Buying a domain name from someone you don’t know can make you anxious; you can’t know how the transaction will go until it’s completed. It’s not like buying a t-shirt from eBay where you’ll get refunded if the seller never ships the shirt.
On the contrary, buying a domain name from someone over the internet is inherently risky. However, there are steps you can take to create a safe and secure transaction when purchasing your perfect domain name.
Use A Domain Name Broker
Whenever possible, use a domain name broker to purchase a domain name. A broker is essentially an expert negotiator, and they know how to detect sellers that aren’t legitimate. You may not feel a broker is necessary unless you’re paying thousands of dollars for your domain, but do you really want to risk losing even $500?
Even if you earn a high income, that’s still a large sum of money to lose. The pros from Name Experts outline a systematic approach to acquiring a domain name that includes several tips for a secure transaction with a professional broker.
For example, a broker will research the history of the domain name and use an escrow service to safely complete the transaction. If you’re trying to buy a domain name on your own, you might not uncover the depth of the domain name’s history.
Why Are Domain Name Sales Subject To Scams?
The market for digital assets like domain names is especially subject to scams simply because the product doesn’t exist in the material world and financial transactions take place online. It’s easy for criminals to run scams on unsuspecting, misinformed people on the internet.
There are plenty of domain name scams, but the biggest scam is called “Domain Slamming.” Domain slamming is essentially when a registrar steals domain registrations from other registrars unethically. The unscrupulous domain registrar gathers a list of domain name owners and mails out a letter to each one.
The letter informs the person their domain name is about to expire, and they need to renew it. Since these letters contain true information (the domain name is listed), many people fall for this scam.
The payment amount requested is always much higher than the person’s real domain registrar. When the person pays what they believe is a bill, they’ve just authorized their domain name to be transferred to the unethical registrar.
A Safe Transaction Is Always Worth A Small Fee
These days, there’s a fee for everything. Nobody likes fees, but sometimes they’re well-earned. Paying a small fee to a broker for negotiating the sale of your perfect domain name is a fee worth paying. Unless you’re an expert negotiator and spend all your time working out deals for domains, it’s better to leave that to the experts.
If you’re struggling with the idea of paying a broker’s fee, consider how you would want to be paid for your expertise. It’s probably fair to say you’ve got some kind of expertise that warrants a fee, too. Would you say your expertise is worth paying for?
If you’re willing to spend several hundred or even several thousand dollars on a domain name, paying, your broker should be the least of your worries. Consider it all part of acquiring a domain name. It’s unavoidable, and part of the overall cost of acquisition.
Trust Your Instincts
If you choose to negotiate alone, always trust your instincts. Scammers aren’t the only kind of people you need to watch out for. Some sellers love to play games and think they can get away with asking for an unreasonable amount of money.
If you’re going back and forth with a seller for weeks and they’re not budging on the price, you’re probably not going to get anywhere. Likewise, if the seller is asserting their domain is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or something equally vague, you’re probably dealing with someone who has no experience selling domains.
The problem is that many people mistakenly believe their domain names are worth more than their actual value. A domain is indeed only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, but there are limits, and some people don’t understand how it works.
When you can’t imagine putting your website on any other domain, and the seller isn’t cooperating, call a broker. If a professional can’t get your name for a reasonable price, nobody can. Don’t give up until you’ve exhausted all your options.
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