Dan.com
NameSilo
Do we need another automated domain name appraisal instrument? While automated domain name appraisals have their critics, and are certainly not precise instruments, some find them useful in certain circumstances.

While some instruments like Estibot, have been around for a very long time, and the GoDaddy appraisal instrument is the most accessed, neither is perfect for all situations.

This past week Saw announced the beta release of a new domain name appraisal instrument. In this article I take you through some of the features of that instrument, along with an indication of the sort of names that are best suited to each of the main domain name appraisal systems.

Do We Need Another Instrument?

It seems to me that there are limitations in the existing automated appraisal options, providing an opportunity for a new appraisal instrument.
  1. The GoDaddy and Alter instruments both max out at $25,000, making them of limited value for high-worth single-word legacy domain names.
  2. The existing instruments each focus on certain factors. I think there is room for an instrument to take into account a larger number of variables.
  3. None of the existing instruments do a good job at the “match across the dot” critical to evaluating most new gTLDs. Some don’t even appraise new extensions. The GoDaddy valuation tool will appraise any extension, as will Estibot, but GoDaddy values most new extensions at the same value, irrespective of the match across dot.
  4. Existing instruments seem not to have adapted to the recent rise in value of .xyz.
  5. Some sellers do, occasionally, use appraisals in negotiations. A documented appraisal can be helpful.
In this article I will make mention of the appraisal instruments listed in the following table. I did not consider instruments primarily intended to appraise operating website worth, as opposed to just the domain name.

ImageTableAppraisalOptions.png


I only considered instruments that had some sort of free option. Keep in mind that the paid option may provide additional information and tools – for example Estibot Essential Tools, available on the paid plans, include things like a lead generator, backlink checker and trademark analyzer.

To use Alter appraisal you need a free Alter account. At time of writing they are not accepting new users, but if you already have an account, even if you don’t have domain names listed there, the appraisal tool is still fully working.

The Saw Appraisal Instrument

The Saw Automated Appraisal tool is a beta release, so improvements are still being made. I gave the instrument a spin, looking at how it valued names that had recently sold for high prices, and also for a variety of types of other names from my own portfolio.

Using the Saw instrument is free and easy. Just enter the name, and a few seconds later get the appraised value, along with a set of bullet points.

At the time of writing the instrument will appraise domain names with .com, .net, .org, .co, .io, .xyz and .ca extensions. Other extensions will be added at a later time. You can perform 8 free appraisals per day.

For each appraisal, if you leave your email address, you receive a two-page appraisal certificate. The certificate includes the domain name, appraised amount, and bullet points supporting the valuation. It arrives promptly as a pdf file, and looks nice.

Saw, founded by Jeffrey Gabriel and Amanda Waltz, has done more than 1000 domain transactions totalling more than $500 million in combined value. Saw offers a variety of services, including both buy and sell domain brokerage.

The Saw appraisal instrument, wisely, does not try to give a precise value for domain names it deems of limited value, simply indicating <$700.

The Saw appraisal instrument rounds valuations. Clearly the precision of any automated domain name appraisal instrument is not at the dollar level, so the Saw instrument handles this better than some of the competitors that suggest valuations like $3048 rather than saying $3000.

Saw also offer, for a cost, professional appraisals by their staff.

What Factors Does Saw Appraisal Consider?

The Saw instrument takes into account 216 factors for each appraisal. They provide this overview of some of the factors:
Comparable domain sales, search volume, length, domain name extension, word popularity, and our confidential sales data.

Their background of working with many clients, and the private sales data they have, helps the instrument, particularly in high-value sales in legacy extensions.

The bullet points are an indication of the factors they consider important. I tried out their instrument with the name floor.com that has a listed NameBio recent $3.144 million sale. The Saw appraisal instrument suggested a current worth of $5.06 million. Other high-value names in legacy extensions with recent sales history generally showed a higher valuation than the sales price, but in same range.

Shown below are the bullet points for that particular domain name in the Saw instrument. This provides an indication of the factors related to the strong valuation price.

floorCOM.png

I also checked valuations for the same domain name in the other appraisal instruments considered here: Estibot suggested $3.22 million, while NameWorth appraised at $4.0 million. Alter and GoDaddy both maxed at >$25,000. Estibot seems to reset appraised prices approximately to sale prices after an announced sale, which is logical.

If the domain is a common and sought dictionary word in one of the legacy extensions, particularly if registered in many extensions and aged, as a seller you probably will be pleased with the Saw appraisal. Generally the appraised values for this type of domain name are higher in Saw than in GoDaddy or Estibot, at least for the limited number of domains I tested.

XYZ

As mentioned, there is a problem with existing instruments regarding .xyz names. The GoDaddy instrument does not seem to have taken into account the changes in the market over the past couple of years. Estibot does a reasonable job on certain .xyz names, while NameWorth does not appraise anything other than .com. Alter tends to be on the low side for the .xyz extension, since they seem to inadequately value the difference between .xyz and most other new gTLDs in the current market.

I first tried the Saw appraisal instrument with some high-value recent publicly-announced .xyz sales. In all cases, Saw appraised at significantly less than the sale amount, but generally not as low as Estibot or Alter, and in most cases much higher than GoDaddy appraisal.

As an example, momentum.xyz recently sold for $69,888. The Saw instrument suggested $5000, Estibot $1700, Alter $953, and GoDaddy $711 for this name.

