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Domain names in the Internet

A domain name in the Internet is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name identifies a network domain, or it represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet.
The registration of these domain names is usually administered by domain name registrars who sell their services to the public.

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Domain Transfer: How it works

Domain registration is the process that a registrant, usually the later domain owner, performs at a registrar to register a new domain below a top-level domain.


A domain registration alone is not enough to publish domain names on the Internet. First, each domain must exist on one or more name servers in a zone file. Then in the zone containing the parent domain, a reference (delegation) must be entered on these name servers.

Domain registrations therefore always contain entries in the parent name servers. The required NS resource records are usually entered by the registrar in conjunction with the responsible registry in these higher-level servers. When registering, the client must specify the name servers, which are usually authoritative or provided by their provider, on which the new domain authoritatively rests. As a rule, the registrar checks this information before registering to ensure that the delegation does not show up.

For smaller domains, which contain very few resource records, some top or second-level domains (such as .de) can dispense with separate name servers. The resource records can then be deposited directly by the domain registrar on its own name servers.

Select a name

First, the name of the domain and the parent domain (usually a top-level domain such as .com or .de) must be set. In doing so, it should be checked whether third-party rights may be infringed (eg registered trademarks). Each name can contain letters, numbers, or hyphens, with no distinction being made between uppercase and lowercase letters. The exact rules (eg "a name can not start with a hyphen") are provided by the registrar. Depending on the top-level domain and registrar, other special characters may be used. The German registry DENIC, for example, allows 92 additional letters (eg ä, ö, ü, á, æ) but no other special characters (eg!, # Or%). The letter "ß" was equivalent to "ss" in DNS until October 2010, but was not automatically converted by many browsers when they were typed. Since then, only by a "ß" and "ss" distinctive .de-domains can also be registered as different, with holders of existing domains with "ss" during the introductory phase is granted a preferential right.

The whois service can be used to determine if the desired domain name is available at all. Many providers provide more or less extensive query tools on their website. The country-specific registration organizations also offer options to check whether a domain has already been awarded. However, usually only their own top-level domain is included there. For example, DENIC publishes only information about domains that end in .de.

Some top-level domains (TLDs) have restrictions that can prevent their registration. For example, for the .de and .fr domains, the applicant or his administrative representative (Admin-C) must have a mailing address within the country concerned. The same applies to the .eu domain. The nationality of the applicant does not matter.

top level in the domain name system
Top-level domain (English for "top-level area", abbreviation TLD ) denotes the last section (to the right of the dot) of a domain on the Internet and represents the highest level of name resolution . Is the full domain name of a server or a website For example,, the letter combination. com right outside of the top-level domain corresponds to this name.

In the Domain Name System (DNS), the names and thus also the TLDs are referenced and resolved, ie assigned to a unique IP address . The domain name registrar creates in the context of the domain registration a database entry on the owner who allows Whois queries on the same protocol, similar to a phone book .

