Buying the domain of your dreams doesn’t have to stay a dream. Neither does selling a valuable domain for a nice profit.
With a solid domain broker, you can be well on your way to selling or buying just about any domain you can think of.
The problem is that it can be hard to know where or how to find a reputable and reliable domain broker in the first place.
That’s what I’m diving into today, as I go through some of the best domain brokers out there you can work with in different capacities.
The Top 6 Best Domain Brokers
- Namecheap – Best for affordable DIY domain brokerage
- GoDaddy – Best for a month-long domain outreach plan
- VPN – Best for specialized domain brokerage
- MediaOptions – Best for boutique domain name services
- Brannans – Best for .com domains
- Domain Holdings – Best for domain valuations and premium transactions
Here’s a closer look at the best domain brokers available today.
#1 – Namecheap — Best For Affordable DIY Domain Brokerage
- Tons of domain extensions
- Bid on domains at your leisure
- Only 10% selling fee
- Affordable and accessible
You might’ve guessed it from the name, but Namecheap is one of the most affordable domain brokers out there both for buying and selling a domain.
It carries tons of domain extensions at often half the price that other competing domain brokers sell them for and offers a slew of additional services on the way too. This means if you need hosting, SSL certificates, or privacy protection, it has you covered.
Now, as far as domain brokerage goes, Namecheap has a domain bidding system where you can bid on high-value domain names at your leisure. Namecheap makes it easy to transfer domains, list domains for sale, or buy domains once you’ve started an account with them.
It’s also a reliable platform that ensures the safe transaction of any domains you’ve listed for sale or want to acquire after reaching out to its owner. If you do sell a domain through Namecheap, it only claims 10 percent of your overall earnings. Not bad at all for cheap DIY domain brokerage that’s safe and affordable.
You can get started with Namecheap here.
#2 – GoDaddy — Best For A Month-Long Domain Outreach Plan
- Get your new domain within 30 days
- Dedicated domain brokers
- 20% commissions
- Guaranteed privacy until sale closes
GoDaddy has a team of domain brokerage experts ready to work with you to acquire your dream domain over a 30-day period. Once you reach out and set your budget, you’re matched with a dedicated domain broker who reaches out on your behalf.
If the domain owner is open to selling, GoDaddy’s domain broker negotiates the best deal on your behalf. If it succeeds, GoDaddy gets 20 percent of the sale. It’s a pretty straightforward deal that’s not only secure but affordable too, since you get to set your budget from the beginning.
With GoDaddy’s domain brokerage service you don’t have to worry about anonymity, since it ensures your identity isn’t exposed unless the deal goes through successfully.
Keep in mind that additional fees are charged if the domain name wasn’t purchased through GoDaddy once you need to transfer it to your own account.
Get started with GoDaddy’s brokerage services here.
#3 – VPN — Best For Specialized Domain Brokerage
- High-value domain registrations
- Personalized negotiation services
- 15% commissions or lower
- No upfront costs
Maybe you’re on a quest to acquire a premium high-value domain that’s going to cost you a pretty penny. But hey, you still need it registered to you. That’s where specialized domain brokers like VPN come in.
To date, it’s handled millions, over $65 million to be exact, in domain brokerage transactions. It’s responsible for the 7th largest domain transaction of 2019. As you can imagine, VPN doesn’t work with any run-of-the-mill domains, regardless if you’re looking to buy or sell.
- Escrow payment protection
- Personalized and specialized domain negotiation
- Free domain name appraisals
- Domain portfolio management
- No upfront costs unless a transaction is successful
- Premium domain management for celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other high net worth individuals
VPN also offers stealth acquisitions, meaning, much like other domain brokers, it keeps your information private as you try to acquire a high-value domain.
Once it successfully closes a deal, VPN never charges over 15 percent.
Reach out and inquire here to start working with VPN’s specialized domain brokers.
- Domain consulting and appraisal
- Secure escrow services
- Recommended by Amazon
- $1000 or 15% commission fee
MediaOptions has worked with big names like Amazon and The Motley Fool as an industry leader in domain brokerage founded in 2007. It provides a boutique approach to domain acquisition by tapping into its worldwide network of connections, researching your target, then ultimately customizing its buying or selling strategy to fit your unique needs.
- Domain consulting
- Domain appraisal
- High-value domains for sale
- Secure escrow transactions on deals over $5,000
- Deals under $5,000 are handled through PayPal
To be considered for its boutique brokerage services, your domain has to be valued at at least $75,000. You heard that right. So a domain that’ll only cost you a couple hundred dollars is better left to other more general domain broker services.
MediaOptions fees are pretty clear cut. Its minimum fees for its domain brokerage service is either $1,000 or 15 percent, whichever is higher. Unlike many brokers, they will often charge at least part of that fee up front as a brokerage retainer, then deduct that amount from their commission after the deal is completed.
If you think your domain transaction fits MediaOptions’ criteria, get in touch with them here.
#5 – Brannans — Best For .com Domains
- Focus on .com domains
- Over 10,000 domain deals brokered
- Buy or sell your domain
- 95% success rate
Brannans boasts a 95 percent success rate and has handled more than 10,000 domain names for its clients. Brannans offers domain buying and selling brokerage services, premium domains for sale, as well as strategic domain transactions and domain name auctions.
