Selling a Domain Name During LTO Deal on

One of the features of is that buyers can utilize a lease to own (LTO) payment plan to buy a domain name over a set period of time. Each month, the buyer makes a payment for the domain name until the domain name is paid-off in full. Payment plans can be as short as a few months or as long as five years. The TOS covers some of the prohibitions

I’ve been under the impression that a LTO buyer can not actively sell a domain name before the purchase is paid in full. Outbound marketing of a domain name can be risky. For instance, attempting to sell a 3 letter .com domain name to a company that uses the 3 letters as its acronym or brand can lead to the company filing a UDRP or ACPA lawsuit. The company could cite the outbound email pitch as proof of bad faith registration.

When a domain name is under a LTO payment plan, the domain registrant would be responsible for defense costs associated with a UDRP or litigation. The buyer would likely stop making payments on a domain name that is subject of a UDRP or litigation, particularly if that was induced by actions of the buyer. In addition, I highly doubt the buyer would be willing to financially assist in the defense of a domain name that is owned by someone else.

Outbound marketing of a domain name may be risky, and I have always assumed it was prohibited during a LTO deal along with activities like distributing malware, sending spam emails, or selling illegal products or services.

A discussion on Twitter led me to ask CEO Reza Sardeha about selling domain names during the course of a LTO deal. Reza answered the question and provided some clarity about what a buyer can do related to re-selling the domain name before paying off a LTO domain name in full:

If a buyer markets a domain name during a LTO deal and the seller learns of this, I suspect the seller could terminate the LTO deal and have the domain name returned while keeping the funds. That would be another question for Reza, but that seems to be possible.

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