Watch out for domain name appraisal scammers

20 replies
I put some names up at Sedo a few days ago. And I got a very nice email from some guy named "Liberman":

On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 3:42 AM, <liberman@live-host.org> wrote:
Hello!

I'm very interested in purchasing chelner.com.

I found it listed for sale.

Please respond with a desired price for your domain in the subject line (in USD, Euros or other currency).

If you have other names for sale please email me your list with prices.

Regards,

Isaac Liberman

CEO

Live Web Hosting Clue Services
I found it listed for sale.

So I responded with the price....even though I thought it was a bit weird since the BIN price was listed at Sedo. Then I contacted Gene Pimentel....and he "smelled" domain appraisal scam.

The next email I got from this guy read:

699. Ok. I'm also interested in b2bshoppingcart.com. I have 25,000 usd budget for 10-12 domains.

How can I pay you (PayPal, Western Union, escrow.com etc.)? If this is your first time domain sale I may help you with the sale/transfer process.

Are you a member of domain seller communities/forums? Probably, we know each other under some nicknames?



Best regards,
Isaac Liberman
CEO

So now "Mr Liberman" was telling me that he has lots of cash. Hmmmm?I wrote him back and told him he could use the BIN at Sedo. And he responded with:

Great! Before we proceed we need the following:

1. We need a valuation certificate (appraisal of your domain made by independent experts). It will show me you are a legitimate seller and the price of your domain is reasonale based on the last market trends. Please don't worry, it will take only 1-2 minutes to get this valuation.

2. I prefer appraisal service that also verifies possible trademark infringements. It's important for me to know that your domain has no problems with trademarks. It won't be a problem for you since some good appraisers offer this option (trademark infringement verification) as a free bonus to the appraisal service.

To avoid mistakes and wasting money on useless services I asked in the forum about reliable valuation/TM verification services.

Please read this information:

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

The process is very easy:

1. Go to the appraisal site and order the valuation with the TM verification. After several hours you will get the results.

2. Please resend these results via email and we'll proceed with the deal.

If the evaluation comes higher you can change your asking price. After you send me the professional evaluation via email (usually it takes one day to get the results) we'll be doing business.


Best regards,
I. Liberman
CEO

I wrote Gene back and told him that he called it right. I wish there was a watch dog group to report these scammers...but for now I will report it here and encourage everyone to be careful.

Gene also sent me this most hilarious exchange he had with a similar scammer....for your reading enjoyment: http://genepimentel.com/domainscam


#appraisal #domain #scammers #watch
  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Hi

    I have seen those before. They just want you to pay for the appraisal and then they disappear.

    I simply reply that I will be happy to provide an appraisal but please realize there are fees involved that I will not be responsible for.

    I require a non-refundable fee of $299 in order to provide the appraisal.

    Naturally I will deduct that amount from the sale price so there is no risk to you.

    Still interested? No?


    Originally Posted by santobie View Post

    Gene also sent me this most hilarious exchange he had with a similar scammer....for your reading enjoyment: http://genepimentel.com/domainscam
    "I have to cut this short because I haven't been to the bathroom all day, waiting for you."

    Too funny.

    Mahlon
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Gene's awesome! A scammer contacted me as well, thankfully I didn't fall for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrMonetize
    I came across one of these scammers a few years back, and my domain was on Sedo too. They contacted me about a domain I listed for $5k. I was testing the water so to speak, so I had no idea of its true value. I based it on the search volume (it was an emd), brandability etc. Anyway, I got a similar email within a few days of listing it asking to buy the domain. Obviously my eyes lit up thinking I was going to get the asking price, one that I had plucked from thin air.

    They said they couldn't buy it without an appraisal, and said 2 companies names that they would accept as an appraisal firm. One I had heard of and I knew they were pricey, and another I hadn't heard of. When I checked out the 2nd company, I saw loads of reviews on there, loads of sites for sale etc and the pricing was more than reasonable. This was obviously done on purpose, because the naive will click the first link, and see the price. Then when they check out the 2nd link, the price was less than half the first site, making it look the best deal.

