NameSilo

The FUTURE of Domain Name Brokers and The Long Tail

Located in General Domain Discussion, started by Rob Monster, Feb 20, 2020

Replies:
99
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7,350

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What do you think about the arrival of a vast number of domain brokers into the industry?

  1. The More the Merrier!

    34.8%
  2. I am dreading them

    7.2%
  3. I doubt I will notice a change

    43.5%
  4. I am already broke

    5.8%
  5. This thread is stupid

    8.7%
Total: 69 vote(s)
  1. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP

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    Some of you will be familiar with the term "The Long Tail". It is perhaps one of the most famous articles ever written in Wired Magazine back in its hey-day. Chris Anderson is the visionary author. The old classic can be found here: https://www.wired.com/2004/10/tail/

    upload_2020-2-19_18-38-52.png



    What exactly do I mean by "Long Tail" Domains

    There is a finite but knowable universe of people who will value the domain name TampaGolfLessons.com. If you can find them and engage them good chance that they value them for some price that allows them to earn a return from switching from what they use now to something better.

    To illustrate, these are classic :"long tail" domains:

    upload_2020-2-19_18-40-20.png



    The Barrier to entry to become a Domain Broker is effectively zero

    Why I think it matters to domainers is this: the super-brokers might not have any interest in brokering a 3 figure domain or a 4 figure domain because of the size of prize is too low, even at a 20% commission. Some brokers won't even take on a domain for less than 6 figures, again due to small size of prize.

    On the other hand, in some parts of the world, notably in emerging markets, many people have more time and intellect, than they have money or domains. Nevertheless, they absolutely do have much to offer the domain industry by using their time and talent to connect supply with demand.

    As we look ahead to the next phase of domaining, I foresee an explosion of Domain Name Brokers. The long-time brokers might perhaps dreading this day because they will up against a dual squeeze:

    1. Godaddy, the aspiring monopolist, now has 1 million owned and operated domain names that they will be eager to sell through their channel to a vast retail customer base with a brokerage team who will be under pressure to add value and have access to a large proprietary data set about who buys what domains.

    2. Emerging markets are about to serve up an absolute explosion of independent Name Brokers, who can make use of a fast-expanding array of free tools for finding who owns what domains, and can use secure ways to clear those transactions, e.g. through marketplaces and escrow services.


    So what is a Boostrapping Domain Broker to do?

    The good news is that brokering domains is a capital-efficient way for emerging market participants to bootstrap their way into an industry, even with little or no capital.

    One way to get started might be to leverage a domain liquidation service - go find a domain that is newly listed, and try to find a buyer for that domain before the reverse auction ends. After all, the price keeps coming down while your prospective buyers can be bid up.

    Many people might look at domain liquidation services on the last day, looking for expiring auctions to find the bargains. However, the contrarian move is a bit different and that is to look at the new arrivals, and not just for the mispriced domains but I think more importantly for the bootstrapper, the arbitrage opportunities.

    Examples:

    162364_d5f40d2e56b8bdf6521f6e4f327f5a98.png

    We plan to add a "Escrow" feature right inside of our domain liquidation service so that domain flippers can essentially send a domain into escrow, cover the transfer fee, and then have a short window to make good on their purchase. If they fail to make good, the auction resumes and the broker is out their transfer fee.

    Looking ahead, we have larger ideas for how a fast-expanding pool of domain brokers could leverage a domain brokerage platform. Will share more on that if folks are interested in the topic.


    Why a massive increase in the number of brokers is good news for (almost) everyone


    The really great news for domain owners is that there will be a vast supply of highly energetic people who will be able to help connect supply with demand, and to get more supply into the hands of end-users. The end result of this is more liquidity in the domain economy, and higher retail prices for quality inventory.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2020
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  2. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP

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    Please feel free to share your Domain Arbitrage success stories in this thread.

    If needed I will have some Epik staff do some of these just to prove the point!

    @domainexpert77
    @Riacontents
    @DnFolk
     
  3. karmaco

    karmaco Top Contributor VIP

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    Never been a fan of people spamming people to sell someone else’s names without the owners permission .


    The goal of NameLiquidate should be to obtain the best possible price for the current owner. Period. Not take advantage of them.


    What you are suggesting makes it a higher risk to add your names to NameLiquidate because your name still might not sell and others who don’t own the name are potentially spamming people behind your back while your listing is live.


    How is it ethical to chase down end users on a domain you do not own without the owners permission? I know it happens all the time but it’s actually pretty unsavory. You might need to make that loud and clear on the homepage and submit your names page.


    To look for potential end users before a purchase is one thing . To act on it while someone else owns the domain is another.


    At least the big boys, GoDaddy etc have the permission of the current owner to market their name.


