Honestly I think I would of asked for the files before bidding on the domain. I would of also checked google and stuff as well to see if the archived posts looked legit...
I think the guarantee of site quality/traffic must come from the seller, and that Sedo can't really get caught up in moderating disagreements between parties over the issue you outlined. However, in issues of true domain ownership, Sedo would have a responsibility to intercede if a misrepresenation has occurred. Sorry about your situation though...
Sedo's process on buying is lame. They don't allow you to do the proper investigations to determine if the seller's claims are true. You can't contact the seller directly, you have to make a bid and wait for the seller to count offer and finally then you can ask a question but sedo has to approve your question because they want to filter any contact information. Even though you can easily do a whois.
Sedo is my rant of the month. Even though they have a lot of quality domains and web sites, I don't think it's worth the risk.
I know this won't help you but thanks for letting me rant...
Sedo is not a suitable marketplace to buy developed websites. You have basically outlined many of their faults. Were you unable to do an archive.org lookup on the old site? Why make a site purchase blind? NEVER trust what a seller says..especially one at Sedo. The sellers and buyers are basically anonymous to each other. Is the domain at least worthy enough to keep? Any chance you could post the site url?..
This is a very unfortunate situation indeed, I can tell you what I would do, I would dispute the transaction with my credit card company despite the threat it would affect my status on Sedo's marketplace, etc.
From your point of view it seems Sedo was a little bit to eager to push the domain to you knowing that you are purchasing a website and your decision to purchase is based on this fact.
The proper thing to do would be to ask you if you are satisfied with the product and then conclude the transaction.
In the manor they have conducted the transaction they facilitate scammers offering their "websites" and make a profit of it as well.
This is something that Sedo really needs to address and if everybody just caves in from Sedo threatening removing the buyer's privileges by using Sedo's marketplace, who had legitimate intentions then this will never stop.
If this is the regular transaction progress of Sedo handling website sales then it's a flawed setup that is open to abuse, and Sedo is facilitating scammers and making a profit on top of it.
And Keith (Sedo's representative on Namepros) - please make this a point of discussion with Sedo's anti-fraud and domain/website transfer department.
This can't continue like this anymore. Sedo has responsibilities even as a vendor. See, as I have pointed out before Keith, the analytics reports provided by Sedo can't be relied upon...
It's all about doing due diligence before a purchase.
However, you are covered by the protection that your credit card provides and you have full rights to dispute a transaction with them. Whether they will refund it or not, that's another story. Sedo will most likely ban you outright, they will be covering their asses as well...
Right, and with that said, being given the opportunity to do your due diligence which Sedo has interfered with by their actions.
Sedo is at fault in this transaction going bad, if not it's gone bad in the first place by being so quick on the draw to push the domain and not letting the buyer take the time to verify the files...
Sedo would not broker a domain that included a web site unless it was active. Maybe that's not the case here.
Incidentally, what software does the forum use? By the looks of it (spam, porn posts etc) it sounds like phpBB...
Perhaps the domain was listed with a website and it was active only at some point? Once listed as a website would Sedo continue to verify if the site is still active?.
From what i'm hearing from the OP, I feel Sedo has been at fault and continues to create the potential to create similar situations...
Sedo performs escrow services in which they receive funds from the Buyer and goods from the Seller which are held in trust.
Is this not the textbook definition for fiduciary responsibility?.
Claiming "contract is between Buyer and Seller and they are just a vendor" when a fraudulent situation arises shirks responsibility and subverts the integrity of the escrow process.
Perhaps a Buyer inspection period when a website sale is involved would make for a more solid platform...
Just to repeat, I informed SEDO of the fraudulent nature of the transaction before they gave the seller the funds and before the domain name was released. I specifically instructed them not to release the funds and I didn't want to proceed with the transaction because of the misrepresentations made by the seller.
