Bob Hawkes

Getting More Out Of NamePros Domain Name Appraisals

By Bob Hawkes, Mar 10, 2021

Why do you use domain name appraisals? (multiple selections allowed)

  1. To know if I am on the right track.

    71 votes
  2. To help retail price domain names.

    44 votes
  3. Wholesale pricing for domain names.

    23 votes
  4. To know how to respond to an offer.

    30 votes
  5. Help making keep or let go decisions.

    43 votes
  6. Ideas for possible end use for the domain name.

    25 votes
  7. Arguments to use when negotiating a potential sale.

    36 votes
  8. Confirmation of my view about the domain name.

    51 votes
  9. Weaknesses in this domain name.

    26 votes
  10. To decide the best and worst names from a list.

    29 votes
  11. Determine if this domain name is worth keeping long term.

    41 votes
  12. What should I stress on the lander for this name?

    7 votes
  13. Have a publicly available appraisal I might share with end users.

    28 votes
  14. What sort of marketplace is best for this domain name?

    14 votes
  15. A pre-purchase appraisal to help me decide whether to acquire the name.

    21 votes
  16. I never use domain name appraisals here or elsewhere.

    60 votes
  17. Other.

    16 votes
Multiple votes are allowed.
Total: 565 vote(s)
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Last week’s NamePros Blog post took a look at domain name appraisals – why you might want an appraisal, who could provide it, the different types of appraisals, and some caveats about interpreting appraisals. This week’s post looks into the types of appraisals available here on NamePros, and how you can give and receive more useful appraisals.

    Why NamePros Domain Appraisals?

    NamePros has a huge membership, including a large number of expert domain investors. An appraisal here can offer you access to that expertise, without cost. Another advantage of seeking an appraisal here is that many appraisals will elicit multiple responses, and in some cases you will know the identity of those giving the appraisals. You can take that into account in how much weight to give to that appraisal. Finally, there is expertise in virtually every niche and sector of the domain community here, so that it should be possible to get almost any domain name appraised by someone knowledgeable in that type of domain name.

    According to the Official Rules of NamePros you are only allowed to submit domain names you already own for appraisal, except in the case of the pre-purchase appraisal section.

    The number of open appraisals that you can have is set according to your NamePros Account Level.

    Sometimes Not Many Responses

    Recently a member of our community has drawn attention to the fact that many domain appraisal requests go unanswered. There are multiple reasons for the lack of response, including quality of some names, time pressures, lack of incentives to leave appraisals, and the pushback that some seeking appraisals give when the appraisal does not match their preconceptions about the worth of the domain names. While these are all valid points, I think possibly minor changes in how an appraisal is requested may increase the number and usefulness of responses.

    Which Appraisals Are Indexed?

    One thing to keep in mind is that some appraisals can be viewed by anyone. The threads which are part of the public side of NamePros and will be Google indexed are
    There are several additional types of appraisals, open only to a portion of the community, which are not indexed by Google.
    • Professional appraisals in the Insiders Club are open to Gold Members. The NamePros Account Levels page indicates requirements for each account level and what is included.
    • PRO Network appraisals are open only to members who have qualified for the PRO designation. The qualifications for PRO Network are listed here.
    NamePros appraisals of adult domain names are also not Google indexed.

    The Key Question

    Before you post a domain name for appraisal, ask yourself what you want to know. Possibilities include
    • How should I retail price this domain name?
    • I have an offer, how should I respond?
    • How might this domain name be used? For example, brainstorming ideas for outbound.
    • Which of these names are worth keeping long term?
    • Does this domain name have worth, or has it some fundamental flaw such as incorrect wording. This might be particularly helpful to know if the domain is in a language other than your first.
    • What should I stress on the lander?
    • What sort of marketplace is best for this domain name? For example, is it a brandable name or better suited to a general purpose marketplace?
    • I need to turn over some of my names quickly. What would be wholesale pricing on this domain name?
    • What is wrong with this domain name?
    There are other possibilities covered in last week’s article or the poll associated with this article. Keep in mind that some appraisal posts and replies will be publicly viewable, and that can potentially be negative to selling the domain name. This is particularly a concern if you just got a reasonable offer on the domain name.

