I noticed something interesting on a Uniregistry landing page today that I had not noticed before. I was checking out Cool.com, a domain name owned by Future Media Architects that is listed for sale via Uniregistry Market. Instead of a standard inquiry form I am accustomed to seeing on Uniregistry Market-listed domain names, there is a pay to inquire form:
In order to submit an offer to buy Cool.com, the prospective buyer must pay $39 in addition to a commission. I do not recall seeing Uniregistry with this pay to inquire offering before.
This Domain Buy Service appears to be similar in nature to what other companies offer.
Domain Agents has a similar offering for $19.95, and the company guarantees that the offer will be presented to the domain owner. With Domain Agents, the domain owner receives $10 for responding to the inquiry. Domain investors can park their domain names with a Domain Agents inquiry form, and prospective buyers can submit offers to buy domain names that aren’t using the Domain Agents platform.
GoDaddy also offers a similar type of service where a prospective buyer pays to submit an offer using one of their brokers. GoDaddy charges $49.99 plus a 20% commission. Prospective buyers can use GoDaddy’s service for domain names that aren’t listed for sale via GoDaddy.
SecuredOffers.com is another service that charges $19 to submit an offer to buy a domain name.
Many investors who use services like these do so to weed out tire kickers and unqualified buyers. The thinking is that someone who is going to make a fair offer will be ok with paying a nominal amount of money to submit their offer. I can’t imagine it is a profit center, but I am sure it eliminates many unqualified prospects who would likely waste a domain broker’s time.
I am not sure when Uniregistry introduced the service, nor do I know if it is available to all clients. One thing of note is that it appears to shift the burden of paying a broker’s commission from the seller to the buyer.
Update: It seems that this was some sort of error. When someone searches for a domain name not listed for sale on Uniregistry Market, they are given the option “Hire a broker now to acquire it from the current registrant.” When they click the “Get Started” button, they are taken to a landing page that looks like the one I saw. I am not sure why this was shown for Cool.com, but it looks like the standard landing page is back.