Why I’m Not Going to Tell You How Much Your Domain Name is Worth

One of the best things about having my blog is that I can interact with other domain investors. This business can be a bit isolating since there aren’t many people who do it, and it’s always good to speak with likeminded people who invest in domain names for a living.

By the same token, one of the worst things about having a domain blog is that many people email me and expect that I will spend my time giving them advice, especially as it relates to the value of their domain names. I don’t have any interest in becoming a domain consultant (paid or unpaid).

In the past, I would often reply to people and give a quick answer, but lately, I’ve stopped replying to questions about valuation unless they are looking to sell a domain name that I am interested in buying.

There are many factors that contribute to the domain name’s selling price. Cost basis, need for liquidity, buyer’s interest, buyer’s funding, market conditions, keyword searches, and cost per click are just a few things that go into determining the value of a domain name. As you can see, the majority of those factors would be unknown to me, and it would be silly to think I can give a fair valuation, especially if that is being used to come up with an asking price. I am also not going to spend time doing research for someone else, when I have plenty of other things to do.

To take this a step further, a few times in the past and recently, people who have asked me haven’t been happy with the answer I gave. They send what they believe are comparables and other information to me to try and sway my opinion, as if my opinion would contribute to increasing the value of their domain name. Some people get defensive, and by getting defensive, some people become offensive. Why would I want to become entangled in a long, fruitless discussion with absolutely nothing to gain? I don’t.

When it comes to valuing domain names, I think appraisals are worthless, and I am no longer going to give my opinion on what your domain name is worth.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Domain investors have their own niche. They can ‘t be expected to understand the value in other niches.

    Estibot and Valuate don’t take into account of many of the variables in giving the value of a domain. Just a few minutes Valuate said a name I sold nine months ago for $10,000 is worth $200. A similar name I recently sold for $ 2400 is worth $980 on Valuate.

    I have a rule of thought. Any name that is going to be used to make money on the Internet is worth a minimum of $1200 and often times $2400 or $3600 or more. If the price of the name is amortized for 12 – 36 months at $100 per month these numbers are a solid beginning in pricing a name. A good address on which to build a business has to be worth more than $100 – 300 per month. I see many domainers underprice their names. Traffic is only a small component in the valuation of a name. When these thoughts are told to a potential buyer, I have had good success in raising their initial offer of $50 – 500 to the above prices.

    High priced products with low demand can be sold on a website creating great profits. A high quality brandable or descriptive name should be priced with this in mind. The search record for this product might be low but the domain is worth a lot.

    • Yes, I agree that valuation sites do not reflect the exact value. Like in your case, I have faced the exact opposite of what you have mentioned. I have had Valuate / Estibot value some of my domains at around $5000 but when I wish to sell even at half the price, I do not find buyers! So, in all only once you have the cash in your hand can you say the domain was valued at X amount. I strongly feel that its a correlation between the buyers requirement and the sellers power to hold on to the domains. I have seen some not so good domains being sold even at 5 figures and some good domains sold at 3-4 figures.

  2. “Why would I want to become entangled in a long, fruitless discussion with absolutely nothing to gain? I donโ€™t.”

    This quote could be applied to so many different aspects of life.

    As Kid Cudi would say, “It’s a curtain call, come one come all / All I do is try to make it simple / The ones that make it complicated / Never get congratulated”.

  3. I frequently get that question as well over my newsletter, people ask me to evaluate, assess or give an idea on how much I think I can get for a domain. I just tell them I don’t do evaluations, people want to sell a domain let me know your price and I’ll tell you whether or not I accept.

    Completely agree Elliot, people get extremely offensive which happens in Stocks and in Real Estate as well, emotional attachment to any asset can kill profit and a realistic assessment so why bother?

  4. I’m sad to hear that Elliot. For me, it’s great when you can shoot a quick e-mail to a friendly domainer asking for a gut check on a domain value. I never expect someone to go do my research for me. I always send a price and ask if they think it’s too high, too low or spot on. I’ve gotten great feedback from domainers in the past, including you Elliot, using this method. I take care not to e-mail someone too often and I always thank the person for their opinion. Pricing is very subjective and additional pricing information helps me make the best decisions on prices.

    • If I know the person asking, it’s no problem at all. I ask friends and colleagues all the time, and it’s generally a two way street because most do the same with me.

      It too often becomes a frustrating time suck when people I don’t know email me and expect me to give extra time for nothing. If I wanted to be a domain consultant, I would do that ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. In other words he wants you to keep visiting his blog, and converting his sponsors, but he is to big to deal with the novices, and their annoying questions, oh how fame changes all lol

    • For starters, we now have a child, and I’ve been spending less time working and more time doing family things than ever before. That’s life, and I am happy to have this change. That said, I would rather focus on improving my business when I am not blogging than helping someone else improve their business. Does that really surprise you?

      Your comment makes it seem like I have some unsaid obligation to help others, despite the fact that I spend countless hours on my blog sharing advice, insight, tips, and news commentary at no cost to anyone who reads this blog. Yes, I appreciate the advertisers who make it possible for me to spend time blogging, but no, I don’t feel like I have any additional obligation to help other people when I don’t wish to do so.

