If a lead comes through a broker, you should pay the broker

Give credit where credit is due.

Yesterday I got an email from someone interested in one of my domains.

“I found your domain on BuyDomains,” he stated.

But he thought the price I listed on BuyDomains (via Afternic) was too high and wanted to negotiate. Rather than call BuyDomains to negotiate he emailed me directly.

We worked out a price, and then I changed the price at BuyDomains to what we negotiated and told him to buy it through them.

It could be tempting in this situation to circumvent the marketplace to save on commission. But that would be unethical.

The buyer clearly stated that he found my domain on BuyDomains. So the marketplace is responsible for him contacting me. It should be part of the transaction. The same goes for a case in which a broker brings in a lead for you.


  1. says

    If only everyone was as honest as you Andrew things would be soooo much easier.I have acted as a “middloe man” many times in many fields of business and got to say that agreements are ONLY as strong as the word of the company/person you have agreement with.Good to see you are very ethical.

  2. says

    I would not call it ‘unethical’, but rather, convenient and simply a matter of agreeing on the terms of the transaction. Using the broker made you feel safer about negotiating with a stranger.

  3. Ron says

    Do not agree at all, broker has a million names listed, they did not close or do any work. Buyer accessed free info, and made their own call. You don’t think these exchanges push their internal domains, over yours any chance they get to sway a buyer. You chose to pay 7 percent more which is less legwork for you, must have been a small sale as 15 percent adds up quick.

  4. says

    The buyer should pay the commission, like at auction houses where there is a “buyers” premium of 10% on the actual bid price to pay the auction house….Too many people will say I am a broker, give me 10-20% of the sale, which is stupid in my opinion.

    • says

      @ Anthony – You can get away with that in an auction but it’s harder with a fixed price. It would slow down the sales process.

      One company that has been able to do that is StubHub. That probably has something to do with buyers being accustomed to service fees when buying tickets.

Leave a Reply