From June of 2012 until this past March, Giuseppe Graziano worked in a business development role and as a domain broker at Domain Holdings. According to his LinkedIn profile, Giuseppe “successfully negotiated over 7 digits in domain sales.” Giuseppe recently went out on his own, and he just announced the launch of his domain name brokerage, GGRG.com.
GGRG.com plans to focus entirely on “liquid” domain names. This means Giuseppe will only be looking to broker high value short and numeric domain names. Domain names in these categories continue to see higher sale prices, and I understand that Giuseppe has experience in this niche.
Giuseppe shared some information about GGRG.com and why he decided the time was right to start his own domain brokerage:
“We have launched GGRG.com with the long-term vision of helping transform domain names into a more efficient marketplace. I believe that, in the future, domain names will become a more liquid and legitimate investment vehicle. Many Chinese investors are constantly trading liquid domain names, almost as if they were stocks. We noticed that, contrary to what used to happen in the past – when large domain investors held to their assets waiting for an end user – nowadays many new investors joined the market and quickly made profits by flipping domains at a rapid rate and good margins, a lot more like traders rather than investors. If we assume that market size is equal to the average price times the transaction volume, the natural consequence of this increased transaction pace is that the yearly market turnover is quickly rising in value, which is very positive for the health of the industry.
GGRG.com will be brokering exclusively liquid domain names – that is LL, LLL, LLLL, NN, NNN, NNNN, NL & LN, and there is going to be a cap on the assets that we will take under exclusive. The standard 15% commission is not sustainable anymore in this market, and I do not believe it is ever fair to charge the same rate when a domain is purchased by an investor. Technology and information are quickly replacing the need for salespeople and the only brokers that add value are those that not only help you buy or sell, but those who also provide you with insider knowledge about market prices, so you can avoid overpaying for domains or selling them for less than their full potential. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and I believe that if we can actually provide our clients with the data they need to make an informed decision, this goes a long way to build trust and long term relationships.
The target for every domain we broker will be to maximize the sale price of the domain by proactively pursuing end users, and to find the investors who are willing to pay above market price whenever end users are not interested. We will not be focused on premium keyword domains, developed properties and traffic portfolios, because we believe we can add maximum value to our clients only if we stay focused on the niche we know best; besides, there are already many excellent professionals like Joe Uddeme, Mark Daniel, Tracy Fogarty, Alan Hack and a few other brokers that provide quite an excellent service for the rest of the market. I will continue to publish the newsletter, as the feedback I received from all sorts of people across the industry was overwhelmingly positive. We will work hard to constantly improve our brokerage service and provide the best possible content for our readers.”
If you visit GGRG.com, you can sign up for Giuseppe’s brokerage newsletter. I always found his newsletter insightful, and I hope he continues to provide a good overview of the domain name aftermarket each week.
seems like everyone is a broker these days.
True ‘dat. Seriously though…the last thing the world needs is another “domain broker”
Seeing so many of these domain sales reps going into business for themselves lately may be a contrarian signal for at least a temporary plateau in domain prices…have domain values finally jumped-the-shark?
I understand its only natural for someone to want to branch out on their own but as an employer myself there is a part of me that hates that you nurture a person, give them a well payed job, show them the ropes, get them in with influential clients and build up their own client list only to walk away and steal your clients.
You would think that these domain brokerage houses would let there employees sign a 5/10 year Non-Compete contract and if they don’t like it, hire someone else.
It’s like that Ali guy at Flippa, they hyped him up so much and gave him a great job only for him to leave straight away as soon as he got the notoriety.
Gotta get them to sign NC and NDA’s people!
I don’t have knowledge to speak about this particular situation, but in general, non-competes can be expensive and/or difficult to enforce in some states and countries.
In addition, if a company wants to hire someone that is already a good/respected broker, that person most likely would not sign a non-compete since that would prevent them from doing their profession if they leave.
