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.