Below is a list of some top level domains (TLD): .ae, .abogado, .ac, .accountant, .accountants, .actor, .adult, .ae, .aero, .africa, .africacom, .ag, .agency, .airforce, .al, .amsterdam, .apartments, .app, .ar, .archi, .army, .arpa, .art, .asia, .associates, .at, .attorney, .au, .auto, .auction, .audio, .ax, .baby, .band, .bank, .bar, .barcelona, .bargains, .bayern, .be, .beer, .berlin, .best, .bet, .bible, .bid, .bike, .bingo, .biz,, .black, .blog, .blue, .boats, .boston, .boutique, .brcom, .broker, .brussels, .build, .builders, .business .buzz, .bz, .bzh, .ca, .cab, .cafe, .camera, .camp, .capetown, .capital, .car, .cars, .cards, .care, .careers, .casa, .cash, .casino, .catering, .cc, .center, .ceo, .ch, .charity, .chat, .cheap, .church, .city, .claims, .cleaning, .click, .clinic, .clothing, .cloud, .club, .cm, .cn, .co, .coach, .code, .codes, .coffee, .coit, .cologne, .com, .community, .company, .computer, .comse, .condos, .construction, .consulting, .contractors, .cooking, .cool, .coop,,, .country, .coupons, .courses, .credit, .creditcard, .cricket, .cx, .cymru, .cz, .dance, .date, .dating, .de, .deals, .degree, .delivery, .democrat, .dental, .dentist, .desi, .design, .dev, .diamonds, .diet, .digital, .direct, .directory, .discount, .dk, .doctor, .dog, .domains, .download,, .durban, .earth, .edu, .education, .eco, .ee, .email, .energy, .engineer, .engineering, .enterprises, .equipment, .es, .estate, .eth, .eu, .eus .events, .exchange, .express, .ею, .fail, .faith, .family, .fan, .fans, .farm, .fashion, .fi, .film, .finance, .financial, .fish, .fishing, .fit, .fitness, .florist, .flowers, .fm, .football, .forex, .forsale, .fr, .frl, .fun, .fund, .furniture, .futbol, .fyi, .gal, .gallery, .game, .games, .garden, .gb, .gdn, .ge, .gent, .gift, .gifts, .gives, .glass, .global, .gold, .golf, .gop, .graphics, .gratis, .green, .gripe, .gs, .guide, .guitars, .guru, .hamburg, .haus, .healthcare .help, .hiphop, .hiv, .hockey, .holdings, .holiday, .homes, .hospital, .horse, .host, .hosting, .house, .how, .ht, .icu, .im, .immo, .immobilien, .in, .industries, .inc, .info, .institute, .insure, .int, .international, .investments, .io, .irish, .ist, .istanbul, .tel, .it, .je, .jetzt, .jewelry, .jobs, .joburg, .jp, .juegos, .kaufen, .kim, .kitchen, .kiwi, .koeln, .kr, .la, .land, .lat, .law, .lawyer, .lease, .legal, .lgbt, .li, .life, .lighting, .limited, .limo, .link, .live, .loan, .loans, .lol, .london, .ltda, .lu, .luxe, .maison, .management, .market, .marketing, .markets, .mba, .me, .media, .melbourne, .memorial, .men, .menu, .mexcom, .miami, .mn, .mobi, .moda, .moe, .mom, .money, .monster, .mortgage, .moscow, .movie, .mu, .museum, .mx, .nagoya, .name, .navy, .net,,, .network, .news, .ninja, .nl, .nu, .nz, .okinawa, .one, .onl, .online, .ooo, .org,, .organic, .orke, .ovh, .page, .paris, .partners, .parts, .party, .pet, .photo, .photography, .photos, .physio, .pics, .pictures, .pink, .pizza, .pl, .place, .plumbing, .plus, .poker, .porn, .press, .pro, .productions, .properties, .property, .protection, .pub, .qpon, .qpon, .рус (.xn--p1acf), .racing, .radio, .realestate, .realty, .recipes, .red, .rehab, .reise, .reisen, .ren, .rent, .repair, .report, .republican, .rest, .restaurant, .review, .rich, .rip, .rocks, .rodeo, .ruhr, .run, .ryukyu, .saarland, .sale, .sarl, .sc, .school, .schule, .science, .scot, .se, .security, .services, .sex, .sexy, .sg, .shiksha, .shoes, .shop, .shopping, .show, .si, .singles, .site, .ski, .soccer, .software, .solar, .solutions, .soy, .space, .sport, .rl, .st, .storage, .studio, .style, .sucks, .supplies, .supply, .support, .surf, .surgery, .sydney, .systems, .taipei, .tattoo .tax, .taxi, .tc, .team, .tech, .technology, .tel, .tennis, .theater, .tickets, .tienda, .tips, .tires, .tl, .to, .today, .tokyo, .tokyo, .tools, .top, .tours, .town, .toys, .trade, .trading, .training, .travel, .tv, .tw, .uk, .university, .us, .vc, .vegas, .versicherung, .vet, .viajes, .video, .vin, .vision, .vlaanderen, .vodka, .vote, .voting, .voto, .voyage, .wales, .webcam .website,, .wed, .wedding, .win, .wine, .work, .world, .ws, .wtf, .xin, .xxx, .xyz, .yoga, .yokohama, .za, .zabz, .zone, .网店 (xn--hxt814e) .健康 (xn--nyqy26a) .МОСКВА (xn--80adxhks), .онлайн (Online), .сайт (Site), .みんな (Everyone), .بازار (xn--mgbab2bd), .شبكة (Web), .世界 (xn--rhqv96g), .中文网 (Website), .在线 (Online), .我爱你 (xn--6qq986b3xl), .集团 (xn--3bst00m) .УКР (idn of .UA), .广东 (xn--xhq521b), .佛山(xn--1qqw23a), .भारत, .商店, .コム