I had no idea Non-competes were difficult to enforce in some states, which I guess is understandable.In the UK a simple Solicitor’s letter usually does the trick 9 times out of 10. But like you said it depends on the juristriction.
Over the years you have mentioned Domain Holdings have had quite a few of their brokers leaving to start their own domain brokerage firms and they seem to have the biggest problem with this. I still think they should get their potential brokers to sign non-competes
Wow, thanks for the info, I had no idea. Good to know
I had no idea either, thanks for the info. I just signed a non-compete clause as part of a contract for a site I sold last week. I am not in California, and would not want to risk getting sued, but it is good info to know.
FYI, I have absolutely no legal background.
So if a chef who works 20 years at someone else’s restaurant wants to go out and open up his own eating establishment…you’re against that?
You can’t keep people from utilizing their earned skills and experience to open their own business. Non-compete’s are almost completely unenforceable in over 40 states simply because you can’t prevent someone from earning a living.
Did Ali make Flippa alot of money? I’m guessing the answer is a resounding “Hell Yes he did!” If companies don’t know how to keep their talent happy, then they deserve to lose them, either to a competitor or to that former employees new business…after all, this is America – Home of the FREE.
So if you took on this Chef from Chef School, help him develop his culinary skills and he then walks away and taking all your best customers to his new restaurant you wouldn’t mind?
So you must believe slavery to be a good thing, Alan. Or perhaps indentured servitude is more your thing.
Dude, it doesn’t matter how much you train someone – YOU DON’T OWN THEM. If they want to get a different job or start their own business, you have absolutely no say in the matter.
Well, if they signed a non-compete agreement in a state/country where non-competes are enforceable, you would be incorrect.
Obviously I am not talking about slavery or anything along those lines. I am speaking strictly about professions where non compete agreements are common.
Yes, Elliot…this is true, in maybe 20% of the U.S. – however, this isn’t what Alan is talking about. Alan clearly believes that if he trains someone and invests in them as an employee, then that person should stay put for as long as Alan wants.
You’re putting words in my mouth now. I never said anything about forever, if you read my previous comment I stated 5 or 10 years which is fair if you are paying for their 4 year college course. And who said they had to stay put? They can work wherever they want in whatever industry just I don’t think its right if they knowthe secrets to your company, steal your clients and directly compete with you.
As Elliot mentioned in some professions like non competes are commonplace and necessary.
I guess maybe you have never been put in that situation but if were you might have second thoughts.
“so you can avoid overpaying for domains or selling them for less than their full potential”
“find the investors who are willing to pay above market price whenever end users are not interested”
I think the 2 quotes are contradictory. it’s always confusing when a broker is involved trying to figure out who they’re actually representing. It’s tricky being a broker.
Hi Koosah, you are right.
It does get confusing whenever there is a dual agency agreement, that is, when the broker is free to represent both buyer and seller. In those case it is hard to tell which side the broker is supporting.
Most good brokers though will clearly represent the first party who hired them, regardless if there is a dual agency clause or not.
To make things more transparent, we never operate under dual agency, so the buyer or the seller can have the confidence that we are fully on their side.
Hope that clarifies a bit 🙂
How does one go about picking the right broker for a high value domain? I’m not a domainer just luck enough to own a generic, dictionary word LLL.com which I figure could go for $xx,xxx or $xxx,xxx. Estibot has put it as low as $60k and today valuates it as $350k. That’s a lot of range and a lot of risk of not getting the full value.
Hi Eis, it really depends on a lot of factors. Many people on this blog would agree that Estibot is not always the best tool when trying to appraise the value of a domain, especially when it is a short, liquid domain.
If you receive an inbound inquiry from a large company, the amount you can obtain for it is usually linked to their budget. If you want to do outbound instead, you have to define a price level that maximize your chances to sell and your upside.
If you like, feel free to contact me through my website and I would be happy to give you a list of similar domains and how much they sold for, so you can understand better what are the comparables and how much you can realistically expect.
