BuyDomains Does The Right Thing

October 23, 2010 Posted by Tyler Cruz

I’ve been promoting some of my sites through SEO the past few months, which is something I’ve never done before.

I have been hiring a freelance SEO guy for the past 4 months with mixed results (although the past 4 days I have seen unbelievable improvement, but that was before this incident took place). With such mixed results at the time, I wanted to try hiring an actual SEO company/firm and then compare the results with my freelance guy.

Since I didn’t have any other good sites that were good SEO candidates, I decided to shop for a good domain with the intention of making a simple affiliate site for it and then hiring the SEO company. I also wanted to see how fast I could rank for a competitive keyword with an exact keyword phrase domain (Example, ranking for “lose weight” with “LoseWeight.com”).

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After searching domains and researching niches, keywords, offers, bids, and exact keyword traffic for hours, I finally found the perfect opportunity. The domain I found was a 2 word .com for an extremely competitive affiliate offer keyword. I won’t be revealing the domain since I have made it a rule to never reveal any of my affiliate marketing niches that I dabble in.

The interesting thing is that I already had the stats for this keyword. This was a campaign that I actually ran for a while with mixed results. I was bidding actually $4 CPC for this exact keyword because it was the best converting keyword from all my paid traffic analysis. Think about that for a second… 20 clicks would cost me $80!

The only reason I stopped the PPC campaign was because it was too expensive to keep bidding at that level. So when I found this domain available at BuyDomains.com, I was very excited. If I could have gotten to #1 on Google for this keyword after a few months of SEO, which shouldn’t have been too difficult considering just how strongly search engines weigh domain names in their ranking equation, I would have made a lot of money.

If I can remember correctly, I believe I conservatively estimated it to be around $2,000-$2,500 a month. That is a ton when you consider that, after the main SEO work, that is free recursive profit month after month.

Let’s Do This!

Excited, and pumped from taking quite a bit of a risk, I went through the checkout process of purchasing the domain. It was listed at $3,499.00 which was certainly pricey and caused me to make the decision carefully, but in the end I felt that the opportunity was worth taking a bit of a risk for, and so I completed the checkout process with my Visa card.

The transaction went through fine and everything looked normal and good. Below is a copy of the e-mail receipt I received:

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The Waiting Game

I was excited to get my domain. So excited, in fact, that I actually contacted the SEO company I was planning to hire and set everything up to start a campaign for this domain and the main keyword I was going to target. Good thing I didn’t hit the final launch button quite just yet.

A couple days went buy and I received an automated e-mail from BuyDomains saying that they received my payment and would begin the transfer process within 5-7 days. It was a bit longer than I was expecting, but I was still happy to have grabbed the domain.

But then a few more days went buy, and then a few more. I really began to get worried at this time because such a simple transaction should not take this long. There was no escrow process or anything.

The Bad News

After 7 or 8 days from purchasing the domain, I finally received an e-mail. I initially saw the e-mail on my Blackberry while eating at a restaurant and was thrilled, as I knew it was from BuyDomains, but then was immediately disappointed:

“Hello Tyler,

Thank you for your recent purchase.

Unfortunately, it appears as though the seller does not own this domain name. We are forced to cancel this transaction. We will refund your payment and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.   If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks,

Becca”

God damnit! I felt crushed… I had been waiting in eager anticipation for my domain for a week, only to receive notice that I wasn’t going to be getting it at all. How the hell could this happen?

I replied right then and there on my Blackberry at the restaurant, asking if she perhaps made a mistake since she had actually misspelled the domain I purchased in the e-mail subject, and received a reply quickly thereafter (within an hour):

“Hi Tyler,

I apologize for the typo on my end, but domaincensored.com is no longer owned by our seller. It sold a while back and there was a technical glitch on the seller’s side and it wasn’t automatically removed from their portfolio. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience here. We do have a service in which one of our agents can reach out to the current owner and try to negotiate a sale for you. Please let me know if you are interested in that service.

