • stubhub.com
      • Offers tickets to tens of thousands of events
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Event managers
    • Concert promoters
    • Stadium operators

cameras.com

  • Sold for $1,500,000
  • November 2006
  • Last buyer: Sig Solares
    • At the time, Solares was the CEO of WhyPark (parked.com), a domain monetization company.
      • It is now known as domainapps.com.
    • The transaction was made through an auction on Moniker.com.
      • It was the highest bid in Moniker’s live domain auctions.
    • The domain can be purchased from domainnamesales.com
  • What it could have been:
    • dpreview.com
      • Digital camera review site
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Camera manufacturers
    • Photography Communities
    • Camera enthusiasts

russia.com

  • Sold for $1,500,000
  • December 2009
  • Last buyer: Private
    • Paley Media and New Media Holdings sold the domain.
    • The transaction was brokered by Sedo.com
    • Prior to the sale, the site received 9,000 unique visits per month.
  • The domain is currently registered with GoDaddy.
  • What it could have been:
    • englishrussia.com
      • A photoblog on life in Russian-speaking countries
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Tourism boards
    • Travel agencies
    • Government agencies

photo.com

  • Sold for $1,250,000
  • May 2010
  • Last buyer: Private
    • The sale was brokered through Moniker.com.
  • The domain is currently parked with Sedo.com.
  • What it could have been:
    • photobucket.com
      • Offers image hosting, sharing and editing
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Photographers
    • Photo-sharing companies
    • Social media platforms

call.com

  • Sold for $1,100,000
  • September 2009
  • Last buyer: Boris Kreiman (PhoneToPhone)
    • com brokered the sale between Live Current Media and Kreiman.
    • The goal for the site was to connect customers with professionals that provide advice.
    • Shortly after this purchase he paid $600,000 for Christian.com.
  • The domain is currently registered with GoDaddy
  • What it could have been:
    • phone.com
      • Offers VOIP services
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Phone companies
    • VOIP companies
    • Phone manufacturers

zip.com

  • Sold for $1,058,830
  • October 2010
  • Last buyer: Private
    • Domain was sold at the Silent Auction of the DOMAINfest Prague Auction.
    • It was sold by Snapnames and Moniker.
  • What it could have been:
    • winzip.com
      • Zip utility site
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Zipper manufacturers
    • File compression companies
    • Transportation companies

invest.com

  • Sold for $1,015,000
  • December 2007
  • Last buyer: Jim Magner
  • The domain went back on the market in 2012 with Digital DNA.
  • What it could have been:
    • wealthfront.com
      • The automated investing service manages over $1 billion dollars in client assets
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Hedge fund managers
    • Investment companies
    • Financial planners

beauty.cc

  • Sold for $1,000,000
  • February 1999
  • Last buyer: Gianluca Zanna
  • The domain is currently for sale on Afternic.com.
  • What it could have been:
    • style.com
      • Popular fashion site with 2.7 million unique visitors each month.
  • It would be perfect for:
    • Magazines
    • Cosmetologists
    • Estheticians

Sources

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