Once you decide to buy or sell a domain name from someone else, the process suddenly seems confusing. How do you do it? Do you have the pay the registrar to move things around?
Let’s imagine you’re the buyer, buying from a private reseller. The first thing you need to decide is whether to use an escrow service. If the transaction takes place through Sedo or Afternic, escrow is part of the transaction and included in the 10% fee charged. Otherwise, most buyers who choose escrow use Escrow.com, which charges 3-6% of the transaction. The goal of escrow is to protect both parties: money doesn’t reach the seller until the domain is successfully transferred.
If you choose not to use escrow, you might pay for your domain using something like PayPal instead. Once paid, the seller can “push” the domain to you, or you can “pull” it into your preferred registrar. Here’s a rundown of both options:
The advantage of the push is that it’s free. Let’s say your seller registered the domain in question at GoDaddy.com. In that case, he can “push” or transfer it for free to you. The catch is, you must also have an account at GoDaddy. With virtually all registrars, opening an account is free.
The Pull is used to transfer a domain from the seller’s registrar, “X,” into another registrar, “Y,” preferred by you. The Pull is not free; it costs whatever registrar Y normally charges to register a domain. It also extends your registration by a year.
You initiate the pull by requesting the transfer from your favorite registrar; then, the seller approves the transfer from theirs.
How Long Does it Take?
It can vary considerably depending on the registrar, but on average it probably takes about 7 to 10 days from the time you authorize the transfer.