How do you appraise a domain? Many times, quality Domain names are considered assets, like real estate. However, unlike real estate, domain appraisal has always been a challenge. There is no set industry standard or set formula on how you appraise a domain name.

Real estate is much easier because there are only few variables, location, square footage and condition and they take those and compare sales for last few months. There is a little bit of playing room, but for most part, prices have to compare.

Unlike real estate, domain names may have dozens of variables and even then, some people just get lucky because someone or a company likes a domain not because of all those variables, but just because they like it or they’re starting a new company that has the same name or even a new product line. So the domain owner instantly becomes rich :)

This is the thrill that drives most domainers, and yes, it is somewhat of a gamble.

However, if you want to play it smart, you have to go after a quality domain name and then use some of the tools online to give you a rough idea if the domain is worth anything. But do keep in mind that these tools are not meant to give you exact price, it’s just a valuation based on the keywords and extension of the domain name.

Here are some of the tools I use to appraise a domain name:

  1. www.estibot.com or www.valuate.com – if you know nothing about domain names, this is a great way to tell if the domain is worth anything. Valuate.com uses estibot, they are the same tool, I do like valuate.com better as it has nicer UI. Estibot is now somewhat popular even with domainers as it is a free, simple way to get a domain valuation.
  2. Google Keyword Tool – this is somewhat of a manual process, go there, and do “exact” match type search for the main keyword of the domain. Example, “MyWebsite.com” has the keyword “My Website” without the quotes. If it has at least 1000 exact match local searches, than I say domain is worth something. Keep in mind, keywords have to be generic, should not be any brand or trademark.
  3. .com – as you may have heard before, .com still is the winner when it comes to the price of the domain. So if possible, stick to .com, especially, if you plan to sell the domain name. Even estibot will give  you much lower domain appraisal if domain is in another extension.
  4. GoDaddy – a somewhat of a less known way, if you register your domain with GoDaddy and list it in their premium domain auctions, they give a recommended range as to the domain value. Even though their domain appraisal isn’t great, but I like it because it gives the end users/domain buyers a range and they usually trust GoDaddy. I usually list my domains on the low end of their recommendation. This helps with the sale as the buyer now thinks they are getting a better deal, which they may.

So be sure to use some of these techniques when appraising your own domain names.