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My journey with BrandBucket (and why I'm leaving them)


I have joined BB in the beginning of 2016. Started with only a less than 15 names just to give it a try. Within a couple months I sold one domain (May 2016 to be exact). After that sale I took BrandBucket seriously and listed 250+ names over the years, mostly hand registered domains. That was the time when BB acceptance rate was only around 20%. So I had to submit 100 domains to get 20 of them approved. Unlike now that was the time when submitting unregistered domains wasn't allowed.

For almost a year I had no sale so I sold some of my hand registered domains to other BB sellers here at Namepros. Mostly because I was not getting my 2nd sale, renewals were coming due, I wasn't sure what my next move would be if I didn't have another sale.

My 2nd sale came exactly 1 year after my first sale. After my 2nd sale I have been regularly selling one domain every month or two on BB. With each of these sale I came to realize the importance of quality over quantity. Because on BrandBucket I was only selling the names I bought from auctions. But my portfolio was filled with so many hand registered names. I wasn't so lucky to sell a single hand registered domain there.

For this reason I had changed my strategy. With the profits of each sale I bought domains from auctions. I sold off nearly all my hand registered domains from my BB portfolio to other BB sellers, kept only a few which I really like and filled my portfolio with domains bought from auctions.

Currently I have 138 domains and 70%-80% of those are domains bought for XX, XXX and XXXX figures from auctions. I have stopped hand registering domains long time ago.

Total sold : 8 domains
Total Revenue: $26K (average $3.2K)
Total Net proceeds: $18.3K (average $2.2K)

My dashboard says 3.82% sell through rate, with being top 13% of sellers.

I consider myself pretty successful on BB. But despite that I have decided to leave BB. Why?

Over my journey I have watched BB inventory grow from 20K+ domains to 50K+ domains. But quality of the names did not grow with the same pace. Nowadays BB accepts every kind of domains which would have never been accepted in 2015/16.

At first it was good to repeat last letter of a domain like Domainn , then they started to accept repeated letters anywhere on the word like large_faabric.png and large_fabriic_0.png .

Even though at this point I thought they wouldn't approve repeating first letter of a domain, but after seeing large_llanza_0.png it's clear that in upcoming days we will see more of this kind first letter repeated domains.

I knew BB only publish pronounceable 4 letter domains but large_vmzi.png large_zrze.png ?

I thought removing one vowel like Tunnl (I've sold this one on BB) instead of Tunnel was good but removing 3 vowel? large_nwslttr.png

And the last one which I saw today is large_outsoursd.png

in the description it says - A clever spelling of "outsourced". The domain is Out/Soursd, S not C. if it was OutSourcd I'd understand why BB accepted it - they removed the last vowel of correct spelling OutSourced but why would they accept or publish a domain like Out/Soursd?

After seeing this name I have said myself enough is enough. I can't have my domains, most of which were bought from auctions for substantial amount of money compete with these kind of names. One thing is clear BB is ignoring quality issue, they now believe in quantity over quality which is against my point of view. So I've decided to leave BrandBucket.

When they were getting good number of sales they would highlight that in their newsletters, but they've stopped publishing any kind of sale related info which suggests their sale rate also dropping.

I did not have any intention to go against any other BB sellers (especially those whose domains I've mentioned here). I only blame BB for their decision to move to quantity over quality strategy. I am not saying these domains I've mentioned here won't sell, they might sell. But BB has proved that we may see more unpronounceable 4 letter domains (even CHIPS too) in future, we may see more first letter repeated domains in future, we may also see more domains like large_outsoursd.png in future.

All these suggests BB inventory will grow rapidly in the future and my small portfolio of domains will be like a small water drop of a ocean, chances of selling a name there through buyer using search option doesn't look bright anymore.

I've sent them 30 days notice to remove my names. It's been a good journey.
woops i actually forgot that my account was over 30 days notice, and they are all removed - so thanks for the post!

