BrandBucket rant apparently brings about a change



Namepros member JudgeMind posted what he called a rant with regards to brandable domain marketplace, BrandBucket.

The thread that goes on for 4 pages shows some of the difficulties that arise when people who are employees compete against their own customers.

For those who don’t know, sellers pay a $10 listing fee if their name is accepted to be included on the BrandBucket website. Many names are rejected.

JudgeMind posted that a domain rejected by BrandBucket was then dropped months later. Michael Krell who is an employee at BrandBucket, registered the domain and listed it on BrandBucket.

To add insult to injury JudgeMind forgot to remove the domain from Afternic and the name actually sold there. Of course he did not own the name, so he missed out on a sale.

On Namepros there are fans of BB, there are those who plain don’t like the company or Mr.Krell, or owner Margot Bushnaq.

Then there are those looking for a fair and balanced discussion. I have always thought that BrandBucket is a very tough nut to crack.

On the plus side, they are the #1 brandable marketplace, they do have some recognition in the startup world and they do spend some money on advertising and webinars.

On the negative side $10 to list and 30% commission plus a logo fee is a pretty expensive proposition for most domain investors.

The other problem is a confidence factor. I wrote about this last year.

People lost their minds when Adam Dicker was allowed to bid on domains while an employee at GoDaddy. There were others incensed that Flippa allows employees to bid on auctions.

Yet fans of BrandBucket have no problem with their employees selling on the platform. Listing names that were once rejected when owned by a non employee.

There are some Namepros members that  do not care for the fact that BB staff stopped communicating on Namepros. There is a Slack channel that sellers can use if their account is in good standing.

This rant brought Michael Krell and Margot Bushnaq back to Namepros. They had no choice in my opinion. The accusation by JudgeMind portrayed them in a negative light.

Krell posted:

To update everyone on this thread, I’ve spoken directly with @JudgeMind. There was a domain that he submitted in October of 2015 that was rejected at that time, and he dropped the domain about a year after. I picked it up in the drops in December of 2016, and submitted it to BrandBucket in February of this year, and it was accepted by the submission review team.

I’ve apologized for any misunderstanding, and I’ll continue to work directly with him to repair any lingering mistrust.

I’ve also been in touch with @Zoltan P. , and to clarify his post, he has had names drop that were picked up by a variety of sellers that were later resubmitted successfully.

Margot then chimed in and mentioned a change in policy:

To follow up on Michael’s post above:
We have many long-time sellers who have been around to see our acceptance rates go from very strict, to more open, back to strict. We understand that this can be frustrating, which is why we created the rule that all domains may be resubmitted for appraisal after 9 months — just in case anything has changed with the marketplace or buyer trends. We want our sellers to be able to get our opinion on a name at least twice within the first year of owning the name.

As Keith pointed out, dropping a name and then seeing it sold (on BrandBucket or anywhere else) after the fact is painful. Feeling that a marketplace is intentionally taking advantage of you is even more painful. My primary takeaway from this thread is that we at BrandBucket are currently doing a very poor job at keeping an open door for communication — the fact that this thread had to be a “Rant TO BrandBucket”, not ABOUT BrandBucket, shows me that David wasn’t presented with a more obvious or better option other than a public forum for getting in touch with someone at BrandBucket about his concern.

One of my primary goals for BrandBucket in 2017 is increased communication and transparency with our seller base. Please keep an eye out for changes, but also please jot down these lines of communication:

* For issues like the one in this thread, or any issue with a fellow seller: (comes directly to me).
* For reconsideration requests or repricing requests: (this will soon be more automated)
* My direct email:

Finally, in the matter of seller relations, we are making a change behind the scenes at BrandBucket. For a long time now, Michael and I as sellers on the platform have submitted our names through the same process as everyone else, and are looked at blindly by the domain submission team. As “regular” sellers, we have also been privy to the “resubmit after 9 months” rule. However, I feel in some cases we need to hold ourselves to a higher level of strictness than the rest of the seller community. Starting immediately, any member of BrandBucket’s staff that is also a seller (now or in the future) will no longer be allowed to submit anything that has ever been rejected by the domain submission review team — not nine months, not 1.5 years like the scenario in this thread, not 10 years down the line. To be clear, neither Michael or I look at lists of rejected names (this has NEVER been allowed), but as you all know Michael is very active catching dropped domains, and at times he may pick up something that has passed through our system at some point. This may still happen, but that domain will not have the privilege to be listed at BrandBucket.

Thank you to our sellers who continue to push us to be a better marketplace, and who hold us to a high standard because they believe in the value of brandable marketplaces as an important part of the domain aftermarket ecosystem.

The reason why other members were referenced, was due to the fact that other members experienced what JudgeMind experienced.

Namepros member SweetDomains had an interesting comment to Margot:

Once I requested a name for reconsider to Michael and he immediately accepted it, so it’s clear that Michael (or you as a matter of fact) has power to overrule the decisions of domain review team anf accept a rejected name.

And Michael has told on one of domainsherpa episode about his sale of domain ultracast dot com where he was asked by Michael Cyger what was the reason behind pricing ultracast at nearly $15K his exact answer was “” I don’t know if I can explain it very well. I think it’s just one of those kind of gut feeling, you know, with the name.””

So it’s clear that he can price his domains whatever price his guts tells him to.

So Michael has power to approve rejected names and he has power to price his domains, how are you really telling us that you and him both follow submission steps like normal sellers??? Is it really believable?

So I am not sure if this change will make everyone happy but I commend Margot for making an effort. BrandBucket will continue to be a source of much debate no matter what.