Hello, happy Sunday and welcome to Sales Sunday here on MorganLinton.com. When you first start buying and selling domain names it can be easy to assume that everyone is a good guy (or gal) and that things will go smoothly. Unfortunately, online while everyone may seem friendly and trustworthy, that isn’t always true.
The first rule of domain sales is to avoid Pay Pal like the plague and stick to a reliable Escrow service like Escrow.com. I was scammed very early into my time in the domain industry thanks to a Pay Pal. I sold a domain to someone who was incredibly nice throughout the entire transaction, they told me they would pay via Pay Pal because I could trust them and they bought and sold domains all the time.
So I trusted them, paid through Pay Pal, had no sales contract and once the funds were received I transferred the domain. Then two days later Pay Pal contacted me, the buyer had reversed their payment (originally paid via a credit card through Pay Pal). I thought something must have gone wrong so I contacted them…radio silence.
I contacted my registrar who told me that since I had done a valid transfer there was nothing they could do. I had lost my domain, but I learned a valuable lesson. The two best ways to protect yourself when buying and selling a domain name are:
- Use a domain escrow service
- Have a domain sales contract in place
The domain sales contract can help you legally get your domain name back should the buyer do something funky, however with an Escrow service this will rarely come up. Either way with a basic contract in place you have a legal document that can show a lawyer that this was a real transaction that took place and what terms each party agreed to.
I highly recommend that you have a good domain name attorney like Lewis & Lin (this is the firm I’ve been using for years) make a contract for you. Of course there are plenty of other great domain lawyers out there, you can see a full list at the Domaining.com Legal Directory. Only a lawyer can really make a contract that will be tailored to your specific criteria, however if you do want a free contract you can download one here and another compliments of DomainSherpa here.
The moral of the story? It doesn’t take much to protect yourself when you’re buying or selling domains and a domain sales contract is a critical piece of documentation to have in place.