|Domain Appraisal - Determine the value of your domain name
Before you decide to sell a domain you must first determine how much that domain is worth. Each domain that you have is unique and different from any other domain on the internet. If you simply decide to sell your domains without first determining their worth you are virtually giving away your money!
You MUST learn the methods in which you can determine what your domains are really worth!
The value of any domain name will have many factors that help to determine their value. These domains may be fixed, valuable or market specific. Determining which of these categories your domain fits into will ultimately help you to ensure that you receive what that domain is worth when you decide to sell it.
The following is a breakdown of how these factors work:
Fixed Domain Values:
- Memorable - The domain should be easy to remember as well as being easy to write without worrying over typing errors. Misspelled versions of certain words may be cute but they could be hard to remember and could make your domain much less valuable.
- Length - The domains that are most valuable are short names. If your domain is terribly long or contains a lot of fill words then the value will potentially go down. The shorter the domain the more valuable it is and the less likely someone will be to misspell the name. Domains should never have more than 10 characters + TLD.
- Number of Words - Again the number of words that your domain contains can be very detrimental to its value. The less number of words the better. A good example would be fastcar.com versus car.com. Because car.com contains fewer words it is worth more.
- Substitution - Typically domains that contain substitutions lose value. For example 2morrow.com is worth much less than tomorrow.com. While substituting to make up cute words looks good it can seriously have adverse effects on your domain's value.
- Abbreviations - If your domain contains abbreviations you could also be losing value. Another example of this problem is expiringdom.com versus expiringdomain.com. The domain without the abbreviated version is worth much more and again will be much easier to remember.
- Singular/Plural - Typically this does not have as strong a bearing on your domain's value although singular words do tend to be somewhat more valuable.
- Pronounceable - Domains that are easier to pronounce are often worth much more than hard to remember and hard to say domains.
- Hyphens - If a domain contains hyphens then the value is drastically reduced. Typically speaking domains that contain even 2 hyphens are basically worthless. Although search engines have no problem with the hyphens, potential buyers will run when they see hyphens in your domain names.
- Numerals - Numerals typically also decrease the value of domains. Website visitors in general would much rather type in letters than numbers.
- Trademarks - If a domain infringes on any Trademarks then you can consider that domain to be completely useless. Even worse, if you are the owner of a domain with Copyright or Trademark infringement you could be forced to compensate the company that you are infringing upon. This could potentially cost you thousands of dollars.
Variable Domain Values:
TLD - Top Level Domain
- COM - Domain names that contain the .COM extension are always worth more than those that do not. Second in line would be the .NET extension and third in line are the .ORG domains.
- Traffic Sources - Domains that enjoy good traffic are typically going to be more valuable. You should keep in mind however that those domains that enjoy non-search engine traffic are considered to be more stable because search engine rankings can change very quickly.
- Long Term Data - The longer you can track data on a particular domain name the better. If a potential buyer sees a domain that has a lot of traffic over the past several months then that buyer will be much more interested in that domain. If you can only provide traffic data for a few days then buyers will consider your domain to be much less valuable.
- Free Members - Members or subscribers to websites are just like cash. They are considered to be highly valuable and will raise the value of your domain substantially.
- Paid Members - If you have a domain that offers paid memberships and particularly if you already have paying members then your domain will be considered very valuable. Potential buyers will see this as an instant cash machine. In fact you should probably reconsider selling this domain. I would suggest that you outsource as much as possible and then just sit back and watch your money roll in.
- If the website produces some kind of revenue it will dramatically increase the value. The price should be more than 6 months of the past revenue income.
- Backlinks & PageRank - Typically speaking, the more backlinks you have the higher your Google PageRank will be. This can definitely add great value to your domain.
- Your website may be viewed as valuable, depending on the individual buyer. If they are planning to create their own website then they will not need yours. However those who are planning to focus on a more simple approach to website building like a blog without much content may find it valuable. They may also agree to pay more if you have content that they need and will sell the domain and website as a package.
Change the WHOIS record for your domain to let visitors know that the name is for sale now.
- Topic - In order to determine a domain's value you must know what audience you are trying to capture. For example, grandmothers will typically not pay online and Nobody will spend a huge amount of money for an anti-war domain! You must know the audience for your domain.
- Need - You must also determine whether there is a heavy need for your domain. An example would be those who have expensive hobbies or have an addiction to online chats. If there are large companies that may be interested then you possibly have a good domain.
- Search Engine Popularity - You simply must know that Search Engine popularity carries a lot of weight. Find out how often people conduct searches for terms that are related to the domain. If no one is searching for those items online then you will have a very difficult time stirring up traffic. High technical terms are a good example. You should also check to see if there is advertising on Google for this domain as a keyword. This will help you to determine whether or not your domain name is a highly searched for or highly advertised term.
- Branding Recognition - - If the domain has branding potential then it could be a good one. If you can brand the domain name - for example if you focus your domain on a specific niche such as "dogs" or a sub-niche such as "dog care" then you could possibly have a winner. Sub-niches generally have less value but you should still check them out.
For instance, "Your Domain Name (This name is for sale at sedo.us)" or something like that.
There are 2 methods for determining the real value of a particular domain:
These methods are:
There are distinct differences between the two:
- Let a professional company appraise your domains
- Do it yourself domain appraisal
Professional domain appraisal
This is not free! - Some services offer this for free but they are mostly useless and only give you an approximate value which you probably know already.
Any domain name will be unique and will possess some of the values which are listed above. These can be calculated completely by software.
If you do plan to use a professional domain appraisal service in which you must pay to determine the value of your domain it is highly recommended that you use AfterNIC.
They typically appraise the domains at 10 to 20% above the real value
Some of the big domain appraisal services are:
The current prices for these services are as follows:
- Sedo - $29.00 Standard Domain Appraisal (based on 5 values) & $49.00 for a Premium Domain Appraisal (based on 10 values).
More information can be found at Sedo.
- Afternic - Costs you $19.95 for each domain appraisal with a $5 discount if you order more than five domains at once.
More information can be found at AfterNIC.
- Godaddy - $5.99 for an Express Domain Appraisal (based on 5 values) & $14.99 for a Certified Domain Appraisal.
The Express Appraisal is more for your own interest - you should select the certified if you plan to sell the domain successfully using Godaddy Domain Appraisal.
More information can be found at Godaddy.
And now the much less expensive method of Do It Yourself Domain Appraisal:
You can easily appraise your own domain name if you know how to do it.
First you should not let your personal feelings interfere with the domain appraisal. Always be very technical and very realistic when you are determining the value of your domain.
Personal emotions can get in the way and will not reflect the real value of your domain. Although you may feel that your domain is worth thousands simply because you have owned it for a while and consider it to be your "baby", others will not have this emotional pull to your domain. You should never let your personal feelings show when you are appraising your own domain.
As I told you there is no working spreadsheet or tool out there to fill out that will give you an exact domain value.
There is only a guideline which will help you to determine the most accurate value for your domains.
If you feel you have a very good domain name with a really high value it's definitely worth the money to get a certificate from a professional & trusted domain appraisal service!