Are you looking to use a domain broker? Wondering if they are worth it or safe to use?
Domain brokers help you find the best brandable domain name for your website that will set you up for success. They also help you sell your existing domain name so that you get a great price on it. But this service comes with terms and conditions along with added costs.
In this post, we’ll explain how domain brokers work and everything else you need to know before you do business with them. Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- What are Domain Brokers and How Do They Work
- What Should You Look for When Choosing a Domain Broker?
- Pros and Cons of Using a Domain Broker
- Which are the Best Domain Broker Services
- What Do Domain Brokers Charge
- How to Buy a Domain Name Without a Domain Broker
What are Domain Brokers and How Do They Work
Domain brokers are individuals or services that act as middlemen in buying and selling domain names.
Domain names are no longer just a URL for people to access your site. They become your business name and brand.
The name you pick could determine your SEO, trust factor, audience engagement, and overall success.
On the low end, domain names sell for a dollar and you can even find a domain name for free. On the high end, domain names have sold for millions of dollars. For instance, back in 2007, Business.com sold for a whopping $345 million.
So in a nutshell, domains are like online real estate making the domain business a lucrative one. On one hand, if you’re looking to by a valuable domain name or one that’s already taken, it can be hard to get since you won’t know who to contact or how to negotiate a price. On the other hand, you may want to sell your domain name and aren’t able to find the right buyer who’ll give you a good deal.
This is where domain brokers come into the picture. Domain brokers act like real estate agents of the internet. Here’s what they do:
- Help you buy or sell valuable domain names and charge you a commission
- Help you buy already registered or taken domain names
- Negotiate deals on your behalf to get the best price
- Facilitate the sales transaction while keeping your name anonymous
- Provide domain name appraisals and valuations
- Host domain name auctions
Added to this, most domain brokers also act as consultants. They are experts in the domain name trade. So if you are unsure about which domain name to buy or the best place to buy it, you can consult with them.
Next, let’s see what you should look for when you choose a domain broker.
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Domain Broker?
There are many domain brokers out there so finding one that’s trustworthy and reliable becomes difficult. Do you look at how long they’ve been in the market or maybe what kind of sales they’ve made?
Here’s what we would consider:
- History/track record: It’s important to see how domain name brokers have performed in the past. You’ll want to take a look at any big domain transactions that they’ve made and also see who their previous clients were.
- Domain intelligence: Make sure the people running the service are experts in the domain field. You can figure this out by checking their previous experience and company history.
- Testimonials: Other people’s experience can tell you a lot about a company. Most businesses display the best reviews on their website so you’ll want to check third-party review sites to find what people really have to say about the service.
Aside from all this, you can always contact the broker and ask questions about their methods, negotiation skills, and other information that can help you make a decision.
And we need to mention here that you should always, and we mean always, read the contract. Make sure you are aware of all the small details in the broker’s contract. If you can’t go through it, get your lawyer to take a look. This will help you avoid hidden charges, and terms and conditions that can work against you.
Pros and Cons of Using a Domain Broker
If you’re unsure about whether or not a broker service is for you, a good place to start would be to weigh out the pros and cons. This will help you see if you’re better off buying/selling your domain on your own. And if you decide to go ahead, you’ll know exactly what you can expect from a domain broker.
Let’s start with the advantages domain brokers bring to the table:
- Does all the prep, documentation, and legwork for you
- Gives you access to domain experts that know what they’re doing
- Knows the biggest buyers in the market
- Negotiates on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about bargaining for the best price
- Handles secure sales transaction
- Keeps your identity anonymous and prevents the sale price from being released to the public
- Gives you a proper appraisal of your domain’s value
- Provides the opportunity to buy great domain names at auctions
These are the main benefits of using a domain name but keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive. Coming to the drawbacks of domain brokers, here’s where you need to be on guard:
- They cannot guarantee the sale or purchase of your domain name
- You have to pay an upfront fee before the service begins, though this may sometimes be waived off. Added to that, there are brokerage fees which can be very high, putting it out of reach for many
- There’s usually a time limit on a buying brokerage service contract, mostly 30 days
- There are no real market regulations governing domain brokers
- You may not be able to determine whether the domain broker is also getting the best deal for the investor
- They may require exclusivity so you won’t be able to sell your domain elsewhere for the contract period
- If you are allowed to sell your domain elsewhere, you’ll have to pay the broker fees anyway
- Low value domains may not get as much attention
- Some brokers take up domains that are valued at $5,000 and up. A few even have a cut-off of $25,000 minimum value.
