The state of domain name brokers

I have been really worried lately with the current state of domain name brokers. You may have read how “I don’t like brokers”.

The problem is that most of the brokers know very little about domain names when they enter the business and most leave the business before they even learn anything.

Most of the so called brokers are simply sales people but domain names are not tables or toothbrushes. It takes time to learn the in and outs of domaining and most sales people are only concerned about reaching the yearly sales goal and getting commissions.

I had a conversation the other day with Elliot Silver about domain name experts. I mentioned that most domain name brokers are not domain name experts. For me “domain name expert” is not a term I use for many people. I might call them domain name professionals but not experts.

Owners know more about their domain names than any other person will ever know. And from I have seen brokers do not ask many questions when they are assigned a domain name. (Past offers, legal potential problems, traffic, history, price purchased and so on)

Of course sometimes there are some people that happen to own a valuable domain name for many years and don’t know what to do with it or how to sell it. These people could use the help of a broker.

I started writing this post after I read an interview about a domain name sale/flip. All was great in the interview until I read the last part. The seller that had not sold a single domain name up until 6 months ago said that he is also a domain name broker.

What? You want to become a broker after buying 200 names and selling a couple? Oh no…

Well he might want to become a broker but he needs people to trust him with their domain names first. If they do then they must be really desperate to sell. I can’t really see this in any other way.

Do you know what he really is? He is a walking liability. 6 months into domaining you know nothing! Everybody knew nothing 6 months into domaining. I knew nothing.

Uniregistry has an army of brokers and although a few are good at what they do, I wouldn’t call them domain name experts.

Some of the Uniregistry brokers are really bad or are just swamped with hundreds of emails and inquiries per day. Some become plain insulting when you don’t reply to their 20 emails.

I recently received 3 emails from a Uniregistry broker asking me if I was going to buy the domain name I inquired about or not. The problem is that he had never send me the price!

Then I received a follow up about a domain name. The subject had the name I was interested in but the email was talking for some other name.

BTW if you think that sending 25 automated follow up emails is what a good broker does then you are out of your mind. This is what crazy people do or what spam looks like. Just because email is free it doesn’t mean we get to abuse it. And when these emails don’t even mention a price and don’t ever include the previous emails then it is simply ridiculous.

Yes, if I send 100,000 emails a day I might make 3 sales. But this is what spammers are doing and this is how uniregistry emails end up in spam folders. Are these sales worth the countless other that are lost?

Of course there are many other types of brokers in this business.

There are the brokers that will call you out of the blue to ask if they can broker your name.

There are some other brokers that will try to sell your domain name without permission.

There are the brokers that will promise you millions for your name just to get exclusivity and then sell your name for $10k just to make their commission.

There are the brokers that will vanish from the industry as soon as they smell money elsewhere.

The list goes on and on.

I don’t use brokers but I did I would only use brokers that have owned domains for many years, have sold many of their domain names and I am sure they know the business inside out. From renewals and auctions to domain name contracts and UDRPs.

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 very knowledgeable.

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.

You can read more about some of my bad experiences with brokers here.

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.

18 comments

  1. HUGE CONCERN! Have seen, and heard about this a few times that is why I am bringing it up.

    When Uniregistry brokers are unable to close your lead, they try to sway the deal, and ask if they can offer them another domain from their own inventory.

    This is not acceptable!

  2. I work for one of the largest premium domain name sellers. We have a sales team of 8 “domain experts”. Most of our sales are inbound calls, usually to a single domain buyer, someone that is starting a business. Selling to domainers seems to be something we struggle with.

    Would you say that bulk deals are easier when there is a broker or is it best to wait for a drop?

  3. True thing.
    Also, most brokers DO NOT deserve more than 6% commission, which is comparable to what Real Estate brokers get paid.
    at 10% commission you are paying Premium
    at 15/ 20/ and 30% commission, you are being robbed.
    Why should a broker or auction house get a 1/3 of the value of your asset?
    Its like highway robbery on the super highway.
    Who would do that? They started at 10% and now they have sneaked it up to 30% commission in some cases.

    What is worst is that, they are taking 30% of your money but are just showing your name to a small pool of people, most of the time to other domainers, not end users.

  4. Hello Konstantinos,
    Your comments are well taken !
    We have a bunch of ignorant Young Lion brokers who are Clueless. They are being fed the wrong information at venues like Names-Con and the like. Most non-Pro Brokers wouldn’t know the difference between a ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Asset ) and a Pidgeon Shit New Tld being promoted by The REGS.
    For some of our Pro-Followers = Many big name branded companies should reconsider new Branded ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets ) for International market penetration stategies without the baggage of their old branded ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets ) Example : Google.com/Alphabet.com ( NOT Google.xyz or Alphabet.xyz = a really stupid past marketing strategy of theirs) = this strategy was the beginning of their continuing downfall. JAS

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

    • Oh and by the way, for those who do not think that the FANGS are all buying = ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets ) , for their own private reserve , are truly Clueless. JAS

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

      • Another Point to keep in mind, The Power of association is a powerful Mind Bender, when trying to sell or convince. At Names-CON and other venues the slant of the marketers there will be to ASSOCIATE ALL THE Qualities of the Strategically Superior ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets ) when pitching the audience on their TLD offerings (Bait and Switch) just remember when they get done with their pitch if they are referencing anything other than ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets ) its a RED FLAG. JAS

        Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

  5. Conflicts of interest…

  6. Hello Rick, UPDATE :Extremely Important Asset Shift. Exit pure equity assets, (There is systemic Risk in Equity ETFs), shift into ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets ) JAS Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

  7. Hello Konstantinos,

    Getting back to Brokering, Our group members , self Broker Private Placements Only. This is a trend that will get bigger now that theres so much Institutional money coming to the tables. If any of your followers don’t have the expertise to do so, we suggest you find one of those top ten brokers you speak of, and negotiate a rate. If we were to use other brokers we would negotiate 4to5% , this is the future trend in our opinion and the days of 20to30% will be gone. The EXPERTS with the right contacts could possibly be a little higher. JAS

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

  8. Hello again, Konstantinos,

    Not everybody is aware of the current state of the Institutional Private Placement Non-Diclosure side of the business. The way the markets are progressing they are getting more interesting. With all the disruption going on with some of some of the largest Tech. cos. and International Interests , there is a developing awareness and appetite for Franchise quality ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets = emerging Asset Class ) Intellectual properties. In our observations the top 10 Sales are still to come. Time frame Window = 5 years. Hint : The top Sales will not be Direct Navigation Type names, which are currently coveted. JAS

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

    • Hello Konstantinos,
      We hope your Servers are firewalled, sensing hackers are blocking comments on Rickslog ? JAS
      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

  9. I really like working with some of the Uni team, but agree re. the automated / pushy email tactics – I got mad at one in particular and while I’ll spare you the details, it made me less likely to work with that person in the future.

    And as a new low in my personal experience, we were approached by a “broker” asking when exclusivity of one of our client’s assets was ending. Fishing to pluck it from us. The lack of tact was astonishing…

  10. Hello Konstantinos,

    Here is the simplest understandable definition of : ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Assets = Emerging Asset Class = Genius Strategic Cash Cow Assets) ACCOM’S RAZOR JAS 12/10/17

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

    • Hello Konstantinos,
      The Google Ad Platform is its own Algorithm Controlled Traffic Monopoly. If you are lucky enough to own and control your own
      ( .COM Equimoditty Platform Asset ) (OPERATING OUTSIDE THE GOOGLE TRAFFIC MONOPOLY) you in effect own and control your own Traffic Monopoly. JAS
      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master )http://www.UseBiz.com

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