Domaining MBA Monday: Account Change vs. Transfer

Domaining MBA MondayHello, TGIM, and welcome to another Domaining MBA Monday here on! Today I am going to talk about a topic that is absolutely critical when you’re buying or selling domains, and critically important when you’re selling domains to end-users. What I’m talking about is the most important part of the domain transaction, changing owners or transferring the domain name to the buyer. Transactions that drag on for more than a week can scare away a good buyer away when you already have what looks like a done deal. As you know I love examples, so I’ll give you one from an experience I had last year.

Last year I bought a domain name from an end-user that had the domain at a registrar I’ll remain nameless for now. This particular registrar was notoriously slow when it came to transfers and it took a total of eight days for the domain to make it into my Go Daddy account. Since I was using I had no fear and was happy to wait, albeit a bit annoyed at how long it was taking. Now imagine if I wasn’t a domain investor and I had never purchased a domain before, this could be a scary situation, you just want your domain, right?

In this particular case I wanted to move the domain from its current registrar, but when you’re looking for a quick transaction, an account change is always your best bet. With an account change the buyer instantly get a notification and can accept the change in minutes. The only caveat is that the buyer needs to have an account with the registrar you are using, which is one reason why registrars like Go Daddy are a good fit for names you want to sell to end-users since there’s the greatest chance they’ll have an account there. Of course any reputable registrar will work but you want your buyer to have to jump through as few hoops as possible, remember, for most people this is their first domain transaction.

When you are selling a domain you want the process to go as quickly and as smoothly as possible. I always explain to buyers the difference between an account change and a transfer and explain why an account change would be easiest. In most cases they go with the account change because they, like me, also want a quick transaction. This is also where comes in handy since it helps most new buyers feel much more comfortable with the transaction.

Now I didn’t always do things this way. I used to transfer domains to whatever registrar my buyer wanted but after finding some registrars to be slower than others. I had a few buyers freak out asking for me to make the transaction go faster or give them their money back. By that point the transfer had already been initiated, Escrow transaction was a go, and I was left explaining to them why the transaction was taking so long. No more, save yourself and your buyer the time and pain and stick to an account change and push for it every sale.

As I discussed in my example above, the only time I don’t think you should do an account change is when you’re the buyer and you know that you want to change registrars. Even in this case weigh your options because you, just like any other buyer, wants a quick and smooth transaction.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Arseny February 25, 2013, 6:46 am

    Morgan, so you basically recommend creating a new user within the registrar and then pushing the domain to new user?

  • Morgan February 25, 2013, 10:23 am

    @Arseny – yes, if the buyer doesn’t already have an account I definitely recommend them creating one at the registrar the domain is currently with. It takes less than five minutes to make an account, but could take more than five days to transfer depending on the registrar.


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