Domain brokering: It’s a dog eat dog world

I’ve been following the proliferation of professional domain brokerage establishments for several years, and have arrived to the following conclusion:

It’s a cut-throat business, and a ‘dog eat dog’ world.

During the previous decade, the focus shifted from domain selling venues, to aggressive acquisitions and sales via the use of brokers.

The change did not occur overnight, but the industry’s growth has not only sustained this new profession, it has led to an explosive growth.

Everyone can profess to be a domain broker.

I receive emails daily, pitching (“spamming“) domain names I have absolutely no interest in. The majority of these emails are sent by self-styled brokers, that actually devalue the domains they handle by peddling them openly, like rugs in an oriental bazaar.

Meanwhile, smart domain brokers work differently.

They approach domain sellers privately, discuss the options available for their assets, and seek potential buyers from their pool of trustworthy investors, before extending offers to those best qualified to buy, in the open market.

I’m currently witnessing a trend in activities that include some of the following negative traits: animosity, lack of camaraderie, back-stabbing, bad-mouthing, allegations, and more.

I do understand.

Money, the great god Mammon, spoils, corrupts and transforms the psyche of even the most well-mannered, stretching ethics and values out of shape.

There’s a lot of money to be made in the domain aftermarket, particularly the way it has evolved with the expansion of the Chinese domain markets. More money means more competition, and more greed.

There’s definitely room for everyone, but don’t expect everyone involved to play nicely. The perception that “playing by the rules” is part of the instilled domain brokerage ethos, is fading apart day by day.

As a domain seller, I require that the domain broker I assign important parts of my portfolio to, maintains a clear understanding of the market, and is willing to work for his commission using transparency and without using any funky tricks.

Then again, I’m old school like that.


  1. Theo I thought everyone was a domain broker. I mean I started noticing last year guys who could not sell their own names for $25 on Namepros were now telling me they were a domain broker.

    So I ask how they built their network of buyers ? They had none, they thought pitching (spamming) made them a domain broker.

  2. Raymond – This is only part of the problem. Some newcomers do have skills and are willing to learn the ropes. But they do so in a manner that involves circumventing certain procedures, and ignoring the dangers of openly peddling domains. It’s an industry-wide issue, particularly thanks to lack of regulation and certification.

  3. well timed.
    we just sent out a newsletter with names for sale.
    another “brokerage” company just contacted one of the owners of those domains via WHOIS offering brokerage services.

    I won’t say who, in order to not publicly shame this company.
    Despicable practice.
    What is it going to take to remove these shady fly by night “companies” from our industry? It’s not helping our image at all, that’s for sure.


  4. A very good point. Before even thinking of brokering domains one must know how to sell names, have a good network of buyers/investors. I did always wonder why some people act like there is not enough of the pie to go around.

    My philosophy is go about it the right way and only good opportunities and karma in general will come your way.

    – Will

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