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Escrow services are very useful for online auctions, especially when a particularly expensive sale is not insured or bonded. The escrow service will hold your payment until you receive delivery of the goods and are satisfied. If there is a dispute, then the escrow service will often serve as a intermediary. The only downside to using an escrow service is that there are many escrow service schemes out there that seek to take advantage of both buyers and sellers. Make sure to check that the escrow service is both licensed and bonded; escrow services are usually licensed in the state where they reside, check with state authorities to insure their licensing. No real escrow service will claim to comply with US Financial and Business Codes, since the federal government does not regulate such services. Check with the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney generals office of the state in which the escrow service is located.