Thank you,

Becca”

Ugh. How disappointing and aggravating. I was actually really sad about this for a few days as it was just such a great opportunity, and I thought I had it in the bag.

The Refund

To their credit, BuyDomains issued a full refund of $3,499.00 to my credit card the same or next day.

I checked my credit card statement a couple times each day for the next few days, when it finally showed up around the 4th day. This is what I saw:

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Nice, it came in. Wait a second. There is a $228.36 discrepancy there.

I had half-expected for there to be a discrepancy due to exchange rate fees and maybe some weird bank or credit card fee, and normally I would just let it go. But the more I thought of it, the more it angered me. This is $228.36 we’re talking about, not $30 or $40.

What really pissed me off was that I already went through the pain of losing my domain; having to pay $228.36 out of my own pocket as a result was only rubbing salt in the wound.

I contacted Becca asking about the discrepancy, since I wasn’t sure why the 2 numbers didn’t add up.

She responded quickly after with:

“Hello Tyler,

Thank you for your email. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, I was out of the office sick yesterday.  I have checked with our accounting department and the refund that they processed to your credit card was for the full amount that we received. The amount that your credit card company charged you was for part of the exchange rate. Unfortunately we have refunded you fully for the $3499.00 (USD) that were paid to us. The remainder that your credit card company charged would have to be taken up with them.  These are not funds that we have, but rather funds that you card company withheld. Our accounting department suggested you file a chargeback for that remaining balance. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Becca”

Okay, fair enough. If it’s the credit card company’s fault then it’s the credit card company’s fault. I phoned them the next day to inquire about the situation. An Indian, not surprisingly, immediately told me that the issue was indeed due to the exchange rate difference.

I work with the exchange rate all the time since 99.9% of my income stems from the US and I am in Canada, so I obviously understood the concept, but what I didn’t understand was why I had to pay this out of my own pocket. I asked the customer support representative what would happen if this was not a case of $3,500 but rather $3.5 million dollars.

Even though my credit wouldn’t allow for that transaction, I would still theoretically be left with a bill for $22,836.00 from the exchange rate.

After a bit of discussion, the Visa customer support guy basically told me that it was unfortunate but happens fairly often.

Unsatisfied, I contacted Becca again, telling her that Visa wouldn’t credit me for the bill and how I felt it was extremely unfair that I was left with a bill for something that was direct result of an error on BuyDomains.com’s part. Again, not only did I not get the domain, but how I was stuck with a a bill!

Becca responded the following day:

“Hi Tyler,

Thank you for your message. My apologies on not responding sooner, our office was closed yesterday for a holiday. I have discussed this with my managers and they are willing to refund you the exchange difference $228.36, however, we can’t process it back to your credit card because our system won’t allow us to refund something that was already fully refunded on our end. The options in which we can refund you are check or paypal. Please let me know which option you would like us to use and send if it is paypal please send us your paypal email address, if it is check, please send us your mailing address as well as who you want the check made out to. Again we apologize that this sale was not a success for you, hopefully we will be able to assist you with a domain purchase in the future.

Thank you and we look forward to your reply.

Becca”

Money Received

I received a PayPal payment for $228.36 shortly thereafter from BuyDomains as was promised. I didn’t bother complaining about the 2.9% + $0.30 PayPal fee since I didn’t want to nickel and dime them for another $6.92 (but who’s counting?).

Doing the Right Thing

In the end, I am happy that BuyDomains.com did the right thing and credited me with the Visa exchange rate I was left with. Legally, they probably didn’t have to, since they did refund the actual $3,499.00 I had paid, and could probably have left the blame on Visa.

But the fact remained that they had a technical glitch on their end which caused me not only to purchase a domain that had already been sold and should have been removed from their system, but also left me stuck with an exchange rate bill on my Visa card. So I think they understood that and decided to cough up the bill since it was their fault.

Many of you reading this will say “So what? That is the least they could have done.” Yes, that’s true, but I also find that these days it is becoming exceedingly rare to find companies that really care about their customers. The way companies (and especially corporations) treat their customers and clients in 2010 compared to 1950 is light and day.

