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So, let's just blame it on the tequila (or the Kashi GoLean and milk in my cereal bowl this morning).
Let's talk domain appraisal tools and services.
Who loves 'em?
Who hates 'em?
Less than worthless. Such sutomated appraisals tend to impair thinking.
As as sort of approximate numbers test I'll sometimes direct people to read the reported sales at DNJournal.
The problem with DNJournal is that it only reports a small percentage of sales. Most of the people I talk with don't report their sales to DNJ and without that report the data goes missing.
Seeing what BuyDomains has up for sale and at what price can be helpful. OTOH, they have 800,000 domains to price and aren't always "game on" when it comes to pricing, in which case I and many others are buying what they're selling. Still, their pricing is a helpful guide, one of the better "free tools" I've ever come across.
For the most part we've avoided discussing domain related tools due to repeated efforts to spam the forum by tool promoters.
I think that's probably a pretty good policy to be in place when it comes to the automation of domain appraisals. It just can't be done. You may be able to establish some baselines on a small number of givens but even then, the human element must be present.
On the other hand, the domain is only worth as much as buyer is willing to pay for it.
I think it is easier to visit domain after-markets and estimate approximate domain value by checking number of bids, "buy now" price, and recently sold price for domains with similar keywords in their names.
Their valuation output reminds me of online psychic consultations: "For entertainment purposes only".
Unfortunately, some folks that rely on their service tend to take it rather seriously. "But Mr. L, Boffo's automated domain appraisal says FreeCreditReport.com has too many letters - it's too loooong - and that decreases its value." I take no offense as I, too, suffer from that malady - taking myself too seriously - from time to time.
Automated appraisals = For entertainment purposes only.
[edited by: Webwork at 4:44 pm (utc) on July 31, 2007]
How else can a newbie value a domain without going through the hard lessons of buying losers and selling winners at the wrong prices?
I've named the appraisal services A, B and C, and rounded figures.
Domain 1: A: $2.9 million, B: $163k, C: $2.6k - a difference of more than 1000 times from the highest to lowest!
Domain 2: A: $8.7k, B: $1.6 million, C: $68k - this time "B" is way high...
Domain 3: C: $2.8 million, B: $37k, C:$342k - another one with a really wide spread, "B" lowest this time.
Even taking an average is pointless when the figures are so random.
The few that I know of all cost from $15-16 to $25-30 per domain, but to what extent can such valuations be relied upon to be reflective of the realistic market prices?
To reconfirm the close to absolute uselessness of 'automated' (and still, fee based) services, I narrate a recent experience below:
I got a domain appraised by an automated service (by Go..whatever), at a cost of some $5. The valuation was somewhere around $150 (I've forgotted the exact amount). Then, I got the same domain appraised manually, paying a fee of some $25 (this time, it was Mo...something). They valued it at just under $3000.
I checked a few recent sales of similar domains and found the $3000 valuation to be fairly close to those transactions. Intrigued by this, I repeated the process for 5 more domains, at both places.
Go.. again, as before, came up with numbers in the range of $145 to $340 each, while Mo... came back with a total valuation of just under $6000. Once again, checking similar recent sales on all 5 proved out in favour of manual valuation. (None of this could be proven ultimately, as I'm not selling.)
This leads me to believe that the manual appraisal services in general may have some substance in them.
What views can others share on this?
Thanks so much!
Automated domain appraisals should be marked "for entertainment purposes only".
I recently received a very serious inquiry/offer based upon a major registrar/hosting providers automated appraisal. Value was placed at <$1,000.00. I graciously explained the facts of life and suggested that the person "ask around" about automated appraisals.
Long story short: I don't sell many domains, as I don't hold them for resale, but this one wasn't near and dear to my heart. Just sold it for a number much closer to $10,000. than $1,000.
Most domain forums allow you to post domains for appraisal. (Not here, though.) Most domain forum appraisers are quick to give domainer values - about 1/5 to 1/10 (to 1/100th) of aftermarket values. Even amoungst experience domainers evaluations will vary widely. Traffic data provides a baseline for value but it's not very useful since the PPC share can be small, the PPC market may not be mature, the enduser value of clicks may far exceed the PPC cost at the moment suggesting that the domain value may be of much greater value to the enduser, etc.
You might gain some helpful insight by looking at the reported sales at DNJournal. I am making it my policy in this forum to whack any reference to other domain sales reporting services as I feel these services are simply leeching off the hard work that Ron Jackson, the publisher of DNJournal, performs each week to produce his (verified) domain sales report. Go to the original source and pay the man his due for his efforts. Look up the history of sales at DNJournal.
[edited by: Webwork at 1:40 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2007]
There is no "best place" to appraise domains. We hosted a recent thread on the topic (it's still live) and the reason for that thread is that we're going to "do this 1 time" and then put the issue to bed for a long time. Otherwise, domain appraisal "lives as a favorite topic of forum spamming".
In terms of individuals likely best qualified to appraise domains Monte Cahn of Moniker is likely one of the persons most qualified to speak "formally" - that is, for government purposes for very high value domains.
Outside of Monte there's a small "basketful" of gentlemen and a handful of ladies with a depth of experience that likely could shed some insight on value, but amongst this group there's often a very wide range of opinion.
There is no automated service of any repute. None. Not even close. I checked out the latest of a long line of automated services and I was not impressed. The automated services "just don't get it".
Lastly, I am not going to allow anyone to post the name of or links to a service that does little more than rip off - call it consolidate, collect, whatever you wish but I call it rip (absent express permission) - the hard work of DNJournal or any similar "original reporting" service.
I'm being quite pointed about the last comment as I've recently seen what I believe to be efforts to promote such services in this forum and that's not going to happen. The same goes for anyone's automated domain appraisal tool.
The "best" place is no place. I know because I've been looking for that place for years. The "best" you will get is a difference of bias and opinion and "domain expertise" (domain subject, domain target market expertise, etc.).
When in doubt it may sometimes pay to see what "the competition" is asking for a domain that might suitably replace your domain in a "head to head competition". Check for very similar domains on BuyDomains, Fabulous, Sedo or Afternic. If you asking $100,000.00 for BlueWidget.tld and BlueWidgets.tld is available for $750.00 BlueWidgets.tld may be "setting the market" for your domain.
Of course, you are always free to not sell at or near the present market.
[edited by: Webwork at 1:49 pm (utc) on Aug. 25, 2007]