I have been trying to buy a particular domain name since 2010. I didn’t hear back after my first offer, had my second offer rejected, and my third and fourth offers went unanswered. I followed up in March of 2013, but I didn’t receive a response, and I figured there was no deal to be had.
Two days ago, I received a reply to my offer, and the owner provided a reasonable counter offer. I agreed to purchase the domain name, and we had a couple of phone conversations to discuss the transfer of the domain name. Because the owner lives within a couple of hours from me, he asked that we do the deal in person. He has a couple of businesses offline, and although he bought a number of domain names many years ago, he doesn’t have much of an active online presence.
I am most likely going to meet this seller in person for a couple of reasons. First, I initiated contact with him, so it’s not like he was targeting me to harm me or steal from me. Second, I don’t want to take a chance that I lose out on this deal since I’ve wanted to buy this domain name for a while. Finally, he is willing to do escrow through his attorney’s firm (a large firm in the state), but I would imagine that could take quite a bit of time since they probably aren’t all that familiar with domain transactions.
Listed below are 5 precautions I am going to take when buying the domain name in person. As always, I welcome your advice and feedback.
1) I am going to have him sign a sales contract before the meeting. This will give him and his attorney time to review the agreement and address any issues in the agreement prior to our meeting.
2) We are going to meet in a public venue – perhaps a Starbucks or other restaurant with wifi. Even though I am not too concerned about my safety, it’s a good idea to meet in a public location just in case.
3) I am going to initiate a transfer of the domain name to a registrar that won’t take much time to transfer. Once I pay him, I want to know the transfer is complete. Some registrars release names quickly and others take several days.
4) I am going to pay with a bank check. He will know that he has the money, and I know that if there is a problem, the funds can be tracked.
5) I use two factor authentication at the domain registrar I use, but I will change my passwords after the meeting. I don’t like logging into a publicly used private wifi network, so I will be extra cautious.