Domain Appraisal – Stories have been going around for a number of years about cheaply registered domain names that have been resold for a small fortune. Early on, when the Internet was fresh and things were booming, this was possible. But as things are now, the likelihood of retiring on the sale of a name is much less likely. Still think your inexpensive domain name might be worth thousands of dollars? Domain Appraisal:
Before you go straight to an appraisal site without passing Go, stop and consider a moment: What is it that leads you to believe that your site might have extra value? If it meets criteria for categories such as top-level domain (TLD), length, meaning, usability, and marketability, you may be right, but you might want to begin by doing your own pre-appraisal (see “Domain Pre-Appraisal”).
Remember that a domain name appraisal is separate from a site appraisal, so the traffic and revenue on the site that you’ve created with the name are not relevant factors in valuing the domain name. If your pre-appraisal checks out, then you’re ready for the next step.
How Does Domain Valuation Work?
Domain name valuation is actually speculation: done right, it is a well thought out educated guess about the potential selling point for a specific domain name. Domain name valuations can vary considerably depending not only on the name, its characteristics, and its extension or TLD, but also on the person doing the evaluation.
Domain name valuation works like other types of valuation: it looks at the critical characteristics of the item being valued, and ranks them. It is a more extensive review of your site than you would do in your pre-appraisal and—if you have chosen your appraiser well—based on extensive experience in the field. Basically, it will be an in-depth look into whether your domain name is:
• straightforward (i.e., accurate spelling without substitutions or hyphens)
What’s the Value of an Appraisal?
If you are considering selling a domain name, it is likely to be worthwhile to have an appraisal done. An official appraisal for your domain name can help you recognize the likely value of your holdings, as well as bolster the legitimacy of your asking price to buyers: it’s not just your word, and the appraisal gives you credibility. In fact, domains that have been appraised may sell for more, simply because they have had a professional appraisal.
As a buyer, a domain appraisal is also a valuable commodity. It can help you decide what to offer for a domain name, and give you an idea about whether the seller is trustworthy.
How to Get a Domain Appraisal
While it is possible to find sites that offer free domain appraisal services, such evaluations are usually not free. The usual cost may range from $5–$50 for each domain name, although there may be discounts for appraisals of a large number of site names. Some sites offer different levels of appraisal, based on fewer or more factors. In addition to a monetary value, the domain name appraisal may provide you with a list of comparable sites and their sale values, an analysis of the factors that went into the valuation, and—if you have had a group of domains evaluated—the collective value as well as the individual value of your holdings.