Why I Like Valuate.com and Estibot | DomainInvesting.com
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Why I Like Valuate.com and Estibot

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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.


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.


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Comments (49)

    Dimester

    My experience in using these websites is the quoted value is way below the end user purchase price.

    Examples:

    InWisconsin dot com. – Estibot $200 – Sold $10,000

    IGotMugged dot com. – Estibot $300 – Sold $3500

    These are just two of many.

    These valuation websites look at traffic and parking earnings. The real value of a domain name is it’s inherent authority on which a person can use it to build a business.

    The minimum value of any domain used to earn money for a business is $1200. Most business domains should be at least $3600 end user pricing. This is $10 a day amortized over just one year. Compare a good Internet address with the cost of a good bricks and sticks address.

    February 14th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I imagine brandable domain names could not be appraised as objectively as keyword domain names could.

      In reply to Dimester | February 14th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Francois

      Exact, there is no way to valuate brandable names, only descriptive names can have their value appraised.

      Also keep in mind value IS NOT sale price.

      What is funny is sellers always found the appraisals are too low and buyers the inverse.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 14th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Raider

      Even with keyword domains Estibot/Valuate are way off, If you had a domain with the wrong combination of keywords, it will still give an excessive appraisal, for example; Blondebikini.com, a name I always regretted buying and yet it appraises for $1300, not outrageous but still excessive for a domain that earned a whopping .78 cents for the entire year of 2013, one of my boneheaded auction buys against Frank S. who must have used similar keyword criteria at the time when selecting and bidding on drops.

      As for brandable domains, don’t you think it’s better for Estibot not to appraise them at all as opposed to providing a severely under valued appraisal?

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 15th, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Francois

      If you start valuating names based on parking revenue I am afraid that only typos will have a significant value… Fortunately it’s rare buyers purchase based on this metric. Almost nobody sell (nice) names based on traffic.

      Estibot is unable to know for sure if a domain is an invented word, it should know all the words of all the dictionaries of the earth for that. Without say that some names that we call brandables are simply typos.

      In reply to Raider | February 15th, 2014 at 3:48 am

      Samit

      Valuate uses the Estibot engine, so the results will be absolutely the same.

      Keyword domains also don’t get correct valuations on Estibot, usually they’re way off if there are no comparable sales.

      I use it for the search metrics they provide – broad / exact match + avg. cpc, and don’t even use that exclusively – cross check it against 2 other data sets.

      In reply to Dimester | February 15th, 2014 at 4:05 am

      jayjay

      lol.. guess I’m a nobody who sell’s (nice) names based on traffic with no Guessti-bot value what so ever! :mrgreen: 😆

      As that say “never judge a book by it’s cover – only it’s content!”

      example image metrics for one of my better domains (below):

      http://www.5i.org/Half-Fried-Appraisal(lol).jpg
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fried_egg#India_and_Nepal

      For those with common sense and profit from this industry the only true ‘metric(s)’ to gauge value is generic name quality, past domain sales histories for similar names and or traffic/rev stats from ppc.

      If buyers think of committing hundreds or thousands of dollars to markov-chain driven appraisal sites then they’re simply gambling and might as well put their money onto a casino table.

      It’s either that or your welcome to purchase Gy6.net from it’s current owner for $870 😯

      In reply to Francois | February 15th, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Raider

      “If you start valuating names based on parking revenue I am afraid that only typos will have a significant value.”

      What else should I valuate it on? The better question is; How is Estibot valuating this domain anywhere near $1300 if it has; ZERO Traffic, Wrong combination of keywords, Zero brandability and earns less than $1 a year which is not even enough to pay for the reg fee.

      I understand it’s automated and not human, but you would think the program would at least be somewhat close, but it’s not even that, were talking inches compared to miles here… I don’t understand why anyone would incorporate something as inaccurate as this on their web site.

      In reply to Francois | February 16th, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Steve

    Estibot is great for getting an idea of traffic and ads for generic’s. Not so good for “brandables”. A great one for International domains is IDN.bz. Like Estibot but for International domains.
    Cheers.

