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Company spends $100 million on just 3 domain names

The cost of registering a domain name for a year is less than $20. Some premium ones can cost hundreds, thousands and even millions. And one such company has spent more than $100 million to purchase just three domain names.

QuinStreet, Inc., based out of California, is a leader in performance marketing technologies & services. It owns “an expansive network of informative websites that allows consumers to research and connect with the products and services they seek”.

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Anyway, below are the three domain names they have purchased for more than $100 million. All the three figure in the 10 most expensive domain names deals of all time.

Domain name Purchase Price Year
CarInsurance.com $49.7 million 2010
Insurance.com $35.6 million 2010
Insure.com $16 million 2009

So why are these domain names so expensive?

Here are some reasons I came up with.

  • All the domain names are generic
  • All of them cater to insurance, a high value and high volume industry
  • A substantial number of web users simply suffix a dot-com to their search phrase. Thus, instead of using a search engine to hunt for “cars”, they load up cars.com directly in their browser. This might seem really dumb to you but there is data to support it. As per compete, the domain CarInsurance.com gets 200,000 unique visitors per month; and that was without a working web site. A person who is not savvy enough to search for cars on the web would be an ideal target to be sold insurance at a high premium, right? (I’ll have a nice bit of trivia about cars.com domain name at the end).

These million dollar domain names are worth the money!

And would QuinStreet be able to recover the cost of the domain names?
If you weren’t convinced by my last point, here is what David Roche, President of Hotels.com Worldwide had to say about their purchase of Hotels.com domain name for $11 million way back in 2001.

“People told us that it was ‘a crazy sum of money’… Now we look back and think, what a bargain.”

By the way, QuinStreet also owns Internet.com which they bought from WebMediaBrands, Inc. in 2009 for $18 million.

The costliest domain name in the world…Drums roll, please

Cars.com could potentially be the costliest domain name in the world. As per the papers filed and submitted to the US Government, Cars.com is valued at $872 million.

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