Someone Offered $20,000 For Domains

44 replies
Someone offered to buy 8 of my domain names for $20,000.

They said that they can pay me through escrow.com, western union or paypal.com.

What is the safest way to make the exchange? I am just worried about fraud or charge backs.
#$20 #domains #offered
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Western Union is safe from your perspective (if you don't release the domains until you have the money) but expensive, and maybe not even suitable at all for so large an amount(?).

    Escrow.com is also safe.

    Be aware of the well-known "domain appraisal scam" in which people you don't know make substantial offers for your domain-names and then, during negotiations, ask you to have them valued at a specific "appraisal-site" which charges a large fee for its "service", after which the intending purchaser disappears. Probably you know this already, but "just in case"!
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    • Profile picture of the author armysmoke
      Originally Posted by Adie View Post

      Escrow is the safest for both parties. I would not use western union for any online transaction involving unknown people whether I am a seller or buyer.
      Thank you. I will go sign up with escrow for this transaction.

      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Western Union is safe from your perspective (if you don't release the domains until you have the money) but expensive, and maybe not even suitable at all for so large an amount(?).

      Escrow.com is also safe.

      Be aware of the well-known "domain appraisal scam" in which people you don't know make substantial offers for your domain-names and then, during negotiations, ask you to have them valued at a specific "appraisal-site" which charges a large fee for its "service", after which the intending purchaser disappears. Probably you know this already, but "just in case"!
      Thank you!! I did not know about the domain appraisal scam! I will keep this in mind and not fall for this.

      Looks like escrow.com is the way to go.
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    • Profile picture of the author armysmoke
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Be aware of the well-known "domain appraisal scam" in which people you don't know make substantial offers for your domain-names and then, during negotiations, ask you to have them valued at a specific "appraisal-site" which charges a large fee for its "service", after which the intending purchaser disappears. Probably you know this already, but "just in case"!
      You were right. I got an email later today and the buyer wants me to get appraisals for all the domain names.

      He send this

      "To avoid mistakes and wasting money on useless automated services I asked in the forum about reliable manual valuation/TM verification services. Please read this:

      Google Answers: Can someone recommend a good appraisal service with a trademark verification?

      He wants you to use icaan as the domain appraiser BUT it's icaan.net not icaan.org.

      icaan.net and accredited-appraisal.org are the same.

      So, it looks like this fake buyer wants me to pay for appraisals where he makes money and will disappear.

      Thanks again for the warning!!
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      • Profile picture of the author armysmoke
        I also found this googling their email address

        hosting-cloud.biz spam emails | Selenium Script
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      • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
        Originally Posted by armysmoke View Post

        You were right. I got an email later today and the buyer wants me to get appraisals for all the domain names.
        Welcome to the club.

        I have been seeing these emails going all the way back to my first purchases in '98. As others have said above, this tactic would not still be around if it didn't work. Congratulations on not becoming a victim.

        Here's another common scam: there are people out there who will email you trying to sell you very similar domains to ones you already own. The price is usually low $xxx. However, if you do a little research, you'll see that they are actually unregistered or sitting somewhere like godaddy auctions for reg fee. This isn't as insidious as the appraisal scam, but it can be more expensive if you fall for it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        Originally Posted by armysmoke View Post

        You were right. I got an email later today and the buyer wants me to get appraisals for all the domain names.

        He send this

        "To avoid mistakes and wasting money on useless automated services I asked in the forum about reliable manual valuation/TM verification services. Please read this:

        Google Answers: Can someone recommend a good appraisal service with a trademark verification?

        He wants you to use icaan as the domain appraiser BUT it's icaan.net not icaan.org.

        icaan.net and accredited-appraisal.org are the same.

        So, it looks like this fake buyer wants me to pay for appraisals where he makes money and will disappear.

        Thanks again for the warning!!
        wow! I'm so sorry - but at least you didn't fall for it and didn't get scammed out of your hard-earned money.

        Now take the lessons you learned from this thread and go from there - obviously there is interest in those domains - you may not get the $20,000 - but you never know, you may make a portion of that -

        good luck
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    • Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Western Union is safe from your perspective (if you don't release the domains until you have the money) but expensive, and maybe not even suitable at all for so large an amount(?).

      Escrow.com is also safe.

      Be aware of the well-known "domain appraisal scam" in which people you don't know make substantial offers for your domain-names and then, during negotiations, ask you to have them valued at a specific "appraisal-site" which charges a large fee for its "service", after which the intending purchaser disappears. Probably you know this already, but "just in case"!
      Western Union has the highest fees, I used them when I was starting but the fees made me move, just double check what you will get at the end of the transaction you might be surprised how much they take.
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      soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Escrow is the safest for both parties. I would not use western union for any online transaction involving unknown people whether I am a seller or buyer.
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    Moderator's Note: You're only allowed to put your own products or sites in your signature.

