There are two ways to move a domain name from buyer to seller and I can tell you from experience, they are not created equally. Before delving into why I think you really should “go push or go home” I’ll briefly explain the difference between the two for anyone who is not too familiar with domains.
Domain Transfers have pretty much worked the same way since the dawn of the Internet. The person selling their domain needs to first unlock the domain at the registrar level and then send an Auth Code (sometimes also called an EPP or Domain Secret) to the buyer. The buyer then must put in for a transfer request at their registrar, enter the Auth Code, and in some cases enter another code that will be emailed to the seller. This process can take anywhere from a day to a week depending on which registrars the domain is going between. It also requires the buyer to do some weird things they’ve probably never done before and given how variable the time can be, it can also make the buyer think the transfer didn’t work if enough time passes adding more confusion to an already confusing situation.
A Domain Push (also called an Account Change) is a much much much easier way to get a domain from buyer to seller. All the seller has to do is enter the buyers account number and email address (varies by registrar a bit) and the domain is instantly in the buyers account. The buyer doesn’t have to do a thing, the domain just appears in their account about 1 minute after the seller initiates the push.
Obviously there is a huge difference between a push and a transfer. A transfer takes more time for both the buyer and the seller and may be fine if both parties are very familiar with domains and registrars, but is damn confusing if either side is not.
The main reason I like pushes so much is that I sell a lot of domains to end users, not Domainers. For an end user the transfer process can be so confusing and so scary that it can sometimes be a deal-breaker. Now I’m not talking about major five or six-figure deals, I’m talking about most of my normal sales which fall in the $2,500 – $7,500 range. Remember, many end-users are so unfamiliar with the domain transfer process that they are a bit weary of getting scammed or things not working out. This is where Escrow.com has really been great as it instantly makes the buyer feel a lot more comfortable. Still, though there can be some situations where the transfer can even make an escrow transaction feel uncomfortable.
Where I experienced this the most is domains with registrars that take forever to transfer domains, not to name names, but I will, registrars like Melbourne IT. I had one domain deal I did that took Melbourne IT a week to complete the transfer. After about day three the buyer started emailing and calling me asking what was going on. I told him that I had put in the transfer request and was waiting for Melbourne IT to complete the transfer. By day five the buyer was in a complete panic and was calling me and Melbourne IT, despite everything I could do to calm him down it was a very scary experience. Had this been a push he would have had the domain instantly, thanks to the good old transfer process and a slow registrar it was an intense and painful week for both of us.
Lesson learned, when selling domains to end users go with a push, it will save both you and them time and avoid the aggravation and panic that comes with not knowing how long its going to take for the buyer to get the domain. Feel free to share your own opinion or stories below, comment and let your voice be heard!