Another year is in the books. It looks like 2018 was a big year for domain name sales, with a lot of money spent on domains. In particular, three public sales of domain names saw prices over $1 million.
Most big domain name purchases are never revealed, so there were surely other domains that would place among the top for 2018—and probably rank above the top publicly reported sale. For example, the sale of Crypto.com was definitely a big one, but we don’t have those figures.
There are a lot of domains that sold for just around the $500k mark. So rather than limit this post to the top 10, it includes all publicly announced sales of $500,000 or more as tracked by DNJournal.
Top Domains of 2018
1. ICE.com $3.5 million
The most expensive publicly reported domain name sale of 2018 has a rich history. Ice.com was the name of a jewelry company that became popular during the dot-com boom. That fizzled out and an Austin company bought the domain for $3.0 million in 2014. That business didn’t make it, either. International Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange and other exchanges, bought the domain in 2018
2. Super.com $1.2 million
Super.com sold in an online auction in February. Super! Fund, a group that invests in gaming, bought the domain.
3. DXL.com $1.15 million
Destination XL, a big and tall men’s clothing store, bought this domain name to shorten its domain DXLG.com. That’s a lot of money for a difference of one letter, but it makes a lot of sense.
4. Great.com $900,000
Swedish entrepreneur Erik Bergman bought Great.com in a live auction at the end of January. He plans to use it for a sort of public benefit company that gives all of its proceeds to charitable causes.
5. Files.com $750,000
Files.com is another domain name that has sold more than once, having changed hands for $725,000 in 2009. The new owners are building file management software for businesses.
5. Liquid.com $750,000 (tie)
A company called Quoine bought the domain name for a cryptocurrency exchange.
7. Christian.com $600,000
Christian.com sold for the exact same price in 2009. The buyers are building a community for Christians.
8. Online.casino $510,000
Online.casino is the first non-.com entry on this year’s list. The buyers have yet to reveal themselves but you can expect them to put the domain to good use soon.
9. FO.com $510,000 (tie)
Yet another domain acquired by a cryptocurrency company. FO.com was acquired to promote a blockchain and token business.
10. and 11. Sleeping.com and Snoring.com $502,225 each
These two domains sold in a package for $1,004,450. The buyer owns CPAP.com, a site that sells CPAP machines to help people sleep.
12. Vacation.rentals $500,300
At the time, this was a record price paid for a domain ending in a “new top level domain”. That was until online.casino sold.
After the top 10 sales, there are five domains tied at $500,000 each:
13. DAX.com $500,000 (tie)
The buyer of DAX.com is not yet known and has not launched a site on the domain yet. Usually, when a three letter domain ending in X sells for big money, it’s a good sign that it’s a cryptocurrency exchange (the X stands for exchange). It could stand for Digital Asset Exchange, for example. However, DAX is also the acronym of the German stock market index.
Tokens.com $500,000 (tie)
Tokens.com was purchased by Polymath, a company that plans to “tokenize securities”.
Home.loans $500,000 (tie)
Home.loans sold before vacation.rentals, and that’s why vacation.rentals sold for $300 more. The buyer of Vacation.rentals wanted to be the record-holder for the most expensive top level domain sale to date. That worked until the online.casino sale.
Kush.com $500,000 (tie)
Marijuana-related domain names have become popular as more states legalize the drug.
Q.org $500,000 (tie)
One letter domain names are always valuable, especially in older top level domains like .org and .com. This one was acquired by a cryptocurrency company.
What’s in store for 2019?
So there you have it: the top 15 domain name sales of 2018. This is as of early January 2019. Sometimes new sales come to light after the year ends so the list could have a couple of additions.
The price of entry to the top 15 list this year was $500,000. Will it be the same in 2019? Only time will tell.