    I always do my due diligence, and within 5 mins of searching on Google, the site was shown to be a scam. The domains for sale on there were fake, and the whole lot was set up to look authentic, just to entice any domain sellers to use their so called 'appraisal' service.

    I replied to him to let him know that I wasn't that daft, and that I had reported his website and so called service to the authorities. I never heard back from him. Basically, they will take your money, provide a fake appraisal and hope to buy the domain at a cheaper price based on that appraisal. Or, they will take the appraisal money, tell you they no longer want the domain and move on to the next victim.

    I would be careful when selling domains and use a trusted domain appraisal service, not one recommended by a potential buyer.
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    • Profile picture of the author DJorge
      Thank you all for the post and comments.

      Could you recommend a good place besides Sedo ?

      Thanks,

      DJorge
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  • Profile picture of the author Valdor Kiebach
    I had this once and just replied along the lines of:

    "As you are aware there is a problem with "appraisal scammers" at the moment so if you are interested in this domain then you pay for the appraisal and if you purchase the domain I will reduce the price by the cost of the appraisal. I am sure you, as a genuine buyer, will find this the safest way to proceed"
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    • Profile picture of the author Haravikk
      Sorry to bump this, but I've just run into a similar issue with sedo domain trading and appraisal... from Sedo themselves.


      Okay, so the scammers are definitely trying to fleece you for nothing, but I recently purchased an appraisal by Sedo themselves for a domain I felt could be valuable, but their appraisal was half-assed to the point it was just a total waste of money; the evaluation I got from their free tool was more useful.

      Whoever performed the appraisal just took the domain name and apparently fired it into a few search engines before filling out a template to send back, but in doing so they didn't recognise that the domain was two words combined, and treated it as a single word, resulting in 140 hits counted in Google compared to the correct number of hits which is nearly 1.9 billion. I pointed all this out to Sedo but their support staff seem to read about as well as their so-called experts, and simply refused to admit the mistake, re-appraise the domain properly, or issue a refund when asked. I'm now in the process of trying to get my money back through PayPal while I sell my domain elsewhere.


      So yeah, you've got to watch out for the scammers, but it seems you can't trust the sites that seem genuine either. I mean, I've bought domains from Sedo, so I know their trading is legitimate, so how they can offer such a half-assed service and back it up with incompetent support staff is beyond me, but I know I won't be using them ever again.
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
        Originally Posted by Haravikk View Post

        Sorry to bump this, but I've just run into a similar issue with sedo domain trading and appraisal... from Sedo themselves.


        Okay, so the scammers are definitely trying to fleece you for nothing, but I recently purchased an appraisal by Sedo themselves for a domain I felt could be valuable, but their appraisal was half-assed to the point it was just a total waste of money; the evaluation I got from their free tool was more useful.

        Whoever performed the appraisal just took the domain name and apparently fired it into a few search engines before filling out a template to send back, but in doing so they didn't recognise that the domain was two words combined, and treated it as a single word, resulting in 140 hits counted in Google compared to the correct number of hits which is nearly 1.9 billion. I pointed all this out to Sedo but their support staff seem to read about as well as their so-called experts, and simply refused to admit the mistake, re-appraise the domain properly, or issue a refund when asked. I'm now in the process of trying to get my money back through PayPal while I sell my domain elsewhere.


        So yeah, you've got to watch out for the scammers, but it seems you can't trust the sites that seem genuine either. I mean, I've bought domains from Sedo, so I know their trading is legitimate, so how they can offer such a half-assed service and back it up with incompetent support staff is beyond me, but I know I won't be using them ever again.
        The problem with domain appraisals is that there is no set value of any domain. Sure you can look at other tld's sold but any domain is only worth what someone is willing to purchase it for. The more people willing to buy any domain the more value.
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        • Profile picture of the author Haravikk
          Originally Posted by Richard Tunnah View Post

          The problem with domain appraisals is that there is no set value of any domain. Sure you can look at other tld's sold but any domain is only worth what someone is willing to purchase it for. The more people willing to buy any domain the more value.
          Sure, but then Sedo sets a limit of $10,000 for pricing domains without appraisal which is pretty restrictive, especially since I'm certain the domain could be worth more than that; and they would be too if they'd done their appraisal properly.

