8.1.17 Ecommerce

Sedo: A Domain Brokerage Service Helping Brands Acquire the Right Address to Grow Authority and Reach

By: Jessica Sommerfield

The Crunch: Whether starting an e-commerce website or launching a new marketing campaign, securing the right domain name can be as important to a business as buying the right piece of real estate. But a lack of regulation and information in the domain brokerage industry can make it challenging for small businesses to find a partner they can trust. Since 2001, Sedo has provided a trustworthy domain brokerage marketplace for small and large businesses across the globe. Committed to ethical sale negotiations and fair domain appraisals, Sedo offers multiple options for finding, buying, selling, or trading domains at transparent prices. Through resources, research, and advice, Sedo provides the information businesses need to secure domains, build brands, and strengthen their web presence.

When business owners need a building with the right location and amenities at a price that fits their budget, they find a real estate broker who knows the market and can negotiate a sale while also looking out for the interests of the client — not just their own commission.

Similarly, on the web, securing an effective domain name can be crucial to a fledgling business’ visibility as it enters e-commerce. For a company looking to project a certain image and position itself within its industry or vertical, getting the right domain name can foster brand and sales growth even with tough competition.

While anyone can purchase a business name from a domain marketplace, sometimes securing a specific name is important. But what if it’s already taken? And, even if the owner can be tracked down, what if they’re not immediately willing to sell?

Dave Evanson, Senior Sales and Brokerage Consultant for Sedo, talked to us about the company’s domain brokerage services.

British businessman Graham Haynes faced this situation while trying to acquire Furniture.co.uk. Already the owner of BedroomFurniture.co.uk, Haynes knew that a .co.uk extension pulled in 70% more visits than a .com extension for a business in the UK. In a competitive market, this domain name could earn his company greater authority in the furniture space. Determined to do whatever it took to acquire this name, Haynes came to Sedo.

“We’re the oldest and the largest domain marketplace in the world,” said Dave Evanson, Senior Sales and Brokerage Consultant for Sedo. “We have brokers who help people buy names whether or not they’re listed on Sedo. We’re set up to track down a name, find the buyer, and help negotiate the deal.”

Even though the owner of Furniture.co.uk was initially reluctant to sell, Sedo expertly handled the negotiation and secured the deal. Since acquiring the domain, Furniture.co.uk has seen a 5% increase in its sales and expects to see an even greater return on its investment over the next 20 to 25 years.

Since its launch in 2001, Sedo — an acronym for Search Engine for Domain Offers — has helped hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe find and acquire the domain names they need to be successful. As one of the most trusted full-service domain solution providers, Sedo offers support, research, negotiation, and numerous purchasing or selling options for both small and large businesses. Sedo also sets the pace for integrity in a still-burgeoning field.

Setting the Domain Marketplace Standard with Ethical Negotiations and Appraisals

The domain entry market is growing rapidly, but there is still minimal regulation or readily-available information on domain transactions.

“The domain industry is new, and brokers aren’t licensed,” Dave said. “There are 2,000 brokers, and 1,000 in the US alone,” Dave said. “A high level of trust is needed in the industry because evaluations are subjective. There’s not a lot of comparable data, and the sales information isn’t always publicly available.”

“With the domain industry, reputation is very important. We take our A++ rating from the Better Business Bureau every year very seriously. Last year, Sedo was named the domain company of the year.” — Dave Evanson, Senior Sales and Brokerage Consultant for Sedo

Realizing the need for self-regulation and unquestionable ethics, Sedo is committed to setting the standard for honesty in their sales, trading, and appraisal services.

“With the domain industry, reputation is very important,” Dave said. “We take our A++ rating from the Better Business Bureau every year very seriously. Last year, Sedo was named the domain company of the year.”

While some in the industry exploit their earning potential or take advantage of their customers’ lack of market knowledge, Sedo’s negotiation policies and transparent pricing page reflect its commitment to above-board practices.

“In a transaction, whether buying or selling, we will represent only one party. We don’t double dip — ever,” Dave said. “We take getting the best price for that buyer or seller very seriously. It’s rewarding for us to see a domain go to good use so that the end user can make money and the clients and customers of that end user are getting a good service for the product.”

Providing Advice, Resources, and Research for Small Businesses

For businesses that are new to the realm of domain transactions, it can be difficult to sort out what a domain name is worth and find something that fits within their budget while meeting branding needs. Sedo helps smaller retailers learn about domains and acquire the names they need by providing advice, market research, and other resources.

“We have many more relationships with small businesses just because of the numbers. Sometimes we work with people who are shocked about the prices or unaware of the process of acquiring and using domains,” Dave told us. “Very often, they know what type of name they want, what their budget is, and have a short list of what they’re going for, and they’ll ask for suggestions in terms of names.”

Because there’s so little information available to its customers, Sedo provides market research whenever possible.

“We do research for ourselves, but we also do research for our customers – what’s going on in the industry, top sales. We try to be very objective and helpful and provide that information,” Dave said.

Versatile Options for Buying & Selling to Meet Diverse Retailer Needs

As a domain marketplace that offers brokerage services, Sedo has versatile transaction options and domain investors on a global scale, whether a business is just getting started online or looking to expand its reach with the help of a new domain.

As HubSpot’s acquisition of CultureCode.com illustrates, a new domain can be the perfect tool for launching a new marketing campaign. HubSpot had been using the term Culture Code to describe the internal document that described its company’s customer approach. CultureCode.com would provide a more shareable link to the guide while retaining its branded title, but HubSpot discovered the name was already registered. With a swiftly approaching release date, HubSpot turned to Sedo.

Sedo helped to negotiate a swift and seamless sale, enabling HubSpot to acquire CultureCode.com within 24 hours – well before its scheduled campaign launch. As proof that the investment was worth it, CultureCode.com has had over 1.3 million views in its first year alone.

Sedo has many different channels in its domain playbook, including auctions, buy it now, and brokerage options.

In addition to negotiating domain sales like HubSpot’s, Sedo allows businesses to trade domains for cash, with options for a fixed or negotiated price. Businesses looking to make even more cash from a domain asset can park it, an option that puts advertisements on their unused address, earning them money with every click. Sedo also routinely runs domain auctions that draw interested clients based on domain name categories and drive the highest market price for the seller.

“We have the largest auction platform,” Dave told us. “Among several auction alternatives, for our monthly Great Domains Auction for example, we select roughly 100 domains each month and heavily promote the event to hundreds of thousands of prospective buyers.”

A Trusted Partner and Mediator for Domain Name Acquisition

Just as brick-and-mortar businesses place their trust in their real estate brokers, brands turn to Sedo for guidance in the newer, less regulated field of domain name acquisition.

Sedo helps small businesses acquire the domains that will help them grow by providing domain name advice, resources, and versatile marketplace options. With ethical transactions, honest appraisals, and a positive reputation recognized by the BBB, Sedo also provides the assurance of a brokerage service that’s looking out for each client’s interest.

“We don’t try to get people to buy a name and then sell it right away just to get a lot of transactions back and forth,” Dave said, “We try to get the right name in the hands of the right user.”

Whether negotiating sales that help businesses, like Furniture.co.uk, gain authority in their vertical or helping companies like HubSpot quickly secure the name to launch a new campaign, Sedo is the mediator that links businesses to the domain names they need to succeed.

About The Author

Jessica Sommerfield is a contributing writer for DealCrunch with over seven years of experience with online publications in the personal finance sector and other consumer-focused niches. Her 13 years of experience in brick-and-mortar stores prior to her writing career have also given her an insider’s perspective on the unique challenges that the retail industry faces.

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