How I Used Estibot's Bulk Appraisal Tool | DomainInvesting.com
Neustar Domain Names

How I Used Estibot’s Bulk Appraisal Tool

29

EstibotEstibot is a somewhat polarizing tool. Some people use Estibot regularly, and some people are vocal about its shortcomings. I would not say that I am a regular Estibot user, but I want to share how I found it to be helpful for me.

I was in the process of buying a few domain names from a large portfolio owner. In looking to do an even larger deal, I asked if I could have a list of their portfolio for review. I was sent this very large list with tens of thousands of .com domain names. I tried to look through the list on my own, but I couldn’t really focus. I did find a few good domain names, but I was sure that I would miss some of the better names, and if I was going to be able to do a large deal, I wanted to have the best chance of picking out the top names.

I re-signed up for an Estibot account and paid a hair under $150 for a month of access. I had to sign up for a more expensive account because of the number of names I wanted appraised and the short time period I had to appraise them all. I input the names 10,000 at a time and reviewed each .CSV file with the full appraisal information.

I was able to scan through the top names that Estibot said were most valuable. Instead of manually searching through thousands of names that held little to no value, I was able to focus on the top several hundred. Estibot also provided search stats for the keywords it identified, which allowed for another way to review the data. Sometimes names may not appear to be worth much, but seeing the high search volume allowed me to look in a different way.

Using Estibot’s bulk appraisal tool was helpful to me. It gave me a way to digest a ton of data in a short period of time.

Since I don’t regularly look at large portfolios like this, I set a calendar reminder to cancel the subscription a few days prior to its renewal. Because I paid using a Paypal subscription, it automatically re-bills each month unless canceled. Yes, at $150 it was a relative expensive tool. However, it was worth it to me because I could not have looked through such a large list in just a couple of days without some sort of assistance.

It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway. Estibot is not an advertiser. In addition, I do not ask for nor do I receive any type of discounted pricing on my account with them.


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 sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. 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 | Email

Comments (29)

    STRIKER

    So how domains many did you buy from that portfolio? How much did you spend on them?

    February 23rd, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Bill Sweetman

    Elliot, you’ve identified one of the many uses for Estibot beyond the appraisal aspect. I use Estibot on a daily basis, have done so for 7+ years now, and the tools within Estibot I use the most are the domain parsing/extract tool and the domain filtering tool. There is so much more to Estibot than just the (controversial) appraisals; I think of it as a Swiss Army knife of tools for domain professionals. Sadly I don’t think many domainers look beyond the appraisal aspect and check out all the other useful tools Estibot offers.

    February 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Jamie

    Elliot, appraise HigherEducationInstitutions.com, both plural & singular please. I get 6 million exact searches for plural and 7 thousand for singular but estibot told me to go screw myself. What gives?

    February 23rd, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Peter

      higher education institutions $690
      higher education institution $880

      They sometimes don’t arse the keywords correctly thus you get incorrect results.

      In reply to Jamie | February 23rd, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Eric Borgos

    I did the same thing when I sold a portfolio of 4500 of my domains, and then again a few years later when I sold 4000 more. I copied the results to Excel and then totaled the appraisals, to get an estimate of the value of my portfolio. Combined it valued them at around $20 million, but that was the retail value, and I got much much much less than that when I sold all the domains in bulk. But I was very happy to at least have some indication of the retail value.

    February 23rd, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Peter

    Ha Ha I meant to write PARSE on ARSE sorry!!!

    February 23rd, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Joseph Peterson

    I haven’t used Estibot for many years. But whenever I’m asked about it, I tell people to ignore the individual appraisal scores and instead use the tool to prioritize the way they inspect big domain lists. There are only 3600 seconds in an hour. 10 minutes in, after 100-500 domains, your eyes will glaze over. So if you’ve got 100,000 domains to look at, you may as well start at the top. Figuring out what the top is – that’s the problem.

    February 24th, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    John

    >”paid a hair under $150 for a month of access”

    LOL, wow.

    I’ll say again that Estibot is nothing less than an *abomination* even though it may still have a few uses for a few people, but I figured someone was probably getting rich off it and you could follow the money.

    This horrific phenomenon has already interfered with some of my sales negotiations as people are led to believe its “valuations” have any merit or validity or basis in reality.

    Not long ago checked their “appraisal” for a .com I know someone really and verifiedly almost paid $millions for a while ago (not saying which) and which nobody, i.e. no sane and sober human being in the developed world, in their right mind would not consider to be worth a mint. Their “appraisal” : $900.