          This means I couldn't set a buy now price without potentially underselling the domain (possibly by a huge margin) and would have to rely on offer/counter-offer only, or risk an auction with a max $10,000 reserve price. GoDaddy do still have a restriction but it's a fair bit higher, and if I'm going to just auction or rely on offers then I'd now rather do it with someone other than Sedo.

          It's just a weird thing for them to do, as they get a 15-20% cut of any domain sold through them, so it's in their best interests for it to sell at the best price it can get. I know it's a valuable domain as it covers a range of industries with an online presence, is easy to remember, highly marketable, a .com, and I've had a fair bit of interest for it in the past, though back before I decided to sell.

          Accurate analysis of the potential markets, exposure, value for memorability, ease of use etc. would have been useful too, if any of their experts possessed the ability to read at least.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I don't believe in domain appraisals anymore. Most people know if the domains valuable or not. It is very obvious. We should label that appraisal site as scammer as well..
    Signature



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    Signature edited.
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  • Profile picture of the author KishanS
    This is a very old scam and it has been going on for years. I am very surprised people still fall for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Dinero
    Its kind of obvious that its a scam , thanks for the heads up though!
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  • Profile picture of the author fsiegel
    Banned
    One of the reasons I'm glad I joined Warrior Forum after years of being a lurker. Thank you for the heads up.
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  • Profile picture of the author jcevallos
    I just got the same email from admin@php-web-hosting.info

    I hope this information will be useful to prevent these scams:


    Hello!

    My client is a businessman from Qatar. At this time he is interested in purchasing your ***.com.

    Please respond and specify a desired price in the subject line.

    My client has $215,000 usd for 50-60 domain names. He is very interested in financial, shopping, adult, gambling, mobile phones and weight loss related domains.

    Please let us know your preferred payment method (PayPal, Western Union, escrow etc.). If this is your first time domain sale I may help you with the sale/transfer process.

    Are you a member of domain seller communities/forums? Probably, we know each other under some nicknames?

    Regards,

    Ralf Hetzner

    Switzerland
    Cham
    Dorfplatz 5
    Phone: 041 377 48 12


    _________________

    After I sent the price $XYZ:

    $XYZ - Ok. Great! Before we proceed my investor needs only one thing from you:

    My client needs an official certificate of price (appraisal). He also needs to know you have no trademark problems. It won't be a problem since I know an official appraiser that offers this option (trademark infringement verification) for free as a part of the appraisal service.

    I'm also interested in a good valuation and a high sale price because my client pays me a commission (10-15% of the sale price) on every domain purchase. So I'm not interested in low sales too.

    Of course, you should not use a free automated service like Estibot or similar services. My client won't accept them. I was working for Estibot and knew they were using automated scripts for free appraisals. In our case we need a real manual valuation.

    To avoid mistakes and wasting money on useless automated services I asked in the forum about reliable manual valuation/TM verification services. Please read this: http://answers.archive-google.com/answers/threadview8529714.htm

    The process is very easy:

    1. Go to the appraisal site and order the valuation with the TM verification. Submit your domains to them and let them know you have a buyer with $X,XXX offer so you need the appraisal near this value. After several hours you will get the results.

    2. Then send these results via email and we'll proceed with the deal.

    If you are new to the appraisal process I can help you with a step by step instructions.
    Regards,

    R. Hetzner

    Switzerland
    Cham
    Dorfplatz 5
    Phone: 041 377 48 12




    Note the same DNS servers and other similarities between archive-google.com and php-web-hosting.info

    http://who.is/whois/archive-google.com
    http://who.is/whois/php-web-hosting.info
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    • Profile picture of the author DJorge
      It looks like the same person with different names.
      I played with him during 7 e-mails and then I informed him (? a bot ?)
      that I am an appraisal company and will be happy to provide him a
      better service.

