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Are domain appraisals worth their cost?

domain appraisals cost worth


valentin nils

9:08 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello WebmasterWorld users,

I am considering to have appraisals written by a human being (no automated appraisals), even though they will probably more expensive than automated responses.

What are your experiences with domain name appraisals written by a human being ruther than automated appraisals, are they worth there cost?

Your feedback/experience is much appreciated.


12:08 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Automated appraisals are virtually useless.

If you have someone do an appraisal, make sure they are a reputable company - there a LOT of appraisal scams out there! Be particularly suspicious if you were asked to get an appraisal and referred to the appraiser by a would-be buyer of the name.

A search for "domain appraisal scam" will turn up more details.


12:24 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have used Sedo.com's premium appraisal service on several occasions and have been very happy with it. For about 50 bucks you receive:

An expert estimate of the domain name's value.

A list of recent comparable sales.

Advanced analysis into areas such as search engine friendliness, branding potential, legal situation, possible buyers, and marketing strategy.


5:55 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Most all domain appraisals are basically worthless, but agree Sedo's are well researched and better than others in that regard.

That's because the appraiser wants to keep you happy, not want to give refunds, and get more orders from you, by issuing a very high appraisal you will like. Of course, it is also highly subjective anyway.

A somewhat reasonable way is based strictly on income but that can often be quite low as it does not really consider the names intrinsic value, keyword value, traffic, website product/service sales potential, beyond PPC revenue.


5:27 am on Aug 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

IMHO - You are much better off reading the advice on how to determine the value of your domain from many of the old threads listed here.

Some of these companies will intentionally give a low figure so one of their brokers can buy it for a low price. But most of the time it is a bogus automated process which sometimes works and sometimes does not.

I thought I learned my lesson from years ago trying all these companies. But recently I thought I would give Afternic a shot. Their research appraisal states: "one of our professional appraisers will also dig deeper into the true value of your domain name."

But what I got was a totally bogus automated appraisal back. When I complained they said there was nothing they could do since they outsourced it. Really lame excuse.

I have had much better automated appraisals from Sedo for half the price. But bottom line I really do not trust any of these appraisal mills.


10:11 am on Aug 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I wouldn't buy a domain based upon an appraisal if the value didn't fit my own pricing model, nor would I sell a domain name based upon an appraisal if the valuation wasn't consistent with my own determination.

You would do just as well to spend some time reading "back issues" of DNJournal to get some idea of values historically assigned.

You might also do yourself some good by reading some of the Library threads that are part of the archive of this Domain Forum.

I once paid for an appraisal by one of the big players just to see what the output was. I'm certain, to the untrained eye the multi-page appraisal would appear impressive. To my jaundiced eyes it was 99.9% boilerplate, mumbo jumbo and intelligently worded industry claptrap. The other .01% was someone pulling a number out of their limited . . . digitalassets.

Historical data about past domain transactions is limited as evidence suggests that the vast majority of domain transactions have not been made public record.

It's possible to model for value and therefore offer an appraisal but it's not possible to know enduser value until you are done negotiating. Like real estate there are some virtual locations that offer valued - like traffic spots and domains with built in traffic - however, just like real estate, there are other locations that offer "a view" that some buyers will value more than others and the trick is knowing which properties those are.

[edited by: Webwork at 10:25 am (utc) on Aug. 13, 2006]


8:35 pm on Aug 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Automated appraisals are useless
As far as i know,the only human appraisal service is offered by Moniker
You could also post your name for public appraisal on domain forums

valentin nils

2:18 am on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thank you for the replies received so far. I can see much better now ;-)

Thank you also "MamaDawg", he hit it spot on with the appraisal scam from a "potential buyer".

Fortunately I read the responses and did my research. The variety of answers gave me new inspiraion for the further approach.

Thanks everybody. If you still have something to add, by all means keep posting ;-)

I just want to use the chance to express that I am really surprised about the valueable constructive
responses - especially for me having just done a few posts. Seems like this is a great community to be in ;-)

Thanks also for the moderator "webwork" for his inside and advice when I originally formulated the topic a bit "strange".

Best regards


1:58 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I offer a counterpoint to the Sedo $44 appraisal. I had an unsolicited enquiry for one of my sites and so I went to Sedo. I just received my appraisal. It has the machine generated verbosity that checks the name for dictionary words, possibility of typos, length, etc. It compares the sale prices of some domain names that have the slightest similarity to mine and then gives me an estimate of its worth.

The appraisal did not cover how well it ranks for its obvious search terms, the suitability to its industry, or the high TPR of its backlinks. Now to be fair to Sedo, this is a domain name appraisal, not a web site appraisal, so I know that the real value of the site is a lot higher as long as it remains in my name.

As for the pure domain name appraisal, now that I can see what is covered, I think I can do my own appraisals in future.


6:32 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

read the threads do some research ...make your own appraisal


7:03 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I review a lot of domain names and sites and my (limited) experience with appraisals is that they are generally bogus. Often 10-100x more than the "market value" of a name. Thus appraisals, IMHO, are usually a waste of your money unless you are trying to inflate the price for a prospective buyer, which is how this game appears to be structured.

"Look - you offered me 100.00 but the appraisal is for
$104,811.00 ..... OK, I'll take $125"

Note that established websites with revenue only fetch about 1-2x annual earnings, so when names sell for thousands it's usually because somebody ... wasted their money.

I would agree with others that SEDO is helpful as a sales venue.


7:39 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Since this threads overlaps with a newer, more robust thread, I am going to lock this thread. The new thread is featured on the homepage.

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