When a Domain Broker Won’t Work For You, Broker Your Own Domain Name

I get a fair amount of email from people asking me to broker domain names for them.  I don’t generally broker domain names unless I absolutely know someone who would be interested, so I usually send the people to read my Domain Broker list instead.

I’ve found that more times than not, none of the brokers are willing to work with the people who request their services simply because the names are either low value or it’s unlikely they will sell for the domain owner’s expectations.  Since a broker is paid on a commission, it doesn’t make any sense to spend 5-10+ hours searching for a buyer for a name that might yield them a couple hundred in commissions, if it even sells.

If you own domain names that can’t get representation from a top domain broker, I have two suggestions for you – one being more passive and the other being aggressive.

1) List them on Sedo and Afternic.  Both sites get end user traffic and if a buyer is interested in buying a domain name pertaining to a specific topic, he or she will likely find them there. They do quite a bit of promotions, and if there’s an active buyer for your domain name, they will probably end up on either or both of those websites.

2) Contact potential buyers yourself.  When you bought the name, you probably thought that it would be perfect for a specific type of company. Well, go out and search for that type of company.  Email the site contacts and let them know you are selling your domain names. If you price them reasonably and they actually make sense, then maybe the company will buy them. You can use a service like Escrow.com to transact the deal.

If you buy some land in the Florida Everglades or in Arizona’s Sonora Desert and you decide to build a big home on it, you might actually be the only person who finds value there. Just because you bought and built it does not mean that someone else will want to buy it from you. If you get rejected by a domain broker, don’t take it personally. If you believe your domain names have value, there are at least two ways to get them sold.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Other sites that I have found provide lots of visibility for premium domain names are: Websiteproperties.com, PremiumDomains.com, and Flippa.com. All represent excellent values for the visibility that they provide. Also, a good press release helps a lot.

  2. GREAT post.

    Love the last paragraph. Really… if you’ve registered the domain in the past couple years this means no one else wanted that name/it’s out in the woods. MAYBE someday it will be more valuable but today it’s probably not worth what you paid for it.

    If it was worth hand registering, someone else would have done it already.

    Sometimes we can successfully proactively market domains for sale but they have to be GREAT domains at VERY realistic prices


    the domain has to be PERFECT for multiple end users.

    Forget about selling future trends/products or brandable/catchy names proactively.

    If you are going to speculate in domains (buying to sell) then incorporate patience into your strategy. Always best if a buyer comes to you.

    Buy domains you would build into a business.

  3. Good advice. If you’re going to hire a domain broker, make sure that they have actually brokered something. Also make sure that they actually give a shit about what you want them to broker.

  4. Elliot,

    I think you are talking to me, and that’s fine.

    The advice you gave up there is proper, however, there is more to it than this.

    There is really artificial manipulation going on at at most of these markets, including Sedo. I know for a fact that most of them have conflict of interests: they have their own domains to sell. I know for a fact that a powerful Broker at Sedo whose last name begins with “F” hates me, and does everything to remove my awesome names from auction line up, I suppose the Auction manager luvs this guy, and therefore gets to influence everything. When you take a look at my names, they are far far superior to what gets sold at Sedo weekly.

    I got a bid on one of my .CO earlier in August 2010 at Sedo, the name was SUGARCANE.CO, and I let it go to auction, and it was never promoted, so this good size company bought the name from me at peanuts. I also sent my SOUL.FM to auction on Sedo, and they couldn’t even sell it for $25,000. Anyways, I love my domains, and they will stay with me until this gangster Brokers and their cabal against me is broken.

  5. @ Uzoma

    I did not have you in mind when writing this. There are a lot of people that have names a broker wouldn’t take under contract. I have plenty of them.

  6. I had 2 offers for a couple of my hand registered domain names in the $xxx without me having to do anything. My problem is….I get greedy when I get an offer and counter with a much higher price…then never hear from the guy again. It doesn’t bother me since this not my primary source of income. I just have a hard time pricing and letting my domain names go.

    It reminds me back in the good ol’ day when I bought a tech stock for $3 and it goes up to $30 in a matter of days…and I keep holding on to it, and it eventually became zero. sigh!!!! Guys like me will never get rich….hence I am a poor uncle. 🙂

  7. Well, thanks for your articles, but I understand that one can not list same domains on afternic DLS and sedo MLS at the same time.
    One can list on ordinary market at sedo and list on afternicDLS because of the parking issue; but then the domain may not enjoy the right publicity at sedo if the domain is not park with them.
    Please, I stand to be corrected on this issue.

  8. Hi Elliot,

    The “Domain” biz is no different than any other, the more experience and knowledge the better off you will be. I have limited, very limited experience in the domain business but was an ol timer in the Internet biz, anyway I booked a lot of domains back in the 90’s, some I think are very strong. My question is where do I get an honest opinion of value? I will pay for it. Anyway I have 500+or- domains, here are a few of them, give me your thoughts.




  9. Elliott,

    Rather than contacting an individual company(s), which may put you in a weak position in terms of negotiation, I’d recommend another option to domain name owners who believe they have a valuable domain name. Consider targeting (marketing) the domain name to the applicable industry directly. This could be done in a trade magazine, trade show, conference etc.

    http://www.bittiest.com – Big data & Small data!


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