Why A Domain Broker Won't Sell Your Domain Name | DomainInvesting.com

Why A Domain Broker Won’t Sell Your Domain Name

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I’m often either asked to broker domain names (which I don’t do) or asked why a domain broker isn’t willing to put the effort into selling someone’s domain names. There are several reasons why a domain broker may not sell particular domain name(s), and I want to give you three possible reasons.

1) Your names aren’t very good. Let’s face it. We don’t all own spectacular domain names. Even the most successful domain investors own some domain names that probably aren’t worth much. It wouldn’t make sense for a domain broker to try and sell a domain name when he or she doesn’t think anyone would want to buy it.

2) The domain name isn’t valuable enough. I enjoy making domain sales of all sizes. It’s exciting to sell a $2,000 domain name the same way it’s exciting to sell a $20,000 domain name. For a domain broker with a fair amount of inventory, it doesn’t make sense to try and sell a $2,000 domain name, on which he may only make $200 – $400 in commission if it sells, when he has other valuable domain names he can sell. Would you spend effort to earn $400 when you can expend the same effort to potentially earn $10,000 or more? Personally, I’d rater have a broker be honest with me and not take on one of my names than lock my name up when he has no intention of marketing it.

3) Your asking price is way too high. I see this quite a bit. Someone offering a whopping 40% commission as enticement to try and sell their domain name for them. The problem is that if their asking price is too high, 40% commission on no sale equals $0. If the bottom line price is way over the market value, and the owner isn’t willing to show flexibility, there’s little reason to try and sell the domain name.

If a domain broker won’t work with you, here are some suggestions on how to sell domain names on your own.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (27)

    November 19th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    NoobWorld

    @Elliot,

    I disagree. I spent a lot of time to broker a domain that made far less commission. It took 4 emails to close the deal. I put forth the effort to make sure the buyer remain interested.

    A domain broker who focuses on the big sale will usually defer away from cheap domains.

    Any decent domain can be sold. Building trust with a client is the most important aspect in selling domains. Once you establish a need with a prospect, then you can work out a good price for a
    domain owner.

    Brokering a domain is much easier than selling a domain you own. You have more leverage to make a sale. Moreover, there are domain broker who treat every sale with respect. It doesn’t matter whether the domain is $1000 or $100,000. You have to be serious about making money.

    You are right about elite domainers owning some bad domains. What makes it even more interesting is that these domainers sell these overpriced domains at outrageous prices. It doesn’t take a genius to sell a domain.

    1. Find a need
    2. Build trust
    3. Determine a price
    4. Close the deal
    5. Make commission

    November 19th, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Elliot Silver

      “I spent a lot of time to broker a domain that made far less commission. It took 4 emails to close the deal. I put forth the effort to make sure the buyer remain interested.”

      How many domain names have you brokered successfully? This is important because most **good** professional domain brokers have more work than they can handle at any given time and would never spend a lot of time to earn very little money. They focus on the names that have the best chance of selling and will make them the most money. Otherwise, they will spend a lot of time to make little money, which doesn’t pay the bills nor does it make sense.

      Why would you spend so much of your valuable time to broker a name that made less commission? Had you not closed the deal, you would have made nothing and the domain owner would have been out nothing.

      November 19th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    NoobWorld

    @Elliot,

    I disagree. I spent a lot of time brokering a domain that made far less commission. It took 4 emails to close the deal. I put forth the effort to make sure the buyer remained interested. I even called the buyer a few times. 

    A domain broker who focuses on big sales will usually defer away from cheap domains. Any decent domain can be sold. IMO, Afternic proves that every week.  

    Building trust with a client is the most important aspect in selling domains. Once you establish a need with a prospect, then you can work out a good price for a domain owner.

    Brokering a domain is much easier than selling a domain you own. You have more leverage to make a sale. Moreover, there are domain brokers who treat every sale with respect. It doesn’t matter whether the domain is $1000 or $100,000, the domain broker will go above and beyond to make a sale.  You have to be serious about making money.

    You are right about elite domainers owning some bad domains. What makes it even more interesting is that these domainers sell these overpriced domains at outrageous prices. It doesn’t take a genius to sell a domain.

    1. Find a need
    2. Build trust
    3. Determine a price
    4. Close the deal
    5. Make commission

    In any case, good article for domain brokers who intend to make high commission rather than build a rapport with all buyers. 

    November 19th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Kevin

    I agree with points 1 (names not that great) and 3 (names prices way above market).

    As to point 2, I personally don’t mind handling lower priced domains. I sold 2 domains for a client a week ago for $3000 and made $300. I spent a lot of time and effort marketing their higher priced domains which haven’t sold yet, so it was nice to at least get a small sale for them and something for a commssion for my efforts so far.

