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Does clicking on the GoDaddy "Buy it now" button create an enforceable contract to purchase a domain name?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Mar 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Attorney Steve® Domain Name Dispute Essentials - GoDaddy Auctions and "Buy it Now" legal issues.  Was a contract formed?

domain buy it now

Introduction

If you list a domain for sale on a website such as GoDaddy auctions or Sedo marketplace, and there is a "Buy Now" option, do you have an enforceable agreement if the buyer clicks to purchase the domain, but later pulls out?  The answer is not entirely clear, but here is a look at what I found on GoDaddy and SEDO.  

GODADDY POLICY:  Offer/Counter-Offer with Buy Now

The same as an Offer/Counter-offer auction, but with the additional option to secure the domain through Buy Now. In an Offer/Counter-offer with Buy Now listing, a sale concludes when the seller accepts an offer, the buyer accepts a counter-offer or the buyer accepts the Buy Now price.

There is no obligation to accept an offer by either the buyer or seller. Offers and counter-offers are binding for seven days, and will expire after that seven day period, unless accepted. Any offers or counter-offers accepted within seven days concludes the sale and must be completed. The highest offer doesn't necessarily mean that buyer has won the domain—the seller must first accept the offer to conclude the sale.

SEDO Policy

4.1.2. Binding Offers

If, during the course of an Open Bid Thread a User makes an offer, which if accepted would result in a binding purchase and sale agreement, or at any time a prospective Buyer makes an offer for a Buy Now listing below the Seller's stated price, then he/she is bound to this offer for 168 hours, which corresponds to seven days from the time when the offer was rendered, unless, when available as an option, a prospective Buyer has chosen a different duration of time at the time of submitting their offer, of which the Seller will be notified. (“Offer Period”).  Likewise, if, during the course of an Auction, a User makes an offer, which if accepted would result in a binding purchase and sale agreement, above the original bid or Reserve Price then he/she is bound to this offer for the length of the Auction Period.

Due to the binding nature of offers to purchase or sell Domains, Users should review the Domain listing carefully and perform all necessary research on suitability for intended uses to avoid any misunderstanding before submitting a binding offer. Once an offer is submitted a User is responsible for all resulting obligations to purchase or sell a Domain once a binding offer has been accepted. The Buyer's offer shall lapse if the other User rejects the offer, accepts another User's offer, submits a counter-offer, or the binding time period is allowed to lapse. A belated acceptance of the offer or a counter-offer shall be considered to be a new offer.

4.2.1. Buy Now and Make Offer Listings

Sellers may submit a 'Buy Now' Domain listing by submitting or updating their Domain listing in their Account to include a fixed price that serves as an open-ended offer to Buyers on the Domain Marketplace to sell the Domain at the indicated price without negotiation. This offer to sell the Domain at the indicated price shall remain binding until Seller updates the respective Domain listing in their Sedo Account with a different fixed price offer, or an alternative listing type, and this update has been reflected on the Domain Marketplace. Seller's Domain prices indicated in Buy Now listings are considered to be the end price for the Buyer, including any applicable taxes. When available, Buyers on the Domain Marketplace may still submit an offer to the Seller below the binding Buy Now price indicated by Seller, which Seller can either ignore, accept or respond to by adjusting their Buy Now price expectations.

Contact a UDRP domain dispute attorney

If you need help with a domain name purchase and sale contract, UDRP domain dispute (WIPO or NAF), or federal trademark issue contact us at (877) 276-5084.  You can also fill out the contact form and we will contact you.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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