I had a failed domain purchase at Afternic & DomCollect, Sedo, New Ventures Services, Web.com are involved

I bought a .com domain name for $1,500 using the BIN price at Afternic on the 28th of August. The domain name was then refunded 2 days later with little to no explanation as to what really happened.

The domain was also listed for sale at Sedo but I chose Afternic to make the purchase. The domain was listed by the same seller because as soon as I made the payment the domain name was deleted by both platforms.

I used Paypal for the purchase. I could have used a credit card but I mention this because I learned about the refund before I had received an email from Afternic as I happened to login into my Paypal account just after the refund was made.

I checked the previous owner of the domain and it was Tobias Flaitz and DomCollect International GmbH until March, 2017. Tobias Flaitz is the CEO of Sedo and DomCollect is a company owned by Sedo that owns more than 90,000 domain names.

The new/current owner is New Ventures Services a domain name holding company owned by Web.com that owns over 435,000 domain names.

I can only imagine what deal went on between these 2 holding companies and the domain name changed ownership sometime in April or May 2017.

The problem is that after the domain was sold(?) the previous owner that was DomCollect (Sedo) did not remove the domain name from Afternic and Sedo and left it there with a BIN price which I used to purchase it. Of course I can’t be sure it was DomCollect that had the domain name listed for sale. It could have been New Ventures Services that after my purchase thought that the price was too low.

Afternic informed me 2 days after the purchase that they couldn’t verify domain ownership of the seller. As a result, my recent purchase of **************.com has been cancelled and a refund has been issued through the original payment method. (see email 4 below)

What is also remarkable is that I then received an email (email 5 below) telling me they were unable to confirm any of the billing information and that I was supposed to make a wire transfer if I wanted to proceed with the purchase. Of course that wasn’t true but they even included complete wire transfer details. Another fail for Afternic.

I then received another email (email 6 below) that the subject indicated that I was supposed to “take some action”. Instead I was informed of the following:

Unfortunately, we were notified that the seller no longer owns this domain.
Your payment has been refunded and we have taken action against the seller to avoid this in the future.
I am very sorry that this sale was not a success for you.

Someone would expect that DomCollect (Sedo) (or New Ventures Services?) has now been banned from Afternic. Isn’t this what the email suggests? I asked Afternic if that was true but received no reply.

But not really. I don’t think Afternic has banned a seller with 90k or 435k domains. If it was someone else then maybe…

By the way, Afternic is of course owned by GoDaddy.com.

Here are all the emails I received from Afternic about this purchase and the refund 2 days later:

Email 1, August 28:

“Dear Konstantinos,

Thanks for choosing Afternic. We’re currently processing your domain order for:

***********.com

Usually it takes 1-3 business days for us to verify payments. We will email you when your payment has been approved and the change of domain ownership process has started.

Log in to your account anytime to manage your settings, check the status on domain purchases or contact customer support: https://www.afternic.com/purchases/domains

Sincerely,

The Afternic Domain Team”

Email 2, August 28:

It was a simple RECEIPT FOR PURCHASE.

Email 3, August 29:

“Konstantinos,

Your funds have been successfully approved for the purchase of **************.com.

We are now working with the domain seller to initiate a change of domain ownership. You will receive an email from us in the next 5-7 business days with instructions on the actions you will need to take to complete the ownership transfer.

Log in to your account anytime to manage your settings, check the status on domain transactions or contact customer support: https://www.afternic.com/purchases/domains

Sincerely,

The Afternic Domain Team”

Email 4, August 30:

Sale cancelled: Unable to verify ownership of *******.com

Dear Konstantinos,

Unfortunately, we couldn’t verify domain ownership of the seller. As a result, your recent purchase of **************.com has been cancelled and a refund has been issued through the original payment method.

Please note that refunds are normally processed by your payment provider and/or issuing bank within 5-10 business days. Some providers may hold the funds for a full billing cycle or longer.

For further information, or if you require assistance locating a refund, please reach out to your financial institution.

To contact Afternic customer support, simply log in to your account:

https://www.afternic.com/

Sincerely,

The Afternic Domain Team”

Email 5, August 30:

Domain purchase cancelled & refunded for ******************.com

“Dear Konstantinos,

We’re unable to confirm any of the billing information for your purchase of *********.com. Therefore, we have refunded your [credit card or PayPal account] and ask that you send us a wire payment if you still wish to purchase it.

Here are all the details you need to make sure the wire payment is properly transferred:

[…]

Finally, send an email to wire@afternic.com after you’ve started the wire transfer. Include your contact information and at least one domain purchased so we can track your order.

Thanks again for choosing Afternic.

Sincerely,

The Afternic Domain Team”

Email 6, August 30:

************.com — ACTION REQUIRED

“Hello Konstantinos,

Thank you for choosing Afternic!

Unfortunately, we were notified that the seller no longer owns this domain.
Your payment has been refunded and we have taken action against the seller to avoid this in the future.
I am very sorry that this sale was not a success for you.

Feel free to contact us with any additional comments or concerns.

Thank you,

Afternic Transaction Assurance”

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

10 comments

  1. alot of domains on afternic never get deleted, shit happens man, move on, we all guilty of forgetting to delete sold domains.

