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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief

 

tales that tear at the myth of the dream

the lucrative business of domain name sales certainly brings out the vultures. within a day of posting my intent to sell on a broker's site, i was approached by a potential 'buyer' directly (not through the broker), interested in buying. the 'buyer' said that he was a reseller, and insisted that before we negotiated on a price, i get my domain appraised:

Do you sell the name only without web site? I'm interested in the name so web site is not so important.

Do you have an appraisal certificate for your domain name?

Domain name is an investment for me. In other words I'm going to sell your name later and make a profit. If I overpay I won't be able to make a profit in the future. It's very important for you and me to know the current market value of your domain.

Of course, we must be sure that you are engaging a reputable appraisal company. I heard many appraisal companies often made inaccurate appraisals. I will only accept appraisals from independent sources I trust. To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal companies in a forum http://domaintalk.ourplace.com/Archive/296814.htm

Just check this posting.

If the appraisal comes higher you can adjust your asking price accordingly. I also hope you can give me 10% - 15% discount of the appraised value.

After I get an appraisal from you we'll continue our negotiations.

How do you prefer to get paid: www.escrow.com, www.PayPal.com check or wire?

Hope we can come to an agreement fast.

Looking forward to your reply.
the forum post looked a little shady - as did the appraisal sites that were heavily recommended in the forum post. i was mildly suspicious, but not convinced that this was fraud, so i asked if i could get it appraised through my broker instead. the response was fairly typical for a con:
Sedo is a good broker. Unfortunately , Sedo is not acceptable as an
appraiser because your names are listed with them and they are not independent. They are interested in earning 10% commission on every sale. I need appraisals from a company which is not interested in selling your domains.

I wanted to use Afternic.com, but found the following information: http://www.igoldrush.com/links3.htm

"Capsule Review: After lots of complaints, Afternic is no longer a recommended service. We will re-review the service in the near future."

I also found the following information about them http://www.out-law.com/page-1630

So Afternic.com is NOT acceptable.

Reading responses from experienced sellers I was impressed by one reply: "Many Internet users are not smart enough and popular domain brokers are using this fact to make money. They offer them cheap appraisal services. But if their customers would have something in their heads they'd understand experts could not make a professional research for $15-$20. These appraisals are made by machines. Easy money for such appraisers as http://www.Afternic.com and several other major brokers that offer cheap auto-generated appraisals. In my eyes, all services under $50-$55 are not
manual and the results are generated by special scripts. I don't trust auto-generated appraisals."

The same is true for GoDaddy and SEDO. Their services are not manual. They are just collecting money using their well-known names. I heard many appraisal companies often overpriced domains. So I cannot accept appraisal from each and every site.

To avoid mistakes I asked about reputable appraisers in a forum. Several experts recommended me Securenamesale's appraisal service http://www.securenamesale.com/appraise.asp as a fast, accurate and non-expensive manual service.

I also trust the manual appraisal service from http://www.DomainMart.com but it's very expensive - $200/hour. This service was also recommended by many people. If you can afford $200 DomainMart.com's fee it would be great. They also provide cheap automated service but it's not acceptable.
red flags flying, i did a bit of research. turns out that the individuals sending the email also own the appraisal site - you show up, drop $200 on an appraisal, and never hear from the 'buyer' again. awesome!

we're meeting with the FBI at work next week - i can't wait to bring this up with those guys.

also: a followup to the post from a few days ago about amazon unbox. tivo finally ironed out my account issues and i was able to sign up for the service, and got my $15 credit. so i rented hollywoodland, and that afternoon when i got home from work, the movie had been transferred to my tivo (supposedly the transfer starts within 15 minutes of ordering). the file sticks around on the box for 30 days, until you hit play for the first time - after which you have 24 hours to watch it as many times as you want, before it deletes itself. the video itself was dvd-quality and the whole process was incredibly smooth.

the movie itself was also pretty good - a little slow, but brilliantly cast, with adrien brody dominating, making everyone else on the screen look like a first-year acting student... with the sole exception of bob hoskins, who awesomely dripped 50s-big-wig-rich-dude malice.

 

for this post

 
Blogger Bragg Says:

wow. lots of red flags there. use an escrow company to handle the transfer of $. checks bounce and if they insist on giving you a check, insist that it has to clear before the transfer of the domain name. which then takes you back to using an escrow company to handle the actual transfer of services for goods.

i don't know what escrow companies exist for the transfer of domain names, but I might also find a lawyer to look through the documents and contract prior to sale. I know that if it were only a hundred dollar domain it wouldn't be big, but with bootleg being appraised at what it is, it would completely be worth it to make sure you don't get scammed.

 
 
Blogger Bragg Says:

oh, and if you need a lawyer, i can probably get one to sit down with you for the price of a steak dinner. as far as a consulting fee. beyond that, she might just coninue to monitor the contract and negotiation for you. i'll check if you want.

 
 
Blogger B-Call Says:

Steve,
Harvey Birdman is NOT a real attorney. How many times must I tell you this???

A better option for you, J, might be Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

 

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