Like most bloggers I pay attention to which posts get the most visitors and comments months after they were written. One of the top five most active posts that I’ve put on this blog is about a domain appraisal scam that I encountered back in March. The comment section of the post has become a database of emails sent by scammers to domain owners, attempting to get them to fall for the domain appraisal scam.
Thanks to my post, life has become more difficult for scammers as more and more people have written in either sharing another scam email, or reporting that they avoided it. I think it’s important to keep topics like this fresh so that anyone who may have not read my post earlier this year can still avoid getting scammed. There is no reason these scammers should be making a dime if we can all educate the community about what is going on.
So if this is your first time hearing about the domain appraisal scam, here’s what to look out for.
How To Spot A Domain Appraisal Scam
- The scammer usually poses as an interested buyer for one of your domains
- The email will state that in order to buy the domain, the buyer would like a manual appraisal process
- They will then recommend some service to get appraisals, and a blog post about the service
- Both the appraisal site and blog are owned by them, this is a scam
- Their goal is to get you to submit an appraisal, once you do they disappear
I first encountered this scam back in 2008 and definitely want to make sure that newcomers to the industry beware. These emails prey on the emotional response people have, just think about it, someone wants to buy one of your domains for $25,000. What do you do? Maybe you go out and celebrate, tell your family or friends, it could be a big event.
You then think, what’s a $79 appraisal? Even if it says my domain is worth only $15,000 this would still be great! That’s where they get you. Veteran Domainers can spot these from far away but new investors can easily get excited about an offer on a domain, especially if they don’t get many offers.
Just know that no serious buyer will ask for one of these appraisals, and if in the rare case that they do, they’ll never ask you to use one that you haven’t heard of. If an buyer pushes for an appraisal I would recommend you point them towards someone like Afternic where the price is low (only $25) and you can be 100% certain that you are getting a real appraisal.
Avoid the domain appraisal scam and help spread the word so we can stop these scams once and for all!