    February 14th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Sukhjin

    I agree, these two tools are good check the CPC, Search volume quickly rather than going to CPC google tool beforehand.

    I wonder what happened to Morgan Linton Appraiso?

    February 14th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Mike

    Why do you promote such bullshit? FB.COM valuated at $161,000 is a proof that this kind of valuation is useless.

    February 14th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I am sure there are many outliers, but there are also plenty of examples where Valuate / Estibot offer a domain owner friendly appraisal.

      In reply to Mike | February 14th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Larry

      If it helps and the name you are selling is valued highly by valuate/estibot then you send a screen grab of it to the potential customer as a way to get a deal done. “Hey the domain is appraised at…”

      It looks official enough to convince some buyers. If the appraisal is to low then you don’t use it.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 14th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Francois

    Yes in fact Valuate.com receives as much unique traffic than Domaining.com
    As you outlined, anyone searching the value of his domain land in Valuate/Estibot so after people tend to take these appraisals as a reference (and in fact it’s the case even if many domainers don’t want to admit it publicly).

    February 14th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    m

    Friend of mine sold a .tv domain for $15,000 to an end-user in 2012. I saw the check.

    Estibot valued this domain at $85

    February 14th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Who pays for a domain name with a check these days?

      *Edit – Dumb comment of the week from my me*

      Certainly could have been an Escrow.com check.

      In reply to m | February 14th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Bullduck

      As far as I know, check payouts are an option with services like Escrow.com…

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 15th, 2014 at 6:36 am

      brian cundy

      My largest sale ever, completed in 2013 was paid by check. As a matter of fact, 3 checks. Just happy it all work out.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 15th, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Elliot Silver

      Good point – I stand corrected. I was thinking it was from the seller, but certainly could have been an Escrow.com distribution check, which I didn’t think about.

      My bad.

      In reply to Bullduck | February 15th, 2014 at 8:05 am

      m

      It was indeed a check from Escrow.com. Buyer was a large European media company.

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 15th, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Elliot Silver

      As I said – that is my bad.

      In reply to m | February 15th, 2014 at 9:15 am

      sukhjin

      got my check from escrow.com today in mail. I rather not pay 20 $ and get the mail in check option which is free :)

      In reply to Elliot Silver | February 15th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Excellent.

      I was wrong and hadn’t thought about escrow.

      February 15th, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Bill Hartzer

    It looks to me like appraise.epik.com also uses that same data, as well. I admit, though, that for many of the premium domains the values aren’t correct. But, for many of the lower quality domains the value to spot-on.

    February 14th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Sorry – Akismet marked that as spam for some reason.

      February 14th, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Meyer

    “I’ve sold hundreds of names for 7 figures,”

    I was EXTREMELY impressed you sold over $ xxx millions worth of domains. Then, I re-read it. I assume you meant the total of all of your sales were in the 7 figures (which is also very IMPRESSIVE).

    :)

    February 14th, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Elliot Silver

      LOL…. :)

      I have not yet sold a single domain name for 7 figures.

      February 14th, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Tauseef

    The automated appraisal sites takes into account: search, cpc’s, past sales, extension, age, characters, etc. which makes it good for evaluating generic names. But, it doesn’t take into consideration how big the industry is for that particular keyword and the aggregate amount Google makes for that keyword. This and some other factors creates a loophole which expands and contracts in accordance with the names valuated.

    February 14th, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Raider

    Estibot can be a good negotiation tool as Elliot points out, when the haggling gets under way and the subject of appraisals come up, it’s a sure bet Estibots appraisal will be outrageously high and you can link to it, and MAYBE the buyer is dumb enough to believe he’s getting a great deal.

    Other than that and providing analytics, Estibot and Valuate alike are worthless when it comes to appraising a domain at CMV, these two are appraising each of my domains between $100,000-$400,00 which is laughable, and the ones that appraise in the $1000 area I sold for over 10K.

    And then you have Sedo, Godaddy and other appraisal services that under value your domains so they can earn a cut of the sale. It took me a while to realize that the best appraisal service out there is YOU the owner, If you’ve been in this business more than 3 years and still feel uneasy about appraising your domains, you shouldn’t be in the business.

