GoDaddy “Valuations” Are Laughable

I just saw a tweet from the GoDaddy Auctions account promoting the upcoming auction for the three letter domain name:

I retweeted the link and visited the auction page to get some more details. The thing that stands  out to me the most is the “valuation” field. Three letter .com domain names have been selling for thousands of dollars for many years. I highly doubt you could buy any domain name for less than 5 figures today, and if you can, there are probably issues with it. In fact, back in November, Mike Berkens wrote “I’m calling the wholesale value of Chinese to be around $50K.” is not a “Chinese” but it is worth 5 figures in today’s market.

So what is so jarring about GoDaddy’s valuation? According to the auction page, the valuation of is $12.00. Yes, $12. Not $12k or even $1,200. That would be two figures rather than 5 figures. Don’t believe me? Here’s a screenshot: auction

I checked out some other auctions to see if this $12 valuation is just an error. To do so, I sorted the current auction results page descending by highest valuation. It seems that nearly all of the highest valued domain names (according to the valuation field) all have traffic reported. was the one exception to this as it did not show any traffic but had a valuation of $309. The other domain names that didn’t have any reported traffic on the list I saw, even those with 4 figure bids, show a “-” for valuation.

Since the auction appears to be an expired domain auction, the only harm the company is doing is to itself. If anyone would use the valuation field  as a tool in determining  how much to bid on the domain name, they might be reluctant to participate.

If there is an issue with the valuation tool, that field should probably be removed from auctions since it’s unhelpful and likely detrimental. In my opinion, if GoDaddy feels that the valuation field is important enough to include on the auction pages, they likely assume that their bidders would find it helpful. That is a bit scary. I love GoDaddy auctions, but the valuations seem to be laughable.

At the time of publication, the high bid for is $19,250, and there are about 10 days remaining.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. was owned by World Airways and it’s parent company Global Aviation Holdings Inc. who filed bankruptcy and shute down World Airways and “sold the remaining assets of North American Airlines in 2014”. Maybe the domains were lost in the mix? The main domain used by the company, expired and sold at expired auction on GD in Dec 2015 for $610 according to NameBio.

  2. I remember getting a godaddy free appraisal on a few of my domains a couple of years ago just to compare what i was getting from estibot, your right, what a joke.

    I bet you would get a huge laugh if you had Embrace or EventManagement appraised at godaddy.

    I know you must have a few big one’s at godaddy, you should get a free appraisal just to see…

  3. I wonder if GoDaddy is using that same “valuation” to determine whether or not to list a domain in the auctions or not? Some domains end up going to auction, others don’t (when they aren’t renewed).

  4. OK I spoke with the guys in charge of that and we admit, $120 would have been more accurate, we must have a decimal in the wrong place. Unless of course it was a 3L .ws, in which case we know how many comments we would get on it 🙂

    We at one point had a valuation done manually for any appraisals we did that customers paid for. We still run that for paid appraisals via However, most of the automated free valuation is done via an algorithm and an older one at that. I’ll point this out to the team as it’s an obvious miss. But to be totally transparent we have not been doing much work on the old one as we have been working on a new one that we think it much better than anything out there. We are still playing around with a lot of stuff but we have some good sales data as you can imagine and are hoping to continue to release things that can benefit investors and small business buyers in this area.
    To pre-empt the comments that may come, yes each domain name is unique and no automated appraisal system will get everything right but we think we can get closer than things have been and I can guarantee we will easily improve on the $12 miss above 🙂
    Thanks again for pointing it out.

  5. Oh and to answer Bill. We do not put expired names on the auction or not based on any type of valuation. Not every name expiring winds up on auction for various reasons none of which include potential value.

    • We have a lot of names in the auction. We try and get as many as we can into it for everyone to have a chance to obtain the names.

    • Bill is saying names don’t go to auction that expire. He thinks it’s because of their value but you said that wasn’t the case , but confirmed that some names don’t go to auction. I’m wondering what the reason names don’t go to auction would be. . . .and where do they go if they don’t go to auction ? Pending Delete ?

  6. Sure I understand the question. I answered that as many names as we can send we do. There are various edge cases which I will not list here. If you want to purchase an expired name almost all are listed on the auctions, if you see one that is not I would keep an eye on the whois and backorder it as you would any other name that is expiring and not listed on an auction. We do not list or hold back names on the auction based on any type valuation. We make as many names as we can sell publicly available for sale.

  7. I have a theory that the GoDaddy valuation is an algorithm primarily based on parking revenue acquired on the domain while it is parked/expired. To confirm this create a query of nearly any type and sort by valuation. You’ll notice traffic and valuation have a relationship whereas generic value and valuation do not.


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