In addition to doing the right thing, I should say that Becca was very prompt in replying to all my e-mails, and always responded professionally and kindly, apologizing numerous times.

Before I finish, BuyDomains actually went a little bit above and beyond. Remember how Becca had wrote the following in one of her e-mails to me?

“We do have a service in which one of our agents can reach out to the current owner and try to negotiate a sale for you. Please let me know if you are interested in that service.”

Well, at the time, I thought that she might have actually had the nerve to pitch me another service after all I had gone through. But actually she ended up giving me that service for free.

Their domain acquisition service, where they have one of their experienced domain staff try to contact and negotiate the acquisition of a domain for you, normally costs $69.00 per domain, but she had that waived for me.

I actually inquired about using that service for a second domain, and got that for free as well. Nice.

What BuyDomains doesn’t know is what I was actually planning on writing a negative post of my experience with them before they paid for my Visa exchange rate fee and compensated me for a couple services. I don’t have the biggest blog out there, but I bet I could have persuaded a bunch of potential future customers to steer clear of them in the future.

Since they did the right thing, now they’re getting a positive post instead. It just goes to show that it still pays to do the right thing and you never know who your customer is.

Like any domain market, BuyDomains does have a lot of overpriced domains, but they also have a few great premium domains that are pretty well priced. You may want to check them out to see if they have something you want or need.

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Posted: October 23rd, 2010 under Miscellaneous  

39 Responses to “BuyDomains Does The Right Thing”

  1. Tyler Cruz says:

    I was just looking there briefly after posting this out of curiosity to look for a couple domains, and found another great one. The price is $3,000 and I am thinking about it.

    They really do have a good selection of domains… and while $1,500-$7,500 may sound like a lot, a good domain can easily pay for itself in no time.

  2. Joe BigTime says:

    Good post. However you accidentally blurred out the name of the domain in the receipt screen shot. If you could just un blur that and repost that’d be great, mm kay.

  3. Albert says:

    Buydomains did the right things. By credit back $228.36 they gotten a customer(You) , a blog post about BuyDomains, potential of customers(I will be buying domain from them in future) referred by Tyler to them in future. that’s cheap for $228.36.

  4. Thats a really interesting story Tyler. I bought a domain from them before and everything went smoothly..

    Just find it weird that Becca always responded to you!! I’d figure they are a bigger company and not run my one person on support..!

  5. matt says:

    An Indian, not surprisingly? Why is ethnicity singled out in this situation?

    • Jon says:

      Tyler’s complaining about exchange rates and what not, brings ethnicity into the equation, maybe he’d much prefer an American/ Canadian based customer service rep to talk to him and charge him accordingly. Get with the program Tyler, Indian or not, outsourcing has saved consumers money in North America!.

  6. Daniel says:

    Email me. Awesome blog BTW.

  7. Cash37 says:

    Can you get keyword-keyword.com or mykeywordkeyword.com?

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  9. Mister Fong says:

    I’ve used BuyDomains.com a couple of times, and I’ve never had an issue with them. One tip that I have for anyone using them is to call them before you buy. You can often negotiate the price, and save quite a bit on the listed price for most domains.

  10. It feels sad and scary to know what happened to you because it was a large sum of money (at least for me).
    And I never purchased a domain which is already in use because mostly they(owners) ask for a price which is not fair according to their domain names.

  11. Tracy Ingram says:

    That is awesome that they stepped up and payed you back. It would have been one thing if the issue was on your end but in this case it was obviously not. Good on for buydomains.com.

  12. Patrick says:

    That is cool that BuyDomains.com took care of you. It only makes good business sense, since if they didn’t they may have lost a customer (you) for life.

  13. Daniel says:

    Yep definitely good for buydomains.com. If you had given a bad review that might of stuck with me at least.

  14. Paul says:

    Its great to here of them working so hard to help you out. That is rare.

  15. Jasmine says:

    Looks like Buydomains.com is really good. Perhaps I will get my next domain name from them instead of GoDaddy. :)

  16. Jasmine says:

    By the way, what do you think of my domain http://www.100webhosting.com ? Is it good and worth as much as your new domain – $3,000? Hihihihih.