I also tried Saw appraisal for a number of less exclusive .xyz, some single-word and 4-letter domain names. Most of the time, these were appraised by Saw in a range around $2000 to $2500, that I considered reasonable retail valuations for the names appraised.

Some comments in the Saw bullet points will be concerning if you plan to use the appraisal certificate to support the worth of an .xyz name, however. After pointing out that new gTLDs offer additional options, the Saw appraisal instrument goes on to add that “site visitors might be wary of visiting sites that support them.” There is research that suggests some users are hesitant of most extensions outside the main legacy and their own country code. The statement is perhaps fair, but not balanced by aspects such as the recent adoption of the extension by many web3 and other businesses.

The Saw adds to all .xyz appraisals the statement “This is one of the newest Top-Level Domains.” Perhaps the intention was to say that it is a new gTLD, but I think most would read this as, of all the new extensions, this is one of the newest. That is not true, since .xyz went into general availability in June 2014, well before the majority of other new extensions currently available.

While Saw does a better job on .xyz appraisal values, I think the beta version of the appraisal instrument needs to fine tune the supporting bullet point comments. Interestingly, the appraisal also adds “little or no value” as a bullet to domain names that it values in $2000 range, the range where most aftermarket retail sales actually fall.

Brandable Names

I tried a number of names of the type commonly found in brandable marketplaces – creative spellings, word merges, two-word combinations, speakable non-dictionary terms. In most cases Saw appraisal valued these well below NameWorth and Alter, and brandable marketplace listings, supposedly because the terms are not registered in other extensions, may not be aged, and don’t have search data.

Other Extensions

I tried the Saw instrument with a few other extensions. The domain availability check seems to have a bug, and a few .io and many .ca that I tried were indicated unregistered, but clearly that was in error.

Based on a limited number of appraisals, it seems to me that Saw appraisals of .ca are about right most of the time. GoDaddy appraisal also does a good job on .ca, while Alter tends to weigh the extension inappropriately low.

In the bullet points, Saw point out that .ca is a national extension and one needs a Canadian presence to be a registrant.

They add to all country code appraisals the bullet point “Being a CCTLD the regulations and restrictions can change at anytime with minimal notice.” I think worded that way it will scare most potential buyers. While I understand the point that these are not under ICANN regulation, it seems it should be reworded. For example, in the Canadian case, the first .ca registration was in January 1988, and I know of no significant change with minimal notice in the subsequent 34 years. There is a robust and trustworthy administration of the extension, at arms length from government. To imply any day a sudden change, without prior notice, might happen is simply not correct.

My overall impression of Saw appraisal is positive. I think they provide a service in providing evaluations for high-value legacy names, and do a better job than existing instruments for .xyz. The free certificate is well implemented and will be helpful to some. The instrument seems to consider more parameters than most of the existing instruments.

I think the main thing Saw needs to improve is to fix the bug with respect to saying domains are available when they are not, and to reword some of the bullet points to make them more balanced and less alarmist.

So Which Appraisal Instrument Is Best?

I don’t think there is a clear best overall appraisal instrument. The type of name will determine which appraisal instrument is best. The following are my personal opinions on instruments suited to some of the main types of domain names. Others may well come to different conclusions.

Estibot does a good job on single word names and on multi-word phrases where the reference is to a product or service. While ranking other factors, like prior sales, they place a lot of emphasis on search volume, both broad and exact, and cost-per-click and advertiser information. Saw and GoDaddy are also good choices in this category.

For a two-word or three-word domain, I think GoDaddy does the best job, for both legacy and the major country code extensions. They split up terms flawlessly, better than Estibot or NameWorth. GoDaddy appraisal indicates the worth of each term separately, have a large database of comparable sales, and give you great comparator data. GoDaddy Appraisal tends to overvalue worthless domain names, and undervalue great names.

If you have a brandable type name, that isn’t also a dictionary word, then your best bets are either NameWorth, but it only works at the current time for .com, or Alter. The emphasis on search volume, make Estibot a far from optimum choice for many brandable names.

If you have a high-value name in a legacy extension, probably a single-word name, Saw may be your best option. If the term has great search statistics, also check Estibot, and if a .com NameWorth. The $25,000 maximum means GoDaddy and Alter are not the instrument for 6-figure or 7-figure names.

For .XYZ Saw is probably best for valuations, but I am troubled by what I view as lack of balanced perspective in the bullet points for extensions other than the big three legacy. You can ignore these bullet points, but if using the appraisal certificate, one advantage of Saw, they will be front and center. GoDaddy seems not to have adjusted adequately for the rise in .xyz, and almost always their appraisals for this extension are too low for retail.

If you are into across-the-dot match type names, particularly with new extensions, none of the instruments work well. While GoDaddy appraise every extension, GoDaddy appraise on the SLD, and all new gTLD extensions get roughly the same appraisal value for that SLD. This leads to ridiculous valuations in some cases. Estibot handle such names in a more nuanced way, although still not handling across the dot adequately.

For .CO and .IO, it depends on the type of name, but all of GoDaddy, Alter, Estibot, and Saw may be helpful.

The narrow sales base data for many make national country codes difficult, and none of the instruments are particularly good. Probably GoDaddy is the best for country code names overall. Saw is useful for .ca, if you can live with the comment about rules can change at short notice. Estibot handles a number of country codes well.