- Most brokers have terms that you need to meet such as only up to 3 generic words, no misspelled domain names, and only .com domain names.
Now you should be in a better position to decide whether a domain broker is right for you.
Up next, we’ll tell you who are the top domain brokers out there so that you can pick the best one.
Which are the Best Domain Broker Services
If you’re wondering where to find a good domain broker, we’ve got you covered. These are the most popular and reliable domain brokers in the market:
The world’s leading domain broker with 100+ domain brokers and 84+ million domains under their management. GoDaddy can guide you with their expertise in your specific region. They give you a dedicated broker that broker deals of any size for you. And the best part is that GoDaddy will handle every step of the transaction.
If you’re looking to sell, GoDaddy lets you use their free domain appraisal tool to get a valuation. You can then list your domain on their auction site to sell it. They do not broker sales.
This domain broker can help you get appraisals, negotiate deals, increase exposure through their partner network, and transfer domains securely. They let you buy, sell, auction, and park domain names to get the best price on your domain.
A strong and recognized domain broker that has helped big brand names secure their prized domain names. They do not have pricing plans or much information on their website, so it’s hard to say how much this broker would cost you.
One of the oldest domain brokers with 15+ years experience, Brannans focuses solely on domain transactions. They cater to everyone from small businesses all the way up to Fortune 500 companies.
However they only broker sales for .com domains that have a value of $25,000 and up. If your domain is worth at least $5,000 and up, they may feature you in their newsletter.
Another great domain broker to help you get the best price on your domain name. DomainAgents does not negotiate the deal themselves but lets you connect with the other party and will assist you with negotiations. They also ensure a safe and secure transaction process.
That’s our pick of the top 5 domain brokers in the market. But what do they charge for their services?
What Do Domain Brokers Charge?
Every domain broker charges an upfront fee to start the process of buying a domain name. When the domain name is sold, they take a commission on the selling price.
When it comes to selling your domain name, most domain brokers let you park your domain name or list it for sale without any charges. They’ll deduct a commission only when your domain name is sold.
To give you an idea of what you can expect, we’ll breakdown the cost of the domain brokers we mentioned above:
- GoDaddy: If you want to buy a domain name through GoDaddy, they charge an initial Domain Broker Service fee to start the service. If the domain name is successfully purchased, a 20% Buyer Broker fee will be added to the domain purchase price.
- Sedo: Sedo’s seller-side brokerage service is completely free of charge. If your domains are sold through this service, a 15% commission fee will be deducted from the agreed sales process. If your domains do not sell, you will not be charged.
You can also park your domain for free and Sedo will fix a price for it. You’ll pay 10% commission if the sale is successful. If you are buying a domain name, there are no charges through wire transfer. For other payment methods, you’ll pay a 3% fee.
- Grit Brokerage: Their fees can vary. You’ll need to contact them for a quotation.
- Brannans.com: They charge a commission of 15% of the actual sales price minus any escrow fees.
- DomainAgents: DomainAgents works quite differently. You first need to buy a DomainAgents credit for $19.95 and identify the domain name you are interested in acquiring.
Then DomainAgents will use all their resources to track down the domain owner and make an offer. If they aren’t able to do that, you’ll get your credits back to make a fresh request on a different domain name.
In addition to this, there are buyer’s fees that are charged depending on the transaction value.
If paying these commissions is all too much or out of budget, you can buy a domain name on your own too!
How to Buy a Domain Name Without a Domain Broker
There are hundreds of domain registrars that you can buy a domain name from.
You simply need to type in the domain name you want and if it’s available, you’ll see it on the results page along with the price.
Then you can add it to your cart and checkout. The price of the domain will depend on its market value, the TLD (top-level domain) or extension, the number of years you choose to register it for, and any addons you choose.
You can register a domain name with the following top domain registrars:
With Bluehost, you can even get a domain name for free.
When you sign up for one of their hosting plans that start at just $2.75 per month, you’ll get a free domain name for 12 months, free SSL, and free CDN.
You can find more domain name registrars here: Best Domain Registrars (2021)
That’s all we have for you today. We hope you found this post helpful in deciding whether you should use a domain broker.
Next, you’ll definitely want to see more of our resources:
- How to Check a Domain’s History Before Buying it (Steps + Tips)
- 19 Powerful Domain Name Generators for the Perfect Website Name
- How to Choose the Best Domain Name Extension (2021)
These posts will help you get the best domain name for your website.