I saw a thread on NamePros from someone asking about a potential scam. Apparently, the person received an offer to buy a domain name but the person said a (paid) domain appraisal would be necessary before doing a deal. This doesn’t seem legitimate to me.
From the NamePros thread:
“I just received an offer to buy my domain from a supposedly domain broker and the email seems to come from a large internet company in Japan.
However, the agent says that due to regulations in Japan, the buyer needs to have a proper certification to do a bank transfer due to the price being more than 10k.
The broker then sent me a link to get my domain certified for USD199. “
I can not think of a real reason why an appraisal would be necessary to complete a deal. I can not imagine a legitimate domain buyer or domain broker would require one. From my perspective, it seems like the prospective buyer is trying to induce the domain owner to pay nearly $200 (yes, $200!!!!) for a domain appraisal and will then disappear once the payment is made. I can’t think of anyone who has paid for a domain appraisal in order to justify or “certify” a domain name sale.
Domain names are a dynamic market. The prices and values can change quickly depending on a variety of factors. Domain appraisals are generally not all that helpful. In my opinion, paying almost $200 for a domain appraisal is ludacris.
If someone ever wants a domain appraisal to justify a purchase, they can pay for it themselves. I can’t understand why they would need one, but if they do, that is on them. I would never pay for anything to close a domain deal, with the exception of my lawyer(s) and an escrow service.
I can’t say for sure whether this person’s inquiry is a scam, but it certainly doesn’t seem legitimate, and I would never, ever, ever pay for a domain appraisal in order to complete a sale. If a buyer has some sort of hoops that need to be jumped through, they can pay or they can have their broker pay. End of story.