Process of selling domain names - clarification of details

Started by Plan, Jul 14, 2022, 02:57 AM

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PlanTopic starter

I am interested in gaining knowledge about domain selling and would like to hear the perspectives of experienced professionals since I lack familiarity with the sales mechanisms. In a hypothetical scenario, two domainers, A and B, are involved in a transaction where A wants to purchase a domain from B.

They have no prior relationship and could potentially be scammers. Service C exists to facilitate the transaction by ensuring that A sends money to B with a protection code which is known only to service C. Once service C confirms the payment, B provides A with the AuthCode of the domain. If both parties are honest, A receives the domain with the AuthCode and informs service C, who then lets B know the protection code to receive their payment.

 If A is a scammer, they may inform service C that the AuthCode does not work and get their money back, leaving B without a domain or payment. My questions are: 1) Will B have any evidence of the use of the AuthCode when A uses it? 2) Are there ways to avoid this situation without involving third-party services?


The difficulty can be resolved by utilizing a service to transfer the domain, although it may take a significant amount of time (up to a month for ru domains). While this method guarantees a secure transfer, the buyer must endure the inconvenience of an extended wait. Moreover, when changing the administrator, a letter is sent to the current administrator which can then be provided to the service, but not every ru-registrar does this.

There is also a possibility of forging the letter or transferring the domain to a friend or oneself and claiming that the buyer has accepted it, providing opportunity for the seller to commit fraud.


The process of buying and selling domains typically involves the owner listing the domain for sale and the buyer paying for it, with the payment being temporarily frozen. Once ownership is successfully transferred to the buyer, the funds are released to the seller. Domain resale sites and auctions are often combined within the same website.

Two popular marketplaces for buying and selling domains are and Flippa. provides a powerful platform with over 19 million domain names and a brokerage service for premium domains. Flippa has an auction-based system and offers brokerage services as well. Both sites have placement fees and sales commissions. It is also possible to sell a domain without a third party involvement through buyer contact or documentary contract before transferring rights through a hosting provider.
However, there are risks associated with engaging a third party, such as the unknown reliability of the guarantor.


1) In the scenario you described, if A uses the AuthCode to receive the domain from B, there may not be direct evidence available to B that A successfully used it. B would typically rely on A's confirmation that the AuthCode worked and that they received the domain. However, depending on the domain registrar, there may be transaction logs or records that can provide some form of evidence if necessary.

2) To avoid such situations without involving third-party services, here are a few steps that can be taken:

a) Use reputable escrow services: Instead of relying on a third-party service that merely facilitates the transaction, consider using an established escrow service that specializes in domain transactions. They will hold the payment securely and only release it to the seller once the domain transfer is completed satisfactorily.

b) Verify buyer/seller reputation: Investigate the reputation of both parties involved by checking their track record in the domain industry. Look for feedback, reviews, or references from other domainers to assess their trustworthiness.

c) Conduct due diligence: Before initiating the transaction, thoroughly research the domain and its ownership details. Verify the legitimacy of the domain, ensuring it is not stolen or associated with any legal issues. Additionally, confirm the seller's ownership rights and contact the domain registrar directly if needed.

d) Use secure payment methods: Consider using secure payment options like escrow accounts, PayPal, or bank transfers that have built-in fraud protection mechanisms. Be cautious of payment methods that provide little to no recourse in case of fraudulent transactions.

e) Communicate openly: Establish clear and open communication channels with the other party throughout the transaction. Discuss all terms, conditions, and expectations upfront to minimize misunderstandings and potential scams.

1) Use reputable marketplaces: Consider using well-known domain marketplaces that have built-in security measures and buyer/seller protection. These platforms often provide escrow services, dispute resolution mechanisms, and user ratings/reviews to gauge trustworthiness.

2) Verify ownership and transfer process: Have a clear understanding of the domain transfer process and ensure that all necessary steps are followed. Confirm the seller's ownership of the domain by checking WHOIS records or contacting the domain registrar directly.

3) Use contracts and agreements: Create a legally binding agreement or contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the transaction, including payment terms, delivery of the domain, and any guarantees or warranties. This can provide you with legal recourse if any issues arise.

4) Seek professional advice: If you are new to domain sales or unsure about the transaction, consider consulting with a domain industry professional or a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property or online transactions. They can provide guidance, review contracts, and help mitigate risks.

5) Research market value: Before entering into a domain transaction, research the market value of similar domains to ensure that the price being offered is reasonable. This helps prevent overpaying or falling for unrealistic deals that could indicate potential scams.

6) Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, it's important to trust your instincts and exercise caution. If you have doubts about the legitimacy of the transaction or the parties involved, consider walking away or seeking further verification.