Uniregistry.com Brokerage : Is the 15% commission worth it?

Domain Name Sales has announced that they are merging their team with Uniregistry Market, forming Uniregistry.com Brokerage.

The restructuring might seem internal, but it’s yet another indication that Frank Schilling‘s foundation is placing its full support behind the new Uniregistry Market brand that launched not too long ago.

By default, I self-broker my domains, but I have on numerous occasions used the DNS brokerage services, with great results.

With the transition of DNS brokerage into the Uniregistry.com Brokerage, it seems that certain processes will be streamlined in a much more efficient manner.

Let’s face it: every business wants to make money, and nothing is free. Even when it appears to be free, the exchange involves the sharing of data, in hopes of an assigned, commission-funded transaction.

So is the 15% brokerage fee at Domain Name Sales, and now Uniregistry.com Brokerage worth it?

Recently, I had to deal with some very colorful buyers, that outright attempted to harass, provoke and intimidate me via their DNS inquiries.

I’m a nice guy, and I’ve learned over the years that when the other party goes ballistic, they are the ones with the problem. Still, it’s not pleasant to hear a bunch of bullshit on any given day, from strangers that have no manners, no patience, and no class.

I think that paying the brokerage fee offers great peace of mind in cases when it’s uncertain where it all heads to. The Uniregistry folks are prepared to stomach a lot of these responses on my behalf, and I can spend more time doing something constructive without the stress I’d get from other people’s keyboard bravado.

No process is perfect, and as far as I’m concerned, Domain Name Sales never proclaimed to be the ultimate, glitch-free solution.

But having provided a lot of feedback to them and being able to test-drive the Uniregistry Market, I’m confident that the new merger will provide domain investors with the ability to sell more domains, with less trouble.

Hopefully, at higher selling prices that would offset the 15% commission fee by far.

Comments

  1. 15% is definitely reasonable for any brokerage to bring a buyer or to help facilitate/close a sale. I agree that among the pool of potential buyers there are plenty of uneducated buyers who may have an interest in a domain – many of whom though will not treat pricing respectfully that exceeds their budget or personal expectations. To have a broker field these types of inquiries on the way to an eventual sale is worth 15% imo.

  2. 15% is standard.

  3. For brokerage yes, not for a BIN (non-syndicated).
    Brokers put up with a lot of crap. Thanks guys/girls.

  4. In my experience, DomainNameSales sales staff mainly send template emails. As the domain owners, we can certainly do that ourselves with minimal effort. If we wish to, we may never write a hand-written message to anybody at all – whether they’re rude or polite. Just paste in the asking price. And if they don’t like it, reply with a cordial, impersonal form-letter response.

    I’m not alone in being happy to pay a 15% commission to any broker who facilitates a sale. At Afternic, I do that; and I find that the Afternic brokers (unlike Uniregistry stuff) are likely to engage personally with buyers by email and phone. They earn their commission. When I was at DomainNameSales, however, I preferred to handle my own negotiations because I want buyers to talk to a human being – not a template with a price pasted in.

    The problem at DomainNameSales – a problem which got me banned by the VP – is that they don’t allow those of us who self-broker any flexibility to push back when buyers act badly. The DomainNameSales VP seems to resent owners who self-broker. (Let him contradict that; I’ll quote his email to me.) So I imagine that Uniregistry will gradually phase out or discourage self-brokering. It would make sense for them to view this a loss leader for the sake of customer acquisition; and they may as well emulate other market places in charging a commission 100% of the time. We’ll see.

  5. Max – That’s one of the reasons that I’d pass the inquiry onto the brokerage team.

    Adam – Brokerage commissions can range from as low as 5% to 20% depending on the brokerage and the amount involved.

    Garth – I fully agree. Not sure what the syndicated fee is, maybe 20%?

    Joseph – I’ve seen a variety of responses and follow-ups by DNS brokers that are definitely customized to the particular inquiry. Personally, I reuse my own “templates” to save time responding so I don’t seen anything wrong with template-based responses. What I find valuable is the ability to let brokers weather all sorts of crazy responses by buyers, and their eventual submission. Not every inquiry requires my participation as a seller.

    Another reason is that quite often I don’t want to reveal that I own a particular domain (it’s under WHOIS privacy) and the broker acts as my proxy. 🙂

  6. @Acro,

    You’re right. The decision to use / not use templates or to interact / not interact with customers is up to a domain owner’s personal taste.

    My point would be this: If we’re comfortable seeing our customers handled through template responses rather than personalized replies, then we can manage that with almost zero effort ourselves. 10 seconds of work pasting in a prepared reply (or clicking a button to do so) isn’t worth a 15% commission, in my opinion.

    If I’m paying for a broker’s services, then I expect that broker to engage with customers in a more personal way – asking about their project, listening to their concerns, presenting a sales pitch specific to my domain, picking up the phone to talk, etc.

