Show me a broker and I’ll show you the money

Lazy DaysI bought a UK domain recently through Sedo auction and found it much easier to bypass them and their instructions and deal direct as I knew the seller through a forum – Sedo wanted me to scan/fax page this and that to Germany but it was much easier just to treat them as an Escrow and do the deal and let them know when it was safe to release the funds. Their fees will be their downfall, they take 10% as a broker when in fact they are just an expensive Escrow service. To me a broker goes out and gets the best possible market price for something by actively seeking the right buyer.

If all an estate agent did was put a tiny bit of cardboard on their window saying that your house was for sale would you feel they did their job properly? Last time I sold a house the estate agent advertised my house in the local press, they also created and distributed a free paper listings all the properties and trying to make sure the right buyers could find my property by sending out the particulars to anyone on their books.

SedoSedo’s actual escrow fees are very reasonable, but as for taking 10% – I don’t see that they market the domains and I feel they lack vision going forward but probably find themselves understaffed which is creating a gap in the market for a real broker to emerge and one that will take the cream leaving Sedo to peddle the dross.

If you could take a great domain and actually go out there and find a buyer – that could be worth thousands of pounds or dollars per deal just to the broker, if someone started today  they could have a very large business within 12 months, all you need is to be dedicated, inventive oh and active! and once you get a few deals done have some great testimonials there would be a surge of great domains looking for the broker that comes with a recommendation.

For example I have which must be worth a few quid to the right end user or or which I’d love a successful broker to take and find an end user for and there are a lot more people with a lot better domains that would be happy to pay a ‘real broker’ 20-30% if they came with a successful track record.

This post is 50% pointing out what I see as a gap in the market for a real broker to take good domains and find an end user and 50% a moan at SEDO and the lack of direction & usefulness at times when it comes to buying & selling domains.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


  1. You are right, any one who is able to provide such a service is going to reap the rewards handsomely.

  2. INtersting post. One thing that I would be keen to see is big parking services advertising in the press. Can you imagine a full page ad in the Evening Standard or something listing a batch of Premium / Middle / Low end domain names with details and bigging up how “YOU CAN HAVE THE DOMAIN NAME YOU ALWAYS WANTED”.

    It would open people’s eyes to the values of Premiums and also possibly convince them to drop a couple of hundred on a mid quality generic, name, geo etc.

  3. I have been thinking this is a great place to build a business. Last night I registered with a hope of building something more out of it. But knowing me, I will most likely just sit on it and wait for it to expire next year. After spending time looking at sedo, and other middle-players I can see so much room for opportunity here and I wish I could play a part in building it.

  4. I agree. Sedo is very limited-

    the parking pages are very average looking
    the PPC revenue is poor
    I find the site slow and not as easy to use as it could be

    …….and yes 10% is far too much – $100 goes to Sedo for every £1,000 sale. I’m sure there are quite a few high profile domainers who could do well working as brokers in this niche. I’ve even thought about it myself. But only the most experienced domainers are likely to have the skills necessary to make it as a ‘commission only’ domain name salesperson – and they are probably busy running their own successful domain name businesses.

    The only ‘good’ thing about the Sedo business model is that you don’t pay until a sale is made.

  5. I like this idea, very tempted to put some more thought into it….!

    Great post, thank you.

  6. I would have to agree with you only partially.

    Yes Sedo has crappy templates, and they are slow, and the interface is pretty dodgy…. but 10% commission?

    That seems like a standard in the industry. Afternic takes the same and they don’t do anything more to promote your sales then Sedo does.

    • I would say that 10% would be expensive for an Escrow, but it would be cheap for a broker, they don’t actually fit the bill as a broker and for that reason I feel there is a gap in the market.

    • John, it may be the industry standard, and I can’t blame Afternic for charging the same as Sedo, but that does not make it good value for money.

  7. I started to park domains over at sedo a few months back simply cause i wanted to see what kind of traffic they where getting.

    As i have quite a lot I was expecting the odd offer but nothing as you say they could do a lot more.

  8. I personally don’t like brokers although they provide a lot more security, mainly for their high percentage fees.
    Nice list of one word domains there. They certainly are worth a bit.

  9. At least with Sedo there’s a reasonable amount of safety and security, and beyond their high cut you know how much the acquisition will cost. I’ve dealt with a couple of ‘brokers’ specialising in domains after ‘the drop’ e.g. when a domain has expired.

    With those guys you have no visibility or transparency, and they’re almost certainly shill bidding.

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