Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • Another day, another domain name escrow service launches: EscrowHill.com

    1. BY - Jan 09, 2014
    2. Domain Services
    3. 17 Comments

    EscrowHill launches ahead of NamesCon conference.

    EscrowHillEarlier this week I wrote about Agreed, a new domain name escrow service.

    Fast forward a couple days, and another domain name escrow service is officially opening its doors. But there’s a small caveat.

    Andee Hill’s new escrow company, which was announced back in November, is officially open for business at EscrowHill.com.

    It’s fully operating and accepting transactions, but the caveat is the process is not yet automated. You fill out a form about your transaction and the company handles it on the backend.

    Hill tells me the company is “working hard to develop” its software, but it’s not quite ready yet. I suspect the reason for going live this week is the timing of next week’s NamesCon conference.

    EscrowHill will offer basic escrow in which it just holds the funds, as well as a premium service where it also takes control of the domain name (similar to how Sedo manages transactions). It will also handle financed transactions and domain lease deals.

    The company says it’s licensed in New Zealand, and that this “license involves government oversight, independent audits and employee background checks very similar to the state of California.”

    Both Escrow.com and Agreed.com are licensed by the state of California.

    Transactions are completed in USD, CAD, AUD, EUR, and GBP.

17 Comments
  • What is missing in the market is an Escrow service offering transactions in £ Sterling. I note this new one offers it but will see whether clients will accept swap from Escrow.com (clients usually are ones who choose)

  • Yes, We offer Sterling along with five other currencies. Additional currencies can be added when requested.

  • Setting up an escrow goes beyond registering a domain name and putting up a website on it. Nothing against the company or it’s founder(s), but one important question that you should ask yourself is whether the company is LICENSED to run an escrow company to start with? I know they are still building the site out, but you sometimes have to hold back on launching your service until everything is in place and ready. A slightly less escrow fee won’t help make the switch. Credibility does. The website isn’t helping me attain that as of 1/9.

  • Hi Abdu, Thank you for the comments. You have asked good questions. The answer is “Yes” we are legally licensed to perform escrow transactions. No, we do not have a California state license. We are a global company. Our accounts are located in New Zealand, which is where we comply with regulations.
    While our website will be evolving over time, our accounts and the protection set to protect customer funds have been established.

  • Abdu: Licensing is required only in a select few states, such as California. It is not required in most US states, and not required in many other countries.

  • Matt, this is correct, thank you for the clarification.

  • @Matt & @Andee Hill

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • Is EsccrowHill physically located in NZ? I don’t find it in our local tech news. Interesting that NZ$ is apparently not supported.

  • As far as I know, Andee still has not publically answered the important question of why she/they opened their company in NZ instead of the U.S.

    Andee — you/your partners aren’t involved in a lawsuit with your old boss/company Escrow.com, are you? Have you been threatened with one … perhaps if you should come back to the U.S.? Potential clients are entitled to know.

    I can’t imagine domain buyers/sellers — especially those who are U.S. based — risking such important and valuable assets — and their hard-earned cash — with a company in another country.

    Just as I assume is the case with employee disputes between CA/U.S. and NZ; good luck if you ever have a problem with a company you’ve entrusted your assets to … who’s located in another country.

    And no; I’m not posting on behalf of — or at the request of — Andee’s past employer Escrow.com. I’m just a long time, very happy client of theirs … who doesn’t want to see fellow domain owners risk so much … for little-to-no benefit.

  • Very good questions Steve; if they get unanswered, one would be completely crazy to use this new escrow service.

  • Hi Atta,
    Steve posted the exact questions on DomainInvesting and I answered it there. Also feel free to contact me directly.

  • I checked the post and your response. The main question for me is why NZ and not the US? This has nothing to do with Escrow.com?

  • We are a New Zealand based company. We have a fiduciary license in New Zealand. An escrow license is only require in a few US states, CA, AZ, ID, and WA. Since we are a global company based in NZ, no CA license is required or even available.

  • @Atta, I realized I still may not have answered your questions. ;)

    Why NZ? Because they are a first world country with a stable banking system that will allow EscrowHill to offer secure and flexible services at the best cost.

    For instance, we will not have to house our multiple currency accounts in the state of California. As a Buyer on a Euro transaction, why would you want to send Euros from your European account to a US escrow account and then when the transaction closes have the escrow agent send them to the seller from a US account to the Seller’s European based account?? That is two outgoing and two incoming International wire fees. The buyer would be paying the outgoing, the escrow agent would be paying the incoming fee from the buyer and the outgoing fee to the seller (but charging the seller a fee) and the seller would be hit with another fee from their bank when the wire hit their account. This makes no economical or practical sense to me but the CA license would require it.

    Is this about Escrow.com? No, this is about my experience with the DBO in CA and what they offer a consumer. The idea of it is good but their policies are written around real estate/property being transferred. IMO, they are not practical and offer no security for global online transactions.

    I hope this clears up your questions, but if if does not, please let me know.

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