Payoneer is quickly becoming a go-to domain name escrow service

Have you every been scammed buying or selling a domain name? I have, it only happened once and since then I have sworn by online escrow services to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Here’s how I got scammed:

I sold a domain name to someone and decided to use Pay Pal for the transaction. It was one of my very early domain sales so I still didn’t have too much experience with the process. The buyer insisted on using Pay Pal, I had used Pay Pal for years, so I thought it made sense.

The buyer paid quickly and after receiving the money I transferred the domain. Then a few days later I received a notification from Pay Pal, apparently the buyer claims they never received the merchandise (i.e. domain name) and requested a refund. I responded to Pay Pal with all the details of the transaction, clearly showing that the domain was transferred and was now in their name.

I contacted the buyer to understand what was going on, and no surprises, I got radio silence. Pay Pal got back to me and said there was nothing they could do and they refunded the buyer. I got scammed, it sucked, but luckily it was only a few hundred dollars which is a small price to pay to learn a lesson like this IMO.

A domain name escrow service prevents scams like this by securing the money first, holding it until the domain name is transferred and then transferring the money to the seller. If the buyer tries to pull a scam like they pulled on me, an escrow service will verify if the domain was indeed transferred rather than just siding with the buyer.

Payoneer is one of the most trusted escrow services on the Internet, and having raised over $180M last year, they are also the most well-funded. After was sold to Freelancer, Payoneer brought the former CEO Brandon Abbey onboard, a domain industry veteran and domain escrow expert.

It’s been amazing to see how quickly Payoneer has grown as a go-to escrow service in the domain industry and this growth seems to be accelerating. Last week one of the top domain investing platforms, Efty announced integration with Payoneer and free escrow transactions for the month of April.

“Payoneer is very pleased to partner with Efty, enabling their marketplaces to offer our premier escrow services. Efty continues to excel in providing best in class solutions for domain investors. Payoneer recognizes the strong growth in the domain investing community, and we continue to add new features to our system to better support the needs of domainers.” (Brandon Abbey)

It’s exciting to see growth and innovation in the domain name escrow space. It’s definitely ripe for disruption and Payoneer is definitely leading the charge right now.

Have you ever been scammed before when buying or selling a domain name? If so feel free to share your story in the comment section below.

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Jijo Pappachan April 11, 2017, 7:33 pm

    If anyone wants to compare escrow service fees, there is a nice utility in the home page of DN.Domains

    • Nick April 11, 2017, 10:46 pm

      Very nice comparison. What about Sedo? Epik? Could they be added in?

      • Bob April 12, 2017, 9:40 am

        Yes I quite agree about Sedo excellent own Escrow & fast transfer service for no extra charge which I now use in conjunction with my newly revamped website just released yesterday, also direct links to Sedo mobile-friendly domain offer page for every domain listed on my site generating much more traffic at no cost at all! I have considered Efty before but I am not that keen about now owned by Freelancer and also no such copyright control for individual marketplaces with extra hassle for potential buyers.

        • Brandon Abbey April 12, 2017, 11:17 am

          Hi Bob,
          Efty now offers the services of Payoneer Escrow.
          Best regards,

          • Nick April 12, 2017, 10:08 pm

            Hi Brandon – thanks for that info. Does Payoneer still require personal documentation (drivers license, passport, utility bill, mortgage statement, etc) in order to get payment out?

          • Bob April 13, 2017, 1:17 am

            Hi Brandon,
            Yes I do understand about Payoneer Escrow but only very recently and anyway it is only free for April plus required personal documentation which takes time and effort so really I think Sedo own Escrow service is still superior as well as their fast and efficient transfer service at no extra cost. Perhaps you would like to visit my new site Domains Feast to see how it works though I do still have more domains to add shortly.
            Best regards,

          • Bob April 13, 2017, 3:05 am

            Hi Brandon again,
            Another reason for my difficulty to use Efty is these telephone numbers in contact forms for which it is not possible for me to make direct calls due to my total deafness from birth, only emails or mobile texts instead so hence it is much better for Sedo to act on my behalf!
            Thanks Bob

  • David April 11, 2017, 9:19 pm

    I’m not positive (or others) offer solid protection in event of card chargebacks. For example, selling computer software several years ago (not domains) we had several large CC chargebacks (one of them an incredible 13-mos after purchase) and card issuers ignored appeals and on buyers side. So the question is what does escrow TOS say about that?

  • Bob McGough April 11, 2017, 10:23 pm

    Curious whether you were able to retrieve that domain, Morgan? I’d expect a good Registrar to assist you.

    • Morgan April 12, 2017, 8:23 pm

      @Bob – wish I could have but it was transferred to a random registrar in Europe so there was nothing that could be done. Live and learn!

      • Nick April 12, 2017, 10:14 pm

        Morgan, for those of us who dont fully understand – why couldnt you show evidence to ICANN and have them help get the name back? If there was a sufficient paper trail showing all of the transactions then why would it be difficult to have the name returned to you? After all, the buyer got his money back – you should get your name back.

        If this is a problem with in the domain name world then it really needs to be addressed. Its too simple to perform charge backs and domains are not physical items. Problems like this should no longer occur after 20+ years of domains being an industry in and of itself – you know?

  • Ron April 12, 2017, 1:02 am

    Never did any transaction through payoneer but have heard a lot about them. Getting into domain escrow might be a good for many domainers.

  • Francois April 12, 2017, 2:55 am

    People out USA needs escrow services supporting Paypal (+10 years saying it…) nor provide this service.

    If you need to pay or get paid through Paypal when selling/buying domains use
    Not only you will only pay a very low 5% sales commission but you will not need to use an escrow to close the sale.

    • Nick April 12, 2017, 10:19 pm

      I wouldnt use paypal to transact a 5-cent item these days. I’ve been screwed by them in the past and they’re customer service simply thumbs their nose at it. And more recently, they’ve alienated 10+ million citizens in my state with this whole HB2 bathroom issue by pulling jobs from my state even though they do business in countries that imprison and/or put to death transgender folks. I may reconsider my stance on paypal when their hypocrisy ceases AND they sure up seller rights and protections.

      • Francois April 13, 2017, 5:22 pm

        Again, it’s what everybody uses outside USA, that you like it or no.

        • Nick April 13, 2017, 7:20 pm

          Hey Francois – I guess maybe it is. But for me my sales will use escrow (of some sort) or no sale. Intangible goods are quite messy to track down once they leave someone’s possession.

  • Fatih OZTURK April 12, 2017, 11:57 am


    Cax does not look like a trustable site for an escrow. It needs a well thought redesign.

    my 2 cents…

    • Nick April 12, 2017, 11:13 pm

      Cax looks fine to me. Gives the information that I am looking for. 🙂

    • Francois April 13, 2017, 5:24 pm

      The plans are to move into, it’s when it will be redesigned and improved.

  • Mark U April 12, 2017, 9:53 pm

    I used eCop (now integrated with before and it was much better than Escrow. Have no doubts it is still much better.

  • Joseph Peterson April 12, 2017, 10:32 pm

    Nice chatting with you in L.A., Brandon. Good luck with Payoneer!

    • Bob April 14, 2017, 2:53 pm

      What’s wrong with Sedo Escrow service as there is still no charge at all for buyers? Also only 10% commission for Buy Now prices compared with 20% for Afternic or GoDaddy.


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