A Brief Look At Alter Appraisal

Since I did not consider Alter in my previous article on automated appraisals., I wanted to share a bit more about it. First of all, it is incredibly fast. The appraisal is essentially instantaneous.

Another nice feature of Alter appraisal is the 6-dimensional graphical representation of the basis of the appraisal. I show below the representation for one of my names. The appraised value is too high, in my opinion, but it demonstrates the factors the appraisal views as strong and weak for this name.
biomesNET.png

For TLD, Alter give .com top ranking, .net and .org a step lower, then .co and .io another step down, and most new and country code extensions yet one more step lower.

For length, they rank 2, 3 and 4 characters at highest worth level. Characters simply refers to whether alphanumeric, hyphen, etc.

Alter don’t define precisely the factors, but it seems to me from many appraisals that memorable is simply an indication of how easy the term would be to remember and write correctly.

Appeal takes into account how valued the term seems to be, probably looking at factors like search and use in corporate names, and perhaps registered extensions.

The most interesting parameter is sentiment, which is, I believe, their attempt to rate the emotional feel of the name – positive descriptors, terms like love or best or help, get high sentiment rankings.

So wonder what sort of name scores perfection in the Alter appraisal? A name like love.com.
loveCOM.png

The NameWorth Approach

NameWorth excels for business brand names, although at the moment only appraises .com domain names. NameWorth does two things that none of the other automated appraisals implement.

One of them is found in the demand section of appraisal, part of which is shown below for the floor.com domain name. On the left, it lists 126 similar websites, including their Majestic ratings. This is a handy way to gauge how many existing sites might consider an upgrade. On the right, registrations of similar domain names are given. While dotDB would provide similar information, it is handy to have it right in the appraisal.

floorCOM-NW-demand-sites.png


NameWorth provides 6 different valuations for each domain, ranging from what NameWorth call the RetailLevel®, the price if someone came wanting this specific name, to LiquidationLevel®, the price if the seller needed to liquidate the same domain name within a few days. I show the information from NameWorth for one of my domain names below.

radiotaCOM-NW-H.png


radiotaCOM-NW-L.png


They provide a chance of selling at each price. For example, they estimate that the chance of selling at RetailLevel for this domain name would be about 18% sometime during the next 20 years. On the other hand, if I price at IndustryLevel®, about 10% of the retail price, the chance of selling goes up to 50% in the next year. One can quibble with the figures, but this way of examining how sales probability and price are related is valuable for domain investors to consider.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that automated appraisals are far from precise and perfect instruments. You should not base any acquisition or pricing decision solely on an automated appraisal.

Sometimes an automated appraisal can be helpful as a second opinion, it may be a wakeup call to reconsider a name you were planning to acquire, or to rethink your price for a domain name.

Just over a year ago the NamePros Blog considered this topic: Taking A Close Look At Domain Name Appraisals..

Please share your views.
  • Have your tried the Saw appraisal instrument? If so, please share your experience.
  • Do you use automated appraisals at all? If so, how do you use them?
  • Do prospective buyers ever ask about appraisal values?
  • What are your own recommendations for which systems are best for which type of names?

Thanks to Saw, and co-founder Jeff Gabriel, for the new appraisal instrument, and to all of the services noted in this article.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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to me, an instrument is something you play, like a guitar, a trumpet, a piano, or a surgical instrument like a scalpel, one of precision.
Just shows how different people have very different perspectives. To me the word instrument does not at first imply those (which are all logical, just my musical skills are shall we say limited). Rather instrument to me suggests something that measures. I have used many types of scientific instruments, so that is why that meaning was what I first thought of. Also in doing education research and development we almost always referred to things like surveys, observation sheets, etc. as instruments, so that came to mind too.

I just went to another dictionary, Merriam-Webster for definition of instrument. They give 5 definitions for the noun.
1. is how you interpreted re music
2. is an implement or tool
3. is something used to measure as I interpret it
4 is 'a means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered'
5 is re legal application of term

So I meant it as 3 or 2 or possibly 4. You interpret as 1. I thought in setting it was obvious I was not meaning a musical device.

By the way, in mentioning Saw appraisal I call it a tool in the first paragraph, and an instrument in the second paragraph. It is true I called all 5 appraisal methods instruments repeated times in the section about what is missing.

Just to be clear, none of the 5 'instruments' mentioned in my article are useful in the creation of music, to my knowledge. :oops: My apologies if any readers thought I was implying that, or that they had other advantages of fine music!

Anyway I am out on the topic of what word was used. I think that the discussion could better focus on broader issues about appraisal *tools*, their use and misuse, and their limitations and applications.

Bob
 
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twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
20,214
Domainers distrust automated tools, and for good reasons. Time and time again they have shown a large variability in output and not the same as the domain has been sold for.

The final price is, always, how much someone will want to pay for it. Previous history might have a say but there is no golden rule.

Therefore, any such tool is an approximator with a large variability.

I use automated tools in my work, but only partially. I use my own tools. They can make the difference say between an $2k domain and a $0 value domain. But the sale price is something I will add, from experience, with rather good precision; not the tool. In the end, the final say is always with the domainer.

Oh, and I think such tools need to be specialized. An one-works-for-all system will never be accurate. Just like different domainers specialize in different things.

