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The 9.5 Million Dollar Domain Name

Published June 12, 2012

If you have a (few) million dollars laying around doing nothing, you might consider pouring it into domain name investments. But why make life complex? Large domain portfolios can be a headache. Keep things simple - just buy this one.

The domain name is up for grabs at the bargain price of just USD$9.5 million.

For many, the letters ETF may not mean much (and it's not to be confused with EFT). According to Investopedia, ETF stands for Exchange Traded Fund, which means:

"A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold."

According to a fact sheet accompanying the sale of the name, the term "ETF" is searched for on Google over 1.5 million times each month - although this particular domain name doesn't appear to come up as number one when performing that search.

The site's mission statement is to "strive to make the place for everything exchange-traded funds and help change the way the world invests". The site currently appears to be primarily just a financial news and jobs resource.

So how was the 9.5 million dollar price tag calculated? That's unclear, but the fact sheet mentions advertisers are currently paying Google an estimated US$5.28 a click for Adwords ads - those advertisements appearing at the top and side of Google search results that are normally related to whatever the query the person searched on. 

The site received just over 108,000 visitors during last year. So at $5.28 a click, that comes to approximately $570,000 worth of traffic - a fraction of the sale price; but that aspect is being marketed as a saving for the new owner in terms of promotion rather than potential revenue from advertising placements on the site. The fact sheet doesn't reveal the level of income the site currently receives.

The brokers point out the pricing is pegged between the sale price of; acquired by Facebook for around USD$8.5 million earlier this year and the reported USD $10 million paid for in 2008.

So, is this domain name worth the money? It's not our place to say, but we hope that if a Domain Registration Services reader buys it, the current owner will send us a nice commission for the exposure we've just given to the sale :).*

High profile sales such as these certainly stir up the domainer spirit within many of us - a domainer is someone who makes a living from acquiring and selling domain names, and the advertising revenue generated from ads placed on "parked" domains. 

However, the high-flying domainer's lifestyle is not for the faint-hearted or shallow-pocketed and would-be players would be wise to be wary of domain name valuations provided by third party appraisal services; which often grossly overestimate the value of a name.

*Note: Domain Registration Services has no association with the owners or brokers of

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