Selling a website needs the same thoughtful planning as selling a brick and mortar business. Ownership documentation must be spotless and all bookkeeping needs to bulletproof. The best way to ensure this and more gets accomplished is to use a reputable website broker and escrow service. Any person or company interested in buying a website will be looking for the best fit for their business needs as well as a good bargain.
An internet escrow service is not like Craigslist or eBay. This company will not list your website like a pair of concert tickets or a used car. In fact, eBay now recommends to their buyers and sellers that they use an escrow service for every high dollar transaction on their website. This is because internet fraud and theft are increasing almost as fast as internet commerce.
In a brick and mortar environment, escrow services are generally reserved for large ticket items such as homes, businesses and luxury items. Due to the more fluid and anonymous nature of the internet a single, high dollar, high risk fraud scheme is replaced by a series of lower dollar schemes that have a much lower risk of detection and arrest.
One of the easiest ways to prevent this is to engage an escrow service to protect your interests. The escrow fees are usually very reasonable and a reputable service will provide at least five benefits to ensure you and your website are taken care of.
Benefits of Using an Escrow Service
- Guaranteed Payment before you turn over control of your website. There is no risk to you in terms of bounced checks, charge backs or fraudulent and non-payments.
- Accept multiple payment methods without requiring a merchant account of the seller. Please note one very important points though about this. No reputable internet escrow service will use or ask you to provide payment through Money Gram or Western Union. The chances for fraud are entirely too high.
- Confirmation that ownership has transferred. Please note that while most escrow services do not personally perform this task they will engage a registrar on your behalf or advise you on where to find one to ensure there are no false claims about transfer of ownership.
- Conduct business internationally to include multiple currencies. Conversion to USD from Euro, Pound Sterling will be accomplished with no hidden or additional fees in addition to the already agreed upon escrow fee.
- Protection of all banking accounts, credit card and other financial information. Your data stops with the escrow service. Any payment made to the Buyer will be through the escrow account established only to process your transaction.
Does Your Escrow Service Provide This:
- The website should be secure. The URL must begin with https:// and the padlock symbol indicating a secure website (if you are using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) should appear at the bottom of your screen.
- Dispute Resolution. If a problem does come up, then you’ll need a service that will perform as a neutral third party. The escrow service already has its fee from seller and buyer and will therefore work to resolve any issue to the satisfaction of both parties. Keep in mind that if you do sign up to have the escrow service perform dispute resolution that will eventually mean arbitration if neither you nor the buyer can come to an agreement.
Deciding to sell your website is a big step that requires careful thought, planning and research. To ensure your business interests are protected from fraud and theft, you need to seek out a reputable internet escrow service. The possible loss of intellectual property, profit and years of work for no remuneration make not doing so an unacceptable risk.