As soon as SEDO heard this, what did they do? They immediately setup an account with my information at GoDaddy and pushed the domain there. Both of these things were done WITHOUT my permission. SEDO did this so it could call the transaction complete and collect their revenue.
The domain industry has a long way to go before it can be considered cleaned up when the operator of one of the largest marketplaces follows such poor business practices. At the very least, SEDO could have placed the domain and the funds into escrow and forced us (buyer and seller) to come to a resolution.
Clearly, if I received a database with the type of entries promised to me, then I would have every reason and intention to proceed with the transaction.
HOWEVER, I should not be required to proceed with the transaction IN THE EVENT the seller tried to sell me a database with thousands of entries full of porn and viagra, which is what the seller did in this case.
Further, the traffic being advertised was neither the type of traffic nor the kind related to the community the seller represented in the sale.
I don't know whether SEDO released the funds to the seller but I told them I had no intention of falling victim to SEDO or it's poor business practices.
Update: My last call to SEDO before I posted this got no results. In fact, the representative I spoke with told me his supervisor sent me an email. I let him know that I did not receive it so I politely requested that the email be resent. Still, I have not receive whatever email the supervisor sent. I even sent a follow up email that received no response...
Let me ask again: did you purchase a domain or a domain + a web site?..
This is really bad business practice, sending you a PM so you can contact keith directly.
This should be resolved as someone at Sedo clearly dropped the ball on this...
Domain with website.
The website was an automotive related community advertised as being four years old.
The community was closed. When I asked the seller about this, he said he closed it recently because he didn't have time to manage it and he did not have time to delete the spammers. Anybody that owns an active forum knows how difficult keeping out the spammers can be so I understood why he would close it and then try to sell the site.
The traffic stats supported his representation that it was a four year old community.
You can imagine my surprise when I opened the database and discovered thousands of porn and viagra posts in the forums. I reviewed the number of legitimate posts and they represented less than 1% of the posts in the forum.
Because 99% of the posts were related to keywords like 'free porn' 'viagra' and 'penis enlargement', I must assume the traffic was related to those keywords and not the automotive keyword.
Based on these facts, I would have offered considerably less money.
SEDO still can do what is right in this situation and restore the situation to what it was before the transaction and nobody would be harmed. The only claim the seller could make is that I have the website content and could go setup another website. It does not take an expert to review the posts in the forum to see that what the guy was selling wasn't what was advertised. Here is a little tipoff that this is a fraud perpetrated by the seller:.
If the seller failed to manage the forum for four years and spammers took it over, then why close the forum after four years? Closing it after four years isn't going to change anything.
The seller closed the forum because he didn't want a potential buyer to question the quality of traffic being reported. By using SEDO to sell his website, he knew that it would be too late for a buyer to stop the transaction once the buyer got to see what was inside the database...
This reminds me of the scams in NYC where they used to hang outside electronic stores with a Camcorder box (shrinkwrapped sometimes) and try and sell it fast for cheap cash as if it was a stolen item off a truck or something.
However it was worse...you paid, opened the box, and it was a brick normally. They used to pull this on unexpecting tourists all day long.
I really don't see why someone of your obvious intelligence made this blind faith purchase and expect Sedo (one of the lowest POS companies) to help you here. Sedo is without doubt one of the slimiest companies in domaining...
Sedo are crap but relatively cheap for sellers fees and that is the only reason my names are listed with them. However, many of the offers that I have accepted have led to nothing. More and more are coming through emails directly and through my own site.
Now reading about this, combined with the above and my increasing doubts about the legal TM issues potentially infringed by parking, I have doubts about Sedo in it's current state. It needs to change radically for the better.
One thing I would do would be to ring the person you have been dealing with (they all add their phone number at the bottom) and speak to the head of the department. Make it clear that you are unhappy and that you will pursue this. Ask for the contact details of the other party (that freaks them out - even when they have given them to you!) and say you are representing yourself legally.
Good luck with your unfortunate situation and thanks for adding a buyers point of view to this section.