    I consider this kind of “brokering” somewhat distasteful. It also relies heavily on people continuing to put their names on Name Liquidate.


    I like alot of things about Epik—but this idea not so much.
     
  4. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP

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    I will invite you to reconsider.

    This method is about crowdsourcing liquidation of domains within a very compressed time. The bidding starts at $1000 and falls to $9. The sooner people start promoting that a domain is in play, the more likely the domain gets a bid.

    The alternative is that vultures might wait for the domain to fall to a much lower price point. By creating both push and pull, we create value for a domain that was otherwise going to be dropped for zero proceeds to the registrant.

    If people start doing this, we'll likely do 2 things:

    - Let registrants opt out for arbitrate.

    - Let brokers and flippers pay a "Broker fee" which covers the transfer cost and in return for that, they get a 7 day exclusive at the price at which they "broker-locked" the domain.

    So, let's think this through. Keep in mind what is happening in emerging markets.

    For example, @Siful Moni just shared this with me tonight:

    upload_2020-2-19_23-8-44.png

    I doubt he minds that I share this exchange as it illustrates what is happening.

    We just hired a sharp Sri Lankan domainer last night but since he is also an engineer, he will double as as Product Manager for productizing Us.Tv -- using the brand name Vieo.com.

    The point is this: I would advise to not underestimate the capacity of the emerging market armies that are forming to add value to this industry.
     
  5. Don Gondon

    Don Gondon Established Member

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    I think these are brokers from the word "broke". Can't even afford their own domains, want to make money off other people.
     
  6. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP

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    We are specifically talking about domains that are being LIQUIDATED.

    In the Bible, it was called "gleaning the fields". After the harvest was done, you let the poor folks glean the field.

    Untitled 2.jpg

    In the domainer version we are talking about here, the registrant is dumping their domains -- these are domains they don't have time to sell to end-users and for which there might be just a few days before they are lost.

    So, we crowdsource some sellers to push that inventory so instead of that domain getting picked off for let's say $9, the domain gets sold to an end-user for $1000.

    In this example, everyone wins:

    - The end-user gets a domain for a quasi-retail price
    - The broker made a buck for doing a bunch of tedious work.
    - The registrant got more than he/she would have gotten otherwise.

    It looks to me to be:

    upload_2020-2-19_23-33-33.png
     
  7. Don Gondon

    Don Gondon Established Member

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    I doubt it would work this way. If a person who is "selling" domains they don't own gets a lead on a name that is being sold there, they would wait until it hits the lowest then buy and resell.
     
  8. sellnow

    sellnow Account Closed (Disallowed)

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    I feel that smarter buyer would wait at the end when domain name go to $ 9, but it is another great opportunity for brokers as long as all process doing well
     
  9. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP

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    Well, if there are multiple brokers working that lead, then it becomes a game of chicken. Because:

    - The registrant can pull their listing anytime
    - The brokers can buy the domain anytime

    The point is that I want to see as much attention to the fresh listings, as to the final 24 hours.

    I think this type of model provides a powerful check and balance while making the pie bigger.

    The seller is liquidating but he/she is also bringing retail dollars into the domain economy. What does that do in the end? It drives prices higher while getting more domains locked up with end-users.

    If I was explicitly liquidating domains, I cannot imagine opting out for maximum help.
     
  10. pb

    pb Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I'm sure the potential buyer will be thrilled to be offered the same domain by five different "brokers". :xf.rolleyes:
    If anything, one broker should "claim" a given domain and get approved by the registrant before proceeding to send out spam.
     
  11. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Selling something you do not own (and may never own) is a bad thing. It is unethical at least.
     
  12. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Enduser may react this way then -

    A plague on both your houses
    (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

    ... and avoid purchasing the domain in question today, as well as any other aftermarket domains in future.
     
  13. lock

    lock DomainUsed.com VIP

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    I will be the first for a true affiliate program where owner of the domain can offer commission to sell premium names and secure the deal where broker buyer seller all happy. I have ideas for marketplaces that offer advertising spaces for handpicked or keyword related domains displayed on the domain landing pages. So a second choice domain could sell a first choice due to them bringing the traffic. Eg: advertisebyemail dot com brings attention to emailadvertising dot com and makes sale profit shared. Eg thoughts today would be catchy with 50% referral and hand choosing some names but it all could be so much easier to do the same idea automated.

    I love the guys that have owned 10 domains and have sold 3 so now a broker but seriously do because your proactive. laugh and praise you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  14. rohitgoyal

    rohitgoyal Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Either its xxxxxx deal or xxx , brokering or doing outbound requires lots of knowledge , patience and resources. Yes I agree that many more individual would join in however the main point is that how many would be able to survive and make a living out of it...
     
  15. rohitgoyal

    rohitgoyal Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Multiple broker working on same lead would create more confusion and situation would ultimately turn messy for everyone involved. Imo
     
  16. garptrader

    garptrader Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    In emerging markets it is common to find many street vendors trying to sell an array of products. In the tourist areas (Bocagrande area of Cartagena, Colombia or Rodadero area of Santa Marta for example) many will promote tours, rentals and other services as well. Due to the collapse of the Venezuelan economy, there are now millions of Venezuelans living in Colombia and neighboring countries. How many of these eager individuals will find domain brokering as a source of income? Can you be a domain broker if your only internet access is via a cellphone or internet cafe which charges hourly?
     
  17. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I've personally spoken to Venezolanos who are now living in other South American countries. They leaved without any money and are looking for any type of job. As a matter of fact, high and upper middle class (medical and IT professionals most notably) migrated years before. A small %%% of the current migrants may find some success offline, but, honestly, I see no way for any of them to make $$$ in any type of online business, domaining including. No money, no appropriate qualifications, and, in many cases, lack of papers (no opportunity to open bank account as the result). The last but not the least, many speak only Spanish and can say just "hello" in English...

    P.S. I wanted to include a couple of youtube videos (real, made by Venezolanos themselves and one independent Russian journalist) as to what really happens there... Scary. Horror. But this would be offtopic for this thread, and the videos are not in English anyway.
     
  18. Lox

    Lox _____ VIP Gold Account

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    Domainname.ext available for brokerage

    Apply to become a broker

    - personal details, payout details etc
    - I agree (Duties and Responsibilities, etc)

    - choose DN/s

    - target price f.e. $500-$1000 (by broker) / ($ revision by NB assistant)

    - submit your targets/ prospects (f.e. Company name, Email, Phone, Niche, URL, Address)

    - System: Domainname.ext = determine whether a company/ target has been already assigned / reserved by another broker. If’s ... the message: For DN.ext > Target already assigned. Please submit another...

    - choose pref. communication channel: internal: yourname @ namebroker.ext or external (if internal - the NB system provides f.e. Helpdesk platform where prospects and broker exchanges are recorded. // external: email messages must be bcc to yourname @ namebroker.ext

    ... etc

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  19. garptrader

    garptrader Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    What cannot be overlooked is the learning curve of identifying underpriced domains an end user would be willing to pay a premium price for. The poor in emerging markets cannot spend two years losing thousand s of dollars in the process while they have more immediate needs - like feeding young children. Obstacles can be overcome but cannot be ignored.
     
  20. trelgor

    trelgor Established Member ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    My take. Any property that is hard to navigate and has fragmented markets (sound familiar?) is in dire need of brokers. There is a built up tension for a penny to drop among brand protection agencies that maybe they don’t need to litigate the living daylights out of everything all the time. Pragmatics. Maybe they can reach their goal (read, their clients goals) through alternate means. This corporate brand protection humus + brokers can fasttrack awareness and value in a big way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  21. trelgor

    trelgor Established Member ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The brokerage need is also related to the lexical uniqueness of domains.
     
  22. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    In general I don't like this arbitrage thing where some brokers try to sell someone's domain by promoting it to end users without the domain owner's permission or even knowledge.

    At the same time I understand how Rob wants to create a new way to help the disadvantaged domainers in the emerging markets.

    I believe one way to do this is to create a whole new program that is separate from Name Liquidate where people can then submit their expiring domains (or even donate some domains) with the prior knowledge that there are going to be brokers that are going to do arbitrage on their domains by trying to sell them before the domains are deleted and lost.

    Or at the very least divide Name Liquidate into two separate sections, one section for those who think that arbitrage is okay and that don't mind for brokers to try to promote and sell their domains and another section for those who don't want any arbitrage done on their domains, this way there won't be any mistakes or confusion.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  23. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    Here is the thing:

    If you have skills to do outbound for this kind of names, you are way better off buying your own inventory at $5 to $20 apiece and selling 10% to 20% of them at $300 to $500 each than working for commission on other people's stuff while also competing for the same inventory and end users.
     
  24. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TheDomains Staff TLDInvestors.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Spot on.
     
  25. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO VIP

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    I think that is exactly the way we will go.

    There is a related development -- basically create a broker registry where brokers and registrants can register their exclusives, placing the domain in a sort of pre-escrow where during the broker exclusive other brokers could not claim exclusives.

    More on that to follow but in the meantime, the point of this thread is to explore how to methodically tap the human capacity of a new generation of brokers to add liquidity to domains that are priced to sell and that have a notably short fuse due to imminent expiry or other urgency.

    There is potential here -- I hope to demonstrate that and to also scale it within the bounds of ethical norms of the industry while making the pie bigger for the assembling horde of high energy and high talent emerging market participants who are eager to make their mark or at least make an honorable living.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2020

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