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If you are not using Epik.com for escrow, you are wasting time and money!

Located in Escrow Service Reviews started by Rob Monster, Jan 18, 2019.

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  1. EbookLover

    EbookLover Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    After writing my post that @equity78 quoted, I realized...

    1. that Epik's banner ad here on NP claims they offer "escrow".

    2. that the title of this thread also claims Epik offers "escrow" services.

    Not good, IMHO. But I am not a lawyer.

    I guess what it really comes down to is if it is illegal in the USA to call a service "escrow" even if you are not registered and regulated as an escrow service. If there is no federal law concerning this, then it would have to be taken from a state level (which is the angle Escrow.com seems to be taking).

    I can definitely see why an escrow company would not be happy if other businesses can claim to offer escrow services without licensing/regulation, yet they have to spend money on said licensing and regulation simply because they exclusively operate as an escrow service. It makes no sense. If all you need is trust from the public to profitably offer escrow services, then why is Escrow.com different than anyone else? Why should they have to be subject to regulation and whatnot?

    My guess is, if in fact it is not legal to claim to be an escrow service without actually be licensed and regulated as such, then someday there's gonna be a big govt smack-down (federal or state) on those that use "escrow" to describe their "safe buying process".

    Again, I'm not a lawyer and I don't claim to be.
     
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  2. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    We are considering that option, though the legal definition of escrow is very generic:

    Ballentine's Law Dictionary
    A deed; the delivery of an instrument to a third party who is to deliver it to the grantee or promisee upon the fulfillment of some condition, such as the payment of money. See 130 Am. St. Rep. 911, note.


    Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition
    A scroll; a writing; a deed. Particularly a deed delivered by the grantor into the hands of a third person, to be held by the latter until the happening of a contingency or performance of a condition, and then by him delivered to the grantee. Thomas v. So wards, 25 Wis. 631; Patrick v. McCormick, 10 Neb. 1, 4 N. W. 312; Cagger v. Lansing, 57 Barb. (N. Y.) 427; Davis v. Clark, 58 Kan. 100, 48 Pac. 563; Easton v. Driscoll, 18 R. I. 313, 27 Atl. 445. A grant may be deposited by the grantor with a third person, to be delivered on the performance ofi a condition, and on delivery by the depositary it will take effect. While in the possession of the third person, and subject to condition, it is called an "escrow." Civil Code Cal. § 1057; Civll Code Dak. § 609. The state or condition of a deed which ls conditionally held by a third person, or the possession and retention of a deed by a third person pending a condition; as when an instrument is said to be delivered "in escrow." This use of the term, however, is a perversion of its meaning.

    We use the term in the generic sense -- trusted 3rd party. In our case, we buy domains and we sell domains, and sometimes we do so with no profit. We are regulated by ICANN as an accredited registrar and govern ourselves accordingly.

    I have said it before, if Escrow.com plans to continue to have the moral high ground as "Domain Escrow", they should become a registrar. Right now, they are a bank without a vault, introducing counter-party risk, procedural delay and expense where none is needed.
     
  3. EbookLover

    EbookLover Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I cannot disagree with that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  4. proxx

    proxx New Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The buyer bought another cheaper name elsewhere I guess, was in a rush and didn’t give a chance. Which is fine ... .com values will still be going up in 2020
     
  5. eternaldomains

    eternaldomains Established Member

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    @Rob Monster any chance you'll implement auctions feature in the future?
     
  6. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  7. NameLlama

    NameLlama Established Member

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    What a joke that is, "ESCROW", but you have to trasfer it to our registrar to do it
    Use Sedos escrow or Undeveloped.com
     
  8. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    How do I withdraw my MasterBucks credit to my bank account?!

    And how do I make sure that I won't be charged 5% for it?

    @Rob Monster
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  9. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    Important post for those who will use FREE Epik Escrow, I was charged 10% commission!

    Sold a domain for $750 2 weeks ago. I was excited for the free escrow and thought that I would face no problems at all because of Epik's great customer support.

    Unfortunately at this moment it's a mess. Firstly, it's extremely hard to make the buyer create an account at an unknown registrar, but if I want free escrow I am willing to do my best to make the buyer create an epik.com account and if they don't want to then we can use another service. Epik is not at fault here but after I made the buyer create an account at Epik I still had to pay 10% escrow fees. $75 out of the $750 sale price.

