A few years ago, GoDaddy reintroduced its automated domain appraisal tool. The free appraisal tool aims to give users an idea about what their domain name could be worth. The company shows the tool on various parts of its website. Here are three examples from my view, with the third being an optional column on the domain management page:

Domain Settings page:

Domain Auction page:

Domain Management page:

The appraisal tool may have a prominent place on other pages within the website that are viewed by other domain registrants. It may also be used in email marketing, but I am not aware of those efforts.

Last week, a relative emailed me asking if I could help her friend with something related to domain names. Requests like these run the gamut from acquiring a domain name to selling a domain name, and when they are made by relatives or close friends, I am generally happy to assist or at least point the person in the right direction.

The person who was looking for help this time was seeking advice about selling a domain name she has owned for about 10 years. In her email to me, she wrote, “The company that hosts it told me that it’s worth about $1200 since it’s a short .com.” Her domain name is a short 5 letter .com domain name, but from my perspective, it did not have much value that I could see. Not only was it the only extension registered for the SLD, but I did not see any prospective buyers for the domain name.

When it comes to situations like these, it is tough to tell someone their domain name probably isn’t worth much when their registrar or hosting company is saying otherwise. It is easy to explain that the appraisals are automated, but I think people have a tough time accepting that a domain name they have owned for a long time isn’t worth anything, particularly when another source says otherwise. On the other hand, just about any domain name may be worth something to someone, so there is also a danger in telling someone it is not worth anything. It’s a tough situation.

One thing I have done to help illustrate the fact that automated appraisals should not be taken as fact is to run an appraisal on an unregistered domain name. UnregisteredURLs.com is currently unregistered (not surprisingly), yet the GoDaddy appraisal tool says it is worth $636.

That brings me to the point of this article. When a customer believes their domain name has value, they are less likely to let it expire. In fact, they are more likely to try to sell their domain name to capitalize on its value. GoDaddy now makes it pretty simple for a registrant to list a domain name for sale across its network and implement a “for sale” landing page. I believe other registrars, like Epik, give customers the ability to list domain names for sale pretty easily.

People have different opinions on the validity of automated appraisal tools, but one thing is pretty clear to me – they are good tools for retention.

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Original article: Appraisal is a Good Retention Tool

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