Understanding the Insure.com Sale

When I first heard about the Insure.com sale it was explained to me as a domain sale. After learning a bit more it was clear to me that this was MUCH more than a simple domain sale. Yes – this is a record domain sale – but what was really sold here was a business with a domain name.

Domain Superstar wrote a great post about this issue – Insure.com Sale: Some Domainer’s Just Don’t Get It

The point he makes is one in which so many people seemed to miss in this sale. It was the website that created such a high selling price – not simply the domain. Yes – the domain could sell for a few million, but 16 million is rediculous. So let’s look at the facts – the site has over 95,000 backlinks and has almost 5,000 pages indexed in Google!

So as usual I’ve got an analogy for this one. It’s like if Amazon.com were to sell the entire company along with the domain (most likely for billions of dollars) and we all exclaimed – who knew the keyword “amazon” was so valuable! Sure, Amazon is a catchy name but it’s a business!!

When analyzing past domain sales it is absolutely essential to look at the website/traffic/revenue that comes with the domain. If you see a domain that you just can’t imagine would sell for such a high price – take a look at other relevant data so you can understand all the factors that went-into the sale price.

Not trying to be a downer here – it’s a great sale – but it’s the sale of an entire business, not just a domain.


The vast majority of domains investors are often busy with going through expiry lists and seeking bargains on premium quality generic domains at the 3 main drop auction platforms:  Snap, Pool and Namejet;  Sedo, however, often remains overlooked. Along with the main drop service platforms, Sedo is also a great place to pick up quality keyword domains at below-market prices, and many are snapped up daily by eagle-eyed buyers. You may have noticed a very nice .info domain currently being auctioned off at no reserve – this is probably one of the best .info domains being auctioned off at Sedo in a recent months: Girlfriend.info

The monthly search volume is obviously very good, hitting the 660,000 exact online searches each month. The Overture is pretty impressive, also hitting the 6 figures with ease. In terms of development potential and commercial appeal, I can easily see this domain in the same league as Camping.info ($28,000) and Best.info ($20,880). Anything under a final sales price of $2,500-$5,000 to an end user looking to develop this name to its full potential would be a steal for this gem. The auction ends on Thursday (10-15-2009) at approx 18:00 CEST. If you have any questions concerning this premium domain, or if you would like to receive a list of other quality domains I am selling, feel free to contact me at biggs.immo@bluewin.ch

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Elliot October 12, 2009, 8:42 am


    I agree that it’s not just a domain sale. However, the press release clearly states the company is keeping virtually all business assets and will continue to operate as they have been, just under a different name.

    Yes it was more than a domain sale – it was a domain and partial site sale. As Adam Strong commented on my blog, it’s going to continue getting harder and harder to classify a domain sale now that people are developing. As I ask, if I sell names that I have mini sites on – are those domain sales?

    My primary point is that the company clearly stated that they are keeping the business and identified this as an asset sale. From the CEO, “We have sold our Insure.com name and specified website content.” The new company will have to cut its own insurance deals, hire agents, use a different call center, find affiliates…etc.

    It’s a hybrid sale, but based on my own evolving business model, I still classify it in the domain sale category.

    Also… other people are saying that some people “don’t get it” or “don’t understand what’s happening here.” I completely understand all aspects of the sale but I look at it differently than some. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is mine 🙂

    • mlinton October 12, 2009, 9:09 pm

      Thanks Elliot – good points. Hope you didn’t think I meant you when I was saying some people don’t get it. You are probably one of my biggest inspirations in the Domaining World and you definitely get it!

      I do think that there was more to this domain sale than just a domain which is why the price was so high. It is hard to say that “Insure” is a 16 million dollar keyword and “Invest” is only a million dollar keyword (which is what invest.com sold for).

  • Mojito October 12, 2009, 9:27 am

    The 95,000 backlinks might be worth more than the domain!

  • Domain Superstar October 12, 2009, 10:35 am

    Thanks for the link and great analogy (I wish that I would have thought of it!) although the one key difference from the sellers point of view is that Amazon is an online only company while the seller is an insurance agency with likely many different pipelines for selling insurance.

    Amazon is 100% reliant on it’s website and online presence for its business while this insurance agency apparently sells insurance the “old fashioned” way and online (because of it’s comment about revenues decreasing 10-15% due to the sale and loss of brand name).

    Just an important distinction to make because while you are theoretically correct in saying above that “it’s the sale of an entire business, not just a domain.” (because I like to treat each money making website as its own little “business”) you are technically incorrect because just the domain name and website were sold and not the underlying business which was the insurance agency.

  • TeenDomainer October 12, 2009, 5:00 pm

    I think it is a great sale whatever you want to call it, the domain was sold for $16 Million not only because of the domain but for other reasons so you can not call it a strictly domain sale.

  • Bruce Marler October 12, 2009, 7:21 pm

    I am disappointed almost every week when people cannot separate the difference between a business and a name. As much as I understand the inherent value in a keyword domain, after a successful business is put on it the value is in the business more than the name.

    @DomainSuperstar – Great definition and distinction.

  • Pimp Jason October 12, 2009, 11:41 pm

    I completely agree. When a domain name is associated with such a large acquisition price, the media tends to misconstrue the true aspects of the deal. I ran into countless articles strictly focusing on the domain name itself and was quite disappointed.

    As Bruce stated above the business is the true value in this entire ordeal. In my opinion the domain was just the icing on the cake.

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