When I visited Escrow.com this morning, I noticed something that I had not seen before. The company has a graphic showing a group of logos of Internet brands below a heading that says “USED TO PURCHASE SOME OF THE BIGGEST DOMAINS ON THE INTERNET.” For your convenience, I shared the graphic above.
I presume this means that the domain names for these brands were bought via Escrow.com:
I know that there are many more major brand domain names that were bought using the escrow services of Escrow.com. I think this is a helpful graphic for people who may be a bit reluctant to use Escrow.com for whatever reason. If they see that other major companies are using the services of Escrow.com to buy or sell a valuable domain name, they should feel secure as well.
I typically tell people about the Ebay and Cars.com endorsements, but the other brands might also serve the same purpose.
Assuming the company received permission to share this information, it might also be wise for Escrow.com to ask for “official” recommendations/reviews from people associated with those brands. Having that type of additional endorsement could also be helpful.
I don’t think this is appropriate since the assumption is that escrow.com doesn’t disclose information like this regardless of the fact that amount wasn’t disclosed.
What isn’t appropriate?
Since it is featured so prominently on their website, I can only assume they got permission to share this information.
Transactions are typically setup by the seller, not the buyer. Or lately since the feature has been there, a broker.
But let me ask you this. If you went into a liquor store and bought a bottle of wine (you are a customer) would you want them putting your picture up and saying “here is a customer of ours”?
I am not saying that legally they can’t do this. But I don’t think they got permission.  I am just saying that as someone who runs transactions through them I wouldn’t want them listing the domains that were sold and the deals. As another example I wouldn’t want them providing a list to DNJournal.com even without selling prices. (Or to you). Now of course if you want to monitor whois changes or sedo reports and dig that up fair game. But escrow.com is providing a *trusted* service and the assumption is that the info they collect is private (unlike Sedo where it’s public).
 No large company legal department is likely to grant this why should they?
A few weeks ago, we went to this local restaurant and the manager asked if he could take a picture of our family for their Facebook page. It was a bit awkward, but I said sure.
I didn’t ask Escrow.com if they got permission to post those logos, but I assume they did because it could easily backfire on them if they did not.
These are large brands that enjoy every bit of publicity. Why do you assume they didn’t give permission for such a reference?
While not every large brand wants to share the exact amount, some do. Those that don’t, sign an NDA.
The example of the liquor store was quite weak. Alcohol consumption might be considered a vice for some, domains are not. Even the adult kind.
Don’t assume that they did. A large company like that (say google) isn’t going to notice (this isn’t ad ad during the superbowl) that their name is being used like that and further if they do and they complain they aren’t going to file legal action (assuming it’s even possible) and if someone does complain they will just take down the logo. The issue really relates to the trust of their customers (like us) who might wonder what other info could be released in what is supposed to be a private service.
The use of the logos is considered fair use in the context that they are used: to share that these companies, represented by their logos, acquired these domains – now popular brands – using Escrow.com services.
As long as the parties involved in the sale didn’t oppose to disclosing any info related to the sale and signed an NDA, there is nothing negative about this endorsement by Escrow.com. I’d like to see more, e.g. a profiling of such buyers.
To answer you initial question, transactions on Escrow.com are confidential by default and we only disclose with the permission of the transactors.
In this case as you mention there’s no sensitive or competitive information in listing these domains as transacted through Escrow.com as it’s well established that they were bought on the secondary market, it’s listed in their public whois history. Coming back the idea that companies that purchase their domain name are not happy to disclose that they bought it on the secondary market, my experience is that the opposite is true (Elliot or Acro might be able to back me up on this with their experience). Our parent company Freelancer switched to Freelancer.com from GetAFreelancer.com and often sights it as a pivital move in the company’s history.
Shameless plug – if you would like me to confirm a trade publicly that you’ve made for promotional purposes I’d be happy to do so, just shoot me an email or give our customer service team a call.
This is a huge boost for making buyers feel more comfortable with the sales process. It gives instant credibility to Escrow.com and will easily put a virgin buyer at ease.
I would go as far as to say this is probably in the top 5 good things to happen in domaining this year. A simple thing is going to go a long way for all of us.
At first glance, I don’t see a confidentiality provision in the “General Escrow Instructions” at https://my.escrow.com/myescrow/EscrowInstructions.asp?fn=Escrow20130715-0&tid=0&mod=0