There was a time when a million bucks was a lot of money for a domain name. That's exactly what Cool.com went for back in 2000. Today, that's chump change when you are talking about the most expensive domain names on the Web.
Keep in mind that these purchases are just for the name. You want to buy an entire Web site, you're going to have to go a lot higher than that. But, if all you want is dibs on the name, here are the top ten choices you might want to consider if you have $10 million burning a hole in your pocket and you want the simplest possible online destination name because, let's face it, your customers probably can't remember anything more complicated.
10. Slots.com -- $5.5 million 9. Casino.com -- $5.5 million We grouped these together because of the similarity both in price and in what they represent, gambling, and this is but the first of addiction-related domains in our top ten. Of course, you could buy Gambling.com, which just went up for sale for $10 million, but we figure either one of these will drum up enough interest from gambling addicts and credit card thieves to keep you in business for a while.
8. Israel.com -- $5.88 million The other country that ranks close to Israel.com in price is Korea.com, which sold for $5 million in 2004. Place names can have real value when used to promote tourism and entire country domains can bring in the bucks, although it seems odd to us that these two got $5 million plus while England.com brought in only $2 million and Russia.com got $1.5 million. If you are looking for a bargain, try Zimbabwe.com for a mere $130,000 because Branson.com already went for $1.6 million. And we so wanted to promote Yakov, Kirby VanBurch and The Baldknobbers Jamboree, damnit!
7. Beer.com -- $7 million It's not all that surprising that beer.com ranked ahead of other adult beverage names like wine.com ($3.3 million) and vodka.com ($3 million). Look at the money beer companies pour into Super Bowl commercials, which run in the millions for 30-second spots. Nobody expects Ernest and Julio Gallo to shell out half a million for a 15-second spot on Super Bowl Sunday, but Coors might drop ten of them, but clearly there is money to be made online from inebriation. To quote a toast by Homer Simpson, "To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."
6. Diamond.com -- $7.5 million We just went through the most hideous time of year for jewelry commercials, Christmas. Whether it was Kay, Zales or some other mall store trying to sell you on a generic diamond heart pendant or tennis bracelet, we all suffered through these sappy, craptastic ads that made us want to kill that guy who "went to Jared." The folks at Ice.com, who bought Diamond.com, understand that our obsession with shiny little rocks makes that $7.5 million completely worth it. 5. Business.com -- $7.5 million Honestly, if you can't make money off of a name like business.com, you probably should renounce your worldly possessions and move to the forest.
4. Porn.com -- $9.5 million Finally, we get to the nitty gritty. Our list has gambling, alcohol and crass consumerism, but there isn't any addiction that screams Internet like porn and we assume that, so overwhelmed are males by hormones and boredom, having the most simplistic domain name possible is a really smart move, like putting a restaurant downhill from a gym.
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3. Fund.com -- $9.99 million If there is one thing we learned from all the ponzi schemes and Wall Street bailouts, no matter how ridiculous the concept may be, if it involves the exchange of money, the people running the show will end up raking it in. In the case of fund.com, it makes sense that rich people making money off of other rich people while they attempt to get richer is worth nearly 10 million bones.
2. Sex.com -- $13 million The saying "sex sells" is dead-on accurate in the real world and the virtual one. Sex.com, like sex in the real world, has had a rough ride. It was originally purchased in 1994, stolen through fraudulent means in 1995 and turned into an ad-heavy site that got millions of hits per day. Just like what can happen after sex in the real world, lawsuits, flights to Mexico, rewards and jail time ensued. Since then, sex.com has been bought and sold, most recently for $13 million.
1. Insure.com -- $16 million We gotta be honest. This one surprised us. The same company who paid $18 million for the entire internet.com Web site and domain and turned it into a popular destination for IT professionals bought this one and turned it into a source for purchasing, you guessed it, insurance. It may not be sexy or nerdy or filled with debauchery, but boring makes money too. Now, if they just had a gecko.