TLDs are divided by the IANA into two main groups and a special case (as of 2019)

  1. country-specific TLDs :
    1. country-code TLD s ( ccTLD s)
    2. internationalized country-specific top-level domains - Internationalized Domain Name country-code TLD (( IDN ccTLD )
  2. general TLDs: generic TLD s ( gTLD s),
    1. sponsored TLD s ( sTLD s) and unsponsored TLD s ( uTLD s)
    2. internationalized top-level domains
  3. the infrastructure TLD ( iTLD ) .arpa (special case) and the (never used) .root

No longer in use are the special cases .bitnet and .uucp.

.com -
.net -
.org -
.biz -
.info -
   .alsace, .amsterdam, .at, .ba, .barcelona, .bayern, .be, .berlin, .bg, .brussels, .by, .bzh, .ch, .cologne, .cy, .cymru, .cz, .de, .dk, .ee, .es, .eu, .fi, .fo, .fr, .frl, .gent, .gg, .gr, .hamburg, .hr, .hu, .ie, .im, .irish, .is, .ist, .istanbul, .it, .je, .koeln, .li, .london, .lt, .lu, .lv, .md, .me, .mk, .moscow, .mt, .nl, .no, .nrw, .paris, .pl, .pt, .ro, .rs, .ru, .ruhr, .saarland, .scot, .se, .si, .sk, .tirol, .tr, .ua, .uk, .vlaanderen, .wales, .wien
   .ag, .ai, .ar, .bo, .boston, .br, .bz, .ca, .cl, .co, .com, .cr, .dm, .do, .ec, .gd, .gl, .gs, .gt, .gy, .hn, .ht, .lat, .lc, .miami, .ms, .mx, .ni, .pa, .pe, .pm, .pr, .py, .quebec, .sv, .sx, .tc, .us, .uy, .vc, .ve, .vegas, .vg, .vi
   .ae, .af, .am, .as, .asia, .au, .cc, .cn, .cx, .desi, .fj, .fm, .hk, .hm, .id, .il, .in, .io, .ir, .jp, .ki, .kiwi, .kr, .la, .mn, .my, .nagoya, .nf, .nu, .nz, .okinawa, .org, .osaka, .ph, .pk, .ps, .pw, .qa, .ryukyu, .sa, .sb, .sg, .taipei, .tk, .tl, .to, .tokyo, .tv, .tw, .vn, .vu, .wf, .ws, .yokohama
   .ac, .africa, .bi, .capetown, .cf, .cm, .dj, .durban, .ga, .gq, .joburg, .ly, .mg, .ml, .mu, .ng, .re, .sc, .sh, .sl, .so, .st, .tf, .ug, .yt, .za, .zw

A list of all top-level domains can be found on the IANA website.

The generic top-level domains (gTLD) are differentiated according to sponsored (sTLD) and non-sponsored (uTLD). The (much more important) non-sponsored domains are under the direct control of ICANN and the Internet Society . The sponsored domains are controlled and funded by independent organizations. These organizations have the right to apply their own domain name policies. An example is .mil. This domain is used exclusively by the US military.

