Are Mike Mann's and Rick Schwartz's reported domain sales accurate or even true?

Labeled as opinion in Domain Selling and Domain Sales started by xynames, Dec 7, 2018.


  1. xynames

    xynames PRO VIP

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    When I report a domain name sale to NameBio I provide or at least am always willing and able to provide proof in the way of escrow or other screenshots. With my higher price sales I am required to provide proof.

    I understand that when Mike Mann or Rick Schwartz report their sales to Ron Jackson / DNJ they provide NO proof.

    Also, I understand that when Mike Mann or Rick Schwartz "sell" a domain with an installment plan, they immediately report it as SOLD for the entire price, even if only a deposit was made and even if the buyer eventually defaults on the payments. (On the other hand, I just "sold" a domain for high five figures with a substantial deposit of mid-five figures and yet since payments go out for the next couple years, Michael at NameBio let me know that he may not report it as a sale until after the last payment is completed and the domain is transferred, not to escrow holding, but to the buyer.)

    For example,

    this is an example of a reported "sale" by Rick Schwartz that obviously ended up with payment default by the buyer, and yet was reported as a done deal from day one. I understand that Mike Mann does the same.

    So, how many of Mike Mann’s and Rick Schwartz's reported sales are either inaccurate (in that they are posted without proof) or based on, to put it kindly, "forward-looking statements" of installment plans that are not yet completed. May we even know?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  2. vravis9

    vravis9 Established Member

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    InterstiInt point...

    And these sales we are talking about usually of high prices and which usually will be a great cause of defaults...hence there is a chance of high incomplete sales (reported)

  3. creataweb

    creataweb Some Guy with Awesome Senior High School Photo VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  4. BestDomains2828

    BestDomains2828 Account Auto-Closed

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    This is very important point please namepros look into this seriously.
  5. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    I have questioned this before, about “trusted” sources, and such queries ignored. It is what it is, the data is free and I appreciate it for that. We shouldn’t expect anything more. If I had to pay a subscription fee, I would expect accuracy. But, they aren’t afaik, so the databases and sales reports are free, not like real estate MLS comps or Tax records recorded that are official.

    Consider them like TMZ or Entertainment news!

    In the past 2 years, I have seen enough 6 figure sales reported that have parked pages to get enough laughs and become cynical. The numbers are Ballpark figures only. Then... Lump together the shill bidding and price discovery games, the broker who gets publicity to sell to a well healed investor, few end user sales, or the buyers defaults and name isnt removed, the hype etc all get mixed in the entire mess.
  6. Michael

    Michael NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This is Ron's policy on confirming sales:

    At the risk of paraphrasing, it basically boils down to: if you're a big venue or someone he trusts he won't ask for proof, otherwise he does. DomainMarket (aka Mike Mann) is explicitly listed as a trusted source, so as I read the policy that means no verification at all. Does he send sales to Ron that are on payment plans? I recall seeing examples of this but I didn't write them down, I can probably find some if pressed. I'd rather not spend the time on it though, so I'll just say I'm not positive but I believe so.

    It's become an urban legend that Ron verifies every single sale, even though he clearly states that he doesn't. Although he also wouldn't chart a sale that he knew was still on a payment plan, just as he doesn't chart sales that had a non-cash component or included a website/business.

    My personal policy is this:

    If I don't know you, I always ask for proof no matter what, even if it is a $150 sale of a solid domain. If you've been reporting to me for a while providing proof every time, eventually I'll stop asking for proof on the low end sales. This is mostly to reduce the burden of reporting. But I'll still verify the higher end sales or anything that seems unbelievable even if you're a close friend or public figure.

    For sales that are really impressive I'll almost always reach out to the marketplace or escrow service to double check and make sure the screenshot wasn't faked. for example is kind enough to verify sales if we can provide the transaction ID numbers (proving one of the parties gave us permission).

    Like Ron, I don't verify anything that comes directly from marketplaces, unless someone comes to me with a concern and then I'll look into it as best as I can.

    I would never manually add a sale that I knew was on a payment plan.

