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You’re starting a new site. You Google the domain name to see if it’s free, but it’s already been taken by someone else. Bummer.
This happens more often than not, especially if you have a good name in mind.
What are you to do if you really want a domain name that has already been claimed? Or what if you’re sitting on a valuable domain and looking to sell?
You find the best domain broker to work on a negotiation plan and broker a fair deal on your behalf.
Here, I dive into the best domain brokers currently on the market that’ll help you do all the heavy lifting to acquire—or sell—a domain.
#1 – GoDaddy Domain Brokerage Review — The Best For Name Recognition
Even if you’ve never bought a domain name before, chances are you’ve already heard of GoDaddy. It’s everywhere. Hence the name recognition.
With GoDaddy Domain Broker, you can increase your chances of catching a potential domain seller’s attention when one of its agents reaches out for you while you stay anonymous.
Once paired with an agent, they’ll spend 30 days mediating on your behalf to get the best possible deal within the budget you decide on. If the deal is successful, GoDaddy’s agent ensures an easy and safe payment process for you and facilitates the domain’s migration to your account.
In other words, you get peace of mind.
As far as selling and buying digital real estate goes, ensuring you’re engaging on reliable deals by partnering with a dependable domain broker can make a world of difference.
GoDaddy boasts over 20 million global customers with 20 years of domain experience under its belt. This makes them a domain broker that inspires name recognition and trust. The experts know a thing or two about getting results when it comes to domain brokerage.
GoDaddy charges an initial advisor fee that starts at $119.99. Depending on whether they are successful in purchasing your domain, they then get 20 percent of the sale.
#2 – VPN.com Review— The Best For Negotiating Large Domain Deals
If you’re after a domain deal that’s well into the six figures or higher, then partnering with a tried and true domain broker like VPN.com can pay off. It boasts over $65 million in domain transactions and was responsible for the seventh-largest domain deal in 2019.
What sets VPN.com apart is its well-rounded approach to domain brokerage. The service uses Escrow.com for payment processing protection and ensures you stay completely anonymous throughout the process. VPN.com is a solid brokerage option if you want to acquire or sell a highly valued domain.
VPN.com doesn’t charge any upfront fees. As far as commission goes, they never charge over 15 percent.
#3 – Domain Booth Review— The Best For Low Commission Fees
Domain Booth has more than two decades of experience in the domain name space. What’s more, they’ve also sold over $30 million in domain names. Domain Booth is a go-to broker for premium domain names that are in the top one percent.
One of it’s best features is it only makes money if it successfully acquires or sells your domain. So, you can be sure you won’t be investing money in a deal that might not happen.
This makes it easier to acquire a domain name that you’re genuinely interested in without any downside.
On the other hand, this also makes them more selective with the domains they decide to sell or acquire. The lost commission fees and zero upfront costs you’ll experience with Domain Booth, along with their years of experience in the space that can prove valuable, make it one of the top domain brokers worth looking into.
I recommend looking at their previous sales and service options to see if they’d be a good fit for your domain needs. As a reputable and professional site, you can easily access all this information on their site.
Once they’ve reached a successful deal, Domain Booth’s commission is only 12.5 percent. And again, they require no upfront investment.
#4 – Grit Brokerage Review— The Best For A Broker With Notable Sales
Ever wonder who was responsible for the acquisition of the domain ICE.com for more than $3 million? Look no further than Grit Brokerage. They’re also responsible for the sale of domains like Panda.com, Doors.com, and Partners.com.
One-word domain sales like these set Grit Brokerage apart as a domain broker with highly notable sales. What does this mean for you? A proven track record of sales brokers that know their stuff and get results.
You can already guess that brokering deals on their roster takes plenty of grit, persistence, and a whole lot of skill to boot. With Grit Brokerage, you can be sure you’re getting both, whether you’re looking to buy or sell a domain.
To learn more about their prices, contact them through their site since they aren’t publicly listed.
#5 – MediaOptions Review— The Best For Outbound Domain Brokerage
If you’re specifically looking to sell a domain, you have a powerful domain broker like MediaOptions at your disposal. They deal with top companies that want to acquire highly valuable domain names. And yours might just be one of them.
MediaOptions has brokered domain deals in the millions for startups and large corporations alike. They’re responsible for a number of notable domain transactions through Escrow.com. So, you can be sure they’re constantly active and well connected in the sale of valuable domain names.
Unlike other domain brokers, MediaOptions doesn’t send impersonal mass emails to their prospective buyers. They pick up the phone and contact key prospects they think will be interested in your domain.
In other words, they do all the selling for you. This is probably why they can boast an 80 percent sale rate on the domain names they decide to take on, as they are selective with who they work with.
The combination of track record, strategy, and how affordable it is as an effective domain seller makes MediaOptions one of the best in the field for outbound domain brokerage.
MediaOptions doesn’t charge any service fees upfront. It only charges you if they successfully sell your domain. And its sales commission is an affordable 15 percent once the deal closes, with a minimum of $1,000.
#6 – Namecheap Review— The Best Open Domain Marketplace
Considering how much of a commodity domain names are, it’s kind of surprising that there haven’t been more peer-to-peer selling platforms created. A lot of domain brokers are pretty old-school about helping you sell domains, taking care of the marketing and salesmanship behind the scenes.
Namecheap, however, has a domain marketplace that is intuitive and modern.
On Namecheap’s marketplace, you can buy and sell domains with ease.
