[thelist] domain auction

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Tue Oct 19 09:49:18 CDT 2010

Hi Bob,

Bob Meetin wrote:
> A client wanna-be asked me to check on whether it is legit or not that a
> domain name she wants is being offered through an auction at Sedo.com.
> Aside from ebay I have no experience with these things. It lists a
> current bid of around $70 and says no reserve price but that the reserve
> is somewhere between $1 - $500.
> Hopefully I am not opening a can of worms, but feedback is appreciated,
> on or off list.

I've used Sedo to buy and sell several domains and, in my humble
opinion, they are the only respectable outfit for doing either.

I started using them when a company I worked for was buying a very
important (to them) domain name from a seller in another country
for over $10,000 and the CFO decided to use escrow.com to handle the

Escrow.com had no idea, technically, how to protect the buyer during a
domain transfer.  They understood how to protect the buyer during, say,
a Rolex watch transfer: They get the watch from the seller, the money
from the buyer and only after both are in their possession, release the
goods to the buyer and the money to the seller.  But in our case, they
paid the seller when all the seller had done to "transfer" the domain
to us, was point the domain DNS at our IP address, using their DNS

I freaked out because although we had initiated a zone transfer request
with our registrar, the seller had not acknowledged it, and The whois
db still showed the domain as belonging to them, and being registered
though their registrar (which was also offshore).  Fortunately the
seller did not steal the domain back, as they could easily could have
due to escrow.com's incompetence.

But after that incident incident I went looking for a domain escrow
service that knew how to take control of a domain from a seller to
ensure that the buyer is protected, and I found Sedo.  I have used them
ever since, and recommended them often.


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