Domain Name Transfer Agreement – Your Questions…

James asks…

Anybody ever heard of Domain Trade LLC?

I got this email today. Think it’s legit?

“Dear sir,

we are interested to buy your domain name ?????????????.BIZ and offer between 50% and 65% of the appraised value.
We accept appraisals from companies such as

http://www.sedo.com/
http://top-name.net/
http://max-apprais.com/

If you already have an appraisal please forward it to us.

Please let us know whether you are interested. Upon review of your valuation and in case of an agreement we send payments via PayPal for amounts less than $2,000 and via Escrow.com for amounts above $2,000, as well as further instructions on how to complete the transfer of the domain name.

Thank you,
Domain Trade LLC”

Never heard of such a thing – is it possible?

admin answers:

Short answer: yes, it is a scam.

Check out my source for more information, it goes a lot further in depth, but here are a few excerpts:

“Spoiler Alert! “Domain Trade, LLC.” is a PHANTOM company!
However, “Domain Trade, INC.” DOES exist, and is in fact a Japanese company that was involved in a lawsuit over reverse domain hijacking (among other things), but is, to the best of my knowledge, not affiliated with this scam.”

“There are a number of posts over on DomainNameWire.com, DotWeekly.com, and many others that talk about this particular variety of scam and I will list them all later, but for now I’ll summarize:

It’s apparently an old and very popular (read: effective) scam used against domain name owners. Essentially, the owner is approached (through e-mail) by someone claiming to be interested in purchasing their domain name; but not without validation of the domain’s market worth. So they’ll require an appraisal of the domain name before naming their bid; and they’ll even be so kind as to provide exactly what appraisal sites they’re willing to accept.

This is the scam part: only one, maybe two of the sites they list are legitimate. The others are either owned by the scammer, or they are a paid affiliate; and rest assured, their sites will be the cheapest.”

“Now, as I said, this scam makes it’s money through the appraisals that the owner pays for. I don’t know if the appraisals are bunk or not, but the MO seems to be that the owner will pay for an appraisal, send the results to the scammer, only to never receive a reply. See, they don’t really care about buying your domain, they just need you to pay for the appraisal and they have your money.

So here’s the deal, domains are like real estate, and just like real estate it is the BUYERS responsibility to research the value of the property they are interested in. If someone wants to buy your domain it is up to THEM to get an appraisal. In the end, appraisals are simply suggestions, they are not concrete. The final price comes down to negotiations between the buyer and seller and if the seller wants a few thousand more than what some expensive appraisal site says it’s worth, then that is their right as the owner of that domain.”

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