    Asking For An Appraisal

    Some of the appraisal requests that receive no replies ask something like “What do you guys think?” followed by a very long list of names. I think you can improve your chances of getting responses by doing some of the following.
    1. Make it clear what it is you want to know. Are you mainly looking for retail pricing? Is it more a decision whether to hold long term? This can help responders not waste time answering something you don’t really care about.
    2. Show that you have already done some research, and share that. That will show you are serious in the request, and have invested your own time. It also will make it faster for someone else to make an evaluation.
    3. If you particularly want responses from those with certain types of expertise, indicate that. For example, those who have done $$$$ sales, or only those with experience selling .co, or whatever. Making that clear will save your time and that of potential respondents.
    4. Politely thank people in advance for giving help. A friendly tone can help your request be the one people choose to invest time responding to.
    5. Prioritize. Some simultaneously start more than one appraisal threads - see the Account Levels page for how many you are allowed. Even when allowed multiple appraisals, it is perhaps better to decide the one name you most want to have appraised. After you have learned from that appraisal, then pick a second name to list for appraisal, and so on.
    The possible downside of #2 is it can, potentially, bias the responder. On the other hand, if you have already checked prior similar sales on NameBio, or number of extensions the name is registered in on DotDB, or how many business/organization names on OpenCorporates have one of the keywords, why not share that objective information instead of expecting each responder to repeat the same research? In most cases don’t go as far as totally providing your own appraisal, however.

    Here are some fictitious examples of possible appraisal requests to illustrate the above points.

    I just registered this domain name. My thoughts are maybe it could be used in robotics or drones. What other possible uses do you see for this name, please? Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

    I have had this domain name for 5 years and have only got one low offer. But when I look at NameBio, it seems to me that that sold for $5000 in 2018 and that went for $3800 but in 2012 might be close comparators. Do you see those names as comparable in worth? Would you retail price my name mid $$$$, or is that too much or too little? I hope to get responses from as many experienced domainers as possible. Thank you for taking the time, even if you can just briefly respond.

    I just acquired this 12 year aged domain name which is not yet listed. There are 450 businesses on OpenCorporates using the second keyword, but only 5 with the first term. I searched NameBio but have trouble finding any close comparator sale. Thanks for any insights on how I should retail price this name. I don’t mind holding it a number of years, so not looking for fast-flip or outbound pricing. Thanks so much!

    A Few Alternatives

    Here are a few alternatives to appraisal request formats.
    1. While there are downsides in posting a big list of names in one appraisal, since no one will carefully research them all, a moderate length list with a question such as which are the best 5 names on this list, or which 5 should I not renew, might be effective in getting good feedback.
    2. If you are mainly interested in pricing, consider having a poll as part off your appraisal thread. It is easier for many to vote in a poll than to write out an opinion.
    3. Consider ways to make your request so the time to respond is reasonable. For example, if looking for ideas for types of use, why not ask each respondent to give just one idea not yet suggested.
    4. It can sometimes be helpful posing your question as a comparison between two names, for example is the singular or plural better.
    Your Appraisal Is The Most Important

    Sometimes the constant barrage of social media in modern society can have us fall into the trap of depending too much on the opinions of others. Odds are, you have invested far more time in research on this domain name, considering comparator sales, looking at possible uses, competitive names available for sale or to register, etc. Don’t ignore the views of others, so appraisals definitely have a place, but keep in mind that most appraisers have probably spent only a few minutes considering the name. Also, they, like you, will bring certain biases into the appraisal, based on their own experience and circumstances.

    Incentives For Good Appraisals

    It takes time to provide a quality appraisal response. Ideally, the person providing the providing the appraisal should include a rationale. In fact, the Official Rules of NamePros require “All appraisals below $10 USD must include a unique and constructive explanation to support the assessment.” Most domain investors are busy with many things. It is not surprising that many requests result in few or no responses.

    Some of the above ideas may make it faster and more efficient to respond, but is there something NamePros can do to encourage more excellent appraisal responses? I don’t speak for NamePros, but wondered about the following as possibilities.
    • List the members who have written appraisals obtaining the highest number of Thank votes.
    • Feature the top few appraisals of the week.
    • A badge to indicate consistent proficiency in appraisals.
    What other possibilities do you see to recognize and thank those who provide good appraisals? One thing any of us can do is to use the Thank button to acknowledge high quality appraisals.