    February 14th, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Bernard / Publishingtools.com

    These tools are interesting to get an approximative value for generic domains and are based on search engine metric (search count, result count, CPC), whois saturation and some other factors (dashes, extension).

    The main interest for me is the predict the range of a prerelease auction. As an example, eductationalresearch.com on SN a few days ago: Valuate estimated 4k$, i estimated mid XXX – low XXXX (research -), and finally it was auctioned at 750$.

    February 15th, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Kinnar Obor

    Hello

    Well Valuate and Estibot are really good for domain appraisal. Well even I have some of the domains which I have got after appraised.

    Here are some domains with Estibot/Valuate appraisal.

    1. chistes.co.uk – $49000
    2. chistes.in – $8500
    3. mesenger.co.uk – $29000
    4. appartamenti – $26000
    5. resim.co.uk – $33000
    6. constrain.co.uk – $6400
    7. leg.asia – $2200
    8. clavier.co.uk – $27000
    9. taringa.co.uk – $49000
    10. rstockphoto.com – $350
    11. compared.info – $1100
    12. ieub.com – $680
    13. ccna.info – $1900
    14. implementing.info – $1400
    15. caronloan.com
    16. temblor.net – #1100

    Please let us know your review on these domains.

    February 15th, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Raider

      It was must have been a great feeling to learn your names were worth half a MILLION dollars, I had that same feeling when I learned mine were worth $17 Million, that was when I decided to take that European vacation I always dreamed about, one that I’m still making payments on. :(

      In reply to Kinnar Obor | February 15th, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Sean

    My domain is valued at $360 on these websites, but it makes more than $360 in a single day and does not have that bad of a traffic rank…

    Hmmm. I guess it’s just not for my particular type of website.

    February 15th, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Elliot Silver

    I would probably sell EventManagement.com, BrandManagement.com, and TruckAccessories.com for their 6 figure Valuate / Estibot appraisals (as of 2/15).

    February 15th, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Kate

    I would never suggest estibot or valuate to an end user as leverage in negotiations.
    Because we know that the appraisals are flawed anyway.
    And it doesn’t make sense to trust figures when you don’t know which criteria and methodology were used.

    This can be a double-edge sword too, I once had an end user who came in with two appraisals (I don’t know where from), that were below my own valuation.

    Would you still be happy with estibot if you had a premium five-figure domain that is appraised at $300, and potential buyers use that amount as a baseline. I think not.

    The automated appraisals confuse newbies and provide a distorted view of the market.

    February 15th, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Raider

      Naturally, It’s not that I trust the figures in a negotiation, far from it, To be clear I don’t use estibot or any other appraisal service in negotiation unless the potential buyer takes me down that path, it could be a low baller or someone as you mentioned using low appraisals, It depends who I’m dealing with.

      As for using Estibot to sell domains to resellers, only a noob does that, This always used to tick me off seeing noobs do this on the forums and you couldn’t post anything about it, Quite insulting to any domainer.

      In reply to Kate | February 15th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    HowieCrosby

    I rather like estibot.com and valuate.com and am a subscriber to both, although estibot is not free per se (one domain per day), and with evaluate you have a daily limit after subscription. I think the tools work well, albeit can be elevated and do not work with brandables.

    But there is one element that many domainers don’t realise, estibot is bang on with one websites results, which is evidence based for something.

    February 15th, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Mohammed Zaki

    More than That i like there trademark flag feature.
    Estibot gives only one free per day ( which i think is not a good option) and Valuate 5 free appraisal per day. ( which makes it more popular than estibot)
    I listed top three free domain appraisal services on my blog.

    February 15th, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Joe

    Elliot, Post very well.

    Valuate and Estibot be the downfall of the reviews before the first was free and now it pagoyo pay $ 30 year shortly before free valuate be best to ñthe approximate evaluation possible now not Estibot be for me a horrible place where at least lose more money in their valuations of heeding them ruin.

    Prefer DomianIndex.com is always much best to fall into something you used to go well but when it becomes free of payment is fatal in their assessments of domain names.