      Regarding fame… that’s a joke. This blog gets 50,000+/- visits a month and aside from having the few hundred serious people in this business know who I am, everyone else thinks I am just some schmuck with a blog.

    • @Elliot,

      As usual, I only comment on ideas, or points that I have a different take from you, which means, there are many, many areas we agree on, and I normally let those lie.

      In this case, you stated: “Your comment makes it seem like I have some unsaid obligation to help others, despite the fact that I spend countless hours on my blog sharing advice, insight, tips, and news commentary at no cost to anyone who reads this blog”.

      Since you are in the business of sharing those tips, advice, and insights, it makes sense that readers will have follow-up questions, or further clarification. Since this is public blog, and not a private one, it then follows that your next paragraph, this one: ” There are plenty of people I will still be happy to help, but I assume people who donโ€™t know me from the next guy will understand”, is a conundrum. If the blog is for friends, or people who know you, wouldn’t make sense to turn it into a private blog?

      I must say that one of your most successful series is the one that welcomes everybody to post their names for sale, and a close second is the one that asks for most recent acquisitions. Those types of posts that opens it up to all, regardless of status, makes your blog very busy. The others hardly get any action.

      In conclusion, I do realize that it is difficult work to do a public forum such as your successful blog, I just want you to count your blessings, and be respectful of your patrons. This type of post invokes my participation in this way. Like I said, I like your blog, and often try to help it along the best I can, perhaps not in the best of tones, but I am working on it.

    • “Since you are in the business of sharing those tips, advice, and insights, it makes sense that readers will have follow-up questions, or further clarification”

      I think the discussion in the comment section of my blog is one of the things that makes it most interesting. I am always happy to participate in the discussion in the comment section because it’s a public venue and the discussion can help everyone. There’s a big difference between asking for advice about selling domain names to end users in an article covering that topic and someone asking me to help them sell their domain names to a big company in private. The first example helps everyone, myself included. The second example may benefit one person at the expense of my time.

      All I am saying is that I am tired of people I don’t know asking for values of very bad domain names, and when I give my honest feedback, some people get defensive or offensive. I am tired of dealing with people who feel take comments about their domain names personally.

      I am very respectful and appreciative of the people who read my blog. I would hope people would have the same respect for me and my time ๐Ÿ™‚

    • @Elliot.

      I agree.

      Elliot, there’s an area that I have been patiently waiting for your blog to touch on one day. It will be interesting to see your take on it.

      It is pertaining to Google, and their domination of search, its effect on domain names. It is beginning to appear, to me at least, that domain names, no matter how valuable, is rendered almost useless, as far as we have an entity such as Google, and others, constantly working, sometimes in secrecy, to undermine the entire industry of domaining.

      Are you going to deal with this topic anytime soon?

      It is laughable that the entire domaining industry is pretending that we don’t have this problem. The major reason why domain names are almost entirely useless today, if you want to be honest, is that very few domains get any reasonable type-in traffic, and unless your domain gets this type-in traffic, trust me, it might as well be a brand-able.

      No hurry, I just think that this is so important, that I recently shut down all development for my entire domain projects, and go back to the drawing board. Thanks in advance. I am not interested in anything else when it comes to domain names, except if it can exist without Google.

    • I think it’s an important discussion, but I am the wrong person to lead it. I am not all that analytical, and in order to have a factual discussion, I think someone needs to come to the table with considerable data rather than anecdotal information.

      As an aside, when you visit Google, what is the #1 result for “dog walker?”

    • That is precisely one of the issues that I think isn’t clear. Why the difference? Could it be that, somehow, Google knows that it is still you, even under a proxy, and showed you a favorable result? It’s hard to tell. Not just that, could there be even a more sinister reason? Are domain names multiplexed? Because, once that is the case, forget it! Nobody really owns a domain name then. This is very important to dissect.

  6. Blogging and Updating news and events about domain names is a time consuming. Add the fact that you need to make a research and be publicly polite on the words you say, is a high risks. Elliot’s doesn’t have the time to answer all queries most especially on other domains, but if he did to, expect that email will kept on coming from the same person and worst part is, it will multiply, it will never end, and in every domain that person registered and posses,expect that ” Hi Elliot what can you say about this name? what do you think it’s value? it never stops, and if you decided to end valuating their domains, you will turn to be the bad guy. We all know that the value of the domain name is in the buyer’s eye, if elliot’s valued your domain for $x and the other guy for $x,xxx who will you believe? We all know that the most important thing before you register a domain name is to make your research, and you don’t obligate other people on your behalf, Elliot’s has a business to run to support his family, help you to get updated on domain investments (the reason your here) and most of all to give you an opportunity to be heard and participate on his forum discussion. So elliot, how much do you think hotdogs.tv? just kidding!!! more power to you.

  7. I would like to ‘Thank You’ for sharing your ideas and tips on domain name business which directly or indirectly helps the domainers to assess and valuate their own portfolio of names.

  8. The valuation of any domain is a meeting between the motivation of the buyer and seller.

    If the seller is not motivated to sell, the price is high.

    If the buyer is not motivated, the price is low.

    That’s pretty much it… and no buyer, no value unless it makes revenue from parking (yeah right), leasing or it is developed with adsense, direct advertisers or sales of something.

    Most domain owners think as soon as they register, catch or buy a domain the value immediately goes up exponentially.


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