    Okay, so maybe in an EXTREMELY limited sense for lists the size of a mountain it can give some scattergun scatterbrained degree of idea about some domains for those who have to look at such huge lists of thousands and tens of thousands, the way a few pellets from a shotgun fired from a great distance might hit something. But what it is represented to be does nothing but cause great trouble for people and the industry and even harm.

    February 25th, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    John

    P.S. Apparently this comment feature removes anything wrapped in “” because just for the record I had the world “gag” after “appraisal” above – right where it belongs 😉 – but it didn’t appear upon posting.

    February 25th, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    John

    It still didn’t appear in that last post there. I wrote “anything wrapped in” and then put the less than and greater than signs in quotes separately. Next time I’ll just put “(gag)” with parens next to “appraisal” for Estibot…

    February 25th, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    John

    Hate to side with unfamiliar voices, but I’m with little known obscure domain investors like Michael Berkens and Rick Schwartz on this:

    “Marchex’s Sales Prove It: Estibot Appraisals Are Worthless”

    https://www.thedomains.com/2012/11/02/marchexs-sales-prove-it-estibot-appraisals-are-worthless/

    “Rick Schwartz says
    November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Mike,
    As I have stated for years….ALL domain appraisals are worthless. Period.
    They are based on bullshit which in my opinion makes them for AMUSEMENT ONLY and should be labeled as such.
    I am trying really hard not to use the word SCAM. But it always seems to be the first word that comes to mind whenever I hear somebody say “Domain Appraisal […]”

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:12 am

    John

    Exactly:

    “Marchex’s Sales Prove It: Estibot Appraisals Are Worthless”

    November 2, 2012 by Michael Berkens

    https://www.thedomains.com/2012/11/02/marchexs-sales-prove-it-estibot-appraisals-are-worthless/

    “Rick Schwartz says

    November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Mike,
    As I have stated for years….ALL domain appraisals are worthless. Period.
    They are based on bullshit which in my opinion makes them for AMUSEMENT ONLY and should be labeled as such.
    I am trying really hard not to use the word SCAM. But it always seems to be the first word that comes to mind whenever I hear somebody say “Domain Appraisal”. […]”

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:17 am

    John

    Exactly:

    “Marchex’s Sales Prove It: Estibot Appraisals Are Worthless”

    November 2, 2012 by Michael Berkens

    https://www.thedomains.com/2012/11/02/marchexs-sales-prove-it-estibot-appraisals-are-worthless/

    “Rick Schwartz says

    November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Mike,
    As I have stated for years….ALL domain appraisals are worthless. Period.
    They are based on bullshit which in my opinion makes them for AMUSEMENT ONLY and should be labeled as such.
    I am trying really hard not to use the word SCAM. But it always seems to be the first word that comes to mind whenever I hear somebody say “Domain Appraisal”.”

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:18 am

    John

    Exactly:

    “Marchex’s Sales Prove It: Estibot Appraisals Are Worthless”

    November 2, 2012 by Michael Berkens

    https://www.thedomains.com/2012/11/02/marchexs-sales-prove-it-estibot-appraisals-are-worthless/

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:18 am

    John

    And…

    “Rick Schwartz says

    November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Mike,
    As I have stated for years….ALL domain appraisals are worthless. Period.
    They are based on bullshit which in my opinion makes them for AMUSEMENT ONLY and should be labeled as such.
    I am trying really hard not to use the word SCAM. But it always seems to be the first word that comes to mind whenever I hear somebody say “Domain Appraisal”.”

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:19 am

    John

    And…

    “Rick Schwartz says

    November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Mike,
    As I have stated for years….ALL domain appraisals are worthless. Period.
    They are based on b******t which in my opinion makes them for AMUSEMENT ONLY and should be labeled as such.
    I am trying really hard not to use the word SCAM. But it always seems to be the first word that comes to mind whenever I hear somebody say “Domain Appraisal”.”

    (asterisks added)

    February 28th, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Joseph Peterson

      @John,

      The idea that domain names CAN’T be appraised is sheer nonsense. Every domainer knows this. All you have to do is stop and think.

      Compare:

      Cars.com
      GetPlacezWithCarz.com
      888.com
      764258.net
      afh298hfafd0asdf-23f00-asdfhh.biz

      Some of those domains are worth 6 or 7 figures. Some of them are worth zilch. If domain appraisals are impossible, then assessing market value is impossible; and anybody is a liar who claims he can estimate value in the domains above.

      In reply to John | February 28th, 2017 at 1:27 am

      John

      “Every domainer knows this.”

      In the way that you have explained your statement I’m sure even Rick “knows this” too despite what some might think he appeared to say there.

