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“I don’t like brokers”

I got a call, I was not expecting, from a broker from a well known marketplace.

He clearly didn’t knew who I was or what I do as he asked me if I was selling my domains. He knew how many I have though.

I told him that I am selling my domains and he was (or acted) surprised.

I am not using him or his broker colleagues to sell my domains. I handle all my inquiries. So he asked me if I was willing to let his brokers to sell my domains. At that moment I told him:

I don’t like brokers

I told him that because I don’t like the brokering style of this marketplace. It is not like I don’t like ALL brokers. There are a few, probably less than 10, that are pretty good at what they do and vety knowledgeable. For example, Andrew Rosener is doing one hell of a job. I am not friends with Drew but I have to hand it to him. He is surely in the top 3 domain name brokers in the world.

I have used brokers in the past for individual names. I did not have much luck with that but still sometimes it is worth a try.

I don’t really like what domain name brokering has become. Mass automated emails and 10s of brokers that have really nothing to offer and know very little about domain names. Annoying emails in the style of “did my emails get buried” or “are you in vacation” are doing a disservice. I would prefer someone like Drew that is a domainer AND also a broker.

The thing though that I am afraid most, is that most brokers don’t really have a grasp of the legal implications of owning a domain name and selling a domain name. What happens if one of those brokers goes out and contacts a trademark holder out of the blue, one that I never told him/her to contact, and I end up with a UDRP or a lawsuit? Will they pay for the defense or the domain name? Of course not.

Do brokers know about trademarks and how to search an existing one? Most do not.

It doesn’t help that I had some bad experiences with brokers in the past. Either loosing sales because they did not follow up or failing to acquire a domain and then learning that the domain sold for less than my offer.  I had other brokers curse at me and trying to get revenge for exposing them. Yes, these are the brokers trying to sell domains they have no permission selling from the owner.

But the most funny thing is this part of the email this broker send me after I told him that I don’t like brokers on the phone:

I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone say he “doesn’t like brokers.

Really? I have heard that several times. Nothing new. I actually got complaints from 2 known investors this week about some things that brokers have said to them and to potential buyers.

Some people like brokers, some don’t. Some people have too many domains or don’t want to handle their inquiries so they only use brokers. I handle my whole portfolio.

I believe that a mix between the 2 could be ideal. That is if you can get a top broker represent you. This way you will have one of the best working on 10-20 of your domains and you will handle the rest of the inquiries thus not loosing grasp of the domain name market and how your portfolio performs.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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12 comments

  1. You are right so many have no clue, it’s another product to sell, next month it could be produce.

    Over the years I have brokered a good number of domains, nowhere near the amount the top guys like Rosener and Evanson sell. But I have always stuck to the point you made, about knowing about the domains, be wary of trademark risk and having something to offer.

    They have been names where I knew others who liked those names or it was a niche where I had relationships from previous career.

    Someone wanting to broker Example.com by Googling every website with the word example in it is not brokering. Anyone could do that, build a chatbot and let them do that if that’s what you consider brokering. Google is good to find a lead but you have to research that lead and understand their ip footprint.

  2. Really appreciate the kind words man. I’m working hard and trying to do good work.

    Most brokers out there give us a bad name. Being a domain broker is hard work and a lot of responsibility. Many times, we are tasked with selling someone’s most valuable asset they own. Their future is in our hands. We can make or break their dreams. I don’t take my job lightly. Never have.

    I don’t get along with everyone because I’m hard nosed and dont’ take any shit. But that is also the reason I’m successful. You can please everyone.

    But look, here I am, reading your blog! You do good work too. Keep it up.

    Back to work now….

  3. “did my emails get buried” or “are you in vacation”
    Uniregistry?
    I got those.. wasn’t sure whether to tell him off for addressing potential customers in that manner or to just ignore the emails, ended up ignoring them.

  4. Good points about knowledge and trademarks, LOL idontlikebrokers/com is up for grabs!!

  5. I don’t like brokers except for Tracy Fogarty:-)

  6. I don’t think that marketplace does outbound.
    The best don’t want to work low value domains <$xx,xxx.
    Cross selling and up selling on customer leads is an issue.

  7. You are right Konstantinos, there are a handful of good brokers and a lot of bad ones.
    The brokers that are good, have been doing it for awhile and some are domainers too.

  8. Right on!
    Get knowledgable, learn the business and handle your own sales.
    Nobody cares more about your domains and money than yourself.
    If you go broker then get the BEST, don’t settle.
    Great article.

  9. The ones that REALLY piss me off are the ones that contact you asking if they can submit an offer on behalf of a client, and then it turns out to be $200 for a dictionary word that’s been registered over 10 years.

    Their excuse is usuially “that’s our standard first offer”.

    Fucking retards, the lot of them.

  10. George in Miami

    You’re not alone, Konstantinos.

    I, personally, don’t like brokers because they act like used car lot salesmen,
    pawn shop owners and usurer lenders.
    I do agree there’s few very respectful ones. However, they’re the exception.

  11. “did my emails get buried” or “are you in vacation”

    I had an iquiry on a domain
    I want 5 figures for
    but the prospect wanted to pay only xxx

    so I send the “broke/r” an email
    telling her she can sell a very similar of mine
    -having pretty much same meaning-
    for 1280 usd

    she ended up
    offering my 5 fig name for 1280

    fortunately the lead didn’t accept

    😉

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