    Signature edited.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Definitely use Escrow.com - their procedure is complex but that's what you want. They protect both the buyer and the seller equally.

      Don't use Paypal for anything over $500, they will very likely view a sudden large transaction as questionable and can sit on your money for months; I've even read some reports where the seller has never received his/her money. Also, Paypal is open to refunding the buyers payment if they choose to challenge the transaction.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        There's a good reason why most real estate transactions, at least in the States, use an escrow for holding funds. Mortgage companies are, I believe, required to hold that portion of payments used for things like property tax and insurance in escrow.

        It keeps both sides honest.

        Definitely go with the escrow.com option.

        While Western Union has its place, scammers often ask to use it because it's not the US Postal system, which would expose them to mail fraud charges.
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      • Profile picture of the author armysmoke
        Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

        Definitely use Escrow.com - their procedure is complex but that's what you want. They protect both the buyer and the seller equally.

        Don't use Paypal for anything over $500, they will very likely view a sudden large transaction as questionable and can sit on your money for months; I've even read some reports where the seller has never received his/her money. Also, Paypal is open to refunding the buyers payment if they choose to challenge the transaction.
        I heard the horror stories with paypal too and do not want to use them for this transaction.

        I just signed up with escrow and let the buyer know that I will use escrow.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author greatdn
    I recommend escrow. There is a fee involved with the service but for safety it is worth it. You can offer the buyer that you will pay half of the escrow fees or you can tell them you want them to pay all of the fees. Good luck and congrats...
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Sanderson
    Any except paypal!

    escrow is your safest bet, however western union is safe as long as they make the payment first and then transfer the domain names over.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyNight
    Wow..

    They must be some beautiful domain names...

    Can U give us a little taste..?

    Just one..

    Or at least what area of interest would they cover..?

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author armysmoke
      Originally Posted by JohnnyNight View Post

      Wow..

      They must be some beautiful domain names...

      Can U give us a little taste..?

      Just one..

      Or at least what area of interest would they cover..?

      Thanks
      They are all two word adult domain names.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnnyNight
        Originally Posted by armysmoke View Post

        They are all two word adult domain names.

        Thanks army..

        That's interesting..

        I had heard that adult domains had lost a lot of their value..

        U must have some strong keywords registered back in the 90's
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  • Profile picture of the author DeanJames
    Escrow EVERY time at that level of payment.
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    • Profile picture of the author honestim
      Please avoid PayPal given the huge sum of money involved. Even if everything goes right between you and the seller you might end up waiting for your well deserved money for ages...
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  • Profile picture of the author ViralMediaBoost
    Escrow 100% its the best way to pay so much or receive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Unpleasantry
    Sounds like the scam email i received. Be careful
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnnyNight
      Originally Posted by Unpleasantry View Post

      Sounds like the scam email i received. Be careful
      OK, I see what you're saying..

      So army may have gotten one of those funny emails that get sent to a lot of people
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    I'll take bets that it's a scam. No-one offers, out of the blue, to buy 8 domain names for $20k when Google doesn't give a *&^& what the domain name of your site is.

    Unless the domains were actively offered for sale, just walk away.
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    • Profile picture of the author jerytohn
      Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

      I'll take bets that it's a scam. No-one offers, out of the blue, to buy 8 domain names for $20k when Google doesn't give a *&^& what the domain name of your site is.

      Unless the domains were actively offered for sale, just walk away.
      That is good advice. I too would like to know how the offer was sent.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
      Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

      I'll take bets that it's a scam. No-one offers, out of the blue, to buy 8 domain names for $20k when Google doesn't give a *&^& what the domain name of your site is.

      Unless the domains were actively offered for sale, just walk away.

      I can understand the apprehension, but just because someone is contacted out of the blue with a price does not necessarily mean that it's a scam. I've had it happen to me (twice). Both times the offers were legitimate.

      The first was a $500.00 offer and the second an ongoing negotiation that took about six weeks. I don't remember exactly, but I think I ended up getting $2300.00. I did both through Escrow.com.

      I'd definitely only use Escrow.com to be safe and protect yourself from loss. If they take the steps to complete the transaction you just made $20k. If not, you lose nothing.

      HTH
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  • Profile picture of the author Meharis
    Originally Posted by armysmoke View Post

    Someone offered to buy 8 of my domain names for $20,000.

    They said that they can pay me through escrow.com, western union or paypal.com.

    What is the safest way to make the exchange? I am just worried about fraud or charge backs.
    armysmoke,

    Why accepting 20K?
    I would raise the bar another notch...
    Most negotiators always offer less than what they're willing to pay.

    Meharis
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    • Profile picture of the author Trent Brownrigg
      Definitely use escrow and on top of that do as much research as you possibly can to make sure the buyer is legit before you hand anything over.

