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Flippa forces use of Escrow.com

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews, started by NicTraders, Feb 24, 2020

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  1. NicTraders

    NicTraders Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    So, Flippa is enforcing the use of Escrow.com for escrow transactions.
    https://blog.flippa.com/escrow-com-partnership/
    Another nail in the coffin for my relationship with Flippa. I hate Escrow.com (previous experience), along with their exorbitant fees, and will do whatever I can to avoid them. I've done $25k over at Flippa (almost all purchases). For me their in-house Escrow (PromisePay) system worked perfectly (particularly since I am in Australia and could bank transfer direct to their account without having to pay international wire transfer fees).

    They tested this new requirement on me a week ago (without me knowing it was going to happen). A domain purchase for about $15. Straight away I receive an email from Escrow.com saying I must complete the transaction there. No choice was given. However I headed to the sale completion area and paid with PayPal instead, then notified Flippa Support I didn't want to complete by Escrow.com. I let my feelings be known since no Escrow.com transaction should be started without the buyer and seller first agreeing to it. Hopefully they have changed this part by now, but who knows.

    For me, transacting with Flippa is becoming quite distasteful. Escrow.com has some of the most expensive fees around, but on top of this (for sales) there is a disbursement fee for payout via international wire transfer and then in many cases there is another fee to receive that transfer with my local bank. Escrow.com does not pay out to PayPal accounts or to accounts provided by non-bank remittance services such as Payoneer, TransferWise, etc. These factors mean that using Escrow.com is pointless for all but the highest value transactions. The other option for payment is PayPal (which has terrible exchange rates). Thus another negative move for international users.

    In any case, now that they have officially announced what's going on, I emailed some more feedback to them (basically what I've stated here and the fact that it would make me a lot less likely to transact with them). I do happen to have a contact over there who is in a position of importance. Usually he takes a few days or a week to acknowledge my feedback, and while it's nice that he eventually acknowledges my suggestions, almost never is anything done about them. Interesting that today I had a response from him within minutes! His response:
    "Realize this is problematic. Working very hard to find a solution quickly here."
    And I noticed the CEO was CC'd. So they are taking that rather seriously.

    Good that they acknowledge the issue. But one has to wonder why they've rolled out the change without a decent solution in place. I do very little purchasing (in terms of $ value) over there these days anyway as most changes have been in favour of high-value website transactions, with very little on offer for domainers. But it will be interesting to see what they come up with (if anything) to address this...

    Does anyone else use Flippa much these days?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  2. rh2000

    rh2000 Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    I haven't used Flippa in years. That is strange the make you use Escrow.com and not Flippa escrow, since you live in Australia and that is where they are located.
     
  3. Samer

    Samer Top Contributor VIP

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    Been Flippa-free, for years, "Good riddance,”

    No clue why people still use Flippa

    Samer
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  4. NicTraders

    NicTraders Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    As far as I can tell they must have wanted to get out of the Escrow side of things altogether and out-source that to Escrow.com. I guess it was someone's bright idea for saving on costs (and they probably get a nice kickback from Escrow.com too). But I suspect they didn't think it through real well. Or, they probably thought it through and didn't really care about the repercussions since the majority of their business is in the US anyway.

    I mainly use it because I have purchased a bunch of domains from various sellers in the past, so when they have new listings Flippa notifies me of the fact. I bid lower than the average buyer over there so only win maybe 1 in every 20 auctions I participate in. If I stop bidding altogether it will be no real loss to me as there is plenty of inventory in the expiry streams, etc of equal quality.
     
  5. ramkumaritrvs

    ramkumaritrvs Happiest man in the world PRO VIP

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    I quit using flippa 5 years ago and still feeling happy for that decision.
     
  6. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Contributor VIP

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    I haven't used Flippa in years. Being forced to use Escrowcom just reassures me that my decision is a good one.
     