I think it’s very bad business the way Ali treated Flippa. Domainers want to be respected but lots of them are backstabbing each other.
It’s quite easy to speak on a topic without knowing all the facts. So I will fill you in, much like I did with Alan but just in case you don’t see my comment above, here it is for you.
For one, I was successfully selling domain names before I was hired at Flippa. Flippa needed to develop a brokerage arm, they reached out to me and I went in to help them create a very successful brokerage team. The brokerage team has now grown substantially and is well on its way to becoming a force in the industry.
I did not leave Flippa to run my own brokerage company. In fact, I am no longer brokering domains at all. My pursuit is acquisition & sales. I enjoy buying and selling domain names and for that reason, I chose to go back to what I was doing before becoming a broker.
It was only with Flippa’s blessing that I would venture back out into what truly makes me happy. I have a great relationship with Flippa and it was a mutually positive departure on my end. I plan on continuing to use their platform, but instead of brokering domains, I will be selling my own. It’s a win, win for both Flippa and I.
Hope that clears it up for you.
How could you be reached for correspondence?
Good luck to Giuseppe. You will make more money on your own but there are lots of hurdles to cross.
Thank you there. Anything worth pursuing has challenges 🙂
His commission structure is innovative (from http://ggrg.com/brokerage/ ):
You will not be charged any listing fee for your asset. Only after a successful sale completion will we charge a commission over the final sale price. We have 2 commission packages you can choose from:
1. Flat 10% on the purchase price.
2. 12% on the purchase price if the domain is sold to an end user OR 8% if the domain is sold to an investor.
I am not sure which I would choose, but it is good to have a choice at least.
Thanks you Eric. I don’t believe it is ever fair to charge the same commission for the two cases, when selling to an investor clearly requires less work.
Please note though that these commission percentages apply only when brokering a domain under exclusive and only when representing a seller.
I think 8% for investors is to much. The reason is you are giving the investor a reason to wait and try to buy direct at 8%. This is more of a problem with investors than it is with end users especially on higher priced domains. Plus a deal with an investor is way less work than with an end user (who needs to often be played and/or gamed).
Remember that to an end user they are only interested in one name. An investor can potentially buy many names.
If you lower that to 5% it’s fair enough that someone will pay it to you as a go between in this type of sale. My opinion both buying and selling exactly the types of domains you plan to handle. (90% sell, 10% buy).
How do you determine who is an end-user, and who is an investor? Seems like that would be tough to prove in many cases.
Hi Larry, appreciate your comment. I do believe in fair compensation and I can tell you that sometimes a broker deserves even as high as 20% or more if he/she can find the right end user and represent the seller in an excellent way.
The rationale behind the dual commission is because, based on my experience, those percentages are a good approximation of the time employed by the broker. In the case of an end user sale, it is only fair to reward a broker who took the time to find the right end user, identified and contacted the right decision maker within the company, and finally demonstrated the value of the domain.
With domain investors instead, there is typically less effort involved because you can skip the first 2 steps – however, especially for numeric domains (that are less likely to be sold via end users outbound), finding the right investor that is willing to pay above market prices, in my opinion, deserves at the very least 8%. Hope this answer your comment, which had some very good points.
That is true. The basic definition of an end user is someone that purchases the domain NOT with the intent of reselling it for profit. Besides for those clear cases in which the buyer is, for example, a large company (end user) or a known “domainer” (domain investor), there are a few gray areas. What is if it a software company that happens to own thousands domains? In those cases, I believe that if we are transparent and talk with our clients, we can always find solutions that are reasonable and fair – the goal here is to create long term relationships and add as much value as possible. Hope this makes sense and clarifies your question 🙂
There are a few comments on the blog today that basically are saying things like “great another broker who needs that”.