    The second condition for free escrow is:
    Have the buyer pay via bank deposit.

    Now most escrow/aftermarket companies give a nice discount on commission when the buyer pays via bank deposit but Epik is giving an exceptional 100% discount. But even if we tell the buyer that they must pay via bank deposit a hundred times we can't make sure and in my case buyer said that they found no option to pay via bank deposit and they paid via credit card!

    I told Rob via email that this thread on NamePros is false advertising. If you are advertising free escrow then you should clearly explain to sellers that it's free only if all this is followed. Or else you will pay much more than any other escrow company.

    Escrow.com now charges only $10 minimum and even if the buyer pays via credit card, it would've costed me about $24. I have transferred more than a 100 domains at Epik and I was excited about this escrow service and even claimed that this service is better than any other escrow company before even initiating a transaction and now this is such a let down.

    The actual fee for Epik escrow is $75 minimum!! So if you sell something for less than $750 you will pay even more than 10% commission.

    This is what Rob proposed as a solution:

    Shouldn't this be shared with the sellers on this thread or on the website? How are we supposed to know this if no one at Epik would tell us? I even asked the support team and Rob via customer support, and NP conversation but this was only shared after I told them I have been charged 10%. Scams aren't much different than that.

    Lastly, I haven't been able to withdraw the amount yet because I couldn't find a page where I can enter my bank details. Hopefully I won't get charged 5% for withdrawal.

    Rob has said they are doing a overhaul which will streamline the process. Until then, I am willing to pay 2-3% commission to avoid this headache.
     
  10. Domains - Wanted

    Domains - Wanted Top Member VIP

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    ALL minimum fees are waived for NP members. I have this in writing, so to speak, from Rob himself. You said that you had transferred 100+ domains to Epik, I'm assuming paying their wholesale prices and not retail? This means you had your Epik account earmarked as an NP member's account first. Accordingly, said $75 minimum fee should have been waived automatically. I'd ask Epik to refund this fee, charged an NP member by mistake.
    Withdrawals to Paypal are free for NP members. Although it has been mentioned somewhere that you can request a withdrawal to a bank account, I believe this needs to be "negotiated" with support and will probably cost you (depending what bank account you wish to withdraw to).
    Okay, this is bad news. I'm a little wary of Epik's overhauls, streamlining. This is mostly to spring new fees. That's okay, they are a business and need to turn a profit. Can't have everything for free. Problem is such changes are rarely communicated in a timely fashion (n)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  11. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    See, you also misunderstand Epik escrow, that $75 fee is waived for NP members but only if the buyer pays via bank transfer, the fee is still there if the buyer pays via credit card or probably other methods. Am I wrong @Rob Monster , if I am then I guess I will have to be refunded. There should be a Escrow fee calculator on the website explaining how we will be charged.

    @Domains - Wanted The buyer told me there was no option to pay via bank transfer.

    Withdrawals are free only to PayPal???! One more thing never mentioned on this thread. I don't have PayPal and I can only withdraw to my bank account. Damn so many complications.

    I was literally so excited and told many domainers from my country about Epik's free escrow and they couldn't believe it, they felt something is fishy but I convinced them that there are only 2 conditions, making the buyer create an account at Epik.com and making them pay via bank transfer. This is awful.
     
  12. Domains - Wanted

    Domains - Wanted Top Member VIP

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    You are mistaken. All minimum fees are waived for NP members. Escrow is free if buyer pays by bank wire or 5% if by credit card. Read: you should have been charged 5% of $750.
    Yes, it's a bit of a mess. Communicating with buyers, or sellers, is not Epik's strong suit. Not surprising, really, seeing how Rob's busy with other things and Joseph busy with... Rob's antics (n)
    Actually, last I checked, Paypal was the only withdrawal option available. Any other options need to be negotiated with support on a case by case basis, it seems.
    I feel for you, but in all fairness, this is your fault, so to speak, not Epik's. If you want to play this domaining game like a pro, you need to equip yourself with some tools of the trade. Paypal and a bank account or card linked to it, somewhere in the world, is one such basic tool. Useful for many other things, too.