By far the most used TLD is .com (about 127 million registered domains in September 2017). Originally used by US companies, today it is used worldwide.

Unsponsored top-level domains (abbreviation uTLD) are used by a particular group. They consist of three or more characters and represent a term that distinguishes this group.

  1. .arpa - arpanet  -TLD of the original arpanet , now used as the Address and Routing Parameter Area . The IANA describes this TLD as an "infrastructure domain".
  2. .biz - business - for commercial use only; de facto freely accessible to everyone. Inscribed by IANA generic-restricted (generic).
  3. .com - commercial - originally only for companies, for a long time freely accessible to everyone.
  4. .info - information - intended for information providers, but freely accessible to anyone from the start.
  5. .name - name - only for natural persons or families (private individuals); de facto freely accessible to everyone. Inscribed by IANA generic-restricted (generic).
  6. .net - network - originally for network management facilities, today free for everyone.
  7. .org - organization - for non-profit organizations, since 2003 free for everyone.
  8. .pro - professionals - for "qualified professionals" (a few professions) identified by "suitable certificates" as such. Inscribed by IANA generic-restricted (generic).

Due to the liberal allocation for the TLD .com, .net, .org and (with minor restrictions) .biz and (more recently) .name, the original meanings of these TLDs have largely disappeared. Such a TLD does not necessarily indicate appropriate use. For example, the .org-TLD, which was originally intended for non-profit organizations, is also occasionally used by commercial providers. Furthermore, international, non-commercial websites like to use .net (or .org) to avoid having to resort to either a country-specific TLD or the common .com. While .org is only listed as a generic TLD by the IANA for a while now, the TLDs biz, .name and .pro are still classified as generic-restricted (as of August 2019).

Sponsored top-level domain (abbr. STLD ) are proposed by certain companies or organizations that operate these namespaces in accordance with detailed policies and have control and sanction rights to enforce the registered and lawful use of the registered names the provider should be ensured. For example, the .aero TLD is sponsored by SITA, which restricts its use to aeronautical content, or the use of .mobi names is bound to ensure that the site provider adheres to specific policies applicable to device-independent use of web content be regarded as elementary, so that z. B. mobile phones can represent this content.

Existing sponsored domains
  1. TLD/ .aero - meaning/ aeronautics eligibility/ aeronautical organizations sponsor/ Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques DNSSEC/ No
  2. TLD/ .asia asia Persons and companies located within the ICANN region Asia / Australia / Pacific (accessible to anyone since October 2007) DNSSEC/ Yes
  3. TLD/ .cat - catalan Catalan language and culture sponsor/ Fundació puntCAT DNSSEC/ Yes
  4. TLD/ .coop cooperatives cooperatives sponsor/ Dot Cooperation LLC DNSSEC/ No
  5. TLD/ .edu - educational limited since 2001 to educational institutions accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the US Department of Education . Except for a few institutions that previously had an .edu domain and enjoy grandfathering, these are almost exclusively US colleges and universities.DNSSEC/ Yes
  6. TLD/ .gov - government only government organs of the USADNSSEC/ Yes
  7. TLD/ .int - international multinational organizations sponsor/ IANADNSSEC/ No
  8. TLD/ .jobs - jobs only companies with job offers DNSSEC/ No
  9. TLD/ .mil - military only US military facilities DNSSEC/ Yes
  10. TLD/ .mobi - mobile for the identification of services that explicitly support the use of mobile devices sponsor/ mTLD Top Level Domain Limited DNSSEC/ No
  11. TLD/ .museum - museums Museums sponsor/ Museum Domain Management Association DNSSEC/ Yes
  12. TLD/ .post - Office postal Post and logistics company sponsor/ Universal Postal Union DNSSEC/ Yes
  13. TLD/ .tel - telecommunication standardized storage and publication of contact data; Stores data directly in the Domain Name System as NAPTR and TXT record DNSSEC/ No
  14. TLD/ .travel - travel Travel industry (eg travel agencies, airlines etc.)DNSSEC/ No
  15. TLD/ .xxx - sex erotic and sexual content sponsor/ ICM RegistryDNSSEC/ No

