I read a report on The Next Web this morining, and it listed the sale of VacationRentals.com as the most expensive domain name sale of all time. I don’t recall hearing about the sale anywhere, but the embedded video confirms the sale price.
In the video, HomeAway Founder and CEO Brian Sharples mentions that the company primarily bought VacationRentals.com to keep it away from a competitor. From the looks of it, VacationRentals.com had been a very active website before the acquisition, although Mr. Sharples sounds like the purchase was a defensive measure primarily for the domain name: “The only reason we bought it was so Expedia couldn’t have that url.” (Start the video at about the 15 minute mark to hear it).
I am sure most people won’t update their list of the most expensive domain sales / purchases of all time, but it certainly is a big sale that should be noted.
Interestingly, TNW did not include the $35.6 million sale of Insurance.com or the $16 million sale of Insure.com. From my perspective, both of these domain sales are similar in nature to the sale of VacationRentals.com since they were active websites and weren’t exclusively domain sales.