My AI is more accurate than the average for the simple fact that I stick to a very small subset of domain types AND tailored for my needs. It's just like my non-human helper that does some of the grunt work for me, without completely being able to price 100% domains correctly. Random domainers might find it great or shit depending on how it matches their investment style and type of names. But there is a shitload of work behind and requires constant work as domain investment changes over time, therefore I might abandon it completely someday next.

Not to mention that there are several possible prices for each domain, as I have repeated in my posts over and over again.
 
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Saw - They released it too early. It's showing registered domains as not registered.
They need to show the data points on the appraisal so it's useful for buyers or sellers.

GoDaddy and Estibot is good for the data points they provide.

Graen is another appraisal tool if you want to give it a try. It gives you 2 appraisals. Short term and Long term value.
https://graen.com/free-domain-valuation
 
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J. Sharma

Established Member
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For most domains the various appraisals will generate very different results, further evidence that appraisals are far from precise instruments.

Some types of names are easier to appraise - e.g. single word names in extensions with a fairly large database of sales records.

Others are much harder. I did not include a number of types of names in my section on which works best (domain hacks, numeric, alphanumeric, phrases), and I think your domain name, alphanumeric, is in a category not handled well by most (all?) appraisal systems.

The sales record also shows a lot of variability. For example, here is a link to NameBio listed sales from the past 5 years for alphanumeric names with structure LLLN, the .com extension, and only including venues where most sales are retail (such as private and Sedo).

https://namebio.com/?s==cTNwIjNxczM

You see a huge range, $50,000 for NFT3 down to just $112. The worth depends on how valued the 3L term is and whether the number has some special meaning – like web3 would be worth a huge amount. You might find it helpful to go through a sales list like this ordered by price and see where you would rank your name, in terms of position where half the names below are less valuable in your opinion. An automated appraisal, if consulted at all, should just be considered one data point.

Re your question which is best, I am not sure any are well suited. Maybe GoDaddy is best, since it considers sales of similar structure names. Estibot with a strong emphasis on search volume and advertiser stats is not well suited to a 4 character alphanumeric. I am surprised by how high Saw appraisal was for that name.

Best wishes for the domain name.

Bob
Thanks, for the great information.

I am always motivated by your posts and knowledge. Thanks for providing great information for beginners like me.
 
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I think that the discussion could better focus on broader issues about appraisal *tools*, their use and misuse, and their limitations and applications.
Hi

i guess if you didn't hit the scene, until after appraisal bots were in effect...
then it's possible you have no idea of the implications.

so far, your focus has been on the promotions of, usage of and applicable uses for them.

any legitimacy you give, adds more weight to credibility

the more credible they become in the eyes of the blind
the more weight and control they will have over pricing.

as there may come a time, when you cannot sell your domain above the bar set by the bot.

think further than today -

imo...
 
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Graen is another appraisal tool if you want to give it a try. It gives you 2 appraisals. Short term and Long term value.
https://graen.com/free-domain-valuation
Thanks very much. I did not know about Graen or I would have included it in table.

I tried a few, not enough to comment on in detail. I like the clean interface, the long term and short term estimates, and the information such as TLDs, age, etc. included. The few I tried had valuations that seemed order of magnitude consistent with my own thoughts for those domains. Thanks for telling me about it.
 
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i guess if you didn't hit the scene, until after appraisal bots were in effect...
then it's possible you have no idea of the implications.
Certainly Estibot, which started in 2007, was around well before I started domaining, although GoDaddy valuation tool came shortly later, and all of the others mentioned in this thread later still.

Definitely there are implications, potentially both positive and negative. GoDaddy stated that there was a significant uptick on their sales platform after they introduced the first iteration of their appraisal tool. But did it also push down pricing at the upper end? (not sure if data, but I would not be surprised if it did)
so far, your focus has been on the promotions of, usage of and applicable uses for them.
I think in fairness the posts have also mentioned the ways in which the existing instruments fail. There are a number of mentions in this on how Saw in this iteration has failures (outright bugs in thinking registered names are not, in my mind inappropriate comments in some bullet points, etc.). I also point out that several of the instruments don't work for brandables. Also that none work for across the match type names. That GoDaddy does not do new extensions correctly because it does not match SLD and TLD. That Estibot over-reliance on search statistics make it not a good choice for many domains. etc.
as there may come a time, when you cannot sell your domain above the bar set by the bot.
If the instruments got far better than they are now, that might happen. I think we are still waiting for a robust instrument that is truly reliable. Over time we are seeing gradual improvements.
think further than today -
I try to do that every day. In this case, if appraisal reached the stage of being widely regarded as correct within stated uncertainty it would give end users more confidence in domain buying and be good for domain investing, as well as making things like domain ETFs a possibility, and fractional ownership more mainstream. It might even help the legal dispute landscape. Are current instruments there? Definitely not. Not even close.

However, there is no reason why true AI (with ML, etc.) systems could not become better than any human appraiser. Are we there yet? No. Will we ever be there? Not sure. It may require a big player like Google to really put an effort into it. I am encouraged that we are seeing some instruments, oops tools, that take into account more of the relevant factors.

Google Maps, an automated tool, occasionally makes well-publicized mistakes, but the vast majority of the time its directions are remarkably accurate, even though finding way between two points in a city with many options is not a trivial task to automate. Some of the medical AI of the past four years is very impressive, rivalling an experienced doctor in some tasks. The space missions, using technology of a decade plus ago, have had incredible success in unmanned, robotic missions near and to other planets and comets and asteroids. Is evaluating a domain name truly more difficult than those tasks? I don't think so.