Special cases

There are some, mostly historical, special domains or pseudo- domains as well as names reserved for certain purposes, for which no

TLDs are set up for different reasons:
  • .arpa
The domain is now used as a technical infrastructure domain in DNS and some other tasks and managed by the IANA . It was originally supposed to be just a temporary solution when setting up DNS on the Internet, but the later resolution of this domain turned out to be impractical. The subdomain is in use worldwide to enable the resolution of an IPv4 address into a domain name ( reverse lookup ), in IPv6 is used for the same purpose. Another subdomain,, is used for ENUM, the addressing of Internet services over telephone numbers (keyword: Voice-over-IP ).
  • .bit
.bit is a pseudo-top-level domain of the Namecoin project. It is not approved by ICANN and therefore not part of the official DNS.
  • .bitnet
The domain was used in the early days of the Internet when several technically diverse networks were operated side by side. It was an IBM- sponsored branch of the network to demonstrate feasibility; the name means b ecause i t s t ime - net .
  • .example
This domain is reserved according to RFC 2606 for examples in texts, documentation and the like. It will not be forgiven, as well as the second-level domains,,, so that z. For example, auto-generated links in online documents do not reference real domains.
  • .invalid
This domain is reserved by RFC 2606 as an example of a guaranteed non-existent domain. For example, it can be used for software testing.
  • .local
This domain is used with multicast DNS for link-local addresses.
  • .localhost
localhost is used locally on most machines for their loopback device. Therefore, according to RFC 2606, it will not be outsourced as it would usually not be reachable anyway.
  • .nato
.nato originally existed for NATO , but it was given up after the domain had been registered for it.
  • .onion
.onion is a special-use top-level domain for using hidden services in the anonymization service The Onion Routing (Tor). The .onion addresses are not part of the DNS, but can be interpreted by applications when they are sent through a proxy in the Tor network.
  • .root
The domain "vrsn-end-of-zone-marker-dummy-record.root" existed until the introduction of DNSSEC in the root zone. The purpose of their existence was a simple test of whether the root zone was fully transmitted in a zone transfer, which was possible because the domain was the last entry of the zone.
  • .test
This domain is reserved for testing according to RFC 2606 and is not officially awarded, but can be used locally.
  • .uucp
For a long time, this domain was a pseudo-domain in TCP / IP networks for computers in the uucp mapping project that did not have their own Internet domain or acted as gateways . In general, these computers were only accessible via telephone modem connections or passive.


Since May 2010, there are IDN top-level domains and thus complete domains of non-Latin letters.

Below is a list of some top-level domains that allow non-ASCII characters in their respective IDN domains:

.com und .net
à á â ã ä å æ ā ă ą ç ć ĉ ċ č ď đ è é ê ë ē ĕ ė ę ě ĝ ğ ġ ģ ĥ ħ ì í î ï ĩ ī ĭ į ı ð ĵ ķ ĸ ĺ ļ ľ ł ñ ń ņ ň ŋ ò ó ô õ ö ø ō ŏ ő œ ŕ ŗ ř ś ŝ ş š ţ ť ŧ ù ú û ü ũ ū ŭ ů ű ų ŵ ý ŷ ÿ ź ż ž þ
á ä å æ ā ą ć č é ē ė ę ģ í ī į ð ķ ļ ł ñ ń ņ ó ö ø ō ő ŗ ś š ú ü ū ű ų ý ź ż ž þ
ä ö ü
à á â ã ä å æ ç è é ê ë ì í î ï ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö ø œ š ù ú û ü ý ÿ ž þ
.ch und .li
à á â ã ä å æ ç è é ê ë ì í î ï ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö ø œ ù ú û ü ý ÿ þ
à á â ã ä å æ ā ă ą ç ć ĉ ċ č ď đ è é ê ë ē ĕ ė ę ě ĝ ğ ġ ģ ĥ ħ ì í î ï ĩ ī ĭ į ı ð ĵ ķ ĸ ĺ ļ ľ ł ñ ń ņ ň ŋ ò ó ô õ ö ø ō ŏ ő œ ŕ ŗ ř ś ŝ ş š ţ ť ŧ ù ú û ü ũ ū ŭ ů ű ų ŵ ý ŷ ÿ ź ż ž þ ß
à á â ã ä å æ ā ă ą ç ć ĉ ċ č ď đ è é ê ë ē ĕ ė ę ě ĝ ğ ġ ģ ĥ ħ ì í î ï ĩ ī ĭ į ı ð ĵ ķ ĺ ļ ľ ŀ ł ñ ń ņ ň ʼn ŋ ò ó ô õ ö ø ō ŏ ő œ ŕ ŗ ř ś ŝ š ș ť ŧ ț ù ú û ü ũ ū ŭ ů ű ų ŵ ý ŷ ÿ ź ż ž þ ΐ ά έ ή ί ΰ α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω ϊ ϋ ό ύ ώ а б в г д е ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я ἀ ἁ ἂ ἃ ἄ ἅ ἆ ἇ ἐ ἑ ἒ ἓ ἔ ἕ ἠ ἡ ἢ ἣ ἤ ἥ ἦ ἧ ἰ ἱ ἲ ἳ ἴ ἵ ἶ ἷ ὀ ὁ ὂ ὃ ὄ ὅ ὐ ὑ ὒ ὓ ὔ ὕ ὖ ὗ ὠ ὡ ὢ ὣ ὤ ὥ ὦ ὧ ὰ ά ὲ έ ὴ ή ὶ ί ὸ ό ὺ ύ ὼ ώ ᾀ ᾁ ᾂ ᾃ ᾄ ᾅ ᾆ ᾇ ᾐ ᾑ ᾒ ᾓ ᾔ ᾕ ᾖ ᾗ ᾠ ᾡ ᾢ ᾣ ᾤ ᾥ ᾦ ᾧ ᾰ ᾱ ᾲ ᾳ ᾴ ᾶ ᾷ ῂ ῃ ῄ ῆ ῇ ῐ ῑ ῒ ΐ ῖ ῗ ῠ ῡ ῢ ΰ ῤ ῥ ῦ ῧ ῲ ῳ ῴ ῶ ῷ

There are usually several ways to register your domain:
    1. through a direct contractual relationship with the operator of a (top level) domain (often expensive, often not easy, sometimes only possible as a bulk buyer)
    2. at a registrar for the desired parent domain
    3. through a registrar-friendly service provider
    4. through a reseller or dealer who works with a service provider or registrar

Private individuals and small businesses usually prefer the service providers or their resellers, as they are significantly cheaper and the service provider takes care of annoying detail work and provides many necessary services plus domain registration from a single source. As a guideline for the costs of a registration of the common domains in the German-speaking area one can expect from about 0 to 100 € for the registration and 6 to 180 € annually for the care. This varies with the top-level domains and service providers, as well as the scope of services they provide.

Setting up the name servers

It also needs to be clarified who runs the name servers on which the future domain will be located. These can be own servers or managed by an Internet service provider. If only a few DNS names are required, some registries may dispense with the operation of their own name servers. The names are then entered on the name server of the registry. For example, DENIC allows up to five names per domain in these cases.

The name servers must normally be reachable at the time of registration and already contain the new domain. In addition, the name servers themselves must be registered. Responsible for their registration is the owner of the parent domain. For example, the name server needs to be registered by the owner of the domain.

