I enjoy reading articles that share advice about buying domain names. There are usually some good tips, and it’s also helpful to learn strategies and tactics companies may use to acquire domain names from my company.
I was reading Jayson DeMers’ article about buying domain names on SearchEngineGuide.com. The article, What to Do When Your Domain Name Isn’t Available, offers some solid advice, although one paragraph about domain brokers really jumped out at me.
In the section about buying domain names from domain owners, DeMers writes,
“There are some cons, though, as well. Brokers may charge anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the sale price and will typically tack on additional transaction fees. There’s also very little industry regulation and it’s challenging to stop unethical brokers from taking advantage of you.”
I am sure there are unethical operators in every industry, and perhaps the nature of the domain investment space makes it more easy for some people to be unethical without repercussions. I think it’s pretty bad that there is a perception about unethical domain brokers, especially because there are many domain brokers who are honest.
I think DeMers has a point about industry regulation, and I would imagine most brokers defer to the legal system where they operate. That said, I think there is a difference between what is legal and what is ethical, and perhaps a domain broker trade group could educate people who operate within the industry. The organization could set up guidelines its members must adhere to in order to remain in good standing within the group.
There are quite a few excellent and honest domain brokers with whom I have done business without a problem. I would imagine most of the well-known domain brokers and domain brokerages operate within a set of ethical and legal guidelines created by their individual companies. Perhaps it is time some of the leading domain brokers form a trade group that adheres to a set of standards, and professional brokers would have to adhere to the standards to be certified.
What are your thoughts about this?