I think most domain brokers predominantly represent domain name owners on the sale-side. There are quite a few brokers and brokerage firms who offer acquisition services though (buyer brokers). When a domain broker is working on behalf of a buyer to buy a domain name, they should be ready to make an offer, or at the very least, they should know their client’s budget.
I occasionally receive inquiries on my domain names from brokers representing a buyer. The first question I ask the broker is either “what is the offer?” or “what is the budget?” If someone is inquiring about one of my domain names on behalf of a client, it makes sense that they would know how much their client wants to spend or is willing to spend.
I don’t generally price my top tier domain names, so coming up with a price isn’t always a simple process, especially when I don’t have any information about the buyer (beyond the fact that a broker was hired). It usually makes more sense to contemplate an inbound offer rather than just give a price.
When I make inquiries to buy domain names and the domain owner responds asking for an offer, it wouldn’t make sense to say “I have no idea.” I think most domain owners expect people making inquiries to present an offer when asked, and that is what I do. If the domain seller doesn’t have a price and the domain buyer doesn’t have an offer, how can a deal get done?
After I shared my frustration at receiving a broker-made inquiry without an offer on Twitter yesterday, Andrew Rosener (Media Options) shared the rationale for this and made a few good points in response to me. Essentially, he told me brokers sometimes collect prices on a group of names to present to their client. If the domain owner didn’t respond to an email from the broker, the domain name might not be presented to the client.
Brokers who are working on behalf of a client should let domain owners know why they are inquiring. It is helpful to know my domain name is being considered amongst a group of other domain names as opposed to a buyer being interested solely in one particular domain name. This might actually help the broker as I could price it accordingly.
As a domain owner, I want brokers to know that it is frustrating to get an inquiry and learn that the broker has no idea how much their client is willing to spend for the domain name. A broker should have the offer at the ready to be able to either proceed with a negotiation, close the inquiry, or open escrow.