It is a fact that many, not just domainers, are using appraisal. Estibot does more than 2 million valuations every day, and while I don't have a current figure, I am pretty sure GoDaddy is at least double that every day. Even in the few buyer interactions I have, end users have brought up automated valuations in suggesting a price was too high. I know partly your point. I think domainers should stay abreast of what options are out there, and what the strengths and weaknesses of each instrument is, and what the area of validity of each is, my main hope in the table I created to illustrate this post.

I totally accept that current appraisal tools can many times give silly numbers and many would like them to just go away.

I view it as better to know why they are silly on some estimates, which type of name each is better suited for, and to track the current state of the main instruments. That was my goal in this article.

Just my opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to comment in detail.

Bob
 
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HotKey

Made in Canada
Impact
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What if, instead of instrument or tool, we went with "service"? Just because, instruments and tools are generally physical things under our direct control, individual usage, whereas a service is more a mass usage, with limited parameters?

Though digital tools may also be under our direct control, they are limited to their programming unless open-source. Physical tools, or instruments, are somewhat malleable to suit our needs should the necessity arise. Eg., make a left-handed wrench a right handed-wrench.. :unsure:

TBH I've never seen a domain service called an instrument but that being said, I also never paid it any mind when Bob used the wording for the article.

Still on the fence whether a tomato is a fruit, or a potato.
 

vincew

Established Member
Impact
345
I'm not a fan of these types of appraisals, they favor short names over sensible names that people know and use. For example:

Xqyj.com gets a $15000 SAW appraisal while Sumpin.com, which is mine, gets $700. That's beyond crazy. Nobody uses xqyj in any type of communication that I know of, perhaps someday it'll be an acronym but good luck with that (eXpecting to Quit Your Job?). Meanwhile Sumpin is sumpin people know, it's a real word that has been around for years - there are even a number of songs that use the word.

SportUtilityVehicle.com gets a $700 appraisal too, how stupid is that. Xqyj is over 20 times more valuable? Seriously?

4L names that are unpronounceable and mean nothing should not get higher valuations than meaningful or quality creative names.

https://twitter.com/search?q=xqyj&src=typed_query&f=live - pathetic results
https://twitter.com/search?q=sumpin&src=spelling_expansion_revert_click&f=live



 
Appraisal Tool Sentiments
Foremost I'd like to say that Saw did an exceptional job with their tool. I do see some issues here and there, but overall it is a great tool for the first iteration.

When I started NameWorth, it wasn't to make money off of the appraisal tool, and even today the tool barely covers operating and advertising costs. The reason I started NameWorth was so I could use an automated appraisal tool that was accurate for my upcoming biix project and none of the tools in the industry at the time were accurate. 80% of the time I would see an appraisal at my registrar, it would show a value of 30% or less than what my domain actually sold for.

If there ends up being 3-4 tools in the industry that are lifting prices up, as I've tried to do, rather than pulling prices down, I think it is a win for all of us.

Appraisal Sceptics

so far, your focus has been on the promotions of, usage of and applicable uses for them.

any legitimacy you give, adds more weight to credibility

the more credible they become in the eyes of the blind
the more weight and control they will have over pricing.

as there may come a time, when you cannot sell your domain above the bar set by the bot.

No matter what comes up with appraisals, there are always questions and arguments about the legitimacy of all appraisal tools. These people don't use them. Time or technology is not stuck in one place, it is continually improving. I've yet to get one of these "appraisal deniers" to open-mindedly admit that the results are either pretty good, or provide an example that it does not price the domain according to what they've received for one of their domain sales. They just won't use them at all, and blanketly post on how bad they are. I've watched things being said by mainly the same accounts for 3+ years.

But the fact is, that technology has made them able to be in the ballpark more than most investors. I have around 20 years experience and NameWorth beats my gut-estimates most of the time and I do over $120,000 in sales per year for each of the last 5 years. After research I either increase or decrease the price, but most of the time I leave it very close to the estimate.

Look at the 2 examples below. I'd say probably no one reading this thread, including me, would have guessed the sale prices closer than the tool did. One of them has 3-4 industry articles and everyone is perplexed, yet the tool isn't. And the other one is one of Mike Mann's sales from 2019.

1653807011985.png



1653807029648.png




Pricing Domains (As a Domain Investor)

The first thing to realize is that we are all playing a different domain game. Some investors have 100 domains, some have 30,000 domains. Some sell their domains for an average of $100 each and some sell domains for an average of $5,000, $10,000, or $100,000 each. Some have never sold a domain. So the first thing to consider is that the source of information is going to come with their own way of investing in domain names.

I've had several customers tell me that using the tool has changed the quality of domains they buy and has increased the amount they are getting from sales, so I haven't been alone in the results. I had no sales over $20k until I used the tool to help with pricing. It also helped me go through my nearly 8,000 domains to get rid of the worst 5-10% that I owned, improving the overall quality of my portfolio. At the same time, it can alert you to domains that may have jumped in price because they are being used by a startup company. All of this is part of what the tool does normally.

Words of Caution

I'd say appraisal tools shouldn't be used until you've had a basic level of understanding what type of domains sell and at which price levels they sell.