I decided to stay with BB my sell rate is ok there, despite the expansion of the market. It's actually better than Godaddy but commission is high.

I don't go for misspellings personally.
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Top Contributor
I believe the 30% comm. is ridiculous, especially considering the marketplace has grown unchecked,cluttered with mediocre brandables.
For any potential buyer with decent sense of naming and brandability, sifting through BB could be close to finding a needle in a haystack, which could not only be unproductive but, also distracting, unless ofcourse they have already decided on a name and use the landing page to make the purchase via BB, in which case the 30% comm is undeserved.

If they insist on sticking to their exclusivity clause, the least they can do is maintain a curated marketplace with a boutique appeal, and not that of wholesale warehouse.


Don't say Huh? too much; pretend you understand.
Have I missed some notice about BB now charging 'credits' for all submissions? I know they've been charging a credit to submit any domain that is unregistered... but now whenever I go to submit a domain in the last couple days, all of a sudden they say I need a credit for each submission (I only submit domains that are registered already). What happened, anyone fill me in? Did they now change things so that every submission, whether regged or not, is charged that 1 credit?

As far as what's said in above posts - agree entirely. Harder and harder for decent names to be seen by their customers, who have to wade through thousands of - frankly - pretty darn bad/average names. I see hundreds of domains for sale here at NP, that are BB approved but owners flogging them here at a few bucks each, and I just think 'What? They actually approved those domains? Has all quality control been abandoned?' Seems like they're turning their marketplace into more of a 'submissions mill' rather than a legit selling platform for quality names, just milling the names through to rake in all those credits and listing fees for quick money...

The percentage of truly good, attractive, even premium domains there is shrinking smaller and smaller, compared to the now huge percentage of domains that customers simply have to 'wade through' to cherry pick the better ones.


Top Contributor
You should only take names that can’t sell themselves as easily to brandable marketplaces. Any super high quality name can be sold on your own.

And then you have to ask yourself how much exposure is your name getting with 50 K plus names over there. And what are you paying the 30% plus $100 for? The logo? It’s not like anyone is actively promoting your names.

If you notice people normally can’t sell B.B. listed names for more than peanuts. So even being a reseller to others is not worth it.

I see people celebrating tiny profits when a sale does happen. That probably just covers the submission fees they paid the entire last year to get names evaluated and maybe some renewals.

The question is could you have sold that name on any other marketplace for a better ROI or even the same amount? Giving a third party that high of a commission is no small thing and has to be taken into consideration depending on the name.
I removed my (some 30) domains from BB, because, and in protest to, the search scandal which broke earlier this year (I think). Where it was proven that domains were being offered in their searches, which had nothing to do with the search terms, and were being shown before domains which clearly had better met the search criteria. Obviously not every domainer's domains were being treated fairly by BB's searches. This kind of underhand favoritism, unspecified approach to business, sows distrust, and I personally cannot abide.

BB. Were very helpful and friendly about deleting these domains after 1 month's notice. But what they don't tell you is that it would screw-up your "in good standing" ratio so badly, that it is now impossible for me to buy BB listed names any longer on NP. Because my "in good standing" is now a thing of the past, for my account, at least. And if I understand how this ratio works correctly, I'd now need to add approx 150 domains, even to improve my ratio to about 85%. Which IIRC, would be enough to get my good standing ratio to the point where I would be able to buy BB domains in the aftermarket again "in good standing". Because those 30 domains I deleted will be weighing down my ratio unreasonably. Forever.

Perhaps BB think that getting rid of a few bad apples will improve their success rate. But I would not consider myself a bad apple. I was reacting to being unfairly treated by their search results. But the consequences are dire. Because I'm no longer wanted by BB any longer. But in the big scheme of things, it's probably better for me, in the long run. My ratios are being unfairly depressed by the actions of BB themselves.

BB is not a fair playing field. Whilst those that get treated more generously than others, will still be successful, it is at the expense of mistreatment of other "members", who are not getting a fair crack of the whip. IMHO.

