There are many people who own domain names that have no idea of what they could be worth. Some of these people may have bought a domain name on a whim while others bought a domain name for a project that didn’t take off or didn’t get started. The domain name appraisal section on forums like NamePros and previously DNForum are some of the most popular sections, and they could be a good place to find a domain name to buy.
When someone with a great domain name asks for an appraisal, it is because they either received an offer to buy their domain name or they are ready to sell it. By publicly posting their domain name in the appraisal section, they can get an idea of what domain investors believe the domain name is worth. I think some of these people also do it as a means of generating a bit of publicity for their domain name.
From my perspective, this can be a great buying opportunity. On occasion, I have seen a great domain name posted for sale in the appraisal forum, and I have reached out to try to strike a deal privately. If it looks like the domain owner would like to sell a domain name I want to buy, it doesn’t make sense not to connect and see if a deal can be struck.
A key thing to keep in mind is that there are other domain investors who probably have the same idea, so a lowball offer isn’t going to do it. One advantage of the domain appraisal thread is that you can see what others are suggesting the domain name might be worth, so the owner may use this as a guideline for the sale price. For instance, if everyone is telling the owner that her domain name is worth $100,000 – $250,000, you would be silly to offer $1,000 to buy it!
There are a lot of worthless domain names posted in the appraisal section, so it can take some time to find a domain name that is appealing. I don’t think you should hesitate to reach out with a good offer if it is a name of interest.