Domain Appraisals – It Can Work Both Ways!

The Domain Appraisal – Both Sides Of The Coin.

Everyone is well aware of the domain appraisal “scam” where you can fall victim if you are a domain owner. Basically what happens is a person, or group of people will do bulk whois lookups. Then they harvest a simple list of:

Domain | eMail in whois

expron.com | <my email>
So on..

Then they use bulk mailers to send you emails that sound lik ethey are interested in your domain name. They then offer to get your domain appraised. They will list out 2 or so appraisal services & price. Usually it will ask for an appraisal at sedo.com <price> or <their website> <lower price>. If you really really want to sell your domain, you could very easily fall victim.

Blah Blah, you all have heard that story..

Here’s my story on the coin flip of the domain appraisal scam.

Back in 2008, I was searching dictionary domain words that were up & running sites in .com & .net. Long story short, I found that when I inquired about certain domains, I would get an appraisal. Some LL.com domains would hand me a PDF appraisal for $250,000 – $750,000. Most were from real appriasal companies. I did my homework & found that these companies cater to high end domains etc..

So my journey continued. Finally I hit a soft sale. It’s my terminology for something that I felt was do-able & withing my budget. In other words, move fast & buy this domain!

The domain in question was Delete<.>net. The owner, Jim from California had originally registered the domain back in 1996. He was an ISP provider & knew everything about computer network backbones. He lacked however the knowledge of domaining.

Things were going great.. He asked me to make him an offer. Being a domainer myself, I offered high $xxx. He quickly got excited & I almost closed the deal. He asked to “think” about it overnight. I said no problems & awaited his email.

The next day, his friend got into his head & now the minimum cash sale for delete<.>net jumped up to $1,500 min, preferably $2,500. Now I was trying to stand ground on my $850 – $999 offer. But in a heartbeat, I was snuffed as he surfed the web & try to educate himself if the sale was worth it. I had no leverage, nothing.

So now, I had to contact him. I had to contact him a couple times. After a while, Jim replies.. I am getting a godaddy appraisal & it will be ready in 48 hours.

The appraisal comes in & it’s estimating the domain Delete<.>net is worth $17,290.00

Darn, there went all my hope. I was lucky to be able to harness the opportunity I had opened. The seller was expecting $17K for his domain. The best I could do was broker the domain. I aligned the sale with Kellie from Name.com. She paid Mid $x,xxx. It was a private sale & my Commision was mid $xxx

So I guess everyone got what they wanted. Except me, had I secured the domain for $900 or so as originally planned, I could have easily flipped it & kept mid $x,xxx for free. So in this story, the godaddy appraisal killed me. It would be nice to think that the domain was worth seventeen thousand, but it’s not. It’s also my mistake for the low offer.

A couple things that stick out is that at the time, I wasn’t really active at the forums. And the offers I got from forum people even those with high post counts was ridiculous.

I got remarks at the forums like:

If it was .com, it would be worth a lot more! <ps – .net is 2nd best>.
If it was a happy domain like: Smile.net, Laugh.net, happy.net.. I would be interested.
The domain is not worth anything. I offer from $20 – $1,000 24 hour time capsule.
The domain will never sell for more than $500.

Guess I proved them wrong ;)

It was worth it to me as well as I continue to get in good with Name.com, developing their API stuff & tools for their domain registrations. Also, Jim is a good ISP resource for me – If I would ever need help from a veteran.

Just be careful in these appraisals as it seems to inflate what the seller “thinks” his domain is worth. Until you try to sell, he/she won’t know.

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