While all domain names were originally created equal, the same can’t be said for the value of all domain names. Given the value of many domains, the transacting of these digital assets reaches into the hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars on a daily basis. If you are considering buying or selling a domain name, you’ll want entrust the services of the best domain brokers available.
What is a Domain Name Broker?
Domain name brokers serve as middlemen in the buying and selling of domain names. This individual may help the owner of a domain name sell the URL for a fair price.
When a buyer is interested in acquiring a specific domain name that is already taken, the broker assists with the acquisition. They may also help negotiate the close of a domain sale.
The duties of the domain name broker vary by the task they are being asked to take on. Many people find they better understand the role of the domain broker if they think of them as an internet real estate agent.
This individual serves as an expert in domain names, much as real estate agents become experts in certain neighborhoods. Buyers and sellers benefit from working with an individual of this type.
However, an individual must choose the right broker for their needs. To do so, they need a better understanding of the industry. This guide will provide the basics of domain name brokering, what it involves, how much they will pay for this service, and more.
With this information, a person can ensure they make the right choice regarding whether a domain name broker they should use. If so, they can also determine which broker is best for their needs.
What Do Domain Name Brokers Do?
Domain name brokers may work with both buyers and sellers, but most choose to specialize in one area. A buyer broker works with individuals looking to purchase a domain name. A seller broker helps a person sell a domain name they own.
The domain name broker will help the client buy or sell a domain name. When doing so, they charge a commission for their services.
Somebody may already own the domain name. They may use this name or hold it for some purpose. In this situation, the broker negotiates on behalf of the buyer to purchase this name and get the URL at a fair price.
Using a broker allows the buyer or seller to remain anonymous. The broker facilitates the transaction on behalf of this individual or business.
However, the broker may take on other tasks for a client. For example, the client may ask the broker to appraise a domain name and provide it with a value. In addition, brokers may host a domain name auction on behalf of a client.
How Does Domain Brokering Work?
A person must understand how domain brokering works before moving forward with the process. Once a broker and a client reach an agreement, the broker conducts research before providing a domain assessment.
This assessment provides details about who owns the domain, the history of the URL, and its trademark status. In addition, the assessment shares information about the sales of similar domains and a market evaluation of the specific domain.
Once the broker has established a value for the domain, they either reach out to their network to let potential buyers know it is available or begin negotiations on behalf of a buyer to secure this domain name. This task depends on what the client hired the broker to do.
When the broker contacts the seller or a potential buyer, negotiations begin. As the negotiations progress, the client will receive regular updates.
If both parties agree, the broker handles the transfer of fees and domain ownership for the client. Again, the client will receive regular updates until the process is complete.
When the two parties cannot agree before the established deadline, the broker shares this with the client. They can then determine how to proceed.
When Should I Hire a Domain Broker?
An individual or business should enlist a domain name broker when they desire a specific domain name that is already owned or registered. The same holds when a business or individual wishes to sell a domain name they own but wants to receive a fair price for this internet real estate.
At times, the domain name is owned and parked. This means an individual or entity acquired the domain name and isn’t using it.
In fact, some people turn to a domain name broker to start a business acquiring domain names. They purchase these names and hold them, hoping to sell them for a profit in the future, much as people do with stocks.
The domain names are an investment for this person. They turn to the domain name broker to benefit from the broker’s experience and network, much like an investor turns to a stockbroker.
For those who own a domain name, a broker is of help in determining the value of the name before the owner puts it up for sale. If a person or business owns a domain name and accidentally lets it expire, the domain name broker can be of help in getting it back.
This may involve nothing more than purchasing the domain name again, or it might involve negotiating with a new owner who purchased the domain name.
The Domain Broker Process
Once a person elects a domain name broker, it’s time to discuss a budget and timeline for the project. Talk about both elements, as one may influence the other.
Some brokers are paid by the hour, while others work on commission. The broker must know if the website needs to be up and running by a certain date, as well.
Sellers may not have a sense of urgency for the project timeframe, but the two parties should still discuss it. The broker must know the client’s budget and the minimum selling price if they will handle the sale of an existing domain name.
After both parties agree to a budget and project timeframe, the broker takes control of the process. Buyer brokers contact the owner of the desired domain name to begin negotiations. Their networking skills and connections are of significant benefit as the negotiations move forward.
Seller brokers use their networks to reach out to individuals who may be interested in the domain name and let them know the name is available. This means less legwork for the domain name owner.
In addition, the owner may get a better price for the domain name because the broker knows who is interested. They share this information with potential buyers to encourage bidding.
When the broker finds a buyer for a domain name, they contact the owner or complete the sale. The owner determines which method they prefer when coming to an original agreement with the broker.
If the owner wishes to be contacted, the broker will reach out to confirm the selling price. If the owner doesn’t wish to be contacted, the broker will simply complete the sale.
How Much Does a Domain Broker Cost?
Domain brokering comes with a cost. However, the fees vary based on whether the client is interested in purchasing a domain name or wishes to sell one. While each broker determines their own fee schedule, clients see certain trends in the industry.
Buyer brokers often charge by the hour for consultations and negotiations. However, they may accept a flat fee once they establish the project budget and timeline with the client.
The broker works to get the client the best deal possible. For this reason, buyer brokers rarely work on commission. If they work on commission, they make less when they get the client the best deal possible.
Seller brokers, in contrast, typically work on commission. Clients pay, on average, 15 to 20 percent of the final selling price to the broker for their services. This encourages the broker to receive the highest selling price, as they receive more money when they get this price.
Commission sales pressure the broker to complete the sale in a timely manner, as well. They don’t get paid until the sale is complete.
However, some seller brokers charge a flat fee, so a person should not be surprised if they come across a broker who requests a flat fee for the sale of a domain name.
