No, You Can’t Sell My Name First

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A few days ago, I had a prospective buyer land on one of my BIN landing pages and fill out the form with his information to indicate that he agreed to buy my domain name for $7,888. I reached out to him and opened escrow at Escrow.com. I didn’t receive a response to my email confirming his purchase, but he created an account at Escrow.com (or already had one) and agreed to the transaction.

I followed up with him again via email after he agreed to the Escrow.com transaction. I wanted to find out when he anticipated submitting his payment and find out whether he would want me to push the domain name to his GoDaddy account or transfer it out to a different registrar. I also wanted to touch base with him because people don’t typically buy domain names from me like that without trying to negotiate a better deal or simply buying through GoDaddy or other registrar via Afernic (I only have a very small fraction of names that use my BIN landing page though). I did not receive a response to this second email and got a bit suspicious.

Later on that evening, I decided to call him on the phone. Perhaps my email was getting filtered or he didn’t feel the need to reply. Once I connected with him, I realized that this deal was not going to happen. For some reason, it sounded like he thought he could agree to buy my domain name and try to re-sell it to someone else before paying me to buy it. This was a bit of a head scratcher to me. I’ve heard of domain name front running (selling a domain name without the owner’s permission and/or knowledge) but not agreeing to buy a domain name but waiting until it is re-sold to pay.

I do not think it is okay to agree to buy a domain name with the idea that you can then try to sell it to a third party in order to pay for the domain name. If this is the plan, the domain registrant should be told before agreeing to a deal like that. Maybe the registrant would allow this person to broker the domain name.

I understand that some people like to start selling a new acquisition ASAP, but I haven’t experienced something like this.

4 COMMENTS

    • I doubt he had a deal lined up. It sounded like he thought he could lock in a deal this way and go sell it.

      If he had a deal lined up, I think he would have strung me along to keep the transaction opened while he got the other person to pay.

      I really have no idea what was going through his head when he agreed to escrow.

  1. I’ve seen this recently where an old client of mine had a 2-letter .com for sale. A well known broker/buyer contacted him and offered him the asking price. The seller got the run around from this ‘buyer’ for a few days days before it materialised the ‘buyer’ had no intention of buying the domain and was in fact trying to sell the domain before he bought it. I made sure my old client didn’t waste any more time with this broker/buyer.

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