Roll-on the creation of an honest broker in this brandable space.
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Top Member
I completely feel the same way as @stub I'm even more skeptical of them

I feel like brandbucket should be completely avoided even if things have changed. I've sold more domains on landers /auction/ afternic

At least you get a fair chance managing your own names with no exclusivity. Lower percentages and a better chance of making a sale. How much exposure are you going to get on bb? its flooded with brandables now. Are they still placing there vips stuff first? There's a guy with 770 bb names and only sold 2 that doesn't even cover the listing fees and renewals. From my experience and I say this with no hate.

I don't feel like anyone should trust brandbucket to sell your domains there a very SHADY COMPANY
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@stub look at your account , i think is update at new system and is in good standing , now need pay 1 for submit a domain.

That's weird. I'm sure I checked this within the last 48hrs (72hrs most) and it still had the old system of ratings. Now my ratings are A+, N/A, N/A :) which means I'm going to rush over to the bradanbles section and buy a domain :)

I haven't really been following, or understood, this $1 for a listing discussion. I better read up on that :)

Have they made any comments or changes to the way they produce their search results?
if you have this :

accepted names listed
metric disabled

this is a update to the new system .

old account : submit for free and listing cost $10

new account : submit cost $1 listing for free

I've been a member for 5 years. So do I pay $1 or $10? Why the discrimination?
@stub look at your account , i think is update at new system and is in good standing , now need pay 1 for submit a domain.

I had 1 domain not verified for using the correct nameservers.Fixed
I just paid 1x10=$10 for registering new domains. Used 1 credit.

My ratings are now A+ N/A F How did that happen?
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You gave the notice so you didn’t break any rules that would make you blacklisted from the site @stub

Agreed. I am not blacklisted. I never claimed to be blacklisted.

But it does feel funny, that to get my account back "in good standing", so I can buy others BB domains outside of BB, and add them to my BB collection, it's going to require putting approx 4-5 times the number of domains as I originally had on the website. Again. I repeat. If my mathematics are correct. Can somebody help me with the maths? I'm going from negative 30 domains. How many do I need to add to get to a ratio status of "A" or 'B'?

What I have to consider though. Is it even worth it. Whilst the searches on BB are still so corrupted, against regular BB users, like me.
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Keith DeBoer
@BrandVenue thanks for an open and honest portrayal of your journey with BrandBucket. I am sure they will be sorry to see you go. At the same time there are many marketplaces and every domainer needs to use the marketplace(s) or methodologies (landing pages etc) that the feel most comfortable with and which produces the greatest benefit for them.

I wish you continued success!

A minor point - names with no vowels are starting to become popular with startups. Some examples are FCTRY and MNDFL. So NWSLTTR is a trendy kind of domain right now. Your other examples though of names of questionable quality seem to be valid and I understand the point your are making :)
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Thanks Keith.

A minor point - names with no vowels are starting to become popular with startups. Some examples are FCTRY and MNDFL. So NWSLTTR is a trendy kind of domain right now. Your other examples though of names of questionable quality seem to be valid and I understand the point your are making :)

Dropping one vowel in the end is ok like Flickr, Tumblr, Tunnl (which I've mentioned before), this way the pronunciation remains same but the word creates an uniqueness. These kind of names are not available to register anymore and when they come to expiry auction prices go from XXX to XXXX figure depending the keyword.

But dropping all vowels? I don't know if it's becoming trendy but IMO it's weird and very confusing. There are not so many companies doing it right now. Apart from FCTRY and MNDFL there are also SRSLY, SQRRL etc. Although these names are not as same as NWSLTTR, latter one is 7 letters long even after dropping all the vowels.

There are many names like these currently available to hand register, so I assume BB will also accept those names in future, put $2K+ price tag and increase their already 50K+ inventory.

It's just my point of view. BB or a buyer's point of view may be different from me. Brandable is all about perspective, I'm sure you've said it many times and I agree to that.
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