$90m for a website address? The most expensive domain names ever [INFOGRAPHIC]

From failed super-efficient websites to spiteful business tactics, the new graphic on the world’s most expensive domain name sales covers the very top end of Internet marketing moves.

Nimbus Hosting, has recently conducted a study of 500 most expensive domain names in history and here are the most extravagant ones:

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– LasVegas.com ($90,000,000) – When you search for “Las Vegas”, this is the number one result. It’s fully functional, offering accommodation, tours and bookings.

– CarInsurance.com ($49,700,000) and Insurance.com ($35,600,000) – The buyer, internet marketing agency, saw the value of this domain in lead generation.

– VacationRentails.com ($35,000,000) In a borderline spiteful business move, this domain was bought by owner of HomeAway to prevent Expedia buying it.

– PrivatJet.com ($30,180,000) – This website was supposed to become the most efficient private jet booking site.

When you’re starting a new website for your company, one of the most important steps is the domain name. It’s the first thing your site visitors see, it defines your social media, your branding… maybe even what you might put on your company coffee cup.

That’s why some companies are prepared to spend vast amounts of money on getting just the right domain name. And with the new graphic from Nimbus Hosting, you can see the costliest purchases of all time.

The information is based on a study of 500 different domains, but the top 15 are ranked in order of price, with details on the industry, the buyers, and the number of backlinks, giving an insight into the web marketing successes of companies and names like:


1. LasVegas.com ($90,000,000)

Las Vegas.com was the world’s most expensive domain sale at $90 million, sold in 2005. When you search for “Las Vegas”, this is the number one result. The website is fully functional, offering accommodation, tours, and bookings in the world’s biggest gambling destination.
2. CarInsurance.com ($49,700,000)

For $49,700,000 – QuinStreet, one of the largest internet marketing services companies, saw the value in this domain name for generating customer interest. The site was sold without any content – the money was for the name alone.

3. Insurance.com ($35,600,000)

Insurance.com was also purchased by QuinStreet for the same reasons as CarInsurance.com. They also have Insure.com – the 8th most expensive purchase.

4. VacationRentals.com ($35,000,000)

VacationRentals.com was bought for $35,000,000 in a borderline spiteful business move, to prevent Expedia from buying it first.

5. PrivateJet.com ($30,180,000)

PrivateJet.com cost Nations Luxury Transportation, LLC $30,180,000. They then announced their plans to deliver the most efficient private jet-booking platform. At time of writing, the website doesn’t load.

It’s not just a price difference across companies – different industries showed varying amounts of interest in getting their domains just right.

These are the industries with the overall highest spends on their branding:

1. Travel – at $199,960,431, travel is far and away the biggest investor when it comes to domain names.

2. Insurance – in no small part thanks to the QuinStreet purchases, insurance hits $102,535,000 on the industry domain spend.

3. Finance – coming in just behind insurance at $102,241,075.00, finance covers everything from the blogging site Bankaholic to “IRS.com”.

Although .com domains are dominate the list of domains with exorbitant prices, when businesses want to target their customers in specific national markets it can make sense to swap pricey .com for other TLD, such as .de, .fr or .co.uk. These can however also come with a hefty price tag. Check out the the most costly domain names in other countries: