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Domain name appraisal scams

If you have a good domain name and you want to sell it, be careful of scams at work. There are various scamsters at work whose imagination knows no boundaries. I recently came across one variation of this scam. This may be called domain name appraisal scam.


This works like this: You have a domain name and with an intention to sell, you list it for sale on some sites like eBay. The scamster knows this and contacts you saying that he is willing to purchase the domain name and asks you for the rate at which you want to sell this name.


At this point itself, you must know that this is a scam. Because, you would have specified the price also at the site where you have listed the domain for sale.


Once you list your domain at any auction site, the scamster approaches you with a mail to you asking for the price at which you want to sell the domain. He says he is an investor in domain names and wants to do business with you.


Once you reply with your price, he will ask you for discount straightaway. Next, he will ask whether you are selling just the name or name with website. After that, he will bring the topic of domain appraisal. He will ask whether the domain is already appraised and if so, whether you can show domain name appraisal certificates.


The reason for this is that, without appraisal, he says he risks to overpay and will not be able to make any profit on reselling the domain name. He will say that it is important for both you and him to know the current market price of your domain.


Then he brings up the matter of engaging an appraisal company with real manual service. Hence, in a single sentence, the scamster rules out various domain appraisal companies online. He says he has been subject to many inaccurate autogenerated appraisals by online companies and has lost money in them. He further says that he will accept appraisals from companies he trusts.


Then he says he regularly checks in a forum about reputable appraisal companies. He provides you with a link to the forum. This link may be set up specially for you. If you go to that forum, sure forum members will be discussing regarding a particular company (obviously the domain name appraisal company is a front for him and all the fee you pay will go to him) which is very good in domain name appraisal. He asks you to get appraisal and then mail him.


But this is only for the appraisal fee he is doing. The fee can be $150 or more. Suppose you check the very same link to the forum one week after his mail, the page would be different. In the earlier forum page, his name would be appearing. But, after one week of not responding or rejecting the offer, a totally different forum page can be found by clicking the link.


Hence, the point regarding domain name appraisal scams is that, don’t deal with third and unknown parties through emails. You will only lose your hard-earned money. If you want to sell your domain name, you can sell via reputed domain name registrars who also double up as domain name auctioneers.