sConcept of an escrow
Escrow is an important concept that you need to understand before buying something in Bitcoin. So many crooks, bandits, scammers, con artists want your precious digital gold.
As you may know, when you transfer money with Bitcoin, you cannot do a chargeback, the protocol is set this way. Normally when you pay for a service with Paypal or your credit card, you can get you money back if you are not satisfied for whatever the reason.
An escrow is a third party that will hold the fund until both parties are satisfied. For example, if you buy an electronic book on OpenBazarr, you send your payment to the third party that keeps it until you receive your product. Then the Bitcoin will be released to the buyer when you have confirmed that you have received a good book to read with a nice tea in your comfortable couch.
Now you are desperate to send your money to buy the sexy Bitcoin T-Shirt you have seen on a Bitcoin marketplace. You visualize yourself walking on the street and a beautiful stranger looking at you. At this point, you should have electrical activity in your brain with new ideas. You should ask yourself: Where can I find a reliable escrow service? This is a legitimate question that I asked myself.
Bitcoin escrow service provider
Here are the Bitcoin escrow service providers I found, probably more exist, but it is a good starting point.
Bitrated: The site offers the buyer protection and a trusted marketplace. You will have the confidence to shop online and have the tools in place to secure from a fraud. Furthermore, you can have a trust agent that do arbitration in case of a dispute between the two parties.
Openbazaar: This a decentralized marketplace that you can buy almost anything in Bitcoin and Altcoins. The software has an escrow service build in the software already. So, you can shop without worrying, also you can check reviews before buying to a particular store in this ecosystem. On the following picture, you can see that you have the choice between a direct payment and a moderated payment; particularly helpful if you don't know the vendor.
Escrowmybits: This escrow service provider offers 4 types of escrow, you can choose the one that is the most appropriate for your transaction. What is nice, you have a 58 seconds video on the main page of the website that explains the process. The provider works only with the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Forum (bitcointalk): Instead of using a website or a marketplace like Openbazarr. You can use a trusted person on the forum Bitcointalk who offer this service for many years. Don't forget to do your due diligence before using this service on the forum, the thread shows a list of people that offer escrow services.
Before sending your money
I think it is very important to use an escrow service to purchase a product or service over the internet. You don't know the other party involved and being scammed is not a good feeling. My advice and recommendation, never send you money without using an escrow in the Bitcoin ecosystem, especially if you are sending a huge amount of money in one transaction.
I hope I have open your mind to increase your security awareness when your purchase with any cryptocurrency. Don't hesitate to post on the discussion below if you need more information.