    Do not use more Valuate lose $ 30 who cares one less think about who is pure and simple reality of this market.

    February 15th, 2014 at 10:24 am

      George

      Typing mistake. Should be “DomainIndex.com”

      In reply to Joe | February 15th, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Barbara

      Do you have a suggestion on best place to sell a domain name?
      Thanks!

      In reply to George | June 25th, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Joe

    Hi Elliot, flight to send this back because the other comments have spelling mistakes, if you can change this. Thank you

    Elliot, Post very well.

    Valuate and Estibot be the downfall of the reviews before the first was free and now I pay $ 30 year shortly before free valuate be best to give the approximate evaluation possible now not Estibot be for me a horrible place where at least lose more money in their valuations of heeding them ruin.

    Prefer DomianIndex.com is much best, always fall into something you used to go well but when it becomes free of payment is fatal in their assessments of domain names.

    Do not use more valuate lose $ 30 who cares one less think about who is pure and simple reality of this market.

    February 15th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Michaek Michola

    I’ve also found that Valuate and Estibot produce values that are well below what a domain is worth. Most of my domains are virgin, keyword-rich domains, which come back with values like $0 or $15. I believe people who purchase a name to hang their hat on will prefer a domain that hasn’t been used as a junk site to gather traffic, but that’s just my opinion. An example would be EventATMs.com, which I believe valuate places a $0 value on and EventATM.com which they value at $3100. While the $3100 may be accurate for EventATM.com, $0 is quite low for EventATMs.com; the keywords someone would type-in when looking for an Event ATM provider. I used to think it was just a low-ball service, designed to encourage people to dump their names for next to nothing.

    February 15th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Tasha Kidd

    In general, I’d say estibot (which is the data feed for valuate and epik) serves a purpose, yet is better on consumer-oriented names than on industrial/corporate names or coined names. But it’s a machine, so the data it pops out is useful on one level, as pointed out elsewhere, and it is certainly a go-to place for potential buyers, as Elliot pointed out.

    The appraisal engine does not factor in the size, market, price point, and margins in the industry it represents, so in the end, adjustments need to be made by HUMANS, of course. To see what I’m talking about, let’s walk through some examples in different price ranges from my own portfolio, that fall in the OVERVALUED, UNDERVALUED, and ABOUT RIGHT category.

    A few OVERVALUED examples:

    * Unforgivable.com $279K Overvalued. It has dictionary weight, but in general, it’s a negative term. The domain predates the launch of a perfume of the same name. (Interesting Side Note: Sean Combs wanted it when presented, but wanted the perfume company to buy it. The Director of Marketing decided she wanted it. She ran it by the owners. They agreed they wanted to purchase it, too. Then they, in turn, ran it by their website guy, and he said forget it, so they went with his guidance. It’s a bad idea to ask the advice of a guy who only sees more work, instead of the bigger picture.) It’s somewhere on the spectrum of a 5 figure domain.

    * Pen-Pencil.com $43K Overvalued. Pens and pencils are low value purchases, except art supplies and luxury pens, but it’s hyphenated and an unlikely type-in. Probably only worth $3-5K, if that. I’m a sucker for pens and pencils and art supplies, so I think of it as a future diversion for my own foibles.

    * LCDTVWallMount.com $2.7K Overvalued. Wall mounts are becoming ubiquitous, and somewhat of an impulse accessory buy at the time of TV purchase, but they are overpriced in brick and mortar stores, so some people still purchase online bundled with their TV purchase, or by itself (less often). There’s still a case for online purchase for the more patient consumer, because of cost savings. To someone who wants to put up a shop, it’s probably worth more in the range of $1.3-1.8K. Two-three years ago, when people were switching from older box-style TVs to flat TVs and wall mounts were more expensive, it was worth five figures. Technology domains are a seize the-moment-opportunity. Walkmans, VideoStores, DVDs, etc. surge and then wane and then disappear. Wall mounts have a little more life, because it’s not tied to the changing technology of the electronics, but still…

    A few UNDERVALUED examples:

    * PlanningRetirement.com $29K Undervalued. It captures a $trillion+ industry, and there’s a palpable fight among industry leaders vying for that business. It’s term is used by dozens of companies trying for a larger share of the market, advertising extensively on television, etc. It was on the front page of Google for awhile, before a personal circumstance sidelined me, and I took it down. It will be again, when I rebuild it.. It’s not for sale. If it were, I wouldn’t consider less than 7 figures, and far more, after it is developed and gains traction.. This would seem insane to pure domainers, but not to business people who understand the value of markets, and the recurring revenues at stake.

