Sedo.com has been including domain names it acts only as escrow agent for in its weekly and annual reports of domain sales.
This information came to light this week when Sedo inadvertently reported a sale that was supposed to be confidential and Francois from Domaining left a comment on TheDomains.com telling us that not only should have the sale been confidential but that Sedo.com only acted as Escrow agent for the transaction.
We reached out to Sedo which confirmed that its served solely as the escrow agent in the domain name in question.
In our opinion Sedo should not include domain names in their weekly sales report in which they only act as escrow agent.
There are two major problems IMHO with including escrow only sales in their weekly sales reports.
For one the Sedo weekly report as it is transmitted to blogs and other news sources weekly, including TheDomains.com always starts with the following language:
“”Please find the weekly sales list attached. This past week there were a total of …….. sales through our marketplace, totaling over $………”
For us when someone handles solely the escrow function of receiving the funds and transferring the domain, its misleading to say the “sale took place through our marketplace”
It would be like Escrow.com claiming it sold $X number of dollars of domains every week because they cleared the transactions.
Unless a domain is sold through and by virtue of a broker or the online sales and purchase system, commonly referred to as a marketplace, the domain should not be claimed to be sold through the marketplace.
Secondly including such sales in Sedo numbers can result in the double reporting of sales.
For example if we at MostWantedDomains.com sell a domain for $5K and uses Sedo rather than Escrow.com to act as escrow agent the sale will be reported by us to us to DnJournal.com and it will be reported by Sedo.com as well. Obviously if we sold the domain through Escrow.com instead of Sedo there would be no chance of double reporting.
We reached out to Sedo this week to discuss the issue who issued the following response:
“”Sedo has a policy of transparently sharing the percentage of external transfers that take place at our marketplace, and we publish those numbers as part of our quarterly and annual reports. ”
“In 2011 just 6% of all transactions were external transfers, which translates to only 2.3% of our published sales value (in dollars) for 2011.”
“External transfers are part of the marketplace, and we will continue to report them in our weekly marketplace report, and will also continue to transparently show the percentage volume in our quarterly and yearly reports (2011 report).”
“We will of course also continue to honor clients’ confidentiality requests, independently from the source of the transaction. We apologize for the mistake in regards to the domain …….com which was inadvertently reported this past week.”
So 6% of all sales accounting for 2.3% in dollar volume reported by Sedo are for domain names Sedo had nothing to do with the sale other handling the Escrow part of the transaction.
Based off of the Sedo.com 2011 annual report published a few days ago, the escrow only transactions would have accounted for around $2 Million dollars in sales for 2011 and 2,400 domain names.
While Sedo may not regard the percentages to be significant I still think including these sales are improper and misleading.