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NOT an email that beginning . . "Dear ~Webby,".
You don't know me. We're not (yet) chummy. You're not my friend, bud, pal. You're an employee of a business, a person acting on behalf of a sizeable employer . . and a client, attempting to initiate an unsolicited business transaction. You think you're going to take me off my game by schoozing me? Sorry. FAIL.
Try "Dear Mr. Webwork". Negotiation is hardball. Show respect.
Don't send me an email beginning "My name is Blah-Blah. I'm a Domain Name Broker with Blah-Blan – the "award-winning", "world's leading", blah blah blah.
IF you did even the slightest preparatory work you could easily infer that I know about BlahBlah, Inc. Form mail = FAIL.
IF you're calling yourself a professional - a Domain Broker - show that you have researched who you are attempting to negotiate a deal with. It shows that you are making a real effort - a real investment - in attempting to craft a deal for your client.
Does the following (paraphrase), coming from a so-called Domain Broker, convey intelligence? "The domain name EXAMPLE.COM appears to be registered to you. . please confirm that you are still the registrant of this domain. . ..
IF today's WhoIs search/record indicates "Registrant = Webwork" then guess what?
I also love to be told ". . WE charge a XX% seller’s commission (which is deducted from any offer that is made) . . "
Hmmmmm . . I guess that means your lowball offer isn't the final insult? Now I have to also agree to pay you for making the insult? :P
If you're cold calling me, making a shot in the dark offer, try this: "As a broker we customarily charge a commission of XX% for our services. Responsibility for this commission is subject to the party's agreement, but we will not disclose our principal's identity unless and until one party or both agree to the commission."
There's more to address but let me stop here and ask: What would you expect from someone claiming to act as a Domain Broker?
What should a so-called Domain Broker do "as a Domain Broker" to justify their fee?
Anyone out there ever successfully use a broker or close a deal for one of your domain due to the involvement of a broker?
Can anyone call themselves a "Domain Broker"? What's the standard of care and conduct? The duty? Just make it up . . ?
[edited by: Webwork at 12:55 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2010]
I'm beginning to think that will be an acceptable calling card, i.e., a mail-order certificate, "proving" that you are a Domain Broker.
Given the size of the market for domains do you think I should open Webwork's College of Advanced Domain Brokering and Appraisal?
But really, I see people on other domain forums calling themselves "broker" (I'm brokering the following . . ) and I see no evidence whatsoever that - other than listing domains and bumping the list - that the "broker" is actually adding value.
Doesn't a real estate brokerage start "adding value" by helping (someone, buyer/seller) to set reasonable expectations?
The "offer" that came with the above email wasn't a slap . . but it was little more than a "Meh . . ".
I do agree though on your point Domain's are considered Real Estate IMO, and those that buy and sell should have some sort of Education and Qualifications in this area, if their gonna call themselves a "Broker"
My sister just became a "Broker" in Real Estate and it wasn't a walk in the park either. Fact is to become a Broker is very very difficult.
Web that just may be a great idea to begin all kidding aside.
What amazes me is the amount of physical letters I get from various domain brokers/registrars/whatevers advising me of my name renewals.
And...and...the certain well-known domain name buyer/seller who tries to buy keyword domain names using his colleagues' names, which are very difficult to trace but out there, and when you've sussed who they are never bother replying to your response since they know they've been found out.
No con job there then eh?
As an experiment, I tried the broker service at the same registrar where the domain was held with the thought that they should be paying attention to emails or calls from the registrar. I was apprehensive about using the service though because there was an incentive for the broker to drive up the price to increase the commision. But it did work. The owner responded to the broker and I was able to close the deal at about one tenth of open market price. I carefully developed to preserve the links and within a month it was ranking no. 1 for several good keywords.
Would I use a broker service again? Maybe but probably only in very particular cases like above and I have to say I have not used a broker since.
Clearly the fact the domain is parked at one of the major domain brokerages, with a "for sale" link leading to a listed price, was beyond their research skills.
Most of these types of enquiries are just automated spam, although a few are real (but sometimes dense) humans.
I've never sold a domain resulting from a "broker's" enquiry. Interestingly from what "reprint" was saying above, people seem to be using brokers as "buyers brokers", trying to get a domain cheap, which is probably why they've never resulted in an interesting offer. When the broker passes my realistic price back to the buyer, the buyer thinks the broker is trying to drive the price up, and gives up. There (justifably) isn't any trust there.