No matter which tool you use, you need to be the one operating the business and the appraisal is nothing more than an advisor after you've come up with your own number. If you are blindly letting appraisal tools pick the domains for you, that is a recipe for disaster.


Daily Validation
I've personally seen the results for over 100,000 domains going through the tool and each day it is mostly consistent with pricing expired domains. I have a free newsletter that goes out each day, and you can see below that it gives a higher value to the same domains that are receiving the most bids.

1653813528350.png
 
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AEProgram

Top Contributor
Impact
5,384
If you guys want a good laugh, check this out.

I tried finding a name that is not in namebio but has a keyword that is in namebio. I have my suspicions on some of these tools (not namebio).

I found a name that sold by a fellow namepro member investreit.com for 50k and it's not in namebio

Saw.com < 700
Estibot < 100
Nameworth 14500

Then I took a reit name smartreit.com that namebio has a 24k sure enough

saw values that name at 36k (please don't tell me its the smart keyword that made the difference between investreit's < 700 value) nameworth has it at 29k

I continue to advise people to avoid all these appraisals
 

karmaco

Top Contributor
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If you guys want a good laugh, check this out.

I tried finding a name that is not in namebio but has a keyword that is in namebio. I have my suspicions on some of these tools (not namebio).

I found a name that sold by a fellow namepro member investreit.com for 50k and it's not in namebio

Saw.com < 700
Estibot < 100
Nameworth 14500

Then I took a reit name smartreit.com that namebio has a 24k sure enough

saw values that name at 36k (please don't tell me its the smart keyword that made the difference between investreit's < 700 value) nameworth has it at 29k

I continue to advise people to avoid all these appraisals
I agree completely. I punched in names into SAW I sold for five figures and got the same. I have come to the same conclusion. The “worth” is ultimately decided by you and your buyer.
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
20,214
Appraisal Tool Sentiments
Foremost I'd like to say that Saw did an exceptional job with their tool. I do see some issues here and there, but overall it is a great tool for the first iteration.

When I started NameWorth, it wasn't to make money off of the appraisal tool, and even today the tool barely covers operating and advertising costs. The reason I started NameWorth was so I could use an automated appraisal tool that was accurate for my upcoming biix project and none of the tools in the industry at the time were accurate. 80% of the time I would see an appraisal at my registrar, it would show a value of 30% or less than what my domain actually sold for.

If there ends up being 3-4 tools in the industry that are lifting prices up, as I've tried to do, rather than pulling prices down, I think it is a win for all of us.

Appraisal Sceptics



No matter what comes up with appraisals, there are always questions and arguments about the legitimacy of all appraisal tools. These people don't use them. Time or technology is not stuck in one place, it is continually improving. I've yet to get one of these "appraisal deniers" to open-mindedly admit that the results are either pretty good, or provide an example that it does not price the domain according to what they've received for one of their domain sales. They just won't use them at all, and blanketly post on how bad they are. I've watched things being said by mainly the same accounts for 3+ years.

But the fact is, that technology has made them able to be in the ballpark more than most investors. I have around 20 years experience and NameWorth beats my gut-estimates most of the time and I do over $120,000 in sales per year for each of the last 5 years. After research I either increase or decrease the price, but most of the time I leave it very close to the estimate.

Look at the 2 examples below. I'd say probably no one reading this thread, including me, would have guessed the sale prices closer than the tool did. One of them has 3-4 industry articles and everyone is perplexed, yet the tool isn't. And the other one is one of Mike Mann's sales from 2019.

View attachment 216781


View attachment 216782



Pricing Domains (As a Domain Investor)

The first thing to realize is that we are all playing a different domain game. Some investors have 100 domains, some have 30,000 domains. Some sell their domains for an average of $100 each and some sell domains for an average of $5,000, $10,000, or $100,000 each. Some have never sold a domain. So the first thing to consider is that the source of information is going to come with their own way of investing in domain names.

I've had several customers tell me that using the tool has changed the quality of domains they buy and has increased the amount they are getting from sales, so I haven't been alone in the results. I had no sales over $20k until I used the tool to help with pricing. It also helped me go through my nearly 8,000 domains to get rid of the worst 5-10% that I owned, improving the overall quality of my portfolio. At the same time, it can alert you to domains that may have jumped in price because they are being used by a startup company. All of this is part of what the tool does normally.

Words of Caution

I'd say appraisal tools shouldn't be used until you've had a basic level of understanding what type of domains sell and at which price levels they sell.

No matter which tool you use, you need to be the one operating the business and the appraisal is nothing more than an advisor after you've come up with your own number. If you are blindly letting appraisal tools pick the domains for you, that is a recipe for disaster.


Daily Validation
I've personally seen the results for over 100,000 domains going through the tool and each day it is mostly consistent with pricing expired domains. I have a free newsletter that goes out each day, and you can see below that it gives a higher value to the same domains that are receiving the most bids.

View attachment 216783

Thanks for your comments @Namebuyer, and I agree.

As a builder and long-time user of a similar but private, automated appraisal tool (see above notes) , I can confirm the Saw tool has better results than others in the market I've tested so far. So Saw did a good job as their first iteration indeed. ( Edit: Unfortunately Nameworth has failed to impress me but there's always room to improve. It might be better for domains unlike those I go for, who knows. But I'm glad it works for you. )

I might release mine to the public as well someday soon. I'm considering to finally build a domains website where there will be a ton of useful things for other domainers as well (including the free appraiser) and where I can also show my portfolio and offer a better, streamlined way to snatch anything you want from my clearances pile. But also other tools of interest.

