Thursday , March 30 2023

Making Sense of the GoDaddy Domain Broker Service Status Page

In the domain name management control panel at GoDaddy, there’s a Buy & Sell drop down menu. Within that menu, there is a Domain Broker Service link that takes customers to a status page with all of the Domain Broker Service inquiries received on their domain names.

These inquiries are from GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service, a premium upsell that costs customers $99.99 plus a 20% commission on a completed sale. When a GoDaddy customer engages the Domain Broker Service for a GoDaddy-registered domain name, the inquiry is listed within this section of the domain registrant’s GoDaddy account.

I first learned about this page after seeing a post about it on Twitter:

On my Domain Broker Service page, I saw a list of inquiries for domain names I own with different status updates. The four types of status update I see are: Negotiations failed, Call domain broker, Payout Complete, and Unable to reach buyer.

I recognized some of the inquiries because a GoDaddy broker had reached out to me and I recalled the name of the broker and the particular domain name they discussed with me. There were other inquiries that I had heard nothing about until I saw the status page and I was curious to understand why I never received an inquiry or offer for those Domain Broker Service engagements.

I reached out to a contact at GoDaddy to ask about this page. It was explained to me that customers who purchase a Domain Broker Service inquiry for a domain name may have a very low offer. It doesn’t make sense to me that someone would pay $99.99 to offer $100 for a domain name, but that happens. When this occurs with a domain name listed for sale at GoDaddy/Afternic with a minimum price that is above their offer, the broker would encourage them to increase their offer. If they do not increase the offer, the negotiation will fail without contacting the registrant.

This passive Negotiation failed status makes sense to me. I don’t want to receive a $200 offer for a domain name that has a $10,000 minimum offer – even if that prospective buyer paid $100 for the privilege of being rejected immediately. It’s a bit confusing why the prospect wouldn’t have seen the price or minimum price at GoDaddy, but I don’t really know the purchase screen flow.

Another reason negotiations may have failed without being notified is that the buyer confused the Domain Broker Service with buying the domain name. It seems pretty clear to me that the $99.99 price is to open a negotiation, but I can see why someone might confuse it with purchasing the domain name. Assuming that is the case, GoDaddy would likely give a refund and call it a day.

Importantly, when a buyer engages GoDaddy’s Domain Broker Service, the broker represents the buyer. This is the case even if the domain name is listed for sale via GoDaddy or Afternic. I previously wrote an article about when GoDaddy represents the buyer and when GoDaddy represents the seller, and I think it is important for people to understand the difference.

I have a couple of suggestions to improve this page for domain registrants. There are no dates on the inquiries, and I think it would be helpful if people knew when the inquiries were made. In addition, I think it would be helpful for each inquiry page to have a status on why the Negotiation failed. Posting something like “Confused buyer” or “Offer did not meet minimum” would be helpful. In the later case, the seller could reach out to the broker if a price changes in the future. Perhaps the buyer did not find something of interest and would still have an interest.

The Domain Broker Service status page was neat to see but it lacked some details that would be most helpful to sellers.

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