      You’re making a “straw man” whether you realize it or not, Joseph. You’re also really talking about apples to oranges instead of apples to apples. By using the word “appraisal” you are engaging in a “fallacy of equivocation” or “fallacy of ambiguity” because it means one thing as Rick is condemning it and another thing in the way that you have used it.

      Notwithstanding the above, by the way, I still loved your statements about the HeidiPowell.com issue over at DNW and you truly cut to the core there. :)

      There’s no way Rick would disagree with the essence of what you said. But when people start talking about appraisals as definite dollar amounts or narrow ranges, that’s when the sheer absurdity and nonsense comes in, even scams. Speaking in broad ranges like “six figures” or “seven figures,” or in terms of comparative value among domains is very different, however.

      I certainly don’t disagree with what you said despite what I wrote above. (Incidentally, the reason for duplicate posts there is because every time I tried to post it was resolving as if the post had not taken, so I was using the back button to try again until it appeared.)

      Despite what I have written here and perhaps more importantly despite what some might wish to suggest I have expressed, the truth is that I personally like appraising domains myself and (not to be arrogant or immodest) consider that to be one of my strengths of one of the things I’m good at. Life is full of ironies that way. Any review of my past posts would see that I have tended to do that quite a bit in fact. Ironically I have also tended to “appraise” some of Elliot’s domains at much higher valuations that even he appears willing to entertain.

      The important issue is that I know myself, and know that I am “pathologically honest” in my approach and intent when it comes to this business of “appraising” domain names. I also tend to know things about some subject matter industries that others don’t always appear to known well enough. Furthermore, I am not “shackled” into thinking like a “domainer” and seller the way most appear to be, but instead I evaluate domains as an end user in terms of “real world” end user value, even if I also know in many cases that type of value may be unlikely to be realized any time soon. So the bottom line is that I certainly know that I can trust my own “appraisals,” but can’t say that for most, even most who may be the most famous players on the scene.

      Now one of the two main reasons why I became sick of DNForum years ago, for example, and left it was this very thing – the dark ugly reality of the “appraisal” section. As far as I’m concerned it was one of the ugliest and most vile aspects of that place, full of some of the ugliest and most vile realities of human darkness and lying and corruption. The other main reason I won’t go into now. :)

      You simply can’t trust most people’s alleged “appraisal.” Even if you could trust some people’s intent, you still often can’t trust their judgment and decision. So in that sense even a well intended “appraisal” even by a famous person often becomes ridiculous or at least way off as well, although more such attempts can have merit when it’s well intended and accompanied by some integrity and knowledge.

      When it comes to an automated software or algorithm spitting out a dollar figure for individual domains, however, that’s a .horse of another color. And using words like “scam” or “almost a scam” becomes more and more desirable. As I have written before myself, I like the word “abomination” when it comes to Estibot.

      In reply to Joseph Peterson | February 28th, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Joseph Peterson

      “You’re making a “straw man” whether you realize it or not”

      No. You said:

      “ALL domain appraisals are worthless. Period.”

      That’s false. Domain appraisals are worthwhile insofar as they make reliable accurate predictions. And we all know this is possible. In fact, we’re appraising a domain every time we decide how much to pay, what counteroffer to make, what reserve or what list price to set.

      “But when people start talking about appraisals as definite dollar amounts or narrow ranges, that’s when the sheer absurdity and nonsense comes in, even scams.”

      That’s the crux of the problem. Years ago, I wanted to create a different domain appraisal methodology with an output of broad probability density distributions rather than single numerical scores. My approach would have taken into account sales context and time window as well, since an appraisal is meaningless and unscientific unless it makes concrete falsifiable predictions.

      Rigorous domain appraisal is possible, provided the uncertainty is accurately measured. No different from identifying high-risk earthquake zones or forecasting the weather. In fact, I pitched this project to various industry players, such as Ammar Kubba, Michael Marcovici, and others, back in 2013 I think it was. Naturally, I gave up on that idea – but not because it wasn’t possible, only because there’s negligible backing for such a project.

      In reply to John | February 28th, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      John

      No, I was quoting Rick Schwartz there.
      And next you’re simply disregarding everything else I wrote as well, unless you either don’t understand it or have psychological resistance.

      Look Joseph, sometimes I like things you write, even though you didn’t even acknowledge my liberal support at DNW the other day. But I have encountered you before and seen your LI profile, so I know enough of people and of dealing with you before to know that no matter what I wrote it would probably be near impossible for you to admit I’ve made or won any point of argument with you personally. I’ve been down that road with some before.

      As for your idea there, it sure seems to me that you are still being “part of the problem” with such “appraisals” and part of what makes them worthless, which is leaving out the all-important human element. Looking at your background on LI, which certainly has great value in some contexts, I’m also not surprised. You may have your strengths, but you’ve been owned here.