  7. alcy

    alcy Top Contributor VIP

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    people still use this....? wow
     
  8. Peak.Domains

    Peak.Domains Established Member

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    Hmm, I remember somebody had their site stolen when using Flippa's own escrow service that they were pushing pretty hard onto people for a while. I'd have to dig up the thread on another forum, but I guess Flippa is acknowledging their Escrow service was broken? I wonder how many people had their money or their assets stolen using Flippa's escrow.
     
  9. Levi Zheng

    Levi Zheng Established Member

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    Thank you for sharing!!
     
  10. BuyBrandWeb.com

    BuyBrandWeb.com Praveen Chidaboyina PRO VIP

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    Tell you what, I have sold smallcamera.com for $4050 USD recently on Flippa and transaction was forced to use escrow.com.Transaction completed yesterday after 17 days from the auction end date. Escrow.com took almost 11 days to verify the buyer's id and I thought the deal was going to fell through.
    I had a very bad experience with the escrow.com in the past as well and they didn't recognize the difference between ABA and bank account and they've sent payment to ABA instead of the bank account!

    They don't do Paypal mass payments, won't accept the Payoneer bank account.
     
  11. BuyBrandWeb.com

    BuyBrandWeb.com Praveen Chidaboyina PRO VIP

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    Flippa is one of the sources of income if you knew how to sell there. List Call to Action domains there and trying to invite end-users to participate. This formula is working for me better.
     
  12. AnthonyD

    AnthonyD Optimal Names VIP Gold Account

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    Nope. Have not in a long, long time. :) Escrow.com neither.
     
  13. NicTraders

    NicTraders Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Yes, Escrow.com is pretty rubbish. I've never liked them since they almost cost me the purchase of a large portfolio a couple of years ago. Similar deal - verification was virtually impossible as they kept asking for documents which don't exist in my country. Well, they exist, but under different names. It seemed they were geared for the US only and had no idea how to handle international business accounts. Anyway, after telling me for about 8-10 days that my account wasn't verified and I had to send the forms (which I'd already sent) I got rather annoyed and told the service agent that if it wasn't fixed that day then I was going to a different escrow service. Magically my account was verified within an hour. Truth was it almost cost me the purchase as the seller wanted to use Escrow.com. I did a couple of sales through them after that and the disbursement fees (and their escrow fees) destroyed the profit margin so I've never been back.

    Praveen I know you do a lot of sales over at Flippa (and I've bought a number of domains from you). It does seem to work for you, which I suspect is mainly because you've now got a large list of followers who get emailed when you add new listings. That's essentially the only reason I go to Flippa now - when one of the sellers I follow lists new stock I get a notification and click on it if interested.

    Anyway, how are you going to handle this change? Are they splitting the fees between buyer and seller or what? If you're paying extra fees that's another thing that's going to eat into your profit margin...
     
  14. NicTraders

    NicTraders Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Interested to hear your thoughts @BuyBrandWeb.com ...

    Flippa is taking it reasonably seriously. I've had a couple of people in touch with me over there. Latest reply was:
    "Just wanted to let you know we've put Payoneer & Escrow.com in touch on this. With our guidance, they are hammering out a solution for sellers which will hopefully allow payouts to Payoneer accounts."

    Let's see what comes of that. I'm not holding my breath. In any case I don't want to be paying Escrow.com fees on top of my Flippa purchases so even if it happens I can't see myself using Flippa much now (except for cheap purchases which I'll just pay using PayPal).
     
  15. BuyBrandWeb.com

    BuyBrandWeb.com Praveen Chidaboyina PRO VIP

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    they have the worst management and they were experimenting with a lot of things without having experience in auctions. All these worst decisions are going to kill the marketplace. This is like suicide!
     
  16. NicTraders

    NicTraders Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Fair call! I thought it must have been only me who thought that was the case. I'm amazed at some of the decisions they're making. They do seem to be trying to make things harder for buyers and sellers, while not providing any benefits at all. Shame, but no doubt some other marketplace will pop up at some stage and take over from them.
     

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