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question How do you deal with the payment when you make private acquisitions from non-domainers?

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Arca

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I've had difficulties when it comes to paying for domains I have purchased from owners who are not domain investors (i.e. the name was not listed for sale, but I reached out to the owner to ask if I could purchase the domain).

For example, I bought a domain recently, and the owner did not have an Escrow.com account (and was not familiar with the company, or the idea of using a third party service to handle a domain transaction), and he also did not have an account with any marketplaces like Sedo and Afternic (and had never heard about them). He didn't want to deal with the perceived hassle of signing-up with any them. Since I was the one asking to buy his domain, I was not in a position to make him join when he didn't want to.

There seemed to be no secure way to deal with it, and because I really wanted the domain, and since he seemed trustworthy in his emails, and the amount agreed on was mid $XXX, I ended up just sending him the payment directly through PayPal. Fortunately, he was as trustworthy as he seemed, and he transferred the domain to me after I sent him the payment.

I would like to acquire more domains in this way, but just sending the payment directly in advance is bound to go wrong eventually.

If you reach out to domain owners who are not domainers, and they are not familiar with Escrow.com, Sedo, Afternic, and don't want to go through the hassle of joining these platforms just to make a $xxx sale, how do you (securely) handle the transaction?
 
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A SEPA bank transfer for sellers in Europe and beyond, if you trust the seller enough.
The other option: if they have an account at ebay (many people do), they can create a BIN listing just for you but they pay the fee.
Other than paypal, moneybookers (skrill) is possible and there is an escrow option too.
 
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As seller, I find it easiest sometimes just to generate paypal invoice, as it allows the buyer to pay by credit card or, if they have it, paypal account. It costs only 2.9% and for smaller sales is much better than escrow.com

Just for comparison, had $380 sale yesterday. Escrow would have costed me around $36 ($25 minimum, plus extra for credit card). Paypal costed me around $11 and didn't require from buyer to create any account or anything.

Now if the role is reversed and you are the buyer and seller does not have paypal, then it is different.
 
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Write a up a sales agreement. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it should identify the buyer+seller, date of sale, price of sale, terms of sale, etc. I'm sure you can find some general templates online. Just make sure signatures are in ink, not typed. You can scan+email or fax the document.

That's usually enough to deter any malpractice, and it can be used in court if necessary.
 
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i have made purchases in the last year from domain owners that were not "domainers" and were also not currently signed up to use escrow or paypal... in some cases they signed up and we did over paypal, in 2 cases they signed up and we used escrow and in one case the guy was just too "old school" and not interested in signing up or going through the hassle of getting their money into their bank account if paid using either escrow or paypal.... so I wound up sending them a cashiers check (I had even offered western union if convenient for them). in all cases things went just fine. I think that in these cases these 1-domain owners are the furthest removed from being a "domain scammer" and the only issue was the time involved getting them through the purchase and transfer process etc.... i definitely share your view that they, as the seller, are not in a position to HAVE to make getting paid a convenience for me.... I want THEIR domain and need to be flexible enough to pay them in a way that works for them as long as my "spidey sense" isn't going off...
 
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A SEPA bank transfer for sellers in Europe and beyond, if you trust the seller enough.
The other option: if they have an account at ebay (many people do), they can create a BIN listing just for you but they pay the fee.
Other than paypal, moneybookers (skrill) is possible and there is an escrow option too.
ebay is a great suggestion.

I guess for domain owners who have their names registered with GoDaddy, it's possible to ask them to just create a premium listing. The downside would be a 20% commission fee (that needs to be factored into the agreed on price, so that the buyer covers it), and also the chance of someone else buying it first (if it gets listed with a BIN price).

As seller, I find it easiest sometimes just to generate paypal invoice, as it allows the buyer to pay by credit card or, if they have it, paypal account. It costs only 2.9% and for smaller sales is much better than escrow.com

Just for comparison, had $380 sale yesterday. Escrow would have costed me around $36 ($25 minimum, plus extra for credit card). Paypal costed me around $11 and didn't require from buyer to create any account or anything.

Now if the role is reversed and you are the buyer and seller does not have paypal, then it is different.
On the buyer side in this case.

Write a up a sales agreement. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it should identify the buyer+seller, date of sale, price of sale, terms of sale, etc. I'm sure you can find some general templates online. Just make sure signatures are in ink, not typed. You can scan+email or fax the document.

That's usually enough to deter any malpractice, and it can be used in court if necessary.
While this would definitely serve to deter malpractice, setting up a sales agreement that requires scanning+email or faxing would probably also deter the seller from selling in this scenario (it would require more work on the part of the seller than opening an Escrow.com account). Looking for the "path of least resistance" type of ways to deal with it.

i have made purchases in the last year from domain owners that were not "domainers" and were also not currently signed up to use escrow or paypal... in some cases they signed up and we did over paypal, in 2 cases they signed up and we used escrow and in one case the guy was just too "old school" and not interested in signing up or going through the hassle of getting their money into their bank account if paid using either escrow or paypal.... so I wound up sending them a cashiers check (I had even offered western union if convenient for them). in all cases things went just fine. I think that in these cases these 1-domain owners are the furthest removed from being a "domain scammer" and the only issue was the time involved getting them through the purchase and transfer process etc.... i definitely share your view that they, as the seller, are not in a position to HAVE to make getting paid a convenience for me.... I want THEIR domain and need to be flexible enough to pay them in a way that works for them as long as my "spidey sense" isn't going off...
This was a really helpful read.

When you approach the owner, do you briefly “educate” him/her about the possible ways the transaction could be handled in the very first email, or do you simply ask for a price/make an offer, and then work out how to deal with the payment after you have agreed on a price?
 
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I have only done this once and in such case, I had to buy via godaddy.
 
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I'm in a similar situation.. Hopefully the guy wont scam me and just keep the money
 
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Thanks for the suggestions.

What do people recommend if you are a broker in the transaction?
 
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I'd stick with Paypal, Skrill or Neteller (Moneybookers) when it comes to acquisitions because they have buyer protection. They go a long way to protect the buyers. It's the selling part that is worrying with unknown buyers.
 
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I'd stick with Paypal, Skrill or Neteller (Moneybookers) when it comes to acquisitions because they have buyer protection. They go a long way to protect the buyers. It's the selling part that is worrying with unknown buyers.
Are buyers protected through PayPal on electronic ie domains? I heard they did not honor buyer protection on domains.
 
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Are buyers protected through PayPal on electronic ie domains? I heard they did not honor buyer protection on domains.
Well kinda. Technically, they do not honor seller protection for intangible goods. Many people over here have lost thousands of dollars worth of domains due to this reason. But buyers are always protected even if there is a slight doubt.
 
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Well apparently there is a thread ongoing of a Paypal reversal scam..Here is the link.
https://www.namepros.com/threads/paypal-not-safe-reversed-payment.946266/#post-5527871
Wow. Although a very common case. Most buyers buy websites and pay via paypal. Copy the important website files and then dispute the payment and return all the files which is worst because it is like hacking somebody's website.

There are many such threads where the seller has lost money even after an honest transaction. Not one where a buyer has lost money when cheated. Usually with Namepros people I opt for Paypal but rest of the world I just opt for Escrow. Especially when buyer delays payments.
 
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