“Best and Final Offer” Can Backfire

When negotiating to buy a domain name, I have sometimes made a “best and final offer.” This offer is typically the most I am willing to pay for a domain name at the time, and the idea is to induce a sale because the domain registrant believes he will lose a deal if the final offer is not accepted. I don’t think this is necessarily the best approach for me.

I often track domain names of interest. I use DomainTools and DomainIQ to monitor and track registrant email addresses, and I can see when Whois changes take place, often indicating a sale. There have been quite a few times that I noticed a domain name I had tried to buy change hands, and I have reached out to the former registrant to ask about the sale price (for a blog post). Depending on the reply, I have commented about how it would have been nice for the person to have emailed me before agreeing to sell the name to give me a chance to beat the offer. At least twice, the other party told me I had made a “best and final” offer so they didn’t think to contact me again. Ugh.

I am an opportunistic buyer. If the right deal comes up, I will jump on it. As the market evolves, I need to pay more for a particular domain name than I would have paid in the past. In 2010, I might have wanted to pay $5,000 – $10,000 for a particular domain name, and that name might trade for $30,000 – $60,000 on the wholesale market today. The domain name market is dynamic and values change over the years. My offers need to change in order to continue acquiring good inventory.

When I have made a “best” and/or “final” offer, the domain seller may assume that is the last they will hear from me. Sure, some people might assume that is something of a ploy to get a deal done, and they might be right. Others might take that at face value and cast me off as a buyer. While I might not be willing to come up further, perhaps something on my side will have changed and I will be willing to pay more.

Because of my experience with losing a few deals that may not have been lost had I kept an open dialogue, I am more reluctant to tell a domain registrant that an offer is my best and final. I might say “this is the best I can do right now” or something along those lines. I also tell the person to keep me posted if anything changes in the future. Additionally, I often set reminders to inquire about particular domain names in the future.

When someone says the offer is the best and final, some people might think of it as a closing tactic, but others may take my word for it and that can backfire if they decide to sell in the future.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Yeah it is a catch-22.
    Ya win some, you lose some with that strategy.

    By looking at your very impressive portfolio, i would venture a guess that your “last and final offer” has worked for you more times than not.

    Glass half full 🙂

  2. Great post with interesting option of this close of presenting your firmness of x$ being your final offer is one many would use.

    I have used that line myself but alternately I quite often place a little tongue in cheek line e.g

    “My offer is $500 but would not wish to lose it for a round of drinks”

    I have found many times the seller will come back with another chance to get back into the deal.

    Wayne Bond

  3. So often depends on the background / status of the owner/seller.
    Ambition is the last refuge of failure [Oscar Wilde]

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