The Domain Appraisal Myth – Should You Believe In Automated Appraisals For Domain Names?

Determining domain value can be challenging. This is something I learned first hand when buying names and then trying to sell them. It is literally like learning a different language (could I dare say…harder)? Initially we had no idea how to get a rough value for a domain name then we heard about automated appraisals.

I’ll be honest, I was extremely doubtful of using automated appraisals because I kept reading the results are fake and you shouldn’t let them be the ultimate decisive factor when buying a domain name or determining what price to sell a domain.

Right now you must be asking yourself what exactly is this tool, well before I get into details you should review our lengthy post regarding domain value.

What is an Automated Appraisal?

The information you get from the appraisal will never be 100% accurate and this is very important to understand. Once this sunk in my skull, I now use automated appraisal as part of my daily routine.

The tools usually calculates the value of a domain by taking into consideration search volume, past/recent sales of similar namesCPC etc. It is a pretty interesting formula and it does give you a rough idea of how valuable a domain name may be.

The Domain Appraisal Myth - Should You Believe In Automated Appraisals For Domain Names - vid pic

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List of 5 Top Automated Domain Name Appraisals

1. DOMAININDEX.com

This is an awesome free domain appraisal service. It provides a very comprehensive instant appraisal based of the sales price or value based on an all-encompassing methodology.

2. Estibot.com

I am sure you’ve heard of this one before, this is a trusted and popular automated appraisal that focuses a lot on the history of previous similar domain sales and search volume. Many well known domainers say they have experienced great value results with this tool.

3. Valuate.com

Although not as popular as estibot, it provides a free valuation tool that will provide a fair appraisal value based on your name’s metrics and the sales of similar domains. I like this one a lot because it provides all other relevant data such as top sales reports, search frequency, traffic, competition, and CPC in an easy-to-read table.

4. GoDaddy.com

We all know Godaddy as a place where we can do all sorts of domain related activities including buying domains. Another cool aspect is that they provide a free instant appraisal tool/service that comes with an appraisal certificate.

5. Sedo.com

This is a well known marketplace where you can buy and sell domains but they also provide an instant appraisal service once you become a member and log in. Many people do not know about this so take full advantage of this tool.

The most  popular one out of the list and the one we have personally used is Estibot. For us, this is just a another tool to give me an idea of a domain value. Before I purchase a name I put the name in Estibot and see what they feel the value is (just for fun of course, if I want the name I’ll try to get it no matter what the tool tells me).

What do you think of domain name appraisals? Don’t forget to watch our video here. Let us know your thoughts!

Will is the Co-Owner of The Limitless Legacy Network LLC, where his company focuses on buying and selling online properties. Stay updated by joining their free newsletter here

If you are interested in viewing domain auctions his company is currently running, visit their Flippa Auctions Here.

Current Auctions: Majors.org | Melvern.com

13 thoughts on “The Domain Appraisal Myth – Should You Believe In Automated Appraisals For Domain Names?

    • I definitely agree with you. Those numbers are for the most part not trustworthy. But isn’t interesting they put estibot value on any domain dropping or selling on NameJet. Seems this one is definitely gaining popularity, but like I mentioned in the article I run through my other tools and methods as well instead of just relying on the automated appraisal.

      – Will

      • I think NameJet has added that valuation link in every domain auction just to pump up new bidders who are not using other tools and simply trusting the Estibot shit and bidding according to that only. This way only NJ will benefit and newbies will throw away their money. People like you will definitely use other tools like you mentioned earlier and that’s the way to do this business.

        • Agreed! Definitely, I was very curious as to why they added that out of nowhere.

          Abdul what are your thoughts on the craziness going on with 4 letter .coms seems people are jut out to get them and selling them at insane prices? I am trying to understand the value in them but just seems to be a current trend.

          – Will

          • They simply added to make extra money from crazy people who simply have full faith in crappy valuation tools.

            About the on going craziness of 4L .com is really on fire and I have some nice names holding for the right buyer to come in. I still think it’s the time to buy and *not* to sell cheap. Keep on buying and wait for at least a year to see the good results. What I don’t understand right now is if a Chinese investor is buying let’s suppose xjlq.com, rqmz.com for 2.5K each so I wonder who will buy from them at later stage (as an enduser) because the more crappy letters which are non-premium among Westerns, whose company initials they are going to be in future? This question comes in my mind lot of time but I am unable to get satisfactory answer. What do you have to say in this regard?

          • Thanks for your thoughts on this. Omar and I were discussing it and we do want to take advantage and buy. The one thing we were thinking though is focusing on the 4 letter .coms that stand for something maybe some type of initial or acronym that a company might be interested in. At least this will show some type of value. Right now all I read about is how a certain combination of letters make sense for the Chinese buyers.

            – Will

  1. I think this automated appraisals does not give correct value, all shows different values, i have tried few of them for same domain names. But one thing i can say that it at least gives you an idea of what value your domain can fetch.

      • These tools are actually more like of an SEO tools as they give a lot of information based on those parts and using all such data, they calculate domain value. Well, they shouldn’t be trusted for buying or selling websites but gives an idea how a domain/website is performing. If a domain name, let’s say 4L dot com, is just a domain name but has no contents, it is more likely those tools will not produce any higher values for this one. The reason is that most of them rely on pagerank, alexa rank, and so many other factors and when a domain name isn’t has any of them as it doesn’t have any content, those tools will only or most likely to give lower values. So i think they can be used for estimation only but never to be used to buy or sell a website.

        • Good point, I agree they only give you an idea. The way we determine pricing is based on our investment and how much times that investment we want to make. We always stay at 10 times our investment but we aim for 50 times our investment sometimes even more.

          – Will

  2. Thanks, estibot looks the best out of all of them and you don’t need to be logged in to use.

    As with any appraisals I think that a combination of human and computer assisted data is best so nothing is missed. So use the tools but use your own judgement as well.

  3. @ Will

    That’s exactly what I have been focusing on. If I see the future or any company’s initial and the name is within the budget, I go after it. You guys are going in the right direction and wish you all the best with it 🙂

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