The Unofficial NP Domain Appraisal Guide

Jul 14th, 2010 | By | Category: Domain Sale and Parking Tips, Domains Marketing News

Recently, many appraisals here at NP have been based around what the appraiser thinks the value of the domain name is to a another reseller and to an end user. That’s good, but it may not be all that helpful to the owner of the domain being appraised. Why?

The real value of a domain is what it sells for. If you think that someone else may pay $250 (low $xxx) for a domain, but you’re a frequent domain buyer and you’re only willing to pay $25, then you should state that in the post. Tell the owner what you would pay, even if it’s only $5. Here’s why: if 5-15 appraisers are only willing to pay $5, the domain is likely worth $5 in the reseller market.

Example: if your domain recieves 10 appraisals, and 8 people say that it’s only worth $10 because they aren’t looking to develop a website around such a topic, then it gives the owner a good idea of what the domain is actually worth to domain resellers.

However, if the two remaining appraisers would pay $xxx because they plan to develop a website around that topic or may be interested in or capable of doing so, then the owner has an idea of approximately what percentage of the domain/website development market his or her domain name is marketable to.

Summary: in addition to reseller & development value estimations, tell the owner of a domain what you personally would pay for the domain, no matter how low, because a domain is only worth what it sells for.

~ Example: ~

Sports.us is the domain being appraised. You’d go to Overture and find that many people searched for “sports”. You realize that sports are played in the United States, so the extension is relevant. The domain is short and sweet, adding to its value. Also, there are tons of results on Google for “sports”. So you’d say:

“Since ‘sports’ had X searches this January on Overture and since it’s very short and memorable, I’d say you could sell it for [price] to an end user and [price] to a domain investor. The extension doesn’t hurt if you can find a user with a sports site targeting the United States market.”

~ Example #2: ~

MarketForums.net is the domain being appraised (using this one b/c I own it). I’m the appraiser. I go to Overture and find high results for ‘market’ and ‘forums’, but not ‘market forums’. On Google, however, there are surprisingly many results for “market forums”, probably meaning that there’s a large interest in the subject. So, search results are OK for this domain. The extension would be better in .com; however, .net does not bring the value down too much considering that many .net is often used for forums.

For an international market forum, this domain is good. To a developer wanting to start up a United States stock market forum, however, MarketForums.us may be better. To a domain investor, MarketForums.net would be the pick over MarketForums.us.

~ Example #3: Country Code Extensions ~

Beaches.sc (also mine) is the domain up for appraisal. On first sight, you might say “Registration fee; the extension hurts it.” However, upon using your friend Google to research the .sc extension, you find that the ext. was created for the Seychelles, a beautiful French archipelago and a great tourist/vacation destination. In your appraisal, you should include that because the U.S. market for tourism to French lands is down at the moment because we’re munching on freedom fries, beaches.sc could be used as .South Carolina.

Overture tells you that there are hundreds of thousands of results for beaches in South Carolina like Myrtle Beach. Enlighten the domain owner to the fact that with a good amount of development as a South Carolina beach information site, beaches.sc is an excellent keyword domain and would be worth [price]. However, to a domain investor, .sc may mean “source” (like whois.sc); “beaches source” makes no sense and wouldn’t be worth much at all.

~ Example #4: 3-Letter Domains ~
When your appraise three-letter domains, take two main things into consideration: if the letters mean anything or are an acronym and the quality of the extension. FYI.co.in is likely worth more that QYX.com because FYI means “For Your Information”, whereas QYX does not have a widely known meaning. 3-letter domains (LLL – Letter Letter Letter) are typically more valuble than LNL (Letter Number Letter) or NNL or NLN names because they’re easier to pronounce.

~ Helping the domain owner: ~

Tell the person who posted the domain all of this info, including what market(s) the domain would be most valuble in and why. It helps him/her get a better feel for the value of the domain in different situations with different buyers. You should also get a feel for the value of certain extensions and for whether the market is “bull” or “bear”. To keep up with the market, frequent sites such at DNJournal.com and the NamePros sales forums to see how much names are going for.

If you enjoyed my article and think other NP’ers could benefit from it, please send some $NP this way so I can sticky the thread.

Happy appraising!



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