March 5, 2009 -- How much is the word "toys" worth on the Internet? Hundreds? Thousands?
Try millions of dollars.
In a close bidding war, Toys 'R' Us last week bought the domain name Toys.com at auction for $5.1 million, placing it among the top 10 most expensive domain names on record.
And industry watchers say that it was probably a bargain.
"Had it not been such a recession, I think it probably would have gone for a little bit more than that," Ron Jackson, editor and publisher of the Domain Name Journal, told ABCNews.com. In better economic times, he said it might have sold in the $7 to $8 million range.
The reason a generic word like "toys" has such value, he said, is because it's a massive key word. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people type that word into search engines every day, generating an incredible flow of traffic to Toys.com.
"It's like having a store in the middle of Times Square," Jackson said. "The name is really almost priceless."
Jackson's industry magazine has tracked domain name sales since 2003.
Because transactions can take place privately and publicly, he said, it's difficult to record all sales. His magazine only records transactions that were pure cash sales.
Others in the industry have speculated that Sex.com sold for $12.5 million, Business.com sold for $7.5 million, and Wine.com sold for $3 million. But as they were not pure cash sales, Jackson doesn't include them in his records.
Toys.com has not yet been added to his journal's records, but Jackson expects to add it once the name has been officially transferred to Toys 'R' Us.
For the full list of 10 most expensive domain names, click on to the next page.
According to the Domain Name Journal's records, below is a list of the top 10 most expensive domain names.
1. Fund.com, $9.99 million
2. Porn.com, $9.5 million
3. Diamonds.com, $7.5 million
4. Toys.com, $5.1 million
5. Vodka.com, $3 million
6. CreditCards.com, $2.75 million
7. Computers.com, $2.1 million
8. Seniors.com, $1.8 million
9. DataRecovery.com, $1.66 million
10. Cameras.com, $1.5 million
10. Tandberg.com, $1.5 million