Searching and purchasing is remarkably easy. Domains for sale are listed with their name, closing date, and the cost to buy. You can search for keywords you’re looking for or filter by category, price range, and more options.
But the real benefit of buying from the Namecheap marketplace is the ability to scoop up domains that wouldn’t be listed as available with other providers and brokers. You get first dibs on any domains the Namecheap community is selling.
However, keep in mind that domains that you purchase through this platform don’t get renewed when you buy them. You’re still beholden to its original expiration date.
Speaking of selling, you can just as easily sell domains on the marketplace—the only catch is that they must be domains you’ve purchased through Namecheap already.
Though you’re unable to sell your sweet legacy domains on Namecheap, you can wield the platform to sell off domains you don’t need that you’ve gotten on Namecheap or even attempt to flip domains for a profit.
Selling a domain is easy—you just log into your Namecheap account and list the domain for a fixed price. Namecheap charges a 10% transaction fee on any sale.
#7 – Domain.com Review— The Best for Buying Premium Domains
It must be a good sign when a domain registrar itself owns the best domain name for its industry. Domain.com isn’t a true domain broker because you won’t be able to sell through them, but they are the premier destination for scooping up prime internet real estate.
Domain.com offers both a standard domain search and one for premium domains. As more and more common words and phrases have gotten claimed over the years, it’s become harder to get a .com that’s short and easy to remember.
With Domain.com’s premium domain search, though, you can grab one of these for your site.
Now, they won’t come cheap. A quick search will likely return some eye-popping price tags for domain names you had your heart set on.
But the helpful folks at Domain.com are available to help secure your dream URL at a price you can stomach. Their staff is available 24/7 via phone or live chat. In this way, Domain.com functions like a brokerage, because you have their assistance and guidance throughout the purchasing process if you need it.
And, even if the initial purchase is expensive, premium domains bought through Domain.com won’t renew at an exorbitant price. Instead, they will renew at the standard rates for the extension.
So, even if you buy a .com for several hundred dollars, it will renew at just $9.99 for one year, $19.98 for two, and so on.
If you don’t want to pony up for a top-level extension like .com or .net, Domain.com’s search function is great at suggestion alternate, new, and lesser-known TLDs. In fact, they offer over 300 domain extensions and even allow you to preregister for even newer ones yet to hit the market.
Domain.com is a great marriage of traditional domain registrar, detailed domain search, and brokerage-level support and assistance.
There are a number of benefits to using a domain broker to acquire (or sell) a domain instead of attempting to do it all yourself. They’ll take care of the bulk of the negotiations and paperwork and provide additional domain connections you just don’t have.
Not to mention, a lot of the skills of a domain broker are acquired over time and are highly valuable because they can save you two things: time and money.
Here’s a quick list of what reliable and effective domain brokers can generally take off your plate:
All the technical aspects of what goes into transferring a domain to you fully and successfully once a deal is finalized
Making sure sale agreements are honored and fully followed through safely via the right platforms
Serve as an arbitrary third party that looks out for your best interests as a buyer or seller
Give you pricing guidance according to market value and demand
Speed up the process of buying or selling a domain
Find the contact information of a registered domain when information isn’t publicly available or easily accessible
Unsurprisingly, a domain brokerage service providing all of the above is your best bet in terms of getting a hold of—or selling—your dream domain. While some brokers can work with a wide variety of domains, others specialize in specific types of domains, extensions, or deals that might not be what you’re looking for.
You’ll want to decide if you wish to work with a niche domain broker as opposed to a more general service provider going forward. To take it a step further, here are a few more things to consider when you’re searching for an effective domain broker.
As a potential domain buyer, you might not want to have your identity revealed when inquiring about the potential sale of a registered domain for a number of reasons. A good domain broker gives you the ability to remain anonymous throughout the process and even if the sale doesn’t go through.
As a domain buyer with a business, this can be a deciding factor when you’re brokering a registered domain. Your sensitive information doesn’t have to be made public if you don’t want it to. But you need to ensure your broker guarantees this as part of their brokerage service.
Different domain brokers charge different fees. When you’re employing a domain broker to work on your behalf, it’s a good idea to compare what percentage of the sale they’re charging you and the value they offer for what they charge against other service providers.
Many domain brokerage services, like GoDaddy, leverage name recognition to make acquiring a domain easier. With name recognition, you’re ensuring the best chance at a response from the domain owner, which can ultimately lead to a sale.
Some domain brokerage services are more recognizable than others, so it can be a factor in determining who you want to represent and reach out on your behalf. Depending on your unique situation, name recognition can be an added benefit. And closely related to name recognition are any valuable connections the brokers may have.
Negotiation and Expertise
When you’re looking to buy or sell a domain worth thousands or potentially millions of dollars, be sure to look at their negotiation process, history, and domain brokerage expertise with a magnifying glass.
The same broker that could get you pinkandbluerocks.com might not be the best one to help you acquire sought-after one-word domains like coffee.com or cars.com. Questions like what successful domain deals they’ve brokered in the past and if they have any sort of repeatable track record can help you find the right broker.
An effective domain broker makes the process of acquiring or selling a domain a breeze.
Let’s face it, selling or buying a domain successfully can take a lot of upfront work. Once you’ve researched which domain name you want and made sure it’s already registered, the next step is to look into which domain broker fits your needs.
As they say, domain brokers aren’t all created equal. Here’s a quick rundown of the domain brokers I recommend and reviewed here: