Add a Deadline to An Offer

Yesterday I wrote a post with some advice on adding a deadline to a price quote when a potential buyer inquires about a domain name. I believe it’s also important for you to add a deadline on your offers for similar, but slightly different reasons.

When you make an offer on a domain name, it’s likely you want an answer quickly. My experience tells me that the more a domain owner thinks about it, the less likely the deal is going to happen. When you know the offer is really being considered, you might set a deadline to get the person to make a decision more quickly. If the owner needs to make a quicker decision knowing that your offer may disappear, it might move things in your favor. Further, by setting a deadline, you reinforce that this offer is most likely your best and final offer.

I send out inquiries all the time. More often than not, my offers aren’t accepted because the domain owner and I can’t come to terms. On occasion, several offers are accepted right around the same time, and I need to be sure I can pay for all of these purchases. The last thing I want is to have an offer from months or even years prior get accepted and not have the comfort to spend all that cash on several deals at once. Hence, setting an expiration date on your offer can be a wise move.

One thing to consider when setting a deadline on an offer is that you need to make sure your offer is actually being considered. You’ll look like a fool if you offer $500 for a domain name and tell the owner he only has 24 hours to respond to your ridiculous offer.

If your offer is declined, you can always tell the person you’ll keep your offer open should you have the money in the future. This doesn’t obligate you to follow through with the purchase should the domain owner reconsider down the road. It’s also a friendly way to let the owner know to contact you in the future if circumstances change.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. It is always a good idea to include and offer and having an expiration date is not a bad practice but better to pick up the phone when you can.

    Always better to call someone and make an offer.

    People respond differently to an incoming phone call than they do to an incoming email.

  2. I’m new at this and maybe I’m a bit shy, but I’d rather get emails than phone calls. For one thing, I can be more deliberate in understanding then considering an inquiry via email. There’s also the time differences of up to 12 (?) hours or more, depending on country. Also, emails are “time-stamped” on my end as to when received, in case the offer is a BIN; I think that’s good.

    Rob, I think it’s one of those things where there’s neither a right or wrong way; instead, it’s seems like a preferred method for communicating on a possible domain sale. Don’t get me wrong if a buyer calls me, I won’t tell him/her to email me then hang up on them. Then it becomes the buyers preference, eh? Maybe that’s your point and I missed it.

    I’m experimenting now with deadlines on offers and it’s too early for me to say what’s working or not yet. In other words, where I’m using deadlines I haven’t had any sales yet. Then again, that could be that my pricing strategy is bad, my marketing bad, my domains bad, or any number of variables involved.

    Elliott has written about split-testing, so I might experiment with some of my domains for sale. Maybe I’ll try offering a domain at the identical BIN price, one with a deadline and one without a deadline. I find it all very interesting stuff…

  3. Steve,

    I completely understand why you prefer to get emails but as an active domain buyer broker, I want to call you and engage.

    I don’t want to give you time to think about your answer because that only means the price goes up 🙂

    So, don’t take this personally but this is exactly why a phone call is usually more effective than an email… it does not give the receiver any time to prepare.

    Lastly, after reading your comment again, you seem like your head is in the right place and you should do well with sales.

    Plus people are much nicer on the phone than in replies to emails.

  4. Great article. I was just himhawin’a deadline over last night. Had put all my domains really low to get up some tax$$$ but honestly once I raise the taxes I’d like to change back what remains. Man, it hurts, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Any ideas how to word a open deadline that could be at any time?


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