      Also, if that was their starting point, and they contacted you out of nowhere, then you should come back with a higher counteroffer!
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        congratulations and good luck with the sale - I too recommend that you use escrow.com, by the way

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  • Profile picture of the author Oscar D
    Trent is right, definitely use Escrow and try and do as much research as possible, including:
    • Google the buyers email address
    • If possible do a WHOIS search of the buyers domain in the email address
    Here are a few threads worth mentioning regarding domain appraisal scams:
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by armysmoke View Post

    Someone offered to buy 8 of my domain names for $20,000.

    They said that they can pay me through escrow.com, western union or paypal.com.

    What is the safest way to make the exchange? I am just worried about fraud or charge backs.
    My first thought was ... domain appraisal scam. Often a cold offer without negotiations with a high price like that is the domain appraisal scammers at it again. If they request an appraisal and give you the sites that they insist on the appraisal happening, cease communication. They own the fake appraisal sites and once you pay for the appraisal, you'll never hear from them again.

    If it's not the scam, insist on Escrow only. Don't even consider Paypal. I wouldn't touch any other payment method other than Escrow for a higher priced sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author haya
    I'd go with Western Union, but please keep in mind that they do charge a fee so do inform the buyer that.

    And Paypal, I receive payments through Paypal. Secure & fast.

    I do not have much experience with Escrow, so I don't have any input that.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by haya View Post

      I'd go with Western Union, but please keep in mind that they do charge a fee so do inform the buyer that.

      And Paypal, I receive payments through Paypal. Secure & fast.

      I do not have much experience with Escrow, so I don't have any input that.
      There's absolutely nothing secure about Paypal for domains. They can and often do file a chargeback as soon as they have the domain.
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      • Profile picture of the author haya
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        There's absolutely nothing secure about Paypal for domains. They can and often do file a chargeback as soon as they have the domain.
        When you put it that way, that's true, Paypal may NOT be the best option. So, Western Union ALL the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    If it sounds too good to be true....

    Scam scam scam.

    I just read your update above that confirms it was a scam. Yes, it doesn't sound right from the start.
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  • Profile picture of the author micoe
    Just use escrow.com , it is the safest way .
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  • Profile picture of the author greevil
    Too bad it didn't work out, that's every domain owners dream is to get an offer like that

    Here's to hoping you sell them eventually! Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by greevil View Post

      Too bad it didn't work out, that's every domain owners dream is to get an offer like that
      Which is why, like any good (read: effective) con game, this one continues to work. Not everyone is smart enough to check it out.

      To quote Gordon Gekko (out of context): "Greed works..."
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim45
    I recommend whoisguard domain name privacy protection through your name register. I use to get emails like that all the time before I started using this service. If your name register doesn't offer it then transfer your domains to one that does.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lokahi
    Paypal seems like the safest option as you have legal recourse and the money is collected from the other person up front. Though I'm not sure how they would react to a large $20,000 deposit coming in like that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Lokahi View Post

      Paypal seems like the safest option
      Have you actually read the thread at all, Lokahi?!

      It's academic, now, since this turned out - predictably - to be yet another instance of the "domain appraisal scam", but are you trying to be funny, or do you really think it's a good idea for people to sell domain-names for $20,000 by PayPal?! I thought I'd seen "just about everything bizarre there can be" here, over the years, but I really don't know what to say to this suggestion at all!
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Have you actually read the thread at all, Lokahi?!

        It's academic, now, since this turned out - predictably - to be yet another instance of the "domain appraisal scam", but are you trying to be funny, or do you really think it's a good idea for people to sell domain-names for $20,000 by PayPal?! I thought I'd seen "just about everything bizarre there can be" here, over the years, but I really don't know what to say to this suggestion at all!
        Hey, at least he/she read the whole first post, right? Better than some...
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    • Profile picture of the author armysmoke
      Originally Posted by Lokahi View Post

      Paypal seems like the safest option as you have legal recourse and the money is collected from the other person up front. Though I'm not sure how they would react to a large $20,000 deposit coming in like that.
      I used paypal for over 13 years with no issues. At one time I did approximately 10K worth of transactions in a month.

      However, I would be a little worried about a one time 20K transaction. Just my 2 cents worth on paypal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    Originally Posted by dynamyt100 View Post

    You should get in touch with the authorities. Maybe they can setup a 'sting' and nail these *******s.
    Nice thought, but it'll never happen.

    If you are going to be a domainer, the best defense to scams like this is to educate yourself on the risks of the game.

    Good advice for any business.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebLove
    Use Escrow man play it safe!
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    Do you buy a car, domain, site etc. and make an offer like $20k or whatever in advance and then later on check what it's actually worth? Common sense people...
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