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December 11, 2018

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Elon Musk Reveals He Made One of the Most Expensive Domain Purchases of All Time in Tesla.com at $11 Million

Tesla Founder Elon Musk

Tesla Founder  and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk lit up the domain aftermarket grapevine like a Christmas tree with a simple tweet over the weekend. In those two sentences Musk revealed he had made one of the biggest domain purchases in history when he bought Tesla.com for $11 million. Prior to that acquisition Musk's  famed electric car company was based on TeslaMotors.com.

That is the second highest domain only purchase confirmed by one of the parties to a sale that I have seen since I started tracking the aftermarket in 2003, behind only Sex.com at $13 million. Tesla.com will be added to our all time Top 20 domain sales list, as well as at the top of our 2016 Top 100 Sales Chart when we do our next weekly sales report Wednesday evening (December 12).

Over the years I have seen higher prices than those on our list cited for some domains but those have never been publicly confirmed by a participant in the transaction. I also see a lot of sales of online businesses, with assets well in excess of the value of the domain name alone, that some have mistakenly been cited as being a domain sale. In an effort to "compare apples to apples" and not oranges, I have limited our sales reporting over the past 15 years  to completed cash sales of domain names only where the sales price has specifically been stated.  

It is not always easy to determine when a sale meets that standard so on rare occasions like this (where we are not going to get access to the documents surrounding a sale) I have to make a "judgment call." Musk stated a specific price, he had the means to pay for the name (and many more like it if wanted to) and he had an obvious pressing need for it. He did not note any other assets gained with the domain (nor are any apparent) and he would have nothing to gain by making it up. That all adds up to high credibility. Should more detailed information surface contradicting the price stated I will, of course, correct the record. 

The above is in keeping with the verification procedure I have followed from day one - a procedure that is summarized on the page linked to above that has been accessible at the bottom of our weekly Top 20 Chart for over a decade. The Tesla.com sale presents a good opportunity to review that information if you are interested. The domain community has also played a invaluable role in helping make our sales reports as accurate as possible by contributing information and letting me know when they spot any errors that need to be corrected. This also presents a good opportunity to thank all of you for that!

(Posted December 10, 2018)

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