Using a domain buyer broker service can be an effective way of acquiring a domain name.
I enjoy just about every aspect of acquiring a domain name. From searching for the owner of the domain name to negotiating a final purchase price, the “chase” is almost as exciting as closing a big domain sale. I’ve found that the more challenging it has been to find a domain owner and secure a deal, the reward is almost always commensurate with the effort.
Despite the exhilaration I get from the process of buying domain names, using a domain buyer broker to secure a deal may be advantageous, especially to people who are not active domain investors. A domain buyer’s broker can save time, reduce stress, and can help the buyer save money on a domain name deal. I’ll give you some examples.
Some of my better deals have come from acquisitions where I really had to put in an effort to contact the domain owner. Outdated Whois information, bouncing emails and non working phone numbers, companies that have gone out of business, and other challenges can make it tough to contact someone. If I can’t easily find someone, it probably means others haven’t been able to submit their offers, and perhaps it will be easier to strike a deal. A domain buyer broker has the resources to track down an owner, potentially saving the buyer time.
Negotiations can be stressful and time consuming. Sometimes a domain owner doesn’t want to sell, and other times he is just playing hardball. A buyer’s broker can help calm the buyer and prevent him from saying something silly or regretful.
A buyer broker most likely has a good sense of the domain market. He can give advice to the buyer, and the buyer can share insight into why he is looking to acquire a particular domain name. Together, the team can determine a fair and reasonable price to pay. In addition, the broker can stand between the buyer and the seller to negotiate a better deal on behalf of the client, helping to save money. Some domain owners price their names based on who is inquiring, and being able to inquire covertly can help save money.
I’ve used a domain buyer broker in the past, and I think it can be a good way to buy a domain name. Here are a few buyer brokers and companies that offer this service (although you might have to request it privately if it’s not openly offered on their website). If I missed any, please let me know.
- Adam Strong
- Afternic / Go Daddy
- Domain Guardians (Mike Robertson)
- Domain Holdings
- Media Options
- Name Ninja (Bill Sweetman)
- Network Solutions
- Outcome Brokerage (Ryan Colby)
- Rob Sequin
I’ve been approached that way numerous times by different people from one of the biggest names in the list there, though as I’ve said before I’m not really formally in the selling biz like you guys (but maybe I’ll list some soon anyway, which I certainly have done before).
When it happens it tends to give me the impression someone is just trying to severely lowball and get a domain for dirt cheap instead of anything close to what it’s really worth. Whenever I reply with a reasoned response designed to get them to realize I’m not a “flipper” or “wholesaler” and have a very good sense of what a domain is worth and especially its target industry/market, they never even bother trying to negotiate, except only one time where the guy decided to get very aggressive about this one in particular where the line of people who inquire trying to buy it could remind you of the 70’s when Star Wars came out, lol. Ironically its a three-worder, too, but a truly killer one, super lucrative industry, where so many knock off younger versions of it are regged and have sites running that all those wannabe regs could remind you of the lines for a new blockbuster movie, too, lol.
I think it’s great if you can experience success using a broker or rep that way, but I can tell you from my own experience as someone who has only been on the receiving end, it tends to be a turn off really. I have also often been the one trying to buy a domain and have never used them; I’m very reluctant to, but I suppose one should never say never. You have definitely indicated some benefits that are worth considering.
“Some domain owners price their names based on who is inquiring, and being able to inquire covertly can help save money.” That’s why if someone is going to approach me, I tend to try to just stick with what I regard the domain to be really worth. But I’m all in favor of getting a bargain if you can and believe I have done so myself. Getting a bargain if you can is certainly an honest and legitimate thing to do if you can do it honestly, but I wonder if being approached by a broker really makes it better or worse more often that not.
I sympathize with your concern about dealing with Domain Buyer Brokers, but as someone who does this for a living, I can assure you that a client’s decision to work through a Domain Buyer Broker is not always about the money and getting the name “dirt cheap”. It would be wrong to make that blanket assumption and could end up hurting your chances of striking a deal that you’d be really happy about.
Companies (and entrepreneurs) that hire a Domain Buyer Broker often don’t have the time or expertise to contact a domain owner, negotiate a deal, and complete the transfer. These folks are busy running their existing businesses (or launching their startups) and have more pressing matters to attend to. A lot of the technical stuff regarding domain transfers and the domain lifecycle that domainers and other domain industry professionals take for granted is very confusing for the general public, no matter how smart these people are. That’s why some companies don’t mind paying a Domain Buyer Broker to help make that headache go away.
A Domain Buyer Broker can even be your (the domain owner’s) saviour during a potential deal, even if they are representing the buyer. A good Domain Buyer Broker will help their client, the buyer, recognize the value of a premium domain name and bring them to the table, or back to the table, with a more realistic offer than you might get had the buyer contacted you directly.
Sounds like you have had some bad experiences with ‘corporate’ Domain Buyer Broker services, which is unfortunate. But rest assured, when most of the Domain Buyer Brokers on the list above contact you, it could actually be the best thing that has happened to you all day.
Well I hope I didn’t sound like I was completely bashing it, Bill, but I just wanted to give my own candid impression and experience. I don’t doubt there must be positive experiences and benefits out there in both directions, and quite frankly (and ironically) there have been a few times when I felt it might even be beneficial to be on the other end employing a broker if I wanted to sell one. One time I even offered to turn one of my “suitors” into a broker in fact, though I was not trying to sell the desired domain at the time.