Justin Cooke

January 30, 2013

Note: This is the second part in a series.  To check out the first part regarding our partnership gone bad, check out our post on EmpireFlippers.com here.

Starting our business was both exciting and nerve-racking as hell. We remembered the benefits of “being your own boss” and couldn’t wait to get back to working for ourselves. We’d just presented our current employers with an opportunity that stood to save them a ton of money (not on car insurance! :-P )and put us in a strategic partnership with them and they went for it. We were back on our feet and growing our OWN business again…sweet!

Backstory: Signing The Contract

We agreed to take significantly less money up-front to lock each other into an exclusive, no-cut contract. We figured this was better for both parties…we wouldn’t start shopping their competitors right away and the no-cut clause they offered provided us plenty of time to get our fledgling outsourcing company up and running.

Implementation: Leverage

Business LeverageWe believed we had three points of leverage protecting our interests:

  1. Intimate knowledge/understanding of the process
  2. Deeply integrated with partner/client
  3. A no-cut contract

Point #1 and #2 protected us against the competition…it would take months or years of working with another team to reach the same level we were at. (And we were competitively priced compared to “reasonable” alternatives) “Fake” competitors were (we thought) our biggest threat, due to their propensity to over-promise and under-deliver with an extremely low price-point. Point #3 was put in place at their request…they didn’t want us to walk away, leaving them scrambling to replace our services.

Problem: A New Direction

This worked out great…until it didn’t. Several months into the agreement and they were already looking to make adjustments that were not in-line with the contract we’d signed. A few more months and they were significantly altering the deal. Investment money was tight, their costs to acquire a customer had crept up to unprofitable levels, and they were looking to take the company in a completely new direction. This was painful for us. A contract worth over $500K was critical to our brand new outsourcing company.

Although we hadn’t asked for #3, we’d begun to rely on it like a crutch. We did ask how we could continue to support their business and their new direction, but the financial impact had put us in a defensive, reactionary position and had left a bad taste in our mouths. It’s difficult to put yourself in the position of providing value to your partner when you feel as if you’ve just been screwed.

Aftermath: A Silver Lining

Good came from badWhen the first adjustments or changes came we were in no position to refuse. We still relied on them almost completely for revenue and we had every intention to keep the lights on. We quickly hustled up some new customers and business to replace the declining revenue. When they finally made the decision to shut down completely, we thought about fighting it in court, but realized the heavy investment of time and resources would drain our business, not grow it. Ultimately, we decided to continue moving forward and try to put it out of our minds.

I believe they genuinely felt bad about it and that it’s not how they meant things to go, but business is business and they had a responsibility to protect themselves first. They refused to honor a contract that was no longer a part of their business plan or in the interest of their business.

This put us in an awfully uncomfortable spot. We’d picked up enough additional clients to keep supporting the business and ourselves, but we now had a ton of well-trained, extra staff…which is how we came to start AdSense Flippers. We were pretty bitter at the time, but looking back we see that this painful period forced us to do what we should have been doing anyway…growing and diversifying our business.

Lesson Learned

In Contracts We TrustThere’s no excusing what they did and, if I’m being honest, remembering this situation brings back bitter memories. However, we could have handled the situation better and could have put ourselves in a position to more positively deal with it when it happened.

Don’t put your faith in contracts. Definitely don’t give up margins on the “promise” of additional business or a long-term agreement. Businesses and business climates change…put yourself in a position to make a decent margin today and tomorrow.

Contracts with clients are better used as sales tools than legally-binding agreements. Keep your contracts short, in plain English, and make the barrier to getting started as low as is reasonably possible. This will get you more sales and provide better focus than trying to enforce a contract when shit hits the fan.

Do you have anything to add to our lessons learned? Any experiences you want to share? Feel free to let us know in the comments below or give us a shout on Twitter!



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Discussion

Leave a comment
  1. John DeVries says:

    I always enjoy hearing more details about your start-up story. Somehow, even after LIVING with you for 6 months, it seems there are things I don’t know.

    I think this lesson is applicable for ANYONE who owns a business or even works for themselves. It’s easy to see dollar signs when they aren’t in the bank account yet. However, It’s refreshing for me to remember that even though you guys took a huge hit on losing your first large client, it ultimately panned out in the end.

    Keep on truckin’ guys. Love the new site. :)

    • Joe Magnotti says:

      Thanks John! Our story is a messy web, but I think that’s a common path to success. Very few go directly to the top.

  2. Jason Ansley says:

    A business colleague told me a number of years back, “a piece of paper [contract] will keep friends, friends”. The same goes here. Whether it is business partners, joint ventures with customers, standard customer relationship, or otherwise; an “agreement” (as I like to call them) keeps everybody straight.

    Obviously I have not read or seen the agreement you had with this “partner” so I do not know if the following was included or not. I always require any contracts I sign to include a clause that addresses amending the contract/scope of work outlined. This requires duel execution by the signing parties. This clause, combined with a “submit for mediation…we won’t sue each other” statement typically keeps the ill-intended away from the gigs!

