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Escrow KYC Verification is Not Due Diligence

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In reading some forum threads and email chains over the last couple of years, I think there is some confusion about the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification at Escrow.com, Payoneer Escrow, and other escrow services. As far as I understand, the KYC verification process is not a form of due diligence for a buyer or seller.

From what I understand, KYC verifies that the buyer and seller in a transaction are who they say they are when the transaction is set up. If a scammer or thief is one party to a deal, the KYC process would likely not be able to “out” that party as a scammer or a thief. The process would simply verify that their banking details match their account details.

Let’s say that Joe is buying Example.com from Bob using a domain name escrow service. I believe the escrow service will verify that Bob and Joe are who they say they are. They do not verify that Joe has the funds to buy Example.com nor do they verify that Bob actually owns the domain name or has the right to sell the domain name. Essentially, if Bob → Read More


PDD .com Story is Eye Opening

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Someone shared a story on NamePros about the alleged purchase of PDD.com, and it is eye opening.​. From what I understand, it looks like the buyer agreed to buy PDD.com for $42,000, used Escrow.com to transact, had the domain name in his Network Solutions account for a brief period of time, instructed Escrow.com to release the funds, and then had the domain name removed from his Network Solutions account. It is eye opening and probably something every domain investor fears.

I quickly scanned the thread and took a look at the ownership history of PDD.com using the invaluable DomainTools Whois History Tool. For quite some time, it looks like the registrant email address was first initial last name @pdd.com. That is what the current Whois record shows as well. At some point in late October or early November, the Whois email address changed to an @gmail.com address. It looks like the other fields stayed the same. This is a red flag. A second red flag would be the alleged seller's email address not matching the Whois email → Read More


Escrow.com Reduces Minimum Domain Escrow Fee

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The fee for an escrow service is generally a small percentage of a domain name sale. On lower value deals though, the escrow fee is a fixed minimum price. In the case of Escrow.com, the minimum fee has been $25. On particularly small deals, this minimum fee might be a substantial percentage of the deal.

Because of the minimum fee, domain name buyers and sellers have been forced to choose between doing a deal at Escrow.com and losing a large % of their deal or using a less secure method such as PayPal, Western Union, or check. With these less secure payment methods, the buyer could do a chargeback or bounce a check after receiving the domain name, and in the case of Western Union or similar service, the seller might not follow through with the deal after receiving funds.

Last night, Escrow.com General Manager Jackson Elsegood emailed me to let me know about a fee reduction at Escrow.com. The new minimum fee has been reduced from $25 to $10. This might not sound like a huge amount of money, but it will make (more…) → Read More


Alchemist.com: Nice Buy Now Landing Page

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One of my favorite breweries is The Alchemist in Stowe, Vermont. It makes the highly touted Heady Topper and Focal Banger beers (I am drinking a Focal Banger as I write this). While poking around, I found a really nice looking domain name for sale landing page on the generic (and valuable) keyword Alchemist.com domain name.

Have a look at a screenshot of the landing page:



The landing page is relatively simple. It lists the purchase price at the top, a reference to the licensure of Escrow.com below the price, a purchase form on the right side, and an explanation of the purchase process on the left side. There is no sales pitch about the domain name, but the nature of this exact match .com domain name may sell itself.

I am not sure if the landing page was created by (more…) → Read More


5 Super Bowl Sunday Thoughts and Updates

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Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year.  Either my team (New England Patriots), is  playing in the Super Bowl, or I am excited to hang out with friends and watch the commercials. Whatever the case is, the Super Bowl is usually played right in the middle of the Winter. This means that the days are starting to get longer and I can begin looking forward to the  Spring. I love the Winter in Boston, but I am very happy when it is over.

This evening, Tom Brady will be  playing to win his fifth Super Bowl. I thought I would share 5 thoughts and updates prior to the big game tonight. You are welcome to share some of your thoughts as well. (more…) → Read More


Escrow.com Announces “Masters of Domains”

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Escrow.com ShieldJust prior to yesterday's live NamesCon domain name auction, there was a brief presentation of "Escrow.com Masters of Domains." This was a list of the top ten domain brokers of 2016 by volume of deals put through Escrow.com. The company awarded a trophy to the winners, some of whom were in attendance at the conference. This was the first time the company listed the top domain brokers by volume.

The 10 Escrow.com Masters of Domains for 2016 were:


  • George Hong, Guta

  • Andrew Rosener, Media Options

  • Giuseppe Graziano, GGRG

  • Muhammad Al-Asadi, TopNames

  • Ryan McKegney, Domain Agents

  • Adam Beebe, Latonas

  • Derek Giordano, Giordano, Inc.

  • David Clements, Brannan's

  • James Booth, BQDN

  • Raymond Liu, 62.com


Escrow.com also set up a website with information about the award and winners: MastersOfDomains.com. The website indicates that this will become an annual award.

I think it would be a great achievement for a broker to be on this list, but it is not necessarily the top 10 domain brokers. Escrow.com is likely the largest → Read More


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