    All that said, quite a few people report to Ron but don't also report to us, assuming we'll just pick it up from Ron's report (which kind of forces us to - or be missing headline sales). I'm not a fan of reaching out to someone asking them to prove something that they didn't tell us, especially when public figures are unlikely to risk their reputation reporting fake or incomplete sales. So that means to a degree some of the sales in our database are only as good as Ron's verification. It isn't many though, a few a week compared to the thousands we add ourselves, and most probably did actually complete.

    I have definitely seen Uniregistry reporting sales that were still on payment plans, some of which eventually fell through. But you can be sure that if anyone asked Uniregistry to provide 5,000+ screenshots when they do their annual data-dumps, that would get a good laugh. The only way to double-check would be to do a massive bulk WHOIS history report on several dates per domain, but that doesn't always work due to privacy before or after, GDRP, buyers not updating the WHOIS after taking possession, etc. and it is very expensive.

    It's flaky enough that only adding sales you could be sure transferred would be too limiting. And if you're going to include ones you aren't sure about then the cost of checking to find ones you could be sure didn't transfer doesn't really make sense. At that point the data is already imperfect and you'll probably only find a tiny amount if any. Not worth trying to go from a 0.002% error rate to a 0.0018% error rate (made-up numbers) if that means a ton of work and expense.

    For example on one of the Uniregistry dumps from a few years back the guys from Whoisology gave us a report with six WHOIS snapshots per domain. 49 out of 5,749 were on a payment plan (they have a specific email for this) or 0.8% by quantity and 1.87% by dollar volume. Probably a majority of those ended up completing anyway. And quite a few were probably not actually still on a payment plan at the time of reporting, and the buyer just didn't update the WHOIS.

    I highly doubt anyone is doing it maliciously and with the intention to mislead though. What's the upside? A handful of strangers on the internet think you're cool a few months early? They probably just don't keep good track and accidentally include them when they report. Or maybe the initial payment was so large that they thought the odds of default were extremely low, although personally I wouldn't stake my reputation on another party following through.

    Also I'd just like to say that in general a domain ending up back with the seller doesn't necessarily mean it was on a payment plan that fell through. The domain could have been bought back after the business failed. Most businesses don't know how to sell a domain or find a broker, so it's easiest to just reach out to the person who sold it to you when you want to liquidate. It certainly looks suspicious but isn't really concrete proof of anything.

    Hopefully this clarifies things, although it probably isn't the answer some of you wanted.
  7. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    Not interested in picking on the broker, the reporters, current owner, or on anyone or calling foul. Just curious about such sales like this size are listed as sold, but appear otherwise as a parked page. Is there a payment plan, sale fall through?

    Here is one example, which was a huge sale.

    Reportedly sold on Feb 18, 2018, listed on Namebio and DNJ at $335,000.


    Big story, front page link in DnJ including today, story I believe here on NamePros, listed currently in Namebio as a sale.

    Now Parked page at GoDaddy, not forwarded to the Buyers Company now.

    Feb 1st, 2018, screenshot shows it had a 301 to the buyers existing domain and company listed on the news story. After that, none. Checked MX records, none listed.

  8. jideofor

    jideofor Top Member VIP

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    good question
  9. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I think most of sales reported by marketplaces is ok, but sometimes they also report incomplete sales with rather large amounts involved. Example is that was reported sold on Sedo for $9,999. I was the seller at the time. However, this sale failed as the buyer didn't pay, and Sedo cancelled the transaction per my request.

    It is also listed at Namebio @Michael Now, if you remove it, the largest reported sale of .ag domain would be that of $3,612 - big difference for the extension.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  10. Michael

    Michael NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Removed, thanks for sending the screenshot!
  11. namemarket

    namemarket Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    All I know for sure is there has been some Mike Mann sales where the name-servers stay with Domain Market for a very long time and sometimes Mike's old for sale landing page is active long after sale.

    For example, I recall a huge 6 figure widely publicized Crypto domain which still had Domain Market landing page and whois info a full year after the sale, last time I checked. Can you imagine paying $199,000 and never using the name a year later, not even putting it on forwarding or parking! Makes no sense and I doubt it is sold.

    In addition, I see many Domain Market sales in 4 or 5 figures on domains which seem more like reg fee names and would likely fail to sell for $100 on this forum or elsewhere. Is that possible? And regarding DNJournal reports I do not believe Ron Jackson asks for proof of sales from well-known domainers or those he knows and trusts however that was several years ago when I was personally aware of it.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019

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