July 8, 2020
Had a generous offer out of the blue for your domain name? Have you been asked to get it appraised before the sale can proceed? Read this before parting with your cash.
DomainInvesting.com's Elliot Silver has flagged recent incidents where several registrants have received offers of tens of thousands for their domain name, on proviso an "appraisal certificate" can be supplied.
Domain valuation scams are a very old ruse we first mentioned back in 2010 - and they had been going on well before that; back to at least the early 2000's. The fact they are still operating in 2020 perhaps indicates some registrants are continuing to fall victim to the ploy.
In a nutshell, a registrant receives an unsolicited offer to purchase their domain name but are asked to have an appraisal performed. A link to a service performing these valuations is helpfully included in the email or mentioned once the target takes the bait. This service is of course not free - in the cases referred to above, it was USD $349 - so it can be a significant chunk of change.
The "appraisal service" issues a valuation and the interested buyer disappears along with the fee for the appraisal as the valuation firm and the buyer are one and the same.
Serious domain buyers simply do not request a third party appraisal be performed at the registrant's expense. They'll either already know what they want to spend or request further details about the domain to gauge how much they are prepared to offer.
On a related note - if you're thinking of selling a domain name, there are free appraisal services out there but the valuations they'll provide can't be relied on (nor can premium services); as how much a domain is worth is basically what someone is prepared to pay for it.
If you have a particularly good domain name you wish to sell, it may be wise to engage the services of a reputable professional broker - and it will likely have to be a great name in order to get a broker's attention.
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