Do you find domain name appraisal services useful?

Domain Appraisal Services

Ah domain name appraisal services, a topic that has been polarizing since I started in the domain name world thirteen years ago. There seem to be two sides here – those who think appraisal services can be useful and helpful in the domain investing process, and those who, think, well, the exact opposite.

Right now there’s an interesting discussion going on at NamesPros about domain appraisal services and so far my favorite response comes from a user named Ategy who says:

A) Title Question: Favorite Domain Appraisal Service?

Answer: My brain! Honestly, when looking for a price on individual non-liquid domains I would have just as much faith in the Easter Bunny than on any existing automated algorithm valuation. Some might get things close to being accurate from time to time .. but at the moment NOTHING beats a solid informed and educated human opinion. But by educated I specifically mean (1) someone with a strong grasp of all elements of domaining .. and (2) someone with good knowledge of the industry related to the domain in question.

I don’t mean you need to be an astronaut to sell a “space” related domain. But you should have a bit of knowledge on the subject and/or invest a bit of time on Google learning about the industry and potential buyers. Effectively to guestimate with relative accuracy (1) the likely sales multiple and (2) the likely sales through rate.

(Source – NamePros)

I tend to agree with Ategy on this one. While I actually like domain appraisal services and think the tools that both Epik and Estibot have put out are fine, at the end of the day I do think it does really take thinking about it yourself and doing your own research.

For me, I actually find that NameBio is one of the most useful tools I find myself using since it helps me quickly look up similar domains. Since I mostly focus on two-word .COMs, I’ll typically run a search maybe looking at the last ten domains that sold that started with that word, then at ten that ended with that word. Of course, you have to infuse this with data like search volume and CPC since once you have two words combined the value can vary dramatically.

What’s your take? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Robbie May 27, 2020, 12:09 am

    I think they can be useful as a one of multiple metrics when trying to compare a value of a domain name asset, historic sales like you mentioned above too are another critical component in a domains valuation.

    However we have all seen some on trend domains sell for crazy numbers quickly then the values disappear too so I do think gut instinct has to be taken into account too.

    Stay Safe Morgan!

    Reply
  • Rod May 27, 2020, 5:50 am

    I haven’t looked at an automated appraisal for any domain for well over a year and strictly buy/sell based off of my research or feelings about the name.

    When I first started, I believe I relied on these appraisals to my detriment. I would probably pass on good undervalued names, and buy mediocre overvalued names due to the automated appraisal. I didn’t understand domains as well and had not built up my instincts to distinguish an investment grade name from crap.

    I think now, even though I ignore them, they still are detrimental because GoDaddy is pushing out valuations because it helps them sell more, but undercuts the investors with more valuable names that don’t tick the right metrics in their program.

    Reply
  • DomainBoss May 27, 2020, 6:07 am

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