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Fascinating domain sale stories (and not just the expensive ones)

Fascinating domain sale stories (and not just the expensive ones)


With majority of companies moving on to the e-commerce platform, what’s next was a bidding war for domain names. With millions of dollars put on the line, these names summed up a company’s identity in the market and among customers.

Just look at the price list of these domains as of 2021:

1. – $90 million (2005-2040)
2.– $49.7 million (2010)
3. – $35.6 million (2010)
4. – $35 million (2007)
5. – $30.1 million (2012)
6. – $18 million (2009)
7. – $16 million (2009)
8. – $13 million (2010)
9. – $11 million (2001)
10. – $9.9 million (2008)
11. – 9.5 million (2007)
12. – $8.5 million (2010)

Now, let’s check how some of these domains were bought and acquired. used to be owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, until 2010 when Mark Zuckerberg bid a lofty amount of $8.5 million for it. Since then, the domain name has become synonymous with Facebook, exclusively. Which may now be turned to per the recent news. was bought for around $11 million back in 2001. The company now believes it to be an extremely good investment as it is now often used as an anecdote in business conferences, as it is an evidence for how an exact match domain name (EMD) can also be used by a company as a stand alone brand. was initially bought by Andrew Miller and Michael Zapolin for $80,000 back in 1998. Back then, the site was used as a platform for internet users to visit and rate their favourite brews. A year later, the domain name was later bought by a company called Interbrew, who bought it for $7 million. What an investment! was first registered on the internet back in 1996, by a man named Richard Schwartz for just a hundred bucks. After nearly 20 years, the domain name was finally bought by Network Solutions for $1.35 million. Schwartz has also managed to sell a series of his other domain names to big companies, which has earned him the rightful title of ‘Domain King’.

However, huge prices are not just what’s fascinating with the backstories of well-known domains today. You’ll find a few interesting stories on how they came to be.

For example, the Microsoft VS. MikeRoweSoft

The domain name was initially registered by Canadian student Mike Rowe in August 2003. Rowe set up the site as a part-time web design business, choosing the domain because of the phonetic pun by adding the word “soft” to the end of his name.

Microsoft saw the name as trademark infringement because of its phonetic resemblance to their trademarked corporate name and demanded that he give up the domain.

Rowe went to the press to generate support and donations for his legal battle. The media coverage portrayed this battle as a “David vs Goliath” battle and showed Microsoft in a negative light.

In the end, Microsoft softened their stand on this case and reached an out of court settlement with Mike Rowe.

Under this settlement Microsoft was handed the control of the domain and in return Microsoft agreed to pay all of the expenses that Rowe had incurred including setting up a new site at and redirecting traffic to

A man registered his family last name ( in 1994, for a company he started in 1980, when Nissan Motors was known as “DATSUN.” Years later, he is sued by the Nissan Motor Corporation, starting what would become almost two decades of legal arguments and maneuvers, even entering a request to the United States Supreme Court.

It doesn’t look like Nissan Motors is any closer to obtaining the domain name today than it was 20 years ago. Nissan Motors is using instead.

In conclusion, finding the right domain for your business may seem like an easy work but looking at the backstories of the companies above, you may never know how much they may equate in the future. Your domain name might just be a gold mine waiting to be dug!

Let us guide you with great domain names. They’re a good investment!

Author: Nica Layug



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