Domain offers that come with disclaimers are invalid

It’s a very simple argument, really: don’t make an offer on a domain, that is tied to some silly disclaimer.

Most lawyers will tell you that an offer on paper – real or virtual – is a binding offer.

Want to invalidate such an offer? Accompany it with some made-up mumbo-jumbo that seeks various conditions to be met, or the offer does not stand.

The fact is, that by making such a silly requirement, your offer must be rejected, regardless of the obscurity of its side clause as it’s de facto invalid.

Here’s a real world example, from my seemingly endless list of domain anecdotes.

An apparently dejected individual, inquired about my rights to own a domain, up for sale at Domain Name Sales. He then ‘pinged’ the reserve, offering first $11 and then $3,011 that surpassedĀ  my selling threshold. Only then, he added this disclaimer to the offer:

“…this offer is legally subject to the sellers ownership and details being submitted to the possible purchaser without obligation…”

I promptly rejected the offer, explaining that while I do own the domain, his offer was invalidated by this prerequisite condition. Adding “without obligation” at the end, further made the offer obnoxiously invalid.

Such arguments often hide a secret agenda, such as the person challenging key facts of domain ownership. You can also completely ignore such inquiries, but it’s best to keep your responses clear, to the point and most importantly, polite.



  1. Francois says

    Maybe this guy simply wanted to be able put a price in front a domain to after can select from a list of possible choices for his project. I do it everyday. When you ask for what will be the price you get zero response most of the time, so acting like if you were going to buy it now the seller is more motivated to price it. And I do not feel there is any obligation to buy in a “make offer” otherwise where is the option “”give me the price to can know if I can consder this name”?

  2. Francois – No, his approach and tone were unacceptable. In essence, he wanted a signed piece of paper with my name on it and proof of ownership. The fact he didn’t follow up shows his offer was invalid and never intended to purchase the domain. He might as well have placed an offer of one million.

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