    How Participation In Appraisals Can Help You Become A Better Domainer

    While spending time to give a considered appraisal will mainly benefit the person who asked for the appraisal, there can be benefits to the person giving the appraisal as well.
    • It will help you get better appraising your own domain names.
    • Seeing what others have written will give you new insights.
    • Domain names you see seeking appraisals may trigger ideas for related domain names you can acquire.
    • Knowing what other domain investors think can be important if you sell domain names at wholesale prices.
    • Giving quality appraisals is one way to get noticed as a valuable member of the NamePros community, and that may open up other opportunities.
    Have Your Say

    I hope that many of you will provide your own views on how we can improve the appraisal process here in NamePros.

    Also, have you ever had an appraisal response that really made a difference with your success with a domain name. For example, were you encouraged to price a name higher than you had planned, and it sold at that price? Or someone in an appraisal gave you the confidence to keep a name, and it has now sold? If so, please share those anecdotes with us.

    Someone suggested after the previous appraisal article that there should be a poll on why people ask for appraisals. I have included the poll with this week’s post, and urge you to vote. Note that you can select more than a single response.

    Some like to use expert or crowd-based appraisals more than others. For those who do appreciate human appraisals, the NamePros domain appraisal system is both flexible and valuable.

    Special thanks to itssri for suggesting the poll that accompanies this article.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 82nd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
  5. Comments (34)

  6. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    Great article, Bob! Let's hope this encourages more members to participate in offering and asking for domain appraisals. Multiple perspectives are always better than just one or two.
  7. Paltzar

    Paltzar VIP

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  8. frank-germany

    frank-germany domainer since 2001 / musician VIP

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  9. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    Which part - that it's a great article, that we hope more members participate, or that multiple perspectives are better?
  10. King

    King Investor & Creator VIP Gold Account

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    I only check them for fun or for a laugh.
  11. DuDD

    DuDD Established Member

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    • I like your article very much. Thank you Bob
  12. Top 4L [email protected] PRO VIP Gold Account

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  13. karmaco

    karmaco Top Contributor VIP

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    Most of the requests for appraisals are by newbs trying to spam their names to us and onto Google and/or become offended if we tell them the truth about their name. The giving of appraisals is voluntary here. We all participate here as time allows. Just like the answering of questions that have been asked millions of times here. We do it when we want to and have the time.

    A better system that might encourage more participants because you don’t have to type explanations would be anonymous votes on a name. Not sure that can be done here.
  14. Stephen DOS

    Stephen DOS New Member

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  15. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    Great idea, does anyone know of such a system? 😂
  16. Future Sensors

    Future Sensors 78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots Gold Account

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  17. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    That’s a pity. Someone should create a system like that.
  18. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam VIP

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    Brilliant as usual. Thanks, Bob.

    I usually don't peruse the appraisal section because it's mostly a ghost town. The few that are active seem to be an exercise in futility as it soon devolves into a case of "I know better. What do you know?"

    From what I have noticed, domains that get appraised by members on Namepros are either really good names or really bad names. Which, frankly, is a no-brainer. There's no room for the in-between which is where the real appraisal work is.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Is there a reason why one can't simply use the poll, with a number of price options, to do that in the appraisal thread here?

    I agree, and to be honest spend very little time myself there any more, and almost never list a name for appraisal. I did research the threads before writing this article, and many follow what you summarize. However, now and then, some really worthwhile discussions around pricing that would apply to more than just the name being appraised, though. I guess my main goal in writing this article was to nudge the direction away from "How Much? --- Hand Reg --- It's worth $$$$$ easy --- No its not --- Yes it is!!" discussions to something more focussed to get answers on specific questions. I guess we will see if it works.

    Thank you both, and everyone, for your comments and suggestions.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  20. Restricted (15-30%)

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    Nobody knows the real value of the domains. Only end user brings the real value if you disagree with that your domain will drop or not sold. So the best way is selling for reseller prices.. Or if your domain is really good you can wait the right end user aka whale.

    Here's a great example
    One guy renewed the domain 15 years (it's cost $120) domain was not sold and dropped. HugeDomains thinks the domain has value catched it because it was renewed for a long time.
    HD didn't sold it for $x, xxx because the real value around low-mid $ xxx.
    I spent $8.49 thinking to resell it for low xxx but nobody makes any bid on $10 auction. So the domain has no value because no end-user or buyer even for around reg-fee. IMG_20210311_194620.png
  21. TauseefKhan

    TauseefKhan Top Contributor VIP

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    I check for cpc and search volume. Anyway, again a detailed article from Bob
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  22. TheBaldOne

    TheBaldOne Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    As seems now an invariable this is a great post from @Bob Hawkes.