    Maybe DomainNameSales staff do that once in awhile, but I’ve never once seen it – not as a seller, and not as a buyer / buyer’s broker either. I’ve only seen clunky templates.

    In my opinion, it makes more sense to manage our negotiations ourselves. When we care, we work much harder than almost any broker ever would.

    Let’s not forget, by the way, that brokers may steer the buyer away from our domain and toward competing inventory. Logically, any salesman at Uniregistry has a better chance of earning their commission if they put ADDITIONAL domains in front of the buyer. If they act in their own interests, then they WON’T represent our interests – not as well as we would by focusing attention on our own domain.

  7. “Entry into Uniregistry Market syndication or custom solutions require a 20% commission or $175 commission, whichever is greater per sale.”

    Have found buyers don’t really want to deal or have contact with owners, having a middle party helps.

  8. The brokers that pick up the phone seem to secure more deals. It’s logged in the system and I see them. The frequency of phone calls differs from broker to broker. Smile and dial 🙂

  9. Joseph – The use of a template as the basis for a response, isn’t a necessity. For me, it saves time, but then again I spent some time to customize them.

    The argument seems to be whether brokers use templates – as we can – for a 15% commission. But I’ve seen that the use of templates by brokers is limited. Most of the time they take over the negotiation knowing from me what price range I’m seeking.

    And as Garth pointed out, they do secure more deals in cases that they contact the buyer on the phone.

    I prefer to self-broker, 75% of the time. There is plenty of room for profit when a broker shakes down a difficult buyer. In fact, I’ve had cases where I failed to complete a sale and they did it on my behalf.

    Also, many sellers do have a language barrier and are – sadly – unable to provide a response that sounds professional or engaging. I’d rather communicate than play hide and seek as I had to do e.g. at Sedo in the not so recent past.

  10. @Acro,

    Having a multilingual sales staff is a primary selling point for DomainNameSales, in my opinion. For domainers who own domains in languages they don’t speak themselves, having an intermediary can be enormously helpful. On the other hand, buying domains in languages we don’t speak is risky in and of itself.

  11. Tristan says:

    A concern I have which I have spotted a few times is brokers who haven’t been successful in selling the name, offering that domains lead the question of if they would be willing to consider other names.

    In such cases I have transfered the domain inquiry back into my control, and placed the inquiry in ignore status.

    I find this to be a huge breach of trust, and with uniregistry market which is the same as dns in terms of rather than having a choice of the brokers follow up, it is now mandatory.

    My parking earnings are down 20 percent in the past two months also, this is not random, has the houses rake been amped up?

  12. doesntmatter says:

    It’s good. it will get there but Please:
    -Stop emailing leads stuff like “Are You Alive” every other day
    i.e.: etiquette.
    -Respect the owner’s set price or please ask before raising it just because ‘you know better’
    i.e.: X is not X+35%
    -Release BuyNow stats
    i.e.: # of queries so we can adjust and find a BuyNow that works, one metric that is all ..
    -What does it mean Pending Sale for a BuyNow ?
    i.e.: How can it be pending if the client clicked the BuyNow button ?
    -What is the % when BuyNow=Yes and Brokerage=Yes
    i.e.: 10 or 15 ?
    -UTF-8 fix all across please
    i.e.: Funny Characters are part of supporting other languages.
    -Please fix UM’s Report before shutting domainnamesales dot com
    -The Bulk Tool ( under Market ) needs some adjusting as it ‘Fails to
    Initiate the Job’ if a certain multitude of fields is part of the update
    i.e.: 3 or 4 fields containing ‘Unchanged’ changed to another value fails the criteria and the error happens
    -It would be nice to have # of queries ( BuyNow )

    It is definitely worth 15% as it is the best platform out there, by far.

  13. Joseph – There are many ways to appreciate the multi-language capabilities of a brokerage team. One of my brokered sales was managed by a British born broker, to a British buyer. I am fully convinced that their direct communication on the phone established more trust than I was able to deliver initially. Also, the seller might be an English speaker but the buyer German, French, or Chinese. Or the inverse.

  14. doesntmatter says:

    @Acro,

    imho, a Brokerage team with multi-language capabilities is not a Brokerage
    team with multi-language capabilities unless the system itself supports
    other languages.

  15. doesntmatter – I’m sure this is something they’re planning to implement. I can only testify on what works for me or doesn’t.

  16. doesntmatter says:

    @Acro,

    well, British English is not really another language ..

    :-)))

  17. doesntmatter – You’d be surprised at the effectiveness of British English in closing deals, when dealing with another native speaker. The tone, terminology and idioms help with assuring the other party that all is jolly good.

  18. doesntmatter says:

    @Acro,

    I used to think the same until they decided to better negotiate their position in the EU …

    for disclosure, I am a subject of HMTQ.

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