About maybe a year ago I talked to a very well known and well respected broker in this business about selling my 2l .com name. I asked a bunch of questions including what he could do vs. someone else. He essentially replied back with 1 sentence that said something like “I can’t help you with this”. Why? Because he was either full of business or only looking for low hanging fruit. (This was to repeat a 2 letter .com). Another broker replied back with a list of detailed information on why he was better than “the other guys”. He then disappeared after getting the contract signed and didn’t bring any offers. (Not even low offers what does that say?). Other people have talked about how hard they work and all of that. There is room for another broker. Just keep in mind that as you get busy it will limit the time that you can spend on any name and you very well might end up having to deal only with the low hanging fruit.
Hi Larry, this is so very true. The quality of the work of a broker is inversely proportional to the number of assets he chooses/is required to work on. For a skilled broker saying no becomes much more frequent than saying yes. That is why at the base of GGRG.com we chose to focus exclusively on short, liquid domain names, and refuse to work on anything else. I have already brokered 2 letter .com (check the testimonials on my page) and, if you would like to discuss any liquid domain, without any commitment, feel free to contact me through my website – I would be happy to chat with you about it. Take care, Giuseppe.
Hats off to you GG! Believing in yourself is the first step towards all achievement. Expecting great things this year!
Thank you so much Ryan! Wishing the very best for you as well 🙂
I agree with Larry. While there may be enough standard domain brokers,
Giuseppe is only handling 2, 3, and 4 number and letter domains, which is very specialized and is a hot market right now with lots of hard to get to foreign buyers, so if I was looking to buy or sell that type of domain he would now be the first person I would contact (I had never heard of him until today).
Appreciate it Eric! Feel always free to contact me through my website should you need anything regarding liquid domain names – even just an opinion.
Okay, listen up, all you brokers:
If you have an online form for making submissions, please make sure it sends an automated email confirmation acknowledging the submission. Otherwise, if a person never even receives any contact at all, they are left wondering if your web form even worked properly and you ever even got the submission to begin with. And with that in mind, it honestly wouldn’t hurt and would greatly also help if you were willing to send a polite rejection as well instead of leaving someone with no reply at all wondering what happened. Make sense?
Hi John, thank you for your suggestion, I will make sure a confirmation email will be set up.
If you are referring to my site, I have not received your email (unless your name is Jonathan). Please feel free to contact me again and I will reply at the earliest.
Thanks for your reply, Giuseppe. I was not referring to yours specifically, but since Elliot posted this thread it was the perfect opportunity to mention this so that some brokers in general might do something about it, as well as yourself if I were to try to list with you. It’s definitely unpleasant to not receive the slightest indication that a submission was received and rejected, even if it is rejected. A polite rejection is 1000 better than not being sure if the broker ever even saw anything.
P.S. And that’s especially when you know you submitted decent domains even if not the kind the broker wants to promote, so I’m not talking about a broker having to spend time replying about UnbelievableGarbageExample.com’s and such, either.
Hey John, you are right. Sometimes the reason why brokers do not answer is just technical, other times the domains are really terrible 🙂 Eitherway, you are right, every inquiry that a broker receives should be at the very least acknowledged and possibly pointed toward the right direction – that is just the professional way of doing business. Take care and good luck with the sale of your domain(s).
New brokers we train, pay for travel and conferences etc do not return any ROI for about 6-12 months in average. So we often have to spend $30000 plus getting brokers up and creating value. This was the case with Tracy and g so we sucked it up helping people get ahead and yes it’s a free market but turning from coworker to competitor is why we have the option to enforce our signed legal agreements. It clearly states in the signed employment agreements. This has nothing to do with free markets but legal agreements plain and simple. We hope them well but realize this is a small market and when you screw the wrong people it usually comes back to get you in the long run. Hope they crush it, we’ll let the courts decide on compensations and breach of contracts.
Tracy who? Who are you? WTF are you talking about?
Chad is a co-founder of Domain Holdings
Chad owns an impressive domain portfolio and has done very well in the domain space.
All the best with your new business Giuseppe.
I treat people as I find them and for you sir demonstrated what a professional and most humble person you are.
I will be in touch soon.
Best of luck!