Put an Expiration Time on Offers

If you are similar to me, you probably spend quite a bit of time trying to buy domain names. When you make an offer on a marketplace like Sedo, there is a set time before the offer expires and is no longer valid. If you are making offers directly to the domain owner, you should probably do the same.

I personally find that most offers I make are responded to within a few days. Domain owners, with the exception of some domain investors, tend to respond quickly to offers because they either know the offer isn’t good or the offer is at least worth exploring further. In these cases, the offer is either accepted or rejected (even a counter offer can be construed as a rejection). When someone doesn’t reply to my offer, I generally consider it a rejection and move on with other inquiries.

The issue I potentially face is that my offer could theoretically be accepted days or weeks from when I make the offer, and that could pose a problem. Perhaps someone is not diligent about checking their email and they don’t see my offer for months. Additionally, someone may keep an offer on file until they wish to sell the domain name, and that may not be in the near future. Although I could probably say, “sorry, I am no longer interested” without worry, it could be a risk if the person goes on to call you a non-paying bidder or something worse.

If you are going to make offers directly to domain owners, you should consider adding an expiration time. This could save you some trouble if you change your mind about a purchase, if the market changes significantly, or if you’ve simply spent too much money buying other domain names. The added bonus to adding an expiration time to your offer is that it might encourage the domain owner to make a decision more rapidly instead of dragging things on for a long period of time. You can always overlook the time period if you need to, but it can save you some trouble down the road.

There was one time when I am glad I didn’t put an expiration time on a domain offer. I heard from a domain owner several weeks after my email, and he accepted my offer. Fortunately, the deal was great and it worked out for the best. I have no idea why it took the owner so long, but at the time, I believed it was because the email address he used for the Whois was not his primary email.

Most of the time, though, adding an expiration date to the offer can be helpful.

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. There is a fine line between adding an expiration to your offer and looking like an asshole. If would have to be worded really well. Do you have any examples of how you do it?

    • Three options:

      – “Because I am considering several domain names, my offer is valid until X”
      – “Please let me know before X or I will need to rescind my offer and buy a different domain name”
      – You could “bury” the expiration date below your signature “offer(s) valid for 48 hours”

    • Hi Elliot,

      Sorry, won’t work with me.

      I do respond between 24HS for yes or no.
      If I receive a none acceptable offer with a deadline,
      I, personally, ignore the offer for being plain rude
      by clicking delete in one second flat.

    • Another option for staying tactful is to use the end of the month as a time constraint. For instance, “funds for this purchase will only be available until the 30th”. You can also make a vague insinuation about your accounting practices zeroing out your free funds when the 1st of the month comes around.

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