If you are considering purchasing a domain name, it is important to use an experienced, trustworthy escrow company. Escrow companies ensure that the buyer receives the domain while the seller receives the agreed upon price. While purchasing a domain name using an escrow service is relatively simple, there are several features that you should look for when you are considering which escrow service to work with.
Domain Transfer Services
If you are not technically savvy, you may not know how to take over control of a domain. While you could pay a web developer to do this for you, you risk having them register the domain in their own name, which gives them too much control over your website. Instead, you should find a domain escrow service that offers transfer services. This means that once you transfer your funds to the escrow service, they will take care of the technical aspect of transferring the domain from its current owner to you, using the personal information that you provide to them.
Background Checks of Domains
It is possible for a domain to have a negative history with a company or individual. For example, if a domain was used in a way that infringed on the trademark of an individual or organization and you use the same domain name for your website, you may be served a cease and desist order from the owner of the trademark. It is also possible that the domain name was blacklisted from a search engine for using black hat SEO practices, which will make it difficult for your website to rank if you use that domain.
An escrow service can conduct a thorough background search on your potential domain name to make sure the seller has disclosed any negative associations the domain currently has.
Many escrow services offer standard contracts. These contracts usually state the amount of time before your funds will be released to the seller as well as other relevant details. Although these standard contracts are generally sufficient for domain transfers, if you have special circumstances, such as checking to make sure the domain is registered to you before releasing your funds, you may want to choose an escrow service that has flexible contracts and allows you to define the terms.
A Clear Disputes Policy
The escrow company you choose to work with should have a clear dispute policy in case anything goes wrong during your transfer. This is important whether you or the seller has a dispute during or after the transfer of the domain. A clear policy allows you to know how long you have to make a complaint and what types of complaints will be honored by the escrow company. For example, if you receive a .net domain when you thought you were purchasing a .com domain, you will want to have a way to get your money back and/or secure the appropriate domain.
Live Customer Service
Domain escrow companies vary on the level of customer service they provide. Some only offer email or chat customer service, which may be plenty if your transaction is relatively simple. However, other escrow companies offer negotiation services between buyers and sellers, allowing you to debate the price of your domain through a neutral third party. These companies also generally offer telephone support for buyers and sellers. Although these services may cost more, they may be worthwhile if you are conducting a complex purchase of multiple domains.
When you are looking for a domain escrow service, you should not only check to make sure that the company is trustworthy and secure. You should also check for the extra features that will make the transaction easy for you and the seller.