    And in closing…I am not an attorney. You should NOT consider the above legal advice. It is intended as general business “best practice” information. :)

    …please sign below…
    I will not sue Jason! :)

    Thanks for the ever so great content you guys!
    Jason Ansley
    http://www.ansleyRDgroup.com
    Online Business Manager & Consultant

    • Joe Magnotti says:

      You’re welcome Jason, thanks for stopping by. I would love to see a boiler plate copy of your template contract. Care to share?

  3. […] marketing style that has made Adsense Flippers and Outsourcing For Startups a […]

  4. […] Justin Cooke – Outsourcing for Startups […]

  5. Great lessons from a painful experience, I dig it.

    I LOVED this and also had to learn it the hard way a few years ago…

    “Don’t put your faith in contracts. Definitely don’t give up margins on the “promise” of additional business or a long-term agreement.”

    #Truth

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Seller Terms of Use Agreement

Effective Date: April 1st, 2016

Introduction

Welcome to Empire Flippers. We take the friction out of buying and selling websites.

This is our Seller’s Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) and it contains important provisions regarding your use of this website, including provisions regarding your sale of a website, app, or other online business (“Asset”). You should review this Agreement carefully before deciding whether to list an Asset for sale through Empire Flippers. If you do not agree to the terms contained within this Agreement, you should not sell an Asset through Empire Flippers.

This Agreement is being entered by and between you, the user, and Empire Flippers, LLC (“Broker”). Broker is the owner of an online marketplace for buying and selling websites (“Services”), which are provided subject to the terms of this Agreement. You are referred to as “You”, “Your”, or “Seller”. The person or entity buying the Asset is referred to as Buyer. Buyer and Seller are collectively referred to as the Parties.

The person or entity buying your Asset is referred to as the Buyer. Buyers must agree to the Buyer’s Terms of Use Agreement available here, and incorporated into this Agreement.

BY AGREEING TO THIS AGREEMENT YOU ARE MAKING A FORMAL OFFER TO SELL AN ASSET “AS IS” AND WITHOUT ANY CONTINGENCIES EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED. ONLY AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS IF YOU ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO COMPLETE THE SALE.

THIS AGREEMENT IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT AND YOU HAVE A DUTY TO READ THIS AGREEMENT BEFORE USING THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. WHEN YOU LIST YOUR ASSET FOR SALE, YOU MANIFEST YOUR ASSENT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CEASE YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. BROKER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, AMEND, REPLACE, SUSPEND, OR TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND WITHIN ITS SOLE DISCRETION. IN THE EVENT BROKER MODIFIES, AMENDS, OR REPLACES THIS AGREEMENT, THE EFFECTIVE DATE, LOCATED ABOVE, WILL CHANGE. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES AFTER A CHANGE IN THE EFFECTIVE DATE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACQUIESCENCE TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY MODIFICATION, AMENDMENT, OR REPLACEMENT.

A. Offer to Sell and Purchase Price. You have made an offer to sell an Asset through your decision to list the Asset for sale though Broker’s Services.

The first step to listing an Asset for sale is paying a non-refundable listing fee (“Listing Fee”) to Broker. Upon your payment of the Listing Fee and submission of your Asset details, Broker will perform its review of your Asset. Broker, in its sole discretion, will approve or reject your Asset for listing on the Broker’s website and participation in the Services. Broker reserves the right to reject any Asset submission for any reason or no reason at all.

You are also agreeing to provide any ancillary services, including training, as detailed on the listing page of your Asset on Broker’s marketplace.

B. Eligibility. By using the Empire Flippers’ website or Services, you warrant and agree that you are either above the age of majority in your nation, state, province, territory, or city, or the age of eighteen (18), whichever is greater. You warrant that you are of sound mind, have the capacity to contract, and agree to the terms and conditions contained within this Agreement. If you are using the Services on behalf of a business entity or third party, you warrant that you have actual authority to act as an agent of that business entity and third party and have the right and ability to agree to the terms of this Agreement on behalf of that third party or business entity.

C. Seller Warranties. Seller warrants that:

  • Seller has the full power and legal authority to execute this Agreement;
  • Seller has clear and unencumbered title to the Asset and all related assets to be sold through the Broker’ Marketplace, including all intellectual property rights;
  • Seller has not placed the Asset to be sold subject to a mortgage, pledge, lien, or encumbrance, except for those taxes which shall be prorated as of the date of the Completed Migration;
  • There are no bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings currently filed against Seller that would impede its ability to complete this Agreement;
  • To the best of Your knowledge, there is no lawsuit or pending charge against your Asset; and,
  • Seller makes no other express or implied warranties with respect to Seller.


D. Exclusive Listing. Once your Asset is listed on the Broker’ Marketplace, you agree this is an exclusive listing for a period