Domain investors tend to be critical of Estibot and Valuate.com (which uses the domain appraisal algorithm from Estibot). These two websites offer free automated domain name appraisals, and in my experience, the appraisals aren’t all that accurate. In most cases, the domain appraisals tend to be beyond retail value, but that’s just in my opinion.
That being said, I think a domain appraisal service like Valuate and Estibot can actually be good for domain investors when it comes to selling a domain name.
When you do a Google search for “free domain appraisal,” Valuate and Estibot rank first and second respectively. Even when you do a more broad search for “domain appraisal,” Valuate ranks first. The results are the same for “free domain name appraisal” and “domain name appraisal.” My feeling is that an end user buyer who needs to get some justification for making a purchase decision may do a Google search for a domain appraisal, and voila, the domain investor friendly appraisals of Valuate and Estibot will be the first two websites the buyer sees and likely visits.
In my opinion, if a domain investor is asking $50,000 for a particular domain name and Valuate or Estibot say the domain name is worth $110,000, it gives the buyer more confidence that he or she is getting a good deal. Of course there are other factors in a buyer’s decision aside from the value of a domain name, but I think it can certainly help reinforce a buying decision.
I would not send a prospect to Valuate or Estibot as a way to reinforce a valuation of a domain name because I don’t think an automated appraisal can be all that accurate. However, if a buyer ends up on one of those two domain appraisal websites on his or her own, it probably wouldn’t be something that would hurt a sale. In fact, it might be a good idea to know the published appraisals off hand because if either of those websites shows a much lower valuation than your pricing, it could hurt your chances of a sale without your knowing.