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 Owner Hits the Jackpot with $5.5 Million Sale to Top This Week's Chart

by Ron Jackson     
Archived 11-4-03

One of the largest sales in history
tops the past week's list of reported domain sales. Sweden's Boss Media sold the gaming portal for $5.5 million to a buyer than has chosen to remain anonymous for the time being.

We normally will list only pure domain name sales on our weekly chart because including operating websites makes it too difficult to determine what portion of the sale was due to the value of the business and what portion to the domain name itself.

However, in this case, there are good reasons to include First, there is no doubt that even without a business attached, this domain name would have been the highest priced domain sold last week. Casino is one of the premier keywords on the internet and some casino advertisers pay close to $20 per click to get casino traffic. Second, there is a good deal of speculation that the buyer might junk the existing portal anyhow. If the purchaser is a major casino, they might prefer to build a new site and keep all of the traffic for their own business rather than serve as a portal that takes a cut for directing traffic to others. 

If you would like to read more about this landmark sale, here is a link to Boss Media's press release about the sale. The highest valued sale for a pure domain name last week was a solid one-word dictionary domain - which went for $20,000 at Afternic. The #3 slot was also worth five figures, as earned $18,000 for the seller through Sedo

Here is the complete Top Ten list. Keep in mind that these are the highest value sales that have been reported in the past week. This column is meant to be an educational tool, not a complete list documenting ALL high value domain sales. Such a list is impossible to produce because many sales are kept private at the insistence of buyers, sellers or both. These are the highest sales from key players in the domain aftermarket that have reported sales to us.

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. Oct. 20 through Sun. Oct. 26, 2003
Euro to Dollar Conversion (� to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Mon. Oct. 26


Sold For

Where Sold
1. $5,500,000 Private Sale
2. $20,000 Afternic
3. $18,000 Sedo
4. $9,000 Afternic
("Sales" or "Marketing" in German)
�6,500 = $7,618 Sedo
("Friend" in German)
�4,900 = $5,742  Sedo
7. $5,000 Sedo
8. �4,060 = $4,758 Sedo
9. �3,333 = $3,907 Sedo
10. �3,300 = $3,866 Sedo

You might recall that the #4 entry, was included in our first Domain Sales column the week before last. At that time a buyer had agreed to purchase the domain at Afternic, but it had not gone through Escrow. Since some sales fall through before the escrow process is completed, we decided that all reported sales should be transactions that have completed the escrow process as did last week.

Germany's country code .de (the second most popular extension in the world, behind only .com) continues to show great strength, taking half of the remaining 6 spots in the Top Ten., the Spanish language and a Swiss country code domain (the first to make out chart) complete the list. Sedo racked up all of those sales and had three other strong ones: and, each of which went for �3,000 ($3,514) and which fetched $2,500.

If you are wondering what's the deal with the hyphenated .de going for over $3,500, eDonkey is an extremely popular file sharing program in Germany. Strong enough to make a related term like Donkey Tools (even with the hyphen) attract a nice bid.

Another sale that has to be mentioned is the $1,000 paid for at Afternic. .ws is the country code for Samoa that has been marketed by private companies in the U.S. as meaning "web site". Resale values are usually very low, so a four-figure sale, even for a strong keyword like lyrics, is an eye opener. Afternic reported another $1,000 sale for

There was a sale at Oct. 24 that would have made the Top Ten but the WhoIs information has not changed and until it does (signaling that the domain has been paid for and transferred) we will not report the sale. That one will likely appear next week along with another Pool sale in the same price range Oct. 27 that is awaiting transfer. would have placed one or more domains on the Top Ten but had to keep specific prices confidential at the request of their clients. They did give us the names of 5 domains that totaled  $32,740 in sales (an average of over $6,500 per domain):,,, and

I have to admit that I continue to be surprised by the appearance of 3-character .coms (combining letters and numbers) on DomainSystems' best seller lists. These combinations (many of which remain unregistered) generally are given very low valuations among resellers. However, these sales demonstrate that if you happen to have a combination that a buyer needs it can be an entirely different ballgame. DomainSystems CEO Monte Cahn says both of those 3-character sales were to large corporations, one purchased to identify a product and the other as a brand name for a subsidiary. 

In addition to our Top Ten list we are keeping track of new extension sales (.info, .biz and .us) with a separate New TLD Top Five chart each week (both the Top Ten and New TLD Top Five are likely to be expanded to include more domains as more sellers provide data in the weeks and months ahead).

It was a slow week for the new extensions though, with no reported sales above three figures. In a reverse of last week's chart, .biz took the top spots with .info trailing.

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Top Five 
 Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  Oct. 20 - Oct. 26, 2003
Euro to Dollar Conversion (� to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Mon. Oct. 26


Sold For

Where Sold
("Personal Ads" in German)
�600 = $703 Sedo
2.  $700 DomainState
3. �300 = $351 Sedo
("Fire Protection" in German)
�230 = $269 Sedo

I have to believe that there were other higher value sales in the new extensions last week that were not reported to us. If you are involved in a significant sale that we can verify (as was the case with, sold by England's through a post in the forum), let us know - you just might see your domain on the charts!

We welcome all verifiable sales reports from companies, private sellers or individuals with knowledge of an important sale made through any channel. To contribute information for this column, just drop a note to [email protected].

Every Tuesday we publish the highest reported domain name sales for the previous week. On Monday our contributors send us their sales data for the previous 7 days. We then compile that information and write this report for Tuesday publication to give you the freshest sales report in the industry. 

We will close with this standard caution. These are not average selling prices. One of the biggest impediments to making sales is pricing domains at unrealistic levels. For most of us, pricing domains at the levels achieved on the Top Ten chart will leave us waiting a long time to make a sale! We hope you will use the information presented here as a measuring stick that will help you price your domains at levels that will put more money in your pocket more often!

Editor's Note: If you wish to review previous Domain Sales columns, they are available in our Archive.


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