Some Thoughts on the Weekend

My wife and I went on a quick vacation for the weekend for a wedding, and as always, it’s great to get away for a few days. I wanted to share some thoughts that I had while away.

I know a lot of professional domain investors don’t particularly like using Estibot for appraisals, and they are amused when a seller lists the Estibot value in a domain sales thread. However, one way to use Estibot’s very favorable values is when someone inquires to buy a domain name from you. Since the values seem more “end user-ish,” why not cite that valuation in your reply as a starting point for negotiations? Of course, you need to make sure the value is in line with your asking price.

I still don’t understand why a company like Ebay or Microsoft would want to buy a gTLD for its brand. It would seem that the   application fee as well as ongoing management costs (either internal or outsourced) wouldn’t justify the price when the .com domain name can seemingly do the same thing. Really, what’s the difference beetween something like cars.ebay versus when there are so many more costs associated with gTLDs?

I do happen to think gTLD domain names will be a game changer for our industry. I don’t really know many domain investors that are “fighting” gTLDs per se (although there are plenty that don’t really want them), but it will be important for all of us to embrace them upon introduction to hedge our .com bets, in the event that consumers quickly adopt them in market. Whatever happens, it’s going to be fun watching and participating when they are introduced and publicly available.

It’s fun to know so many city .com domain name owners when we go away and meet people that live all over the country. I met/saw people from Portland, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, and a few other cities, and I always have the urge to say, “my buddy owns that city .com” but my wife doesn’t exactly like it when I do that 🙂

When I have the chance to do new things and try new activities, it helps stimulate ideas for domain names (new registrations and aftermarket acquisitions). I spent yesterday morning on a boat and was able to do some wakeboarding, so I now have some new ideas for domain inquiries.

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. Elliot,

    The problem that Estibot has and always will have is that serious domainers dont care about any estimated price value from any automated system. Estibot is good for data but for value – I cant think of a single soul who cares about Estibot values except domainers who still think its going to get them a better price.

    Using this estimated tool to sell a domain to a domainer is useless. Using the estimated value to try to sell an end-user – also useless.


    just like most end users dont know and dont care or Rick, Frank or Kevin are they dont care about what some website says about a domains value. A website that has no street credit to the outside world.

    Forgive me Esa – I truly respect what you have built however the ongoing search for any automated tool for value (including yours) is a fools dream. The data estibot provides is great but the valuations would be better if they never even existed imo since many domainers continually try to match value according to this but the day will never come when they have any influence in how real buyers buy domains.

    People pay 10’s of thousands for surveys done by reputable companies just to have data on main street. Surveys someone could do online for a couple hundred or less. Why? because when consumers here (9/10 of users choose this in a survey by (insert well known brand of survey company) here its credible.

    Estibot is not credible to the outside world so why should someone who has no idea who they are care?

    Sorry – I love the data Estibot provides but its a hopeless fool who continues to provide any weight to valuations provided by an automated system.

  2. Alan,

    I agree with much of what you say and I would never present an Estibot valuation to a domain investor or as a means to value a name for most other purposes – especially when I am a buyer.

    However, when I am selling a domain name to an end user who asks for justification for my asking price and Estibot shows a very high value, it can corroborate my asking price. IMO, there’s no downside to doing this and it can’t hurt my potential sale because my asking price is what it is.

    I don’t need to justify an asking price, but it shows that at least one other source values the domain name.

    In any case, it was something I thought about spur of the moment, so I figured I’d give it a shot as a test.

  3. Hey – anything as a test is great and whatever works shoot for the sky but for whoever reads this post its much better to skip all valuation tools online for an asset which many endusers still never understand.

    Lets create a fictional asset called aquarock.

    Almost like saying this piece of aquarock is worth $10,000 and you can visit to find an online measure of comparable value to my asking price.

    We all argue how many end users dont get it so I think showing a value of something (especially an archaic looking site like Estibot – again, no offense Esa but if someone doesn’t know the service then impressions are first based on design so now we also have not only a question of who Estibot is working against you but also a design where no credible third parties outside of the domaining industry are saying – hey, this service is great) – again, no street credit attached.

    So – using the aquarock example is almost no different than selling domains.

    First – you have to educate the buyer on what the asset is. I dont know if an aquarock even exists and many endusers will ask the same about why a good domain name is worth buying?

    Secondly – you (not you personally, Elliot) should compare values to traditional media. These are the gold standards all companies use to pay for advertising now and almost each and every cost for a billoboard, TV ad, magazine ad, radio ad – any form of media placement will outnumber the one time cost of owning a good domain 10 times over.

    For lead generation – break down into how many leads to break even, show examples of sites in search engines, link to thier compete statistics and compare exact search matches to tell the user – hey, these guys did this with a domain name only half as good.

    I guess at the end of the day we all have to sell domains like people sell magazine ads. Embrace the traditional media costs and use them to our advantage – not beat our heads over and over why good domains are so cheap.

    We get it – but the rest of the world needs an education.

  4. Fred – Funny stuff but good point – people who buy guitars and watch HSN may actually consider Esteban a qualified source for guitar values (me -haven’t turn that channel on 20 years)

    Although if you and I are selling a guitar to someone who doesn’t watch HSN would you think they care what Esteban has to say about guitar values? Nope – again, who is Esteban?

    Same comparison with end users and Estibot – except Esteban seems to be at least on TV – a credible source to most people as silly as that sounds. Hey, if its on the boob tube it must be true – you know that rule for most of middle america and the world.

    Building credit within an industry – the exact target industry mind you of the product offered and where over 90% of your audience in my opinion do not even take the values seriously is not a recipe for translation to value for outside end-users.

    We dont take them seriously – so why should anyone else.

    At least Esteban’s fans probably have a fan club or something 🙂

    Again, Estibot is great for data but automated values – whether its GoDaddy’s illustrious – “your domain is worth between $1,000 and $25,000” or Estibot’s crack at trying to solve an unsolveable equation – all ridiculous methods for value.

    I’m itching to look up these Esetban guy now for laughs …


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