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June 19, 2019

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Biggest Public Cash Domain Sale Ever Reported & Year's Highest Non .Com Sale Headline This Week's Chart

As most of you probably know by now, the biggest publicly reported all cash domain sale of all time was revealed Tuesday (June 18, 2019). With the $30 million sale of Voice.com more than doubling the $13 million paid for previous record holder Sex.com back in 2010, media outlets around the world, both inside and outside the domain industry, reported the landmark sale (including us, of course, with an assist from George Kirikos who was the first to send us some of the key information as the story started breaking).

The GoDaddy Domain Broker Service was credited with facilitating the sale in which seller MicroStrategy Inc., a public company listed on the NASDAQ (under the symbol MSTR), sent Voice.com to buyer Block.one, a company that is using Voice.com to launch a new blockchain-based social media platform called Voice. 

We maintain a chart of the top 20 all cash domain only sales reported since we began our weekly domain sales reports in 2003. In light of the Voice.com sale I think it is worth repeating something I have pointed out in the past that remains a problem. Several other sites (the most notable probably being Wikipedia) have published lists with titles like "List of Most Expensive Domain Names" that are actually a mishmash of assets that are very different from one another -  mixing sales of developed online businesses in with domain only sales, as well as purchases paid in whole or part with common stock (sometimes of dubious value) and even listing uncompleted purchases (like Vegas.com that is being paid for in installments that still have years to run). 

By Ron Jackson

Unfortunately, others pick up and copy this mis-information across the web - reinforcing a pervasive lack of understanding of the differences between a domain name, a website and an online business. Of the four domains Wikipedia lists above Voice.com, the top three were all either a sale still to be completed (Vegas.com) or online businesses with existing revenue streams (Insurance.com and CafrInsurance.com). The fourth (PrivateJet.com) changed hands in a stock/cash combination whose actual value was unknown (and widely questioned at the time). It is too bad that this lack of awareness will, at least in some circles, keep the actual #1 cash sale of a domain name only (now Voice.com) from getting all of the recognition it rightfully deserves.

The same could be said for the GoDaddy Domain Broker Service, who can now accurately claim the #1 publicly reported sale of a domain name. They did receive an undisclosed commission beyond the $30 million paid for Voice.com, and that would be enough for some, but they shouldn't have to watch credit for their achievement go to others who were playing an entirely different game

All of the commotion surrounding the Voice.com sale overshadowed another outstanding sale that would have led our latest weekly all extension Top 20 Sales Chart almost any other week of the year. That was Sedo Senior Broker Dave Evanson's $400,000 sale of Casinos.org in what was the biggest non .com sale of the year to date. Voice.com or no Voice.com - that is worth popping the cork on a bottle of champagne for Dave and Sedo!

Also notable this week was a nice group of five 3-letter .com sales made to Chinese buyers by Graham Haynes. All five landed on the top half of the leader board with #3 ZKJ.com at $49,980 leading the quintet. If Graham's name sounds familiar - it should. He is the guy who paid $650,000 for Furniture.co.uk in 2016 (in a deal brokered by Dave Evanson - another name that keeps popping up)! The UK based investor/developer used the domain to reinforce his thriving furniture retail business. Graham doesn't usually make his transactions public but he decided to put the 3-letter .com sales out there (made over the past 3 months) because he felt too much has been made of a Chinese buying slowdown. He wanted to show that the market for short, desirable .coms is still alive and well in the Far East.

While the .coms dominated again this week, the non .com gTLDs and ccTLDs each has three entries on the elite list. Sedo had two of the three country code sales with the other - #13 LoveLetter.co at $15,000 - going to David Lizmi. Overall, Sedo led all venues with a dozen charted sales including six of the 14 .coms. EmpireNames.com also helped the .com cause with #9 NPay.com at $25,000.

Here's a look at how all of the sales leaders stacked for the week ending Sunday, June 16, 2019:

HealthInsurance Services, Inc
eHealthInsurance Services, Inc
eHealthInsurance Services, Inc

The DN Journal Top 20 
Highest Reported Domain Sales - Mon. June 10, 2019 - Sun. June 16, 2019
(Foreign currency to U.S. Dollar Conversions Based on Rates in Effect June 19, 2019)


Sold For

Where Sold
1. Voice.com $30,000,000 GoDaddy Domain Broker Service