5 Most Expensive Domain Names

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What’s in a name? If it ends in “.com,” it might be worth millions of dollars. The industry magazine “Domain Name Journal” has been keeping track of domain name sales since 2003—and with all the private and anonymous sales, keeping an accurate database of transfers of virtual property is no easy task. Not surprisingly, the hottest Internet properties revolve around sex and money.

5 Slots.com

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The identities of both the buyer and the seller were kept secret, but somebody bought the Slots.com domain for $5.5 million in 2010. Hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Apparently, the domain had been in existence since 1985, when it’s doubtful there were many people looking to gamble their lives away on the Internet. In this case, somebody’s dreams of hitting the jackpot finally paid off after 25 years—although the same can’t necessarily be said for those patronizing this online gaming hub.

4 Diamond.com

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Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but someone’s got to buy those diamonds first – and that’s where jewelry retailers come in. Online jewelry retailer Ice.com bought the Diamond.com from Odimo.com in a 2006 private sale for $7.5 million—and that was just for the domain name and associated intellectual property. Ice.com paid an additional $2 million to buy out Odimo’s inventory, meaning the company spent more on the box than on the bling inside.

3 Porn.com

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Everyone knows that sex sells, so when Porn.com went up on the auction block, bidders naturally expected strong demand and stiff competition. In 2007, a company called MXN Ltd. bought this high-traffic domain for $9.5 million, making it the biggest domain purchase to date. At the time, Porn.com was considered the No. 1 domain in the adult industry, and this purchase was something of an investment—the winning bid was reported to be somewhere in the neighborhood of five times the site’s prior annual earnings.

2 Fund.com

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It’s been said you have to have money to make money, so it stands to reason you’d have to have a pretty large fund to make a Fund.com. This 2008 transaction took the industry by surprise and was initially met with some skepticism, but insiders soon confirmed the validity of the transaction. A New York firm known at the time as Meade Technologies handed over close to $10 million in cold hard cash to buy this well-funded Internet address.

1 Sex.com

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It’s a classic case of supply and demand: There’s only one “Sex.com,” but there are plenty of people who want it. The domain actually set the record for most expensive domain name twice—first in 2006 when Escom LLC bought it for $11.5 million, and again in 2010 when Clover Holdings Ltd. bought it from Escom for $13 million. The content currently populating that site? Pretty self-explanatory.

Jennifer Mueller has been writing professionally since 1995, when she began writing a bi-monthly column for "This Week in WNC." Mueller holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Juris Doctor from the Indiana University School of Law.

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