      Stupid guy, offering me 7,000 for a name listed at Godaddy for 100...
      BTW, his client was from Dubai.

      Just be careful.

      Djorge
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  • Profile picture of the author dsuitor
    escrow.com is the best !!!!
    Signature

    IT'S ALL ABOUT PINGING.
    PING-O-MATIC.COM


    Find the best painting services in Cobble Hill British Columbia

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    • Profile picture of the author TrendingDomains
      Hi all,
      received this one yesterday....

      Hello!

      My client is a businessman from Emirates (UAE). He is very interested in buying your duckpondering.com.

      Please respond and specify a desired price in the subject line.

      My client has $240,000 usd for 60-70 domain names. He is very interested in financial, shopping, adult, gambling, mobile phones and weight loss related domains.

      Please let us know your preferred payment method (PayPal, Western Union, escrow etc.). If this is your first time domain sale I may help you with the sale/transfer process.

      Are you a member of domain seller communities/forums? Probably, we know each other under some nicknames?

      Regards,

      Ralf Hetzner

      Switzerland
      Cham
      Rosenweg 3
      Phone: 041 393 42 10
      ***************************


      I told him that I was taking offers at the moment and his reply as a very high amount and then the request for appraisal. I ran a whois check and also looked be VPSpace.com Professional Cloud Hosting which redirected me to a different website. I did a whois check on this site also and have contacted the admin to let them know of the redirection in case they didn't already know.
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  • Profile picture of the author blogbombmedia
    I have gotten these before too. I just blow them off.
    Signature
    Visit http://DTVTuners.com for DVR recorders and electronic equipment.
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    • Profile picture of the author Arthur2005
      Another kind of example: Care with It

      Hello!

      I'm an official broker of a rich investor from Manchester (UK). He is going to buy your clarinclub.com.

      My client has $459,000 budget for 15-25 domains. Please specify your asking price in the subject of your message.

      Our company is in hosting business. We also provide brokerage services for investors.

      I'm working with many domain investors. If you have other domains for sale please email m ethe list. I may offer your domains to my clients.

      How can we send money to you? I think an escrow service is the most secure way for both parties.

      If it's your first time sale I can help you with the escrow/transfer process.

      Best regards,

      David Ackerman

      Vice President

      Virtual Space Computing

      Switzerland
      Bern
      Bernstrasse 83
      Phone: 32 994 15 79
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      • Profile picture of the author HitMail
        Another try...

        sent from Web Solutions <info@solutions-web.info>;
        My client offers $15,000.

        Ok. Great! Before we proceed my investor needs only one thing from you:

        As you may know all major domain brokers does not allow listing above $1000 or higher if you don't have an official appraisal. Since the sale price is not low in our case, my client needs an official certificate of price (appraisal). He also needs to know you have no trademark problems. It won't be a problem since I know an official appraiser that offers this option (trademark infringement verification) for free as a part of the appraisal service.

        I'm also interested in a good valuation and a high sale price because my client pays me a commission (10-15% of the sale price) on every domain purchase. So I'm not interested in low sales too.

        Of course, you should not use a free automated service like Estibot or similar services. My client won't accept them. I was working for Estibot and knew they were using automated scripts for free appraisals. In our case we need a real manual valuation.

        To avoid mistakes and wasting money on useless automated services I asked in the forum about reliable manual valuation/TM verification services. Please read this: Google Answers: Can someone recommend a good appraisal service with a trademark verification? ("Domainer" is my nickname).

        The process is very easy:

        1. Go to the appraisal site and order the valuation with the TM verification. Submit your domains to them and let them know you have a buyer with ,XXX offer so you need the appraisal near this value. After several hours you will get the results.

        2. Then send these results via email and we'll proceed with the deal.

        If you are new to the appraisal process I can help you with a step by step instructions.
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