A controversial point in current registration practice is the publication of personal data of the domain owner and his administrative and technical representation in the central database of the relevant top-level domain. Information such as postal address or e-mail address can be accessed by anyone via the whois service and thus potentially exposed to abuse, for example by professional address collectors. On the other hand, in the case of possible infringements by the domain owner (such as abusive registration of foreign brand names), this must be legally available, ie in particular have an address that can be delivered.

A compromise solution offers anonymous registration. The registrar uses his own data or data from third parties instead of customer information. Through a special contractual relationship, the anonymous customer still retains the domain, even if he is not listed in the whois database. The registrar acts as a trustee on behalf of the customer.

For individual TLDs, such. For example, for .ch (Art. 2.5 and 3.2 GTC of SWITCH), there is an obligation on the part of the registrant to announce his correct identity. If this is not the case, the registry can delete the domain name.

The business of resale of registered domain names is known as the domain aftermarket. Various factors influence the perceived value or market value of a domain name. Most of the high-prize domain sales are carried out privately.

Resale of domain names

The world's first registered domain was, it was registered on January 1, 1985.

The company Symbolics registered on March 15, 1985 with the first .com domain. In 1985, a total of six .com domains were registered, in 1986 there were 54 and in 1987 then 47.

Domain trading is the commercial trade in domains, ie Internet addresses such as or

Legal background a Domain trading

Since domains are not material, but idealistic goods, the legal business in domain trading is the transfer of ownership of a domain from the seller to the buyer. It deals exclusively with the trade in the rights to a domain (address) as such; Sales of websites, internet projects or other content do not constitute domain trading in the strict sense.

In principle, the domain trade is roughly comparable to the real estate trade, although not legally regulated. Often, domains are also referred to as the "Lands of the Internet."

Domain trading can in principle be any domain. Often these are generic domains such,, 廿一點.中国,,,, or IDNs shoppï or acronym domain name stand for South Sound Washington Business Center, Super Six World Boxing Classic or fantasy names that have no legal protection.

Domain business can come about in any way. However, the following distribution channels have been established:

Initiation by the buyer

This is by far the most common way to get a domain deal done. A prospect wants a specific domain and finds that it has already been taken. He approaches the domain owner, who is freely viewable by most registries (eg DENIC ) about the whois service, and asks if he is willing to sell the domain. In this way, it often comes to the sale of domains that have not been registered by the original owner for the purpose of commercial sale.

Commercial domain dealers usually provide a clear indication on the websites under the domains offered by them that the domain is for sale and provide direct contact possibilities.

Active marketing by the seller

The seller of a domain searches for potential customers themselves and asks them if they are interested in the domain. Again, this practice is very common, but in the case of overly aggressive or indiscriminate marketing, it is often perceived by the recipients as spam.

Intermediaries and Domain Trading Platforms

These are service providers that purposefully bring together sellers and buyers of domains.

The global German provider Sedo, a subsidiary of United Internet AG, has become particularly established. Sedo ( Search Engine for Domain Offers ) specializes in the brokerage of domain transactions and operates a corresponding offer platform.

Some brokers such as GmbH operate on behalf of the seller active marketing and thus act as a broker, but usually to fairly high brokerage.

In addition, there are also Internet auction houses such as eBay own rubrics for domain offers.

If a sales contract has been concluded between the seller and the buyer of a domain and the method of payment has been regulated, the buyer usually issues a provider change request, which is accepted by the seller. As a result, the buyer is registered with the responsible registry as a new domain owner. The duration of the processing depends on the Top Level Domain.

The sale of domains is not an invention of recent years, already in the late 1990s, various domain sales in millions was made.

The list is limited to domains that sold for $3 million USD or more.

Non-published sales

Many high-profile domain sales either sold privately or by brokerage firms are kept confidential.


Domain transactions still in progress/to be completed

Domain Price: $90 million
Sale date: 2005
ETC: 2040
Note: Installment purchase

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