My appraisal tool is still private, never truly considered releasing it so far, but my thoughts are changing so it might go live. Just like you, I have built it for my own needs and use it in probably the same way.

This post has inspired me to release it to the public for free. There won't be a paid option - my money comes from selling domains and others stuff. It's hard to get enough revenue from such a tool, not worth the effort for me.

Anyway I know it's going to be useful to many other domainers. I dare to say mine is more precise than the average tools including Saw on a certain segment (.COMs) that is basically the middle of the market.

I can confirm the tool also had a similar effect on myself. If any NP member here has seen the number of sales I have posted, that comes from precision and with time I learned from the tool and the tool has learned from me and now we generally agree on most domain prices.

( With the note that I am an discount price domainer, not a full retail one for most of my names. I sell usually around half price or so from what the other domainers do. I do that because 1) my data tells me that, 2) It's also best for me as I have a ton of volume. I currently buy just 1/10 of the sellable domains I have access to and therefore the pond has more fish than I can sell so why fish it then let it rot. My prices are precise but for affordable pricing this goal. )

Back to the subject, there's no harm in using such tools but it's generally needed that you are already able to make the difference and tell whether the tool is accurate or giving out an erroneous value. Obviously, any such tool output has to be taken with a large grain of salt.

I see such tools not to PRICE the domain exactly but rather to establish whether it might be in the worthy pile or the unworthy pile - especially for beginners. To give you the range, to confirm the price if you want, and so on.

Out of all the available tools out there, I personally like GoDaddy's tool most for the reason that it offers some results that can be practically used. Note, it's based on their sales data so it is biased as per that data. But it's not that bad. You can use it to differentiate utter junk from valuables (in many cases).

If GD shows >$3k on a domain, it's usually something worth inspecting at least. It is however quite disappointing in lower value domains, I've seen it tends to pile a lot of domains around $1.2 K value. Otherwise, yeah it does the job for the said purpose, and the similar sales it also shows are quite nice to look at.

(edited for clarity)
 
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Certainly Estibot, which started in 2007, was around well before I started domaining, although GoDaddy valuation tool came shortly later, and all of the others mentioned in this thread later still.
Hi

prior to them, sedo had a built-in appraisal system, which calculated value when you listed your names.
i had 695 names listed there then:

Total Value @ Suggested Listing Price $2,341,550
Total Value @ Fair Market Value $416,900
Average Value @ Suggested Listing Price $215
Average Value @ Fair Market Value $603

instruments and tools are generally physical things under our direct control, individual usage, whereas a service is more a mass usage, with limited parameters?
Hi
thanks @HotKey for bringing up that distinction

"appraisal deniers"

I've watched things being said by mainly the same accounts for 3+ years.
Hi

i've been saying pretty much the same thing for about 15 years.

and now that you've come-up, it gives you an opportunity to promote your service, in rebuttal.

sure, one can be in the ballpark, but where are they sitting or standing?
can they see the game clearly, or are they just hearing the noise of the crowd

maybe they are selling hotdogs or collecting tickets at the gate
guess it's all good as long as they went to the game.

:)


imo...
 
Impact
29,803
Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions, on all sides.

Thank you @NameBuyer.com for your perspective as both a successful long term investor, and developer of one of the appraisal services (hat tip to @HotKey for term suggestion (y) ) is valuable, and in particular your view that over the years appraisals have gotten more sophisticated and better.

Thanks @biggie for pointing out that Sedo had an instrument long ago. Your long term perspective on the domain 'industry' (we need a better term for that!) is always helpful to have, even when we disagree on a topic.

It is super-interesting that you have used your own private appraisal method @twiki. I wonder how many others do that? I hope that others will share if they do.

A personal appraisal tool tailored to exactly the type of names that a particular owner invests in could be really valuable. Those who know code and no-code better than me, how feasible would a tool be where one could customize it, for example adjust dial on how much search volume, registered TLDs, similar sales, length, etc. would be weighed. While not useful to support pricing to end users, it could be an incredible tool for evaluating potential acquisitions.

Which brings up the point several have made that one way, in some cases the only use, they make of automated appraisals is to narrow a list of names for potential acquisitions. You see a fair amount of that even here in the NamePros Request area, where some ask only for names with GoDaddy appraisals above a certain value. DNWE allow you to filter based on that, and things like age or TLDs.

Bob
 
Impact
29,803
I just wanted to highlight this key point made by @NameBuyer.com that I agree with 100%.
No matter which tool you use, you need to be the one operating the business and the appraisal is nothing more than an advisor after you've come up with your own number. If you are blindly letting appraisal tools pick the domains for you, that is a recipe for disaster.
Bob
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
20,214
Thanks for your comments @Namebuyer, and I agree.

As a builder and long-time user of a similar but private, automated appraisal tool (see above notes) , I can confirm the Saw tool has better results than others in the market I've tested so far. So Saw did a good job as their first iteration indeed. ( Edit: Unfortunately Nameworth has failed to impress me but there's always room to improve. It might be better for domains unlike those I go for, who knows. But I'm glad it works for you. )

I might release mine to the public as well someday soon. I'm considering to finally build a domains website where there will be a ton of useful things for other domainers as well (including the free appraiser) and where I can also show my portfolio and offer a better, streamlined way to snatch anything you want from my clearances pile. But also other tools of interest.