      And as for “appraisals,” it’s funny because I almost posted here to mention that I’ve been doing a nice bit of it myself in the sense you first described, at DNW and TheDomains today in fact, so I certainly can’t believe it’s all worthless done in that way.

      In reply to Joseph Peterson | February 28th, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Joseph Peterson

      @John,

      You say my problem is “psychological resistance”. If I deny that, then I’m psychologically resisting. Since your claim cannot be disproved, you must be right.

      In reply to John | February 28th, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      John

      “You say my problem is “psychological resistance”.”

      Well, no again this time Joseph…”unless you either […] or have psychological resistance.”

      On a related note, I would guess perhaps you still wish that was a viable project. That would be understandable since I would also guess whoever is behind Estibot must be doing rather well and “following the money” to the bank in very big line.

      In reply to Joseph Peterson | March 1st, 2017 at 12:37 am

      Joseph Peterson

      “you either don’t understand it or have psychological resistance”

      OK. So I’m just too dumb to understand. That’s fine too.

      “I would guess perhaps you still wish that was a viable project.”

      No, I gave up on my project for rigorous domain appraisal back in 2013. By 2014, I was working on domain name search algorithms. Tried to get that off the ground by appealing to VC and more recently to companies inside the industry. Gave up on that too. Some of the code that I wrote I’ve internalized as proprietary software, but the big project is doomed due to lack of support.

      There are a few other domain industry projects I’ve worked on that are more promising than auto-appraisal or machine learning for domain name search. Those ideas required partners or some kind of backing. At this point, I know it’s foolish to work on any project for the domain industry unless it’s something I can bootstrap and bring to market without backing or cooperation. Because there’s virtually none to be had.

      In reply to John | March 1st, 2017 at 1:23 am

      John

      Well I would never say that, Joseph. :)

      And as for “unless it’s something I can bootstrap and bring to market without backing or cooperation. Because there’s virtually none to be had,” you can be sure I’m sadly not surprised. After all I did also post this: http://www.domaininvesting.com/how-i-used-estibots-bulk-appraisal-tool/#comment-817151. Too much *zero-sum-game* and dog-eat-dog thinking out there, to the point where I’m convinced some of the dogs have simply chewed at their own legs without realizing it. But we know that a zillion losses or misses can and often do precede success.

      Btw as I just mentioned over at DNW I don’t get new comment emails anymore, so I don’t see anything unless I actually look now.

      In reply to Joseph Peterson | March 1st, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Eric Borgos

    There is a big difference between retail prices (like you see published in dnjournal.com), and prices of bulk wholesale sales, like with Marchex and my 4000 domain and 4600 domain sales. Those were at only 5% of the appraised value, and in my case also probably 5% of what I thought each domain was worth without using estibot. That is just the nature of wholesale pricing.

    That does not mean domains can’t be appraised. I agree with Rick that paid domain appraisals are a waste of money, but it is not that hard to put a value on a domain. The problem is that it could take years to sell for that price, or may never sell at all. There is a liquidation value (like at auction) and a hypothetical retail value. And even those are just guesses, but I am pretty sure if you gave me a list of generic keyword type premium domains that sold in the past year, I could somewhat accurately guess the prices they sold for. It might be no better than estibot, but still much better than random, and I would guess 10 times better than somebody who is not a domain expert.

    February 28th, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Pete Rose

    Domains are a bit like unique antiques and are very subjective. They are one off’s. The price is determined by supply and demand. Estibot can give you a very broadbrush idea if your name would be saleable. Namebio could be more accurate comparing your name to their data to see if a similar name sold and at what price.

    February 28th, 2017 at 9:34 am

      John

      I could give more than one specific example of how “Estibot” is so worthless and so out of touch with reality that you and others would quickly embrace my use of the word “abomination” for it too, but I don’t want to out myself now. Suffice it to say that even “very broadbrush idea” is extremely generous for it, though I have already acknowledged above that it may nonetheless still have some extremely limited scattergun/scatterbrain uses.

      In reply to Pete Rose | February 28th, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    John

    Hmm, what a natural springboard this thread is to address one of the worst and most destructive and clearly agenda-based biases in the industry which has caused trouble for the less fortunate players; trouble for themselves; and left enormous sums of money on the table for both the other players and themselves because of harmful and unnecessary either/or instead of both/and thinking. Sad, and a clear illustration of how you often definitely can’t even trust the purported “appraisals” of those at the top of the food chain who often don’t even realize they are nibbling needlessly at themselves and reducing their own fortune. I’ve touched upon it before id anyone’s noticed however, and maybe later. Gotta attend to other things now…

    February 28th, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Name *

Mail *

Website