  17. Not often that you see customer service like this in today’s day and age. Gotta give them credit for this!

  18. yes, I thought so too. It should be visa’s fault and they should give the refund. But im glad to hear you got your money back… and Buydomains must be a really good company. thanks for sharing your story..

  19. Hey Tyler, I would love to see a follow up post detailing any progress with your SEO efforts. I would actually love to outsource some of my seo work but am wary of the results and obtaining clear proof of them.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I plan on doing a series of SEO posts “soonish”. I’ve been waiting for a while so that I can give a better picture as to the progress of my results since SEO is such a waiting game.

      I do have some good advice and tips so keep on the lookout for those.

  20. Hey mate Ive just read your post some brilliant stuff. I’ve added you to my news reader.

  21. Woah. Buydomains saved their ass by paying you additional money via paypal because these things can seriously ruin your reputation.

  22. Tyler – well done for doing a write up on this. They really did the right thing and it was good of them to send the extra refund back to you. Great work BuyDomains.

  23. Looking great site for domain buying. I mostly prefer godaddy for it.
    A name of reliability and satisfaction. Lots of my colleague too recommend for it to their customers..

  24. p90x reviews says:

    I think it is great that they made it right with you by paying back the money you lost in the exchange rate due to their error. I have had many company’s say that it isn’t their problem in the past. I was reading the part that said the credit card company wouldn’t cover it, and was sure buydomains.com was going to say they wouldn’t help you but I was happy to see they made it right. I think it’s great you gave them a positive post for doing the right thing, making the customer happy. I won’t forget this if I ever plan to do business with them in the future.

    – Robert

  25. Thats ethical business! Kudos for buydomains

  26. car battery says:

    Very nice of Buydomains to be so understanding. They’ll definitely be in my future considerations.

  27. Jasmine says:

    Looks like I need to give Buydomains a try for my next domain name!

  28. used tires says:

    Man… what a bummer deal Tyler.. I remember I was on msn with you the night of the purchase, you were all excited too, that’s great to see that they did the right thing! I personally would of chosen the check method just because I do count ;)

    Till then,

    Jean

  29. $228.36 is a huge amount thought but it is good for you to have it back. This is a very good example of customer service where they try to do anything to help and make their customer happy nice job BuyDomain.com =)

  30. I bought my domain a few months before fom GoDaddy, now I’m thinkin Buydomain for the next one.
    Thank you so much for your time, it’s definitely a great one!

  31. SEO Miami says:

    That’s awesome of BuyDomains! They really did the right thing! +rep

  32. One word of advice is to set up a filter on your email so that all the rank tracker plugins go directly into a separate folder because depending on how many websites and how much traffic you have, you could be getting a lot of these emails!

  33. Shawal says:

    What a very good customer service their had.

  34. Grant says:

    You know, this is a really interesting post.

    I bought a domain name, GrantHardy.com, from Buydomains on Saturday. There is a gentleman who picked it up a few weeks ago and told me in no uncertain terms he’s unwilling to sell it, so I was surprised to find it on Buydomains.com. After excitedly buying it, I checked the WHOIS database and that gentleman is still listed as the registrant, technical contact, etc.. Yet the DNS server1, which is obviously a fake, lists a phone number to call. And the DNS2, again not a real server, is for-sale@intrustdomains.com. It really looks like it was already sold to that guy (why else was he the registrant?) yet it still says for sale. Could this be another “technical glitch”? How often does this stuff happen? This was my personal domain but due to some administrative issues I wasn’t able to renew it this year. Reeeeally want it back! :(

  35. deri ceket says:

    I bought a domain name, GrantHardy.com, from Buydomains on Saturday. There is a gentleman who picked it up a few weeks ago and told me in no uncertain terms he’s unwilling to sell it, so I was surprised to find it on Buydomains.com. After excitedly buying it, I checked the WHOIS database and that gentleman is still listed as the

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