Escrow.com--Ebay's premier Escrow service for large transactions!
Aug 17, 2001
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Escrow.com--definitely worth using on big ticket auctions for peace of mind.
Well this may not be the perfect place for this epinion, but with the topic "What is an escrow?" I just had to do it. So let's get going...Escrow.com is THE premier Escrow service for eBay. What's escrow?? You might ask, well dictionary.com defines it as:
"Money, property, a deed, or a bond put into the custody of a third party for delivery to a grantee only after the fulfillment of the conditions specified."
When two parties want to complete a large transaction, often when the item is too large (house, boat, car) and lots of paperwork may be involved then a 3rd party comes into play. This party is unbiased and smooths the transaction out if there are any snags. The rest of this epinion will focus on ESCROW.COM the webpage which handles such transactions for eBay'ers.
I didn't really choose Escrow.com as so much as I was sort of forced to use it. I had recently won an eBay auction for a car which was located about 3,000 miles away from my current location. Luckily, I was on Christmas break from school and had about 3 weeks to get the details worked out. I noticed that on the auction site there was the line that the seller would accept escrow.
Ebay points you over to Escrow.com where you setup the fundamentals of the transaction. Say you were the highest bidder on a 1965 Starburst Blue Ford Mustang with a 200 cubic inch engine inline-6.
You logon to escrow.com and create an account and enter in your personal information. Then you create a new transaction and enter in the information. Here you tell escrow if you were the buyer or seller and the subject that is to switch hands. So an example entry would be "1965 Starbust Blue Ford Mustang with a 200c.i. inline 6". You could elaborate more such as "with a 3 speed automatic transmission, Pony interior and in running condition with 140k miles."
In fact the more detail the better. Then you tell escrow the email address for the other party. Escrow will then contact the other party, get them to create an account and verify the subject at hand. So if the Ford Mustang didn't have Pony interior than they would have to modify the description so both parties agreed.
Exchange of $$$
After the subject and price is agreed upon, the money exchanges hands...but not like how you might expect. The winning bidder sends the amount of money to ESCROW (along with a small fee, depending on how you pay). For me this took the longest time, I FedEx'd the check to Escrow (overnight) but since it was a personal check it took a long time to clear...A LONG TIME. In fact I was kind of disappointed, Escrow took about 2.5 weeks to clear my check.
Then the seller ships the item to the winner and after he acknowledges receipt of the item and accepts it (that it matches the agreed upon description) Escrow will release the funds to the seller.
I was overall pretty impresses with escrow. The price was reasonable (1% fee which was only $86 for an $8600.00 transaction) and everything went pretty smoothly. However the only real problem I had was that shipping wasn't worked out through Escrow. Since the car had to travel 3,000 miles, I had to arrange for another party to ship the car...for over $700. Not a problem, except Escrow didn't know when I received the car. So after 2 weeks, while the car was still being shipped the seller must've guessed I had gotten the car and told them his side of the deal was finished.
While it may not seem like such a big deal, if I had not done anything, Escrow would automatically release my funds after 3 days of 'receiving' the item, even THOUGH it was still in shipping. Luckily for this transaction they let me tell them when I had received the item, however they still need to integrate shipping matters on their end.
Overall the service was definitely worth a mere $86 for peace of mind and a nearly glitch-free service. I would rate them an 8/10. Customer service was also excellent with 24-hr LIVE supoprt via a toll-free number. Website also shows update information regarding any current (and completed) transactions.