Which is better for selling domain names on a payment plan – Escrow.com or Epik?

Domain Name Escrow

Sometimes you find the perfect buyer for your domain (or they find you) and they agree with you on what it’s worth, but they just can’t afford to buy it all at once. Heck domain names sell for the same amount as houses do all the time so it’s not too surprising that payment plans have become a common way to bridge the gap and help make a deal happen.

Of course, just trusting someone to pay you and remembering to pay on-time probably isn’t a great bet. As the domain owner you don’t want to become a billing department and as a buyer you want to know that all those payments you’re making will actually go towards the purchase of a domain name.

Enter domain name escrow.

Escrow services allow domain buyers and sellers to conduct safe and secure transactions. I unfortunately learned this the hard way when I first started buying and selling domain names. I sold a domain to someone, they paid me with Pay Pal, I transferred the domain, then they canceled the payment. I called Pay Pal and they said, “sorry – there’s nothing we can do.”

After that experience I’ve stuck to escrow services, live and learn. There’s a number of different escrow services out there but the two that seem to be the most popular for domain names, and that offer payment plan options are Escrow.com and Epik.

Epik Domain Escrow

From what I can see, one of the key things that Epik stresses is the importance of holding the domain name. I think Escrow.com can do the same but I’m not sure…while I’ve sold domains on payment plans I’m far from an expert in this area, but it’s something I want to explore more. At NamesCon this year I talked to a number of people about it and it felt like everyone had their own go-to but there was no clear winner.

So I thought, why not write a blog post and hear what people have to say. On that note, I’ll hand the mic to you. What service do you think is the best when it comes to selling a domain name on a payment plan?

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Note: neither Escrow.com or Epik are sponsors of mine, I have no skin in this game so say what you want about either or both.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Jose February 28, 2020, 6:58 pm

    I am a customer of Epik and Uniregistry domain registrar etc, and do not use their marketplaces, I sell my domains from Efty.com, DomainAgents.com and Domain Brokers, they all use Escrow.com

    Reply
  • Emek February 28, 2020, 10:37 pm

    I use efty and list on dan,afternic and sedo.Last sale was sedo with a bin of 3450 Euro.I have closed sales using dan for one installment payments and then another for a 5% imported lead which i wont do anymore but would rather use sedo for their lower rate.I like sedo for fast payment but you have to keep emailing so they get on it.I wont use Epik even if i have heard they are fast and all that.I just dont want to.I am ok with using sedo to close.Afternic is terrible as it takes longer to pay and for days while money generates interest in the bank for them.For exposure to sell,yes afternic and sedo.

    But for quick payment,I would use sedo escrow.Not falling for epik bla bla.I am happy for others using them and happy I
    I am not .😉

    Reply
  • Samer February 28, 2020, 11:39 pm

    Epik escrow — and it’s not even close.

    https://www.namepros.com/threads/epik-escrow-and-fee-comparison.1120274/

    Reply
  • Ethan February 29, 2020, 6:07 am

    If I remember correctly, Escrow.com’s payment plan service is available only when the price of the domain is at least $70,000 USD. So when it comes to threshold, I would say Epik is more approachable.

    Reply
    • Rod February 29, 2020, 9:36 am

      That is not correct. Escrow.com’s “domain holding” transaction just has a $25 per month holding fee, with a minimum of 6 months (or $150).

      The holding fee was only $25 per month paid by the buyer. You can also set up graduated payments if you would like. Im in a transaction now where they are paying 1k a month for first year, 2k a month second year, and like 2666.67 per month 3rd year. They are into the 2nd year now.

      I might give DAN a try in the future, but escrow domain holding works even on smaller transactions, buyer is just going to have to pay $150 minimum in holding fees.

      Reply
    • Mike February 29, 2020, 10:49 am

      Not true, escrow can setup payment plan on pretty much any 4 figure plus deal

      Reply
    • Ethan February 29, 2020, 5:57 pm

      Thanks. It looks like the info I saw was outdated.

      Reply
  • Spike February 29, 2020, 7:49 am

    I haven’t used it yet but I would love to try DAN’s payment plan to facilitate a domain deal.

    Reply
  • DomainBoss February 29, 2020, 9:03 am

    I have sold lots of domains using escrow.com before but now I have moved all my domains to Epik and will use it’s escrow next time. It sure seems tempting for NamePros members as the no or lowest fee escrow. What I am not clear about is if it’s easy to get money from Epik to your bank account or receive check and what are the fees for that.

    Reply
  • Rod February 29, 2020, 9:38 am

    Escrow.com holds the domain, and the buyer can use the domain and setup emails etc during the transaction. I am using them for installment transactions, but I used to use Payoneer Escrow, and really miss them. Customer support was excellent while I’ve had several issues with the responsiveness of escrow.com.

    Reply
  • Robert Monster February 29, 2020, 10:26 am

    Some thoughts here on why folks might prefer Epik for payment plans:

    – The domain is held at a registrar which is also the escrow intermediary. This means one counter-party, not two. If there is a UDRP, court action, act of God, or other unanticipated chaos during the financing term, you will prefer to have less counter-parties.

    – The client leasing or financing the domain has 24/7 access to their domain with a robust control panel for managing their domains. The same group they pay to use the domain is the one they can access for 24/7 live support.

    – Whether the client is selling or leasing via the marketplace or clearing the transaction as escrow, there is a dashboard to track the progress and responsive service to navigate questions across time zones, languages and most currencies.

    – The fees are very low and are collected as you go, and not up front. The buyer can choose their payment method, including the standard Wire, ACH, PayPal, but also crypto or even Western Union.

    – Re-billing is automated with proceeds each month instantly available as redeemable Masterbucks. The user can spend them on Epik or redeem them to their preferred payment method without additional fees from Epik.

    – Transactions are completely private. For cases where a broker is brokering a domain, they also have control over the structure of the deal and associated disbursement instructions including for scenarios of co-brokerage.

    – An escrow API exists for those who want to do programmatic integration:

    https://docs.userapi.epik.com/v2/

    For cases where the domain starts at another registrar, we process it as an escrow transaction, and then transition to a self-serve payment plan as soon as the domain is eligible to move.

    Reply
  • Mark Thorpe March 1, 2020, 1:44 pm

    Some Important things you should remember:

    Escrow.com is a government regulated, licensed, Insured and bonded escrow service, Epik is not.

    A domain name MUST be registered at or transfered to Epik in order to use their Escrow service.

    Reply
  • Thomas Fox March 1, 2020, 3:26 pm

    I’ve been an Epik customer for years, and have used them to both buy and sell domains. They’re a great group of people with whom to work, pricing is reasonable, and they will do whatever they can to help you buy or sell a domain.

    Reply

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