My appraisal tool is still private, never truly considered releasing it so far, but my thoughts are changing so it might go live. Just like you, I have built it for my own needs and use it in probably the same way.

This post has inspired me to release it to the public for free. There won't be a paid option - my money comes from selling domains and others stuff. It's hard to get enough revenue from such a tool, not worth the effort for me.

Anyway I know it's going to be useful to many other domainers. I dare to say mine is more precise than the average tools including Saw on a certain segment (.COMs) that is basically the middle of the market.

I can confirm the tool also had a similar effect on myself. If any NP member here has seen the number of sales I have posted, that comes from precision and with time I learned from the tool and the tool has learned from me and now we generally agree on most domain prices.

( With the note that I am an discount price domainer, not a full retail one for most of my names. I sell usually around half price or so from what the other domainers do. I do that because 1) my data tells me that, 2) It's also best for me as I have a ton of volume. I currently buy just 1/10 of the sellable domains I have access to and therefore the pond has more fish than I can sell so why fish it then let it rot. My prices are precise but for affordable pricing this goal. )

Back to the subject, there's no harm in using such tools but it's generally needed that you are already able to make the difference and tell whether the tool is accurate or giving out an erroneous value. Obviously, any such tool output has to be taken with a large grain of salt.

I see such tools not to PRICE the domain exactly but rather to establish whether it might be in the worthy pile or the unworthy pile - especially for beginners. To give you the range, to confirm the price if you want, and so on.

Out of all the available tools out there, I personally like GoDaddy's tool most for the reason that it offers some results that can be practically used. Note, it's based on their sales data so it is biased as per that data. But it's not that bad. You can use it to differentiate utter junk from valuables (in many cases).

If GD shows >$3k on a domain, it's usually something worth inspecting at least. It is however quite disappointing in lower value domains, I've seen it tends to pile a lot of domains around $1.2 K value. Otherwise, yeah it does the job for the said purpose, and the similar sales it also shows are quite nice to look at.

(edited for clarity)

Quoting on my own comment:

For those who did not agree, what made you give negative to it above? I'm very curious, maybe I missed something or said something wrong.

Regarding Nameworth, I wasn't trying to bash the tool, what's the point in that. I see it better than Estibot personally. Anyway it was just my experience with it; and yours might be different. Same about GD.

But anyway I'm very curious as to what other domainers here felt it's not appropriate in my comment so please share that info. Thanks.
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
20,214
I just wanted to highlight this key point made by @NameBuyer.com that I agree with 100%.

Bob
Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions, on all sides.

Thank you @NameBuyer.com for your perspective as both a successful long term investor, and developer of one of the appraisal services (hat tip to @HotKey for term suggestion (y) ) is valuable, and in particular your view that over the years appraisals have gotten more sophisticated and better.

Thanks @biggie for pointing out that Sedo had an instrument long ago. Your long term perspective on the domain 'industry' (we need a better term for that!) is always helpful to have, even when we disagree on a topic.

It is super-interesting that you have used your own private appraisal method @twiki. I wonder how many others do that? I hope that others will share if they do.

A personal appraisal tool tailored to exactly the type of names that a particular owner invests in could be really valuable. Those who know code and no-code better than me, how feasible would a tool be where one could customize it, for example adjust dial on how much search volume, registered TLDs, similar sales, length, etc. would be weighed. While not useful to support pricing to end users, it could be an incredible tool for evaluating potential acquisitions.

Which brings up the point several have made that one way, in some cases the only use, they make of automated appraisals is to narrow a list of names for potential acquisitions. You see a fair amount of that even here in the NamePros Request area, where some ask only for names with GoDaddy appraisals above a certain value. DNWE allow you to filter based on that, and things like age or TLDs.

Bob

You are right again, @Bob Hawkes. A tailored tool is a blessing indeed. You have your own sidekick to help reduce the workload.

But another thing I can tell you, there's so much work that went into mine, that I would not start over this for a fee, no matter the amount. Even in the last few days I've spent countless hours improving it further. Over the last few years? Months of work. And its still not done, if it can ever be that.

Edit: I just realized I traded some work on another type of work; but I'll take the latter anytime as doing very long lists manually puts me asleep just like a tranquilizer dart.
 
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Thanks @biggie for pointing out that Sedo had an instrument long ago. Your long term perspective on the domain 'industry' (we need a better term for that!) is always helpful to have, even when we disagree on a topic.
Hi

afternic beta has implemented similar appraisal thing...
when you go to add a fixed price to your names, the appraisal shows automatically.

you can either type your own price or click the appraisal to fill-in the amount.

they make it so obvious, that you are compelled to look.

imo...
 
Impact
29,803
afternic beta has implemented similar appraisal thing...
when you go to add a fixed price to your names, the appraisal shows automatically.
Yes hard to avoid GoDaddy appraisal at Afternic/GoDaddy!
They even suggest repricing your names if you are much different from their appraisal.

Those who want appraisals on their GoDaddy registered names can get them all at once with a spreadsheet export.

A few of the other registrars/marketplaces show something else. Like Epik you can get Estibot on all your names listed there.
 
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