[thelist] Selling Domain Name

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Tue Mar 6 23:10:15 CST 2012

Hi Graham,

On 3/6/2012 6:42 AM, Graham Hays wrote:
 > Hi
 > we have a domain name that we no longer use and have been
 > approached by someone who wants to purchase it via
 > www.toselldomains.com. We'd like to sell but have no
 > experience of this - advice anyone? Is this a reputable
 > site?
 > Graham

I use and would recommend sedo.com for your domain sale.  i have sold a 
few through them and am very happy.

I have never heard of toselldomains.com, and scammers are rampant in 
this space, because domain transfers are tricky and its easy for someone 
to steal your domain unless there is a reputable third-party escrow 
agent handling the transaction that understands domain registrar 
procedures and who both parties can trust -- and that would be Sedo.com. 
  A company I used to work for bought a domain from an international 
seller for over $10,000 and (against my advice) used escrow.com instead 
of Sedo to broker the deal.

Escrow.com screwed it up technically with their ignorance of the domain 
business -- they released the funds to the seller after all he had done 
was updated the whois record for the domain at HIS registrar, to point 
the nameservers of the domain at our DNS server.  Apparently escrow.com 
is still so incompetent as to allow sellers to retain control of the 
registration until AFTER they receive the disbursed funds -- an open 
invitation for an unscrupulous seller to run away with both the domain 
and the money.  Fortunately for us the seller was honorable and approved 
the registrar transfer a couple of days (of me jumping up and down, and 
screaming at my boss) later.

Then again, you're the seller.  It's the buyer that must beware, right? 
:-)  See, an escrow agent is supposed to collect both the money from the 
buyer and the goods from the seller, and only after both the payment has 
cleared and the goods authentic, release both to the other parties.  But 
with domains that means the escrow agent must take control of your (the 
seller's) domain, such that you can't take it back, to protect the 
buyer.  And of course the buyer must trust the escrow agent to hold the 
payment he makes and not give it to the seller unless/until they have 
irrevocable control the domain.  But domains cannot be transferred to 
new registrars more often than one every 60 days.  So what sedo does is 
they have accounts at all the big registrars and you transfer the domain 
to *their* account at *your* registrar, so they don't trigger the 60-day 
rule and, after they give you the funds, the buyer can take possession 
by either opening up his own account at the same registrar and keeping 
it registered there, or has the option to transfer it to any other 
registrar he might want to use, for instance, where he manages his other 

If you use the escrow or domain transfer service the buyer *recommends*, 
and you've never heard of it, then you run the risk that it is actually 
his own fake company (or his buddy who helps him scam domains from 
people). And if the buyer *insists* on using a questionable or unknown 
service, then it is almost certainly a scam.  After you approve a 
registrar transfer request, they might just disappear without paying 
you.  As I said scams are rampant.

So you *have* to trust the escrow agent, and sedo's reputation is 
unmatched.  You could also trust a giant corporation like Godaddy, who 
also does these things (via domain "auctions", but the domain has to be 
registered with them first) and it might be easier for both parties to 
trust that such a big brand name is not conspiring with the other party 
to defraud them and steal their money (or domain) from them.

Anyways, again, sedo.com has this down to a very customer-friendly 
science.  they will even handle the *negotiations* if you want them too. 
  And no i am not affiliated with them -- just a happy customer for many 

hth and Good Luck!


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