  2. I have had many similar experiences at Afternic.

    Large portfolio holders are sacred at Afternic. They can fail to fulfill a hundred sales, and still remain on the platform. I’ve had so many big seller reneg on sales, and Afternic does nothing to them. Even had one seller give me the EPP code, and then he had a change of heart, and cancelled the transfer a few days later while it was underway. WHOIS is still in sellers name. Afternic did nothing, and he is still selling names there. I’ve had sellers back out of sales so many times at Afternic. None of the big portfolio holders that backed out of sales were banned. Small sellers get banned if they do this.

    DomCollect have 165,875 listings on Afternic, so they are obviously never going to get banned, no matter what they do. Large portfolio holders like that are untouchable at Afternic.

    Also, if you are a large portfolio holder, you can list as many porn and vulgar language names you want. If you are a small seller, you cannot list adult names.

    If you are a large portfolio holder, there is zero ownership verification of your listings required, and your account is even authorized to delete names in regular seller accounts. Whatever they list is deleted out of whatever account the name was listed in prior. Regular sellers do not have these rights obviously.

    Aside from these platform “inequalities” and rule differences for different sellers, their platform is a mess. They often reject payments that would have been approved on other platforms. In fact, I have never had other platforms reject payments when I sold names, but Afternic has rejected my buyer’s payments many times when I sold a name. Buying or selling names via Afternic is like asking for trouble. Fast-transfer enabled BIN listings are the only thing they’ve gotten right.

    I avoid dealing with Afternic when I can, especially when I’m a buyer, and fortunately, a lot of names that get listed on Afternic also get listed on Sedo.

    As for New Ventures Services and Web.com (and snapnames), they are synonymous with shady dealings…

    • Yes lots of inequalities for large portfolio owners,Afternic apparently has a limit of $25k for BIN fast transfer eligible that appears in GoDaddy registration sales path but MIKE MANNs DomainMarket has no limit .Even 6-7 figure names Total crap . So that is his SECRET. Go ahead and search any of his names at DomainMarket and then do same at GoDaddy , name.com adds 15% and at enom some names show but not all and when they do they sometimes also add 15%

      • Anyone can list over $25K on slow transfer domains , i.e. domains not opted into the Fast Transfer network. The slow transfer Buy Now Priced domains will appear on many partner sites just as a Priced Buy Now Fast Transfer name, meaning the search results look the exact same. The difference happens after payment is made on the checkout. We looked at Mike Mann’s account after this comment and that is what is happening with those names. You can also list your names the same way.

  3. I had a similar sequence of emails when I purchased a BIN domain at Afternic. I realized afterward that the domain had sold since it was listed on Afternic, so I wasn’t surprised the deal didn’t go through.

    I got the email saying they couldn’t verify the seller…then moments later the email about my payment details not being confirmed. There’s clearly a glitch at Afternic with this.

  4. Well I went through a frustrating situation this week as a seller. I got an email asking if I can take less than $2488 but my names are not priced so I did some digging and wow and behold it’s listed at Afternic with a BIN , not by me.

    I called their team and they removed the listing and said SORRY – the previous owner didn’t remove it, apparently they don’t have any way of scribing or true verification of ownership , as matter of fact this week I decided to list a name at Afternic and got an email to confirm but the email only goes to email of account holder not the Whois email. This seems like a simple thing for such a large company to be able to do. Apparently Not . But why would they since in all these cases they still collect money from buyer and float the money until refund goes out.

  5. Afternic sold me a domain last year. TRANSFERRED it to me, only to claw it back 30 days later. The seller hadnt listed it apparently (a multi billion dollar investment firm). We had started working on the site too. That was fun.

    • That fast track issue has been fixed under Joe Styler, that was a scary afterthought that as long as it was at Godaddy, it could just move if the listing had once been approved for fast transfer.

      There was a guy last year who found a 3L.com chip for $5K on afternic, bought it knowing it wasn’t going to happen, most guys have enough know how to know who owns it, and if it is for sale, or if it has sold thru, you can’t put to much on afternic, because in the end you are going to have to jump thru hoops to verify, and add domains.

      Yes, I am sure there are a few unicorns like Mann, and Latona, who have a magic want, and can auto add without verification. I know HugeDomains has this power with Godaddy, as they did not follow thru with one of their BIN’s on Godaddy after they got caught with their pants down, not much Godaddy could do, lose a $2500 sale, or a 6 figure commission client, they always tend to follow the $$$ signs.

  6. Anecdotal – had someone enquire about a domain at Afternic, after negotiation a price was fixed and the sale was confirmed. They took 5-6 days to confirm the payment, during which time I had to travel and when I came back a week later my account was suspended! A quick pm to Joe helped re-instate the account (not that I plan to use it anymore).

    It seems the buyer changed his mind and did a chargeback which is why MY account was suspended!!! I wonder if the buyers account was suspended for the chargeback. And platforms routinely take 3-6 weeks at times to complete a sale after agreement, but a seller is supposed to act immediately or face action?

    The domain sales platform is ripe for disruption, none of the current platforms serve the community as well as they should.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *