What's your domain name worth?
Perhaps it is better to ask how much a potential buyer would be willing to pay to acquire your domain name. If there was some interest in your domain name, you ought to, at least, have some kind of idea of its value. Generally, is the domain good or bad? If good, how good is it?
If you were to visit any domain reseller sites, you will find literally thousands of ridiculous names. If you scrutinize their asking prices, it will leave you shaking your head in amazement. They run into the thousands and even millions. Names like ApeChatsWorth.com.....It would be better to let them expire or sell cheap if you can find a 'fool'.
So how do you tell if you have a winning name?
I know someone will be quick to say, "That's easy. Get them appraised."
Well, you could do that. But the problem with domain appraisals is that there are no industry standards. And you simply cannot put a market value on it and give an accurate appraisal by any standards. Perhaps, in that sense, a domain name is different from real estate because it is not something you can see or touch.
There are numerous companies and sites on the web that will evaluate your domain and give you their opinion on what your domain name is worth. Their services cost anywhere from between $10 to $50. They give you a nice certificate online. But let me tell you that, an appraisal certificate may not necessarily do anything for your domain name.
As can be expected, a single domain name can have vastly differing values when evaluated by different appraisers. Values can differ by tens of thousands of dollars.
You have probably heard it being said over and over again that a domain name is only really worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Or what the buyer and seller can agree on to make a deal. So even if a domain name has been evaluated at $2,000 but if no one wants to pay out more than $200 for it, it is obvious the real value of the name is far less than the perceived value that it was originally appraised for.
If you have absolutely no idea what your domain name is worth, getting a professional appraisal may be useful as well as to give you a basis for an asking price if there was indeed someone interested in the name or simply to decide what you want to do with the domain name. A potential buyer already interested in a domain name you have, may be further swayed towards your position by an independent appraisal.
However, let me caution you to be careful. There are a number of thriving scams on the internet designed to play on your emotions and get your money. One instance is when a so-called "buyer" feigns interest in your domain name but requests first for an appraisal from a particular appraiser, just to be sure of the market value, he claims. Then, insists that no other appraisers will do. It doesn't take a genius to see through this. If you pay for the appraisal, the so-called 'buyer' suddenly disappears, no doubt to fleece his next victim. Many fall for this cruel trick in their ecstasy imagining that finally, there was actually someone wanting their domain name. Before you spend any money, check out feedback on the website's services from other customers. You can do this at Alexa.com. Simply enter the name of the website and you can see reviews and feedback from other customers.
A genuine buyer who wants your domain name is interested in it, NOT because some appraiser says it is worth a princely sum. But only because he himself sees it's intrinsic value and/or has specific plans for the name. Keep this in mind.
There are a number of free domain appraisal services you could try just to test the waters around your name.
A number of domain name forums have active appraisal boards where you can post your domain names and someone will evaluate it for you. A search on your favorite engine will give you several options.
You may also have come across automated computer scripts online that give you a free instant evaluation of your domain name when you put in certain required details about your name. Those give you a ballpark figure but sometimes do grossly inflate the value. It is after all a script.
If you do decide to get and pay for a professional appraisal, make sure you are engaging a reputable company or you would end up blowing your money.
If you're still undecided, let me take a look at your domain name and I'll evaluate it for free. No obligations. See http://www.OpenForSale.com/ to submit your domain name.
Copyright 2005 Edwin John
Edwin John is the author of the top-selling domain ebook, "How I Sell My Domain Names." A guide that teaches domain owners how to find buyers for their domain names.