A revolution in buyer and seller protection for an industry that is no stranger to scams and theft is underway.
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Francois Carrillo, founder of the popular domain news aggregator href="http://www.domaining.com/">Domaining.com, is now offering free escrow services for domain sale transactions under $500 at href="http://ecop.com/">eCop.com.
Update Nov. 2: The service is now available for free to paid members ($75/yr).
Offering Privacy and Security Where Greatly Needed
Free escrow services for domain and website sales could prove to legitimize a market with a struggling public perception.
The move could propel eCop into the position of a household name in domain sales. A large percentage of transactions fall within this starting price range, particularly on forums, small marketplaces, personal portfolios and private sales.
eCop should gain many new partners with domain flippers and anyone wanting to sell one or more domain names. It’s truly an opportunity that should not be passed up for the security and privacy of both buyers and sellers.
eCop also offers an option for domain brokers to automate transactions between domain sellers and buyers, including their commission.
Domain Theft and Hijacking
Sites such as href="http://domaintheft.org/">DomainTheft.org and members on industry forums have resorted to operating as private investigators to oust thieves and seek justice for stolen domains and websites.
PayPal is notorious for being part of the problem by not offering solid seller protection for virtual goods and services. At present, anyone can buy a domain name or website with a direct payment and easily steal it by requesting a credit card charge back. It’s happened to me personally on more than one occasion.
A free escrow service could virtually eliminate this serious concern that has plagued domainers for many years. Buyer security and confidence will also be greatly enhanced as they will no longer have to worry about not receiving a domain after payment is made.
It’s also important to secure your domain registrar account properly with a good password and private email address.
Use eCop, Share eCop
I plan to, and would urge all of you to take advantage of the offer by eCop for any sales where you might not have had any protection at all.
The public also needs to be aware of this free service when selling domains for their protection, so please pass the news on to your friends, family and colleagues.