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Three Important Questions To Ask A Domain Broker

There are lots of great domain brokers out there and if you have some solid domains in your portfolio, most will happily take you on as a client. The problem is, only a fraction of the brokers out there are a good fit for the domain you’re selling and consequently the market you’re selling into. Like the real estate market I wouldn’t expect a broker that specializes is $500,000 single family homes to sell my $5M mansion and you should apply the same logic to finding a domain broker.

Myself, for example, I deal almost exclusively with startups and focus on deals in the low six-figure range with my median deal size being around $250k. I have never sold a domain for a million dollars and while I’m sure I could, it’s not my area of expertise. I also only work on the acquisition-side which means I don’t broker domains for people selling them, I focus specifically on people buying domains.

So while I would be your guy if you wanted to buy a domain for your startup, I would not be your guy if you were a big company looking to sell some larger names out of their portfolio. That’s why it’s so important to ask a prospective broker a few good questions not to find out if they’re a good broker, but to find-out if they have expertise in the area that you need it.

  1. What size deals do you usually do? This question is critical. If you have a domain that you want to sell for $500,000 but the broker has never done a deal over $50k before this might not be a perfect fit. Conversely if you want to sell a domain for $5,000, a broker that specializes in $500,000 deals probably won’t be able to give you the focus you’re looking for.
  2. Have you sold domains to any of the companies that could potentially buy my domain? This is an equally important question. If you’re trying to sell a credit domain to a company like Experian, having a broker that has worked with them before could be the difference between making the sale and, well, just trying to make contact.
  3. How many other domains are you brokering? If a broker is trying to sell too many names it could be easy for yours to get lost in the shuffle. Look for brokers that aren’t overloaded and be up-front about your expectations.

Take the time to learn more about the broker you’re thinking of hiring and make sure you find someone that is the right fit for you. Whether you’re a startup or small business looking for a domain or a domain owner looking to sell a domain there are great brokers out there for each of you, just make sure you ask the right questions so you find them.

Morgan

Co-Founder at Fashion Metric
Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Fashion Metric, a next-generation platform aimed at changing the way guys shop for clothes online.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Adi Weitzman August 23, 2013, 8:12 am

    Morgan,

    You have a $5M mansion? =) I would also add to verify commissions.

  • John August 23, 2013, 8:20 am

    Perhaps, another question or two:
    What is Your primary method of finding a Buyer?
    Is it thru a Newsletter that You send Out to subscribers?
    If so, chances are most are speculators/domainers
    When selling a Home most brokers only list it on MLS, stick a sign in the yard and maybe have a brokers open house.
    Not enough in my opinion.

  • Joe August 23, 2013, 6:15 pm

    What I read in different blog also DNJournal and DomainSherpa also have to be very careful with the broker as they buy low and then sell a high percentage auction companies and others within this market.

  • Nick August 27, 2013, 2:09 pm

    So where can we find these brokers? Names? Examples? Who would sell for the domain owner of a portfolio of about 500 in the mid-5 figure range? Is there a list of brokers out there we can find?

  • Ifthikar August 28, 2013, 2:19 pm

    This is exactly whats troubling me as well and I am looking forward to Morgan’s valuable insight into this area which John and Nick have specifically spelt out. Its not even in the valuable handbook of Morgan’s! :)

  • Igor Mironyuk September 16, 2013, 2:59 am

    @Morgan, what means $50k?

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