The Benefits of Hiring a Domain Name Broker
Using a domain broker allows the buyer or seller to remain anonymous. This reduces the risk of their name influencing the price.
Brokers are experienced in negotiations. Many people avoid confrontation when possible and they don’t enjoy haggling. The broker handles this on behalf of the buyer or seller and ensures the client gets a good deal.
At times, a person or business might find they cannot afford the desired domain. The broker can be of help in this situation by providing alternative domains or ones that have excellent search engine optimization potential.
Domain brokers have access to an extensive network, which benefits the buyer or seller. For instance, a seller will have their name seen by a larger pool of potential buyers. Buyers will have more options available to them, which can be of help when the price is a concern.
Besides this network of potential buyers and sellers, the domain broker works with others in the industry. The client receives access to a host of experts in different areas. The broker ensures they overlook nothing during the process.
Every person and business should use a domain name broker when buying or selling internet real estate. Doing so comes with many benefits and ensures the owner gets the best deal.
With the help of this guide, any person can understand what is involved and why the broker is necessary. Now it’s just a matter of finding the right broker for the individual’s or company’s needs.
Finding the Right Domain Name Broker
Choosing a domain name broker involves more than conducting an internet search and choosing the first name that appears. The right person or firm needs to be chosen for this task. What should a person look for when selecting a domain name broker?
Begin the search by visiting news feeds related to the industry. Domaining.com and Domain Name Wire are two good places to start, as they share information about large sales and acquisitions.
In addition to sharing this information, the sites often interview brokers. This is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of a broker’s portfolio size, worth, attitude, approach, and experience.
Look at each broker’s track record. Every person looking to buy or sell a domain name needs to know how their broker has performed in the past. Ask to see a record of their past domain transactions and learn who previous clients were.
In addition, ask about their previous experience. One way to do so is to read domain blogs. Search for brokers buying or selling similar domain names. However, focus on quality rather than quantity when reviewing this information.
Speak with several brokers to see if personalities mesh. This initial contact may be over the phone or in person. However, it is best to meet with a domain name broker in person when possible. This face-to-face meeting can be extremely informative, as a person can assess the body language of the broker and more.
Read testimonials from clients. Don’t rely solely on those reviews posted on the broker’s website. They only share those reviews that are favorable to them. Visit third-party review sites to get an accurate picture of the broker and their services.
One thing a person should not do is choose their broker solely on price. Consider all factors when determining which individual or firm to work with. Once the individual looking for a broker narrows the list to two or three candidates, the price may come into play.
The Best Domain Name Brokers
Grit Brokerage is one of the top domain brokerage firms around today. Founded by Brian Harbin, Grit is responsible for millions in domain sales and authors the most popular domain name newsletter.
GoDaddy remains the world’s largest domain brokerage today. It employs over 100 brokers and manages over 84 million domains. The company’s expertise is of great help to clients, and each client receives a dedicated broker to handle transactions of any size.
GoDaddy offers a free valuation tool. Clients may use the company’s auction site to list a domain, but the brokers don’t handle sales. They deal strictly with purchases.
This remains the preferred brokerage for those looking to buy a domain name for less than $5,000. However, the brokers will handle the purchase of any domain name, regardless of price.
The one drawback is the company has a higher commission fee than its competitors. Expect to pay a 20 percent commission on the purchase of any domain name. In addition, there is a fee for using the service, and this fee is non-refundable.
VPN.com specializes in stealth strategic acquisitions. Major entities find this helps to keep the asking price of the domain down. The seller doesn’t know the worth of the individual or company acquiring the name. In addition, a client may use many services online, and the site guarantees anonymity, thanks to the company’s use of virtual private networks.
DomainBooth draws attention thanks to the low commission fees it charges. A person will only pay a 12.5 percent commission when working with this company. However, this doesn’t mean the services are of lower quality. Clients rave about how excellent this brokerage is.
MediaOptions remains one of the most successful players in the industry today. Companies looking to buy a major domain name turn to the experts at this firm for help. All transactions are anonymous, which many people appreciate.
Name Experts has brokered more than $90 million in deals over the past 13 years. Funded start-ups and established businesses often turn to this company to benefit from the specialized, one-on-one service.
Every client receives individualized attention. The company keeps its client list small to ensure this is the case. The goal is to provide each client with a premium domain that will move their business forward.
Domain Holdings employs four brokers, two of whom are the company founders. The brokers take on many tasks, including domain name and digital property acquisition.
Clients turn to this company for help in managing every aspect of their domain’s life cycle. The brokers represent high-value domains and handle stealth acquisitions.
In addition, they manage domain portfolios and oversee auctions. Clients know they can count on the brokers to provide everything they need.
Name Ninja helped establish the domain name brokerage industry back in 1994. This company assists clients with domain name and social media handle acquisition through its consulting services for marketers, startups, and entrepreneurs.
Individuals and corporations who own a domain name benefit from several Name Ninja consulting services. This includes domain name brokering and rescue. In addition, the company helps clients protect their domain names and manage their portfolios.
Businesses and consumers turn to Name Arena when they wish to buy or sell a domain name, a social media account, or a trademark. This boutique domain broker provides a range of customized services.
The experience and knowledge of the Name Arena brokers are of significant benefit to clients. They execute the contract, so the client can focus on other matters.
Founded by Jeffrey Gabriel and Amanda Waltz, saw.com is a new and growing domain name broker. They offer standard brokerage services in addition to appraisals and portfolio management.
Evergreen is a premium domain broker founded by Jen Sale and Adam Strong. The founders have decades of domain name industry experience and have sold millions of dollars worth of domain names.
Lumis is a top domain brokerage firm founded by Hobi Michalec, Slade Michalec, and Keith Richter. They focus on domain buying and selling for their clients all over the world.