    Another point is sheer volume. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do all the domains people send to all the brokers.

    November 19th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    NoobWorld

    “Why would you spend so much of your valuable time to broker a name that made less commission?”

    One deal will lead to another business venture. You can gain a buyer’s trust to possibly work out future deals such as brokering their domains. In addition, they may refer potential clients.

    High profile domain brokers will only accept top domains with high commission potential. For example, the Chef once sent an e-mail noting that he is only brokering domains that are valued at $50,000K or more. Hence, he knows that every sale will produce an x amount of commission. He may think his time is too valuable to deal with cheap domains.

    Successful domain brokers focus on high priced domains to make good commission because they realize the value of their services. If the broker makes consistent sales, they will make enough money to pay their bills.

    There are domain owners who are willing to pay higher commission to sell their domains. I will be brokering 10 90s domains with good commission potential.

    “Good” professional domain brokers are swamped with good domains. If they are that good of broker, then they will set a minimum domain price (i.e. domains worth $20,000 and above). Good professional brokers have an idea where to pitch a domain.

    A decent domain broker working with several domain owners to improve their resume will accept lesser domains. They will put in the work to make the sale. The time spent to broker the domain may take a few days due an owner’s price expectations, but it is well worth the effort.

    As previously mentioned, I am brokering 10 90s domains with high commission potential. The domain owner is paying higher commission than most brokers receive. One domain in the lot is valued at $30-50K. There is no guarantee to find immediate buyers, but these domains can be sold at good prices. It is well worth the time to sell these domains.

    Selling lesser domains is no different than hand registering domains. If you hand register a domain, then you plan to invest time into making a potential sale. The time devoted to pitching the domain to prospective buyers may not produce a sale. You take a chance to sell the domain.

    IMO, we see bad domains sell on domain platforms. It doesn’t matter whether the domain owner controls the price, the domain company is taking credit for selling such domains. It matters which domain is selling at what price. It helps a domain company or a domain broker to build their domain reputation.

    I would spend the time to make $400. After completing the deal, I would take the $10,000 commission offer as well. Wealthy people spend the time to clip coupons. They are just as frugal as poor people. A struggling realtor company will accept to short sale a home, even though a bank makes the final decision.

    Max commission rate should not exceed 25%. Anything above 25% is too high. You’ll be surprised how many domain owners hold good domain names. They are not active domain investors. They register domains for many years, and then figure out that they have some quality domain names. Since the domain owner knows little about the domain industry, they look for a domain broker to sell their domains at a good commission.

    In the domain world, you are never wasting your time. You gain every time you complete a transaction. Good professional domain brokers should not pass up on a deal to make a quick $400 commission unless their only intention is to build a high quality resume through premium domain sales and or their time is limited. Thanks.

    November 19th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Elliot Silver

    “You gain every time you complete a transaction.”

    @ NoobWorld

    Yes, but if the name sucks or the price is too high, you won’t complete any transactions and will waste a lot of time. 😉

    Did you previously post here under a different name?

    November 19th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Ron

    Has more to do with domainers and urgency to flip inventory, some of my best sales, have come on domains you would have never guessed would sell for 1/10th of what they did.

    Names I could offer up in forums for $50, that have sold for mid 4 figures, not a joke.

    It is a waiting game, I do see more interest every month the internet is online, but it is important to own the right keywords, and extension, someone might be willing to pay $5K for a .com, but might not offer $100 of the .net of the same domain.

    Takes years upon years, having past sales, gives you what to look forward on future sales, and where to market it.

    This is not an easy business, and the aftermarkets have become very costly.

    November 19th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    NoobWorld

    @Ron,

    You are right that domain industry is not an easy business. The domain aftermarket is expensive. You can use free advertising platforms to market domains featured on aftermarket platforms. Push traffic to the listing.

    @Elliot,

    “Yes, but if the name sucks or the price is too high, you won’t complete any transactions and will waste a lot of time.”

    I disagree. IMO, elite domainers have sold many overpriced domain names. At times, even they spend time to explain their pricing formula which makes no sense at all. One of these domainers is one of the top in the industry.

    If the domain is a dot com, has market value, and has good searches, it will eventually sell at the right price. Why give up on selling a domain?

    For example, a company wanted a domain name. However, they changed their mind later in the day. The domain was then pitched to several end-users that operate in the business. No buyers. Several months later, the renewal period approached. Should you renew or drop?