    * AirplaneInsurance.com $20K Undervalued. It captures the insurance market for large and small airplanes. Insurance is one of the most lucrative recurring income models in business, and individual or fleet airplane policies can be substantial in a $7.5B industry.

    * ChocolateDiamondRings.com $2.2K Undervalued. Why? It has good margins, growing interest, easy to ship diamond jewelry. 12,100 searches at Google. I’d price it in the $18K-$23K range.

    * HowToLoseBellyFat.com $3.6K Undervalued. It’s a long tail, but it’s one of THE top search terms in the $61B diet industry. At 90,500 exact searches at Google, it’s a blockbuster domain, slated for development.

    A few ABOUT RIGHT examples:

    * Firming.com $24K About right. It can be a site for skincare, for fitness, or about becoming a successful business firm, so it has flexibility, and upside in the right hands.

    * PetiteSweaters.com $13K About right, perhaps. It’s for a particular demographic, so has a narrower segment of the $621B women’s apparel market, but I haven’t investigated the size of the petite sweater segment, so I don’t know for sure. There are still a lot of petite ladies who need sweaters, and if you’ve ever shopped for petite sweaters, they’re hard to find in much variety in brick and mortar stores. There’s a good case for an online store that provides a wide variety of options.

    * CustomHoodie.com $5.1K About right. It can’t go big with mass production on the surface, but it’s a great self-explanatory domain for a service-based, one custom hoodie shop, and could also cross sell to more mass-produced hoodies.

    In the end, a machine appraisal can provide a baseline of understanding, but true value requires human thought that understands margins, industries, niches, shipping requirements, competition, actual buying behaviors and patterns of consumers, changing trends, markets, etc. to appraise a domain.

    February 16th, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Feeling Froggy in the 'Bu

    We always advise our clients to have REAL eyeballs that have had experience in EVALUATING domains (simple analysis that they have some value, aren’t TM problems, which are Premium name, etc) and then APPRAISING those domains that are Premium or if anyone has an interest in them.

    Real eyeballs cost money to do it right, but the good thing is “EVALUATION” first is very inexpensive and can save you as much as 100% ROI or more if you find domains you shouldn’t renew. If you get any of those evaluated domains ranked at “Premium” (*Successclick has a ranking scale) then get those domains APPRAISED by eyeballs!

    The bottom line is there is no accurate, even dependable automated way to evaluate nor appraise your domains by using some free online service, or even an application. It HAS to be done by human eyeballs, and those eyes should have sold at least 1000 domains for close to what they appraised them for.

    If you use a free service to check your investment values, you get what you pay for.

    February 16th, 2014 at 1:34 am

    offerdomains.com

    I guess the letters “Esti” in Estibot just means the appraisal is estimated approximately :)

    I think personally Estibot is a good service.

    February 16th, 2014 at 8:41 am

    John

    Bulkvaluate.com

    Follows estibot’s algorith so it’s result is 100% similar to estibot.

    It’s free.

    December 11th, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Brett

    I think that I found two websites that work great for me:

    http://www.SitesWorthy.com and http://www.ValuatorPro.com are both 100% free and allow for unlimited appraisals.

    They base value on social, traffic, and age – and are real-world fairly accurate.

    I’ve sold close to 30 sites by using them. SitesWorthy.com even has a URL/SEO tool to help with optimizing your page for traffic.

    Good luck

    April 26th, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Dave

      I bet you like these 2 as a buyer.

      They undervalue too many sites.

      That have sold for considerably more.

      In reply to Brett | May 1st, 2015 at 12:10 pm

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