Do you put a time limit on your offer to purchase? (1 Viewing)

Community Guide
Nov 4, 2020
Waterloo, ON

I'm working with a Broker from Uniregistry and he is trying to procure a domain name for me. It's a good .ca and I came in at 15k USD with the owner coming back at 25k USD.

The broker knew the client was asking way too much but he pressed me to make an offer in the middle at 20k.

I decided to stick firm because I felt it was absurd to be dealing in USD from one Canadian to another.

Anyways the broker seemed very surprised when I said my offer was only good for 7 days and then I would close the file on the purchase. I actually think I caught him off guard.

I used to run a Mercedes-Benz franchise and I often put time limits on big transactions. It got deals done, the client asked for a sweet deal, I occasionally gave it to them but they had to commit within 48 hours. When the potential client missed the deadline I stayed true to my terms. A few months later they come back on another car, same process but this time they stick to the time frame. If you are going to negotiate on a transaction and you are serious then I don't think a time frame is so unusual.

Like I said, the uniregistry broker seemed genuinely surprised by my response but I don't have the time to keep beating a dead horse.

I usually phrase it like this...

There is a specific window of opportunity (7 days) before I tie up my funds on other domains and my offer is null and void.

[h]So when you make an offer on a domain purchase do you let the person know there is a time frame or do you just let it drag out indefinitely?[/h]
After an offer, I usually find a seller comes back quickly with something (a yes, no or a counter) so I haven't noticed it to be too much of an issue. But I have to say its probably not a bad idea to always do that for good measure.

However, the bigger question I think might be is, should you reveal that you're buying other domains (and are sounding like a domain investor)? If the seller thinks your a domainer, it tips them off that maybe this domain is much more valuable than even they think and thus they want to jack the price or be hesitant to sell at all?

And if the broker is working for you, shouldn't he be convincing the seller to reduce his ask rather than you to increase your offer?
I’ve never left time limits when I purchase.

The reason I would never do it is when I’m buying there has been many times I’ve made an offer and months or even years later they come back and we close deal. I find when I put time limit it may annoy the other person.

Now if I’m the seller it’s a different story.
  • Like
Reactions: FM
When providing a counter offer or a pricing request I use..

(Offer/pricing is unsolicited, at your request, and is at this time only and not a reflection of the availability or future pricing for the names/names involved and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. )

When buying/offering I use a slight variation..

(Offer/pricing is at this time only for the names/names involved and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. )

It works for me. Prompts expediency but doesn’t close the door on them.
  • Like
Reactions: rlm
I understand the topic is about time-limits given by a buyer, and the manner/context in which negotiations are taking place makes a difference, but I essentially look at this issue the same regardless of whether you're the buyer or the seller.

I rarely mention time-limits during negotiations because I always looked at any offer as having a time-limit, regardless of whether explicitly mentioned or not. Contract law basically says that offers only remain valid for a "reasonable" amount of time before it lapse, and what is "reasonable" depends on the "offerors" conduct (which is determined on a case-by-case basis)... So if you're not sure how long your offer might be interpreted as "open to accept", and would like more control over the situation, then including a time-limit might be in your interest.

Another basic contract law principle is that once you submit a counter-offer, you are also thereby rejecting previous offer(s) made to you. In other words, and generally speaking, if you decide to submit a counter-offer then you are also deciding to lose the right to accept previous offers made to you, and the other party no longer has any obligation to sell at the amount(s) previously offered. The risk of countering, and then losing the right to accept a previous offer, goes both directions and people have the right to change their minds for any reason.

Not only does contract law say this, but it's also how it works with most marketplaces we use (like GD, Sedo, etc). All offers usually have time-limits, but the exact rules between marketplaces can differ. For example, you have 7 days to accept an offer at Sedo, but if you counter then you cannot change your mind and choose to accept a previous offer. However, at GD, any type of offer made remains valid for 7 days, even after you submit counter offers.

Anyway the above is a just basic contract law that generally applies when there are no agreed upon terms that says otherwise.

In terms of strategy, the context can make a big difference too, as well as whether you have your own personal reasons to include time-limits or conditions. Giving a time-limit can certainly help apply pressure, move things along more quickly, and cut through any BS if you are firm on where you stand. A time-limit might also be practical when you're juggling offers between multiple buyers. Giving a time-limit in a situation like [notify]MapleDots[/notify] might be very smart too, in the event Uniregistry has some sort of policy we're unaware of that makes your offer open to accept for the next 6 months, or something ridiculous like that. I doubt that's the case, but at least MD now knows for certain when his offer will expire.

It's rare that I include any comments with conditions attached to an offer because I like having the option to change my mind without looking like a tool. It's not the greatest look when you say "this is my best and final offer, which expires in 7 days", only to come back 2 weeks later willing to compromise. I mean, it's not necessarily fatal but your "firmness" factor angle just lost all credibility.
  • Like
Reactions: rlm
I was actually being truthful with the uni rep.
I was bidding on a number of domains, in a number of places, and had set a budget for the bidding.

So if I had a 50k budget for new acquisitions at that time it limited me on how many domains I could bid on.
By putting a time limit in place it allowed me to allocate the funds to a different domains when the time limit expired.

I set my budget every year for what I want to spend on new acquisitions and it is dependent on my previous year sales and renewal costs.

So as much as the time limit may look like I am trying to rush the deal it is actually intended to keep my funds free for the next purchase that may come up. The last thing I want is a 14 page topic on namepros on how I offered to purchase a domain and then welched when the owner said yes 3 months later. I make it crystal clear both when I buy and when I sell how long the numbers are good for.
[notify]MapleDots[/notify]. The seller might be wondering if you're bluffing or trying pressure him/her to make a rushed decision, but your reasons for setting a time-limit makes perfect sense. Simply setting a time-limit also doesn't mean you're not open to buying at that same price in the future either... it just means it's not guaranteed (and will depend on your circumstances at that time).
Good feedback guys. As usual, everything really depends on the specific circumstances and I agree that the psychology of presenting hard terms can work both for or against you. I'd say anecdotally that I've probably had better luck on either side of the table by being friendly and flexible rather than being terse and non-negotiable. Building rapport seems to work - but when there's a broker in the middle its a different beast, it seems to become more of a good cop/bad cop game where most of the time you're sure if the broker is working for you or against you.

In MapleDots situation where I assume he has a pretty firm offer because its an investment rather than as an end-user, I think you might be better off just using the CIRA contact form, making your firm offer and being done with it. I'm not sure the broker is adding any value here for you, cutting out that commission might be all it takes to turn that into a sale.

But when it comes to Uni brokers, at least you know that even if you don't make a deal, they'll be emailing you perpetually about the domain anyways. You'll always have another chance next year, lol. I get the "Where do we stand, I think we can make a deal here" emails but its never because the seller has dropped the ask, they're always wanting me to up the offer!
Agree with the “friendly” approach Rob and I almost always am.
I just add one of the tags above to the communication to let them know that the pricing isn’t forever and perhaps encourage a gentle push to action.
jaydub said:
Agree with the “friendly” approach Rob and I almost always am.
I just add one of the tags above to the communication to let them know that the pricing isn’t forever and perhaps encourage a gentle push to action.

Yeah, I do like your tags, they are very neutral and logical - no one could complain about that.
As a buyer, I've mostly used platforms that have their own time limits on transactions when making an offer.

As a seller, I usually state how long my offer is valid for, in case of direct inquiries.

Good feedback here.

Sponsors who contribute to keep free for everyone.

Sponsors who contribute to keep free.

Members who recently read this topic: 1