    This said, it wouldn't hurt Epik, with their escrow aspirations, to offer other withdrawal methods as standard... Payoneer, Revolut, Skrill come to mind :xf.smile:
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  13. mAd MaX

    mAd MaX Established Member

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    It's the only domain escrow service where seller can take payment in CryptoCurrency I reckon.

    Used their service once and loved it. 👍
     
  14. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    PayPal doesn't have services in my country so it ain't my fault. Checked one of my conversations with Rob from few weeks ago and he said that I will have to provide bank details but I am not sure how, via email? At least it's clear that we can withdraw to a bank account.
     
  15. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    Not sure but I think NameSilo has that option too.
     
  16. golan

    golan GolanMedia.com Gold Account VIP

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    Also UnDev.
     
  17. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    If you followed everything - both you and your buyer jumped through all hurdles - and you were still charged commission - you have a legitimate beef!

    If not, all you’re saying is that the hurdles are too onerous - that the deal is basically, specious - which is also a valid criticism, but not really a contradiction of what Epik has said here.

    So, Haris, which was it?
     
  18. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    I followed everything but the buyer couldn't find the option to pay via bank transfer. I was not told that there is a specific way of listing the domain if we want to avoid fees. After the transaction was complete only then Rob told me that I had to list the domain without a BIN price, the buyer should make the offer on the marketplace. Otherwise buyer will get the option of paying via credit card only that will result in higher commission!

    I still am not sure what the buyer sees on their end, I will have to create another epik account and make an offer on my own domain to understand the process.

    What I am saying is that the hurdles are too onerous - that the deal is specious, and as I said above, If Epik is advertising free escrow then they should clearly explain to sellers that it's free only if all this is followed. Or else we will pay much more than any other escrow company. The whole process should be clearly explained.
     
  19. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    There is also a $35 international wire fee when you withdraw. Escrow.com is charging $25, Rob said, "We just pass along what the bank charges us for an international wire fee." Okay. $10 are no big deal. I thought it's worth mentioning. For this one time though, Rob has waived the $35 fee for me, for which I thanked him.
     
  20. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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    Regarding withdrawal, we need to go to masterbucks.com and initiate withdrawal, and then email the bank details to Rob.
     
  21. Haris

    Haris Best Domainer Of The End-Times VIP

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  22. DmitrySV

    DmitrySV Established Member

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    Jackson: I don't think it matters for anyone here is Epik a 100% Escrow service by canonical definition or not(for me personally I don't give a damn).

    What matters most(among other things) is how fast, responsible, flexible and affordable their service is compared to others.

    Epik is a registrar meaning they can more eagerly accept Credit Cards/Paypal for small to medium domain transactions from all over the world without much fear, since they can just lock the domain for like a months(the max amount of time the credit card transaction could still be reversed if it is found to be a fraud one) in their registry and secure both themselves and the seller. From a buyer/seller perspective this is already a huge thing. I, personally, do not mind for how many months the domain will be locked at Epik.

    And your service in it's current state simply can not. Yours "100% canonical Escrow service" have to drift to a very slow(up to 2 weeks) and very time consuming(driving to the bank, opening a special type of bank account just to make an international payment, filling required papers, etc - think half day is lost on basically nothing) wire transfer, as a preferred way of payment for international orders.

    I'am personally hit by the above matter 2 times already with your company. First time the problem was resolved fairly quickly and professionally(thanks) just how it have to be for the type/kind of business you are in, this time it is a different story: guys I don't know what happened during the last 3 months with your company but the fact is I'am still waiting for a promised(by your online support chat team) Paypal Invoice - at first I was told I'll get it by the end of the Friday, now it becomes the next business day, that is Monday. And all this for my verified escrow.com account, already with a payment history and no payment limit overflow. Like what the heck...

    P.S.

    I'am not talking about the large txs that certainly require a wire transfer in most cases, I'am pointing out that asking for a wire transfer by default for a small tx is, IMO, not a good business tactic - no other company is doing this, for example I bought several domains on Sedo using CC, without any problem - and I did not have to ask them to unlock the payment method - it was available by default. How it comes that escrow.com lost flexibility to Sedo?
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  23. Jackson Elsegood

    Jackson Elsegood Escrow.com Escrow.com ICA Member VIP

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  24. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Jackson,

    Interesting article. I am not sure what it has to do with this thread, but good to hear from you.

