A New Zealander has put up for sale a .com domain name he registered five years ago - with a price tag of $US1 million.
London-based Chris Esther registered release.com in April 1995 ("back when they didn't cost anything") for use with his database and internet consultancy, Release Communications.
Esther says he doesn't need the name in his current post as technical director at the London office of digital business consultancy Icon Medialab, where he works with dot.com startups such www.letsbuyit.com and clicks-and-mortar sites such as Playstation Europe.
"I've had quite a few enquiries about selling the name over the years so I've always known there was a market for it," Esther says. "Recently the market for domain names has really taken off, with business.com fetching $US7m and loans.com $US3m. It's a good generic name which can be used in a few contexts, so I'm hoping for a good sum."
The domain is being sold by online auction via the high-profile brokerage greatdomains.com.
"I evaluated the other major players, around five of them, but based on the commission, professionalism and sales record they came out on top," says Esther.
The broker has valued the name at $US1 million, putting it in the same bracket as houses.com, rent.com, dough.com, act.com, supply.com, speed.com, present.com (all $US1 million) and well clear of the likes of videos.com ($550,000) and brokers.com ($500,000).
The priciest domains at greatdomains remain biz.com ($5 million), bonds.com and stocks.com (both valued at $7,500,000) and the almighty america.com, which is reckoned to be worth $30 million. (The america.com name was originally registered for use by the Florida ISP PSS Internet but the billing contact is now listed as America Dot Com, Inc.)