When GoDaddy Works For You, and When They Don’t

I list the majority of my domain names for sale on GoDaddy via its Afternic distribution network. These are the easy to replace inventory types of domain names I try to buy and/or sell every day for reasonable prices and returns. Some of my most valuable domain names are not listed for sale via GoDaddy though.

When one of my domain names that is listed for sale on Afternic gets an offer, a broker typically contacts me to let me know how much the prospective buyer is willing to pay. GoDaddy is working on my behalf on this type of negotiation, and they work with the buyer to try and get a deal done at my asking price or close. If a deal is successful, I am responsible to pay the full commission. By way of example, if someone offers $2,000 for my domain name and I take it, I will net about $1,600.

In this scenario, GoDaddy is representing me, but a prospective buyer may also believe GoDaddy is representing them as well. I would imagine GoDaddy is focused on closing a mutually agreeable deal, but they are likely working more on behalf of the seller than the buyer.

When a prospective buyer is interested in buying a domain name I own that is not listed for sale on GoDaddy and Afternic, they use GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service (previously called the Domain Buy Service):

A prospective buyer that uses a GoDaddy Broker to buy a domain name pays $119.99 plus 20% commission if a deal is successfully closed. Once a prospective buyer pays the $119.99 fee, a broker on GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Team contacts the registrant of the domain name to present an offer on behalf of the buyer. At this point, GoDaddy is working on behalf of the buyer to get a deal done. Even if the domain registrant is an Afternic and/or GoDaddy customer, the broker represents the buyer in the negotiation. If a deal is struck, the buyer pays the full commission.

From my experience, the broker presents the net offer to the domain registrant. For instance, if the broker presents a $3,000 offer, it means the prospective buyer is offering to pay $3,600 to buy the domain name. I am not sure if there is a sliding commission scale based on the value of the deal.

It is important to know if a domain broker is working for the domain registrant or the prospective buyer, and I think this gives a pretty good overview of who GoDaddy is representing.

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. in my experience as a licensed real estate broker for many years, most folks often dont fully appreciate/understand who a broker (domain, real + financial investments) owes their ‘fiduciary duty’ to – why SEC (securities brokers) and ERISA / LaborDept (retirement products; annuities, etc) have been going round and round on the ‘Fiduciary Rule’ to be applicable to stockbrokers, and other investment advisers.

    Disclosure: I own eFiduciary.com and related IP assets

  2. I sold a domain through a GoDaddy broker a couple months ago. I agree to the offer on the 6th of the month, the sale was made on the 8th of the month and I had funds in my bank account on the 11th. It was fairly easy and quick in my opinion.

    The 20% commission does sting a little though… =/ but at least its money in my pocket and total hold time was 4 months with a purchase price that was less than 1% of what I sold the domain for. It’s all good!

      • Anything in the low $XXXX should go fairly quickly. The broker and I were going back and forth for about 4 weeks on the price before we reached an agreement. Payout time was decent imo.

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