    So, yes, you are fully right there: domain owners should be mindful of the fiscal status and ethics of their critical vendors where they entrust their assets whether that be funds, or domains, or both.

    As Escrow.com is not a registrar, there is an automatic leap of faith that escrow.com will be able to verify that the domain is owned by the registrant. As you are not an actual registrar, or even a reseller, you depend on others to hold the domain and verify chain of title. That is classic counter-party risk.

    As was covered recently in the context of the Alex69 thread here on NamePros, it is precisely because Epik.com is a registrar (IANA # is 617) that we were able to quickly catch a fraud in the act.

    At Epik, we only do domains - not collectibles, not cars, or other non-technical items. When it comes to clearing transactions, we deal only in domains. That's it. We are specialists. We wrote our own software from end to end. We don't lose domains. Ever.

    As for fiscal strength, since the parent company of Escrow.com, Freelancer is a public company, anyone and everyone can review your public filings like this one from 2018 which is also attached to this post.

    From an investment perspective, I think it is worth noting that the pattern of Freelancer has more current liabilities than current assets. This does not inspire a ton of confidence. Your auditors did not cite any going concern issue. I think a larger auditor might have concluded differently.

    upload_2019-7-26_15-51-58.png

    This in particular looks like a company operating paycheck to paycheck:

    upload_2019-7-26_17-1-40.png

    Did I get that wrong? Please enlighten the good people of NamePros with your on the record response about the fiscal state of Freelancer and practices for management of customer escrow deposits.

    At the end of the day, escrow.com is a subsidiary of a public company. There is significant overhead associated with being public. There is also overhead of maintaining a vast number of local licenses.

    As for liquidity, I noted that daily trading volume of less than $100,000 based on ASD to USD exchange of $0.69:

    upload_2019-7-26_16-10-3.png


    Well, having run a public company myself, I realy don't envy your situation -- being a publicly traded company with a lightly traded stock trading on a regulated exchange a price per share of less than $1. Although the market cap looks theoretically impressive, let's face it, there is not much float when 2 guys own almost the entire company, right?

    upload_2019-7-26_16-40-36.png

    Personally, I am too busy being productive running Epik to spend time figuring out how to short the FLN stock. I imagine others might explore that scenario as this business does not look recession-proof at all.

    Anecdotally, I understand that the industry is already reporting that escrow.com is paying out more slowly, and applying more friction to the payout process. Gee, I wonder why.

    When it comes to paying out customers, let's talk facts about Epik. We do our best to pay out promptly.
    Earlier today there was 3L.com transaction where we wired out a$ $70K wire, without any fee, for a domain that arrived about an hour earlier. There was no verification needed because the seller had funds at Epik and the buyer and broker are both known to Epik. Can Escrow.com do that?

    Yesterday, a seller had a marketplace domain sale which closed late the night before. The seller was unbanked and urgently needed funds. Western Union was going to charge them a 10% money processing fee. We arranged for the seller to get physical cash that day and with no additional fee. Can escrow do that?

    As for management ethics, people should absolutely make a careful review of the values of management. Most people who know me will tell you that I am an open book and a pretty nice guy too. I try to help people where I can, and I believe the domain industry offers fantastic opportunities for hard-working people to make a living.

    As for licensing, as you know, domain marketplaces are not regulated. With Epik, registrants get a marketplace that is fully and tightly integrated with an accredited registrar. It happens to be led by a buck-stops-here CEO who is highly accessible and who does not suffer fools.

    As for cryptocurrencies, they are a perfectly viable medium of exchange. The domain market is rapidly adopting cryptos for clearing domain transactions. I see that as a positive development. If buyer or seller wants to transact in crypto, we accommodate that, including the option of converting seller proceeds which we do through established cryptocurrency brokers who we know well and have low fees.

    So what was your point Jackson?
     

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  25. Matt Barrie

    Matt Barrie Member Escrow.com Freemarket Gold Account VIP

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    Hello Rob

    Great financial analysis.

    While we are talking about financials, why don't you post a copy of Epik's so your customers know what they are getting into?

    You sent me a copy a few months ago when you approached me to sell Epik, remember? I'm not sure what account you hold your escrows in given in December 2018 you had less than $50,000 cash between your bank and Paypal accounts. That's not enough to even pay out all those people that you got to buy Masterbucks.

    Regards
    Matt
     

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