    The domain has potential, so renew the domain. Two months later, the domain is sold to an end-user for 35 times investment. You are never wasting your time. A bad domain to you is a good name to another.

    That’s what makes domaining lucrative. Newbies and noobs have a great opportunity to find good domains that elite domain investors overlook. If past domain purchases do actually suck, then why do InternetTraffic clients pick up these domains up at GoDaddy?

    Who would pass up a 4 figure domain sale at the cost of registration? If a domainer can make that sale three months after paying registration cost, then they are doing something right.

    A domainer doesn’t have to compete at auctions. They don’t have to make offers or negotiate with domain owners. A domainer can find keyword domains that companies use.

    Keyword domains don’t suck. Some companies make a living off of domains that have no appraisal value (i.e. personalized, jobs, hotels, products and services). End-users turn down premium domains because they are undereducated about the value of domains. The seller can build value into any decent domain name.

    If you think about the domain industry, it is the end-user that creates the value. Domain names are only a name. They can easily be worthless. It is what a person wants to pay to purchase the domain (i.e. QuoteBaby, NewYorkStrippers, and etc).

    I’m sure you made a few sales that were not worth the price. You probably overpaid for domain names. What justifies the value of a domain? Domain valuation platforms are not reliable indicators. A seasoned domain investor will pass up on domains that can make them good money. Good domains are overlooked such as an aged dot com priced at $200 sell at a domain auction 9 months months ago, only to see the dot net sell at $3,000 last month.

    Elite domain investors tend to toss around the “bad domain” reference. They don’t look at their past domain sales to determine whether some of their domains are worth the price.

    Should a company that has a limited marketing budget go out and purchase a domain for $500K? Or should they find a good alternative for $50K, and then invest the rest of the money in advertising? I would choose the second option.

    The top competitors don’t own the best domain names in their market. They usually brand behind their business name. If the company is ranked for the keyword category on Google page #1, they have little need to acquire the domain.

    The company may want to be known as the top name in the niche. Therefore, the end-user may want to secure the domain name. You can still bid on keywords, but do so with the exact keyword domain. People tend to visit these domains rather than another site. Nonetheless, it is expensive to brand a valuable generic domain.

    You don’t see Bank of America developing Loans.com into a loan website. Oracle has never developed Services.com to market their services. I don’t believe in your notion that some domain names suck.

    In the sales industry, a sales person may contact 100 people. They may expect to hear from at least 5-10% of these people. In the bunch, one serious buyer may ask the price. If there is a need, and you are wiling to compromise on a price, you will make a good sale.

    Price matters. Elite domains are sitting around many platforms collecting dust. These domain names are excellent. However, the end-user either doesn’t know they are for sale or they think the domains are far overpriced. I doubt these domain names suck.

    November 19th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    NoobWorld

    @Ron,

    Good tips. If you can afford to retain the right domains, you will eventually make many good sales.

    November 19th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    domainers

    Elliot

    While I agree with you for most part its good for the broker to market smaller domain names as well. Imo.

    Here is a twist.

    When you did your bulk deals back in day and selling names for 30 dollars each and flipped your way up to now, a newer broker can do the same thing. Take a niche and target names under 10k.

    Let the ego driven brokers take care of the big ticket items. The Austin.com type names. Still sitting. Just like how cheesecake will sit on shelf.

    2 cents. No disrespect Elliot. Info you know and smarts are different how you started out. Still money be made even if its smaller sales per name.

    November 19th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Elliot Silver

    @ domainers

    I’d be happy to be wrong… would mean that more mid-level names are moving than I think (aside from those whose owners do the legwork).

    November 19th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    domainers

    I think a good sales person and some knowledge of domains can cater to small market. Let’s say 5k to 25k names. Quality ones. Then the newer broker can bootstrap things and like how you did. You flipped.

    All I am saying is I guess its different views. Let the big guns do the big names. Franks program and all the quality is over there. All the good brokers left sedo and dave has all the inventory there.

    Be careful of some of these brokers. While some of them enjoy the spotlight some of them are pretty unethical and dirty. Domains are become more of a dirty business. Will just leave it as that.

    November 19th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Andrew Rosener

    All of us Domain Brokers have limited time and resources. We have to focus our efforts on the names which have the best chance of selling (priced appropriately) and have the most value for the time & resources it requires to sell them.

    That is why we operate our newsletter for lower and mid level domains – it’s a highly effective way to bring liquidity to those names without spending too much time and resources in marketing them. And it is highly effective!

    In the end, there is a critical element which nobody has mentioned – TIMING

    Timing is everything. Even and overpriced name which comes to market at the perfect time with the perfect broker can sell for far higher than anyone would imagine.