It works on your behalf to acquire a domain of your choice for free until it strikes a deal. Furthermore, it chooses to specialize in, though not only limit themselves to, .com domain transactions, because of how valuable and well-known that extension is.
Brannans is a domain broker that proudly touts its past successes on its site. Some of its notable domain transactions include whiskey.com, physical.com, digitalmarketing.com. smartphones.com, residences.com, and even christian.com. Needless to say, it knows a thing or two about selling and buying domains across lots of different industries.
To start, you can get in contact with them to discuss an initial plan and to see if it’s a good match for your domain goals.
Contact Brannans here to get started selling or buying your domain name.
#6 – Domain Holdings — Best For Domain Valuation And Premium Transactions
- Detailed valuation process
- Over $200 million in deals closed
- No upfront fees
- Broad network of brokers
Domain Holdings is yet another reputable domain broker that specializes in the selling, buying, and valuation of domain names.
It works with a wide array of clients ranging from high-profile figures to the average person trying to sell or acquire a premium domain. It has the testimonial and track record part covered as it’s worked with brands like Bustle, Mic, Cheddar, AXS, Target, Deutsche Bank, Girl Scouts, and United Healthcare to name a few. Though, it can’t list specific domain name sales because of confidentiality agreements that are common in the domain brokerage world.
Still, it claims to have closed over $200 million in domain transactions. Because of its collective years of experience, especially with the founder having sold his own domain to AOL in a multimillion-dollar deal, dealing with a brokerage service like Domain Holdings grants you access to a network of domain owners and brokers you might not have otherwise.
As with most other domain name brokers, it doesn’t charge you an upfront fee and only charges you once a deal has been reached.
To learn about its fees and brokerage process in-depth, you’ll need to get in touch with them for more information. You can do so here.
How to Find The Best Domain Broker For You
It’s important to note that there are no licensing requirements to become a domain broker. So it’ll pay off to do your due diligence in vetting any domain broker you come across as a potential partner.
Looking for any publicly listed domain brokerage history and past domain deals can help you get a feel for the quality of the domain broker you want to work with. Once you get in contact with a few, you can also inquire privately through email.
Finding the best domain broker for you can depend on a few factors that’ll determine the potential of your partnership. Here are a few key criteria to consider.
Some domain brokers specialize in high-value domain brokerage, like VPN for example. This might also mean that it’s selective with who it chooses to work with as well.
While you can also reach out and work with more specialized domain brokers, it doesn’t guarantee a partnership. This is true because many domain brokers don’t make money from selling or acquiring a domain until the transaction is finalized. So they’re essentially working for free.
All that to say, your domain value can determine which domain brokers you’re a better match for. Are you holding on to a high-value domain you want to sell for top dollar? Or are you trying to buy a high-value domain that’s already registered by someone else?
Considering how easy or hard it is to work with your domain can help you narrow down the list of domain workers you’ll want to work with.
Track record and testimonials
Some domain deals can’t be publicly disclosed. But there are plenty that can. Lots of domain brokers will have a dedicated page on its site where it lists its track record selling or acquiring domains for past customers.
It’s important to look for this as proof of its brokerage process and as a way to measure its success rate. At the very least, testimonials can help you get a better-rounded idea of the quality of services offered.
I highly recommend you do this with every domain broker you’re thinking of working with as you narrow down your search. While some domain brokers are a full-blown team, others are a small business of two or three that work on a more intimate level. The more proof you have of a successful track record of some sort, the more trust and confidence you can have going into a deal.
Whether you’re selling or buying a domain, a domain broker’s marketing strategy is important to consider as it’ll help you vet and understand its sales process.
This can be a determining factor in deciding whether you estimate you’ll find success with the domain brokerage process. Not to mention you’ll ensure a smoother partnership, since brokering a domain successfully can potentially take months if not longer.
Usage of escrow services
Granted, if you decide to go the more DIY domain brokerage route and try to sell or buy a domain through platforms like Namecheap, you can rest at ease knowing your online transactions are safe and guaranteed with them as a reputable broker.
When you’re dealing with boutique domain brokerage firms that aren’t as known and only work with a select group of customers, you’ll want to inquire about safe payment transactions to ensure a clean deal and to have clear expectations going in.
It’s common practice in the domain brokerage world to work through an escrow service when finalizing transactions to ensure the safety of funds and assets of all parties involved.
If you decide to work with a domain broker that doesn’t provide clear guidelines for finalizing transactions, you open yourself up to potential issues in the process. It’s best to look for and work with reputable domain brokers that use tools like an escrow service for your own peace of mind.
There are plenty of domain broker services floating around online. But it’s worth paying closer attention to the best ones to determine which one is best for you and your specific domain goals. To help, here’s a recap of all the domain brokers I reviewed and recommended:
For a month-long domain brokerage partnership with a trusted domain broker in the industry, go with a broker like GoDaddy.
For a more specialized domain brokerage service that specializes in high-value domain names, go with a domain broker like VPN.
For a more DIY approach to domain brokerage where you can take care of domain transactions on a budget, go with Namecheap.
When you’re ready to make a decision on the best domain broker to go with, make sure you revisit this guide to make your final choice.