    I rarely give appraisals, however when I do it is usually because I just happen to note the domain name as I am glancing through the 'new posts'. A rule I do try to impose on myself is that of trying to be helpful to the poster and suggest areas where and how the domain in question could be utilised. Perhaps I might just see something that the owner hasn't thought of (mainly due to my age and therefore experience in the world rather than in domaining as such).

    A difficulty does occur when owners want a price though. Pricing is as elastic as a bungee chord - and then some. Rather than give a relatively fixed price for an end-user I just try going for a wide range of what I would 'expect' to see the domain name reportedly sell at without being surprised, and of course for a reseller price I try and bring down the expectations of the poster - every member on here wants to buy a $million domain for $1 after all.

    As for not giving many appraisals personally I of course, like all other members I would imagine, am restricted by time and work - and unfortunately for posters asking for appraisals it is this constraint that impacts the number of responses they receive.
  23. jiy k

    jiy k Established Member

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    Excellent article on Appraisals, which is one of most basic and crucial aspect after acquiring a Domain Name.
    Thank You.
  24. johnn

    johnn PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The problems with appraisal:
    - Newbies appraise names for newbies or oldies
    - Appraisal means nothing - the price of a name is established when there is an agreement between the seller and buyer
    - You can sell the same name to a small company or individual for $500 or sell to a big company for $500,000
    - No one know the value of a name (with the exception of Estibot and Godaddy when you want to make yourself happy)
    - Giving the wrong appraisal value may give the owner the wrong impression about the value of a name.

    There is a guy here and he is a genius about appraisal - Everything is in the mid $$$ and he has no Trader Rating. This morning he pulled up some requests from 3 years ago and what else? Mid $$$ again.

    I don't understand why people begging for appraisal??????

    The big question of the day is do you allow to answer in the appraisal section if you are newbie or you have no Trader Rating???
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  25. NickB

    NickB it's a mystery VIP

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    I used to give them a go.....more for getting in the personal habit of looking into past sales, similar keywords, cpc, search volume, extensions taken, developed sites on other extensions, similar domains developed etc etc etc - they might of been way off, might of been close but at least some effort went into it and the post might of got a response from someone else pointing out other details or opinions on why it was right or wrong......

    It helps when your starting out to go through the motions and develop some habits that can help you and occasionally read other peoples views that know what their talking about but most people just seem to pluck a random figure out of thin air or they backside and god forbid you bring up potential TM issues with people who think they or their new found solicitor/lawyer think any different........

    sometimes though it's like an itch that needs scratching and I pop in now and then.......
  26. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    In another domain group I belong to, members tried posting polls as you suggest. The problem was that every poll had a different set of options, and while some started from 0 (reg fee), some had the lowest value set to $1,000.

    Someone on the group suggested that a more structured approach would be better, and that’s where I got the idea for my website from 😀

    The group ultimately decided that unstructured polls added little value and stopped them. I suspect the same would happen here.
  27. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    As someone else alluded to in the thread, some domains are clearly fantastic, and some are obviously terrible.

    But there are literally millions of domains that aren’t as clear cut, and may have some value to a specific group or community. There may also be other communities that could benefit from our domains that we haven’t thought of yet.

    Peer validation is an important part of this community. We all have doubts about our portfolio from time to time, and it’s nice to gain feedback from those who face similar challenges.
  28. frank-germany

    frank-germany domainer since 2001 / musician VIP

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    1) I'm not a fan of the author
    2) I'm not a fan of appraisals
    3) I don't want appraisals from namepros members.
    4) if you don't know what a name is worth,
    a) why did you register it?
    b) who else could know.
  29. J4wd

    J4wd Gold Account

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    Fair enough, you're entitled to your opinion.

    Also fair, each to their own.

    Then don't ask for any.

    a) Many reasons:
    1. I liked it
    2. I bought it for a project I was going to develop but never did
    3. I inherited it or was given it
    4. It only cost 10 bucks, so worth the risk

    b) Many names have multiple meanings, or could be used in different industries to the one I originally envisioned it for. Perhaps my outbound efforts in one industry haven't been successful. Sometimes people just want to ask their peers for opinions and ideas. This is a community after all. Isn't that why we're here?
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