    We broker all sizes and price levels of domains. In terms of number of domains sold, our volume is in the $3k – $10k range. But at the end of the year about 80% of our profits come from the 5 – 10 biggest deals we do over the course of the year. But those small consistent sales pay the bills.

    Like the saying goes, as long as you can keep hitting singles, you’ll be there to hit the home runs!

    November 19th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    gaetano marano

    I use AfternicDLS that (so far) has listed all (non-TM) domains

    November 20th, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Adam

    “Be careful of some of these brokers. While some of them enjoy the spotlight some of them are pretty unethical and dirty.”

    Vague warnings and broad accusations. Don’t bother. Either say who you are referring to or don’t . You’ve just cast a shadow of doubt on everyone that brokers. Nicely done

    November 20th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    domainers

    If you don’t know who the good brokers are and work hard then its your loss.

    Andrew, Dave and clements are solid players.

    Do you own homework and you determine things.

    November 20th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    domainers

    Reality is domain business is becoming pretty dirty and conflict of interests with buyers and sellers. See it more often.

    Yes its a general remark. Don’t like my thoughts. That’s fine.

    Just like any business there are bad apples. And if your Adam strong your a solid broker as well.

    November 20th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Ned

    I totally concur with Andrew’s comment:

    “We have to focus our efforts on the names which have the best chance of selling (priced appropriately) and have the most value for the time & resources it requires to sell them”.

    Having just been involved in a few nice Aussie domain sales, from my perspective it takes less time and effort to sell a good quality high value name that is properly priced (compared to a cheaper lesser quality name). There is way more interest and competition in the former than there is in the latter!

    November 20th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    EpicDomainBroker

    All the above is true in most respects. On the positive side, to keep yourself safe….if your broker does nt ooffer a contract you are treading dangerous water. Make sure you have a contract with specificity. Furthermore, at least speak to your broker in person or over the phone….not jus endless emails. Personally, I contact my clients several times a week by phone. The best way to sell in 2011 is by gietting your name on a newsletter list. For instance, my list has grown in the thousands this year alone…mostly of end users and investors utilizing social media as a platform ie: Branchout with over 300,000 conections, facebook with about 1500, Linkedin with 600, 10 Twitter accounts, 10 Facebook pages including a Facebook group known as “Post Your Domains” which is a closed group by initation only with 90 members, along with 30 other social media sites to mention a few. Hopefully you can get the idea here. Anyway thanks for the morning therapy…gotta go sell some domains….Kev

    November 22nd, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Adam

    @domainers my point was that you should identify the bad seeds. It’s everyones loss not just mine. I appreciate your thoughts on the good guys but it’s just as important to discuss the bad imho.

    November 22nd, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    brandx59

    this is great to hear about all the big money being thrown around on domains.
    i own 100 domains that are with godaddy, about 30 are in the featured listings and they are all on afternic and buy domains, i also made a sales page for my domains on facebook. funny thing is i can’t seem to sell any, i sold 6 but just for the price of the name, then after godaddy takes the 15%, i lost money.
    i have them all on cash parking with godaddy and they seem to get some good looks, but they tell me that january, febuary and march are the big months for them, so i hope my luck will change.
    i don’t just pull the names out of thin air, i do alot of research on the trends and on all the new technology, but it seems like they all want the domains for $10.
    the ones that do get high bids, keep revolving around in the featured section, they never get cashed out. if that was me , i would take the money, puts a red flag up for me, that the bidders can’t pay.
    godaddy has a most active section were they sell expired domains and i understand they own most all of them, funny how NOW they get bids and go for anywhere from $3000 to 7000 and the original owner never could sell them, im sure thats a reason why they are expired.
    im not saying all my domains are good ones, but alot are good quality domains and are worth what they are listed for.
    i never had luck with winning the lottery or in las vegas and i really don’t see much difference here, i just wish they would give me a drink voucher or atleast a hotel room discount at these gambling casino’s they are running.

    January 11th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    VDM

    Every single one of you is a giant piece of shit. Thanks for fucking over the internet, you greedy scum.

    February 11th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ VDM

      LOL

      February 11th, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      aiurealand

      Indeed! Its idiotic to buy web domains only to resell them at higher price. This is how bubbles appear.

      In reply to VDM | March 7th, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Elliot Silver

      Sorry I don’t follow the logic behind that.

      March 7th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    How to sell domains

    A domain broker who focuses on big sales will usually defer away from cheap domains. Any decent domain can be sold. IMO, Afternic proves that every week. There are several reasons why a domain broker may not sell particular domain name.

    March 9th, 2012 at 8:28 am

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