Take a look through our simple guide to buying and selling aftermarket domain names to learn everything you need to know about the process. 

Domain brokers. What’s that all about, then? Buying and selling domain names can be a real pain and will cost you, especially if you’re new to the game. If only there were people who could take on the burden for you and help you save a lot of valuable time, money, and stress… Well, that’s where domain brokers come in. 

We’re here to tell you all about them. From what they cost to what to look for in a top brokerage service, here’s everything you could ever need to know about domain brokers.

What is a Domain Broker Service? An Easy Definition

Domain brokers are basically the go-between between buyers and sellers of domains. Sounds a bit complicated, right? So, let’s simplify it.

Domain brokers are like the real estate agents of the Internet. These guys have expertise in the market, know all about industry trends, and are experienced when it comes to making valuations.

All of this knowledge makes them the kings of streamlining the process of selling or buying a domain name for average Joes like you and me. They can bring buyers and sellers together and make sure transactions run smoothly and, perhaps more importantly, fairly.

They’re a godsend for anybody who doesn’t have the experience or time to navigate the domain market on their own. And, let’s be honest, in this day and age, who does?

10 Benefits of Using a Domain Broker Service

There are all kinds of benefits to using a domain broker service, so let’s take a look at them.

  • You get access to domain experts who really know their stuff.
  • Brokers can get you access to the biggest players in the domain market, who you might never get a chance to deal with on your own.
  • You’ll get access to domain auctions that you otherwise may not have known about.
  • You get a proper appraisal of your domain’s value, so you won’t get tricked into giving it away for less than it’s worth.
  • Brokers will carry out negotiations on your behalf, so there’s no need to go in there and play hardball yourself.
  • Sales transactions are handled securely and efficiently.
  • All the preparation and documentation will be handled for you, giving you less to worry about and letting you focus more on the day-to-day running of your business (a life-saver for small business owners in particular).
  • Buying and selling domains using a broker keeps your identity anonymous and your sale price private.
  • If you’re selling a domain, a domain broker can help market it to potential buyers.
  • Domain brokers can give you valuable legal guidance about trademarks, contractual agreements, or anything else that might crop up during a transaction. 

How Does a Domain Brokerage Service Work? Step-by-Step

So, you’re thinking of using a domain brokerage service to help you buy or sell a domain. It’s probably a good idea to know a bit about what the process looks like, right? 

The first step is to find the right websites broker. There are a few things that’ll come into play here, such as how much you want to spend and what sort of timeframe you’re working to. We’ll take a look at some of the top domain brokers out there a bit later on, so let’s skip this step for now.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect once you’ve settled on a broker:

  1. You’ll speak with your domain broker about the sort of domains you’re looking to buy and/or sell. You’ll also have a good chinwag about your budget and timeframe.
  1. From there, your broker will usually go away and find a few domains/buyers that fit what you want. They’ll come back to you with a detailed report that gives you everything you need to know, e.g., the ownership history of the domain and its current market value.
  1. If the domain/buyer ticks all your boxes, you’ll give the broker the thumbs up to enter negotiations on your behalf. The broker should keep your identity confidential, so the seller/buyer won’t know whether they’re dealing with a small business owner or a multinational corporation. 
  1. Your broker will keep you in the loop at every stage of negotiations, so you know how things are going.
  1. Once a price has been agreed, the broker will sort out payment for the domain. They’ll also handle all the pesky paperwork that comes with transferring domain ownership to/from you.

So, What Does a Domain Name Broker Do Exactly?

Here’s a quick rundown of what a domain name broker actually does, so you know what you’ll be getting for your money:

  • Helps you to buy or sell domain names.
  • Helps you negotiate for domain names that are already registered or taken.
  • Negotiates on your behalf to get the best price, whether you’re buying or selling.
  • Makes sure sales transactions are safe and efficient.
  • Keeps everything anonymous.
  • Provides appraisals and valuations of domain names.
  • Hosts domain name auctions.

How Much Do Domain Brokers Cost? Let’s Talk Fees

Usually, website domain brokers charge an upfront fee when they first start securing a domain name on your behalf. Buyer brokers might also charge a per-hour fee for consultation or negotiation.

Some brokers might charge commission on the final sale of the broker domain, but most don’t, as this doesn’t make sense for buyer brokers. Think about it: if their job is to try and get you the lowest price, they’re going to be reducing their commission in the long run.

If you’re looking to sell your domain name, most domain brokers will let you list it for sale without any charges. But they’ll probably charge a commission once the sale is finalised. 

Most seller brokers will charge somewhere between 15 and 20% commission on the price they got for your domain. As they only get paid once a sale is made, the pressure is on them to get a good price quickly.

Some seller brokers will charge a per-hour fee, which is less common. As with anything in life, it’s worth doing your research upfront and investigating what different brokers charge before you partner with them.

What Happens if the Broker Can’t Bag a Domain? (Bursts into Tears…)

Many switched-on business owners get the importance of domain names, and if they’ve found the perfect one, they might not want to give it up for any amount of money. Not even for a Ferrari, a holiday home in the Seychelles, and a date with Margot Robbie. Forget it.

So, what’s the deal if your domain broker can’t get you the domain you’re after? The bad news is that other than pursuing legal avenues if you think your trademark has been compromised, there’s not much else that can be done. Chances are you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and start looking for new options.

Most domain brokers will charge a non-refundable up-front fee that they’ll keep even if you don’t end up with the domain they were negotiating for on your behalf.

Why Would I Need to Invest in a Domain Broker? Is It Worth It?

So, is it worth paying for a domain broker? Do they do anything that you couldn’t do yourself? 

Let’s recap what they can offer you that makes them worth investing in:

  • Anonymity. A domain broker will keep your identity a secret when buying or selling a domain on your behalf. This stops sellers from bumping up the price of their domain (for example, if they think a buyer has a bottomless wallet and can afford to pay more).
  • Access. A domain broker gives you access to sellers you might not have been able to track down and to events like domain auctions that you might not have been able to take part in.
  • Expertise. Domain brokers are experts in their field. They know their stuff. They’ve got the experience to research faster, negotiate harder, and dot more Is and cross more Ts than we mere mortals could ever hope to.
  • Peace of mind. Domain brokers will often carry out domain ownership checks. This gives you peace of mind that the domain you’re buying has a clean history and won’t land you in any hot water.
  • Reduced costs. Paying for a domain broker might seem like another expense, but it could save you money in the long run. As they’re experienced negotiators, they could end up bagging you a domain for much less than you would’ve on your own. This can mean you actually save money in the end, even with the extra brokerage costs.

Do I really need a broker to buy a domain?

The simple answer is “No”. You don’t need to use a broker to buy a domain.

There are hundreds of domain registrars that anybody can buy a domain name from. All you need to do is visit one of their websites, then type in what you’re looking for to see if it’s available.

Most registrars will show you alternative options, too, along with the prices of available domains. Then all you need to do is add your choice to your cart and checkout like you would at any other online shop.

Prices can vary a lot depending on the market value of the domain, its TLD (top-level domain), and how long you want to register it for.

Four Things to Consider When Hiring a Domain Broker: Take Your Time

While you can buy a domain on your own, you’re probably more up to speed by now and can see the benefits of using a broker. Before you hire one, though, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Their track record & testimonials

It’s good to know about the past performance of any domain brokers you’re thinking of working with. Look at any big domain transactions they’ve made and what clients they’ve worked with in the past. You want glowing testimonials and satisfied customers.


Check out what fees the domain broker charges, too, and when you’re expected to pay these. Commission can vary wildly from broker to broker, so don’t settle for paying 20% if there’s another good broker who only charges 15% for the same service. Obviously, choose an option that’s within your budget.

Services offered

Brokers may offer extra services that can make them a great investment. Say you’re looking to sell a domain. You might want to partner with a broker who offers domain valuation as standard.

Secure payments

The best domain brokers offer escrow services to make sure transactions run without a hitch. This means that once an offer is accepted, the funds are sent to a third-party account. They’re only released to the seller when the domain is handed over, and each party has kept their side of the contract. 

For your peace of mind, it’s much better to use a broker that has a proven record of secure financial transactions, especially if you’re making a big-ticket purchase.

The Top 3 Best Domain Brokers

With all this in mind, we’ve gathered three of the best domain brokers for you to check out.


BrandShelter is a partner site that specialises in brand protection and domain management. You can’t go wrong with these guys and we recommend them highly.

These domain brokers are “trusted to protect online the brands and intellectual property of some of the world’s largest and most recognisable organisations”. BrandShelter is also “dedicated to empowering businesses worldwide by providing top-notch, personalised domain management solutions”. Not too shabby.

Contact their team for information on pricing and commission fees. It’ll be the best thing you do today (apart from signing up to OnlyDomains, of course).


Sedo made its name in domain parking, but it also offers a brokerage service. It’s experienced too. In fact, Sedo is responsible for brokering the $13 million sale of sex.com (now there’s a claim to fame).

Buyers and sellers can count on individual support from a personal domain broker, as well as the anonymity that goes with it. If you want to transfer your domain after a sale, it’ll handle it for free.

Sedo charges a 15% commission fee on the final sale price, whether you’re buying or selling. Sellers don’t have to pay any upfront charges, but buyers will need to pay a non-refundable contracting fee of £69. Find out more here.

Grit Brokerage

There’s nothing gritty about this lot. The Grit Brokerage team is all about ‘people helping people’ and is another domain broker that we love. Their award-winning crew has over 60 years of combined domain brokerage experience and prides itself on offering an all-singing, all-dancing customer service for our clients. Pretty neat.  

Not only that, but they were also rated as top 3 domain brokerage by marketing royalty Neil Patel. If they’re good enough for Neil, they’re good enough for us. Grit Brokerage aims to make snapping up domain names a piece of cake.

Trust these pros and they’ll have your back bagging domains on the down-low. They talk to the owners, keep things hush-hush, and make sure the deal goes smoothly through a secure escrow service. Contact them for more information.

Buy or Sell Your Domains with the Expertise of OnlyDomains

So, buying and selling domains can be a bit of a headache. We wouldn’t blame you for wanting to partner with somebody who can take on all the hassle for you while you drink cocktails on the beach.

A domain broker can do just that, providing a streamlined and confidential way to buy and sell domains. Of course, for a service like this, you’re going to have to fork out some dosh.

But, OnlyDomains gives you a cost-effective way to buy domains that suit your needs. Our domain marketplace even gives you the chance to snap up domains that are already taken, taking on the legwork for you.

Once you’ve got your domain, our drag-and-drop website editor will help you build a beautiful site in no time at all. You can then host it, keep it secure, and even set up a business email account—all through our platform. Why not see what we can do for you today?

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