I've received an offer for one of my domain names and the buyer suggested using escrow.com for the transfer. While I know everybody seems to be using them (around here too), I'm concerned about their lack of safeguards - please correct me if I'm wrong.
So let's say we create a transaction, agree on the details, buyer deposits the funds, escrow.com confirms the receipt of funds, I send the transfer code to the buyer, domain gets transferred - and then the buyer claims they never received the domain. They can even conceal the whois info or just leave it unchanged. How will escrow.com determine that the buyer has in fact received the domain? They can claim that I simply transferred it to another registrar but to my own account there.
Their "secure domain name holding" service is only available for transfer exceeding $75,000, and our agreed price is below this limit.
I've found some forum posts that describe exactly the above - the seller was left without their domain and when the transaction was cancelled the buyer only had to pay the transaction fee, which is below $500. Not a bad price for a domain worth $10k+, even if you have to deposit the money and wait for it for a few weeks to be returned.
I'm sure there must be a mistake in my argument somewhere, otherwise escrow.com wouldn't be so popular and trusted. But where did I get it wrong?
Any help would be appreciated.
You can be scammed by anyone on everything... only use sites / trust people you know.
I like this reply and it may be the best peice of advice to give to someone.
Scammers can scam just about anyone. If their good enough they can do what they want to do. You should only deal with people who you trust and feel good with. If you feel that the buyer your talking to is a little shaky then don't mess with them.
Although I haven't used Moniker personally, the process does sound legit because the main reason for an escrow is for them to ensure the transactions get conducted safely. The best way I can see that happening is if Party A transfers the money to escrow, Party B then transfers the domain to escrow. Escrow then handles the safe exchange with verifications in place.
If you're the smartest person in the room then you're in the wrong room
I have used escrow.com for selling at least 25+ domains for $1000-15k. I have never had an issue with them. They recently proved to be a big help with a situation like you are concerned about.
I sold a domain to a guy who made the payment to escrow quickly but then for 2 weeks after... neither he nor his 2 employees could manage to complete the transfer. We sent them instructions, screenshots, asked them to open an account at our registrar so we could push it, etc. Eventually they managed to xfer the domain to godaddy with OUR whois info! We emailed the buyer, godaddy, and nothing happened for another week..we finally contacted escrow.com and they allowed us to show the domain had left our moniker account and that we'd contacted godaddy...that day released our money and closed the transaction.
Wish I contacted them first.
If you run into any disputes with an Escrow.com transaction, you'll just need to provide evidence that you did indeed deliver the goods. Screenshots or video recordings of your domain account, any history/logs showing the domain has been pushed/transferred, confirmation e-mails, etc. They have pretty good customer support and will assist you if you provide the evidence.