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Domain Leasing Dos and Don'ts?

Need tips from experienced and/or creative and/or devious minds

4:36 am on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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5+ Year Member

joined:Nov 16, 2008
votes: 0

I'm thinking of leasing a generic keyword domain. But I have some concerns, and would appreciate the community's help solving these problems.

The owner has proposed 6 months, option to buy at any time with 30 day notice. THen I'd have 7 days to put the funds in escrow and he'd push the name to my Godaddy account.

1) What if at some point during the lease, the owner reneges and sells to someone else? Then they've observed my work and can copy it, and I'm screwed.

2) What if they just refuse to sell me the name at the end (presumably to copy whatever I've done with the site)?

3) How do I keep things discreet if I am successful?

4) Are there other risks I haven't foreseen, but which I should?

5) Can we have the escrow agent take the domain's whois and put it in their name for the period of the lease?

6) What about putting the full buy price with the escrow up front, pay the lease fee, and have the whois transferred to me? Then they don't need to worry about me running off with the domain without paying, cuz the money is in escrow. I could do nothing or signify my intent to keep the domain, if I still want it at the end of the lease. If I want to return it and get my money, then I'd need to signify that. Think this would work?

7) Any other advice or tips would be great. Negotiation is also interesting...

7:16 pm on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 2, 2003
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I've never heard of domain leasing, but, given your concerns, the only way this could be made to work would be if the domain is transferred to you for the period of the lease and you pay the purchase price up front to be held in escrow. If you proceed with the purchase, the money is transferred to the seller, if you don't proceed with the purchase, your money is returned and the domain is transferred back.

Sounds like a bad idea, but if you're confident of making enough to pay the legal fees (and you have a lawyer that you trust) it might work. However, if you're that confident, maybe you should just buy it.


6:45 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 16, 2008
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hey Kaled,

Great tips there. I'd come to roughly the same conclusion and am glad to have a fellow WebmasterWorld member confirm it.

Turns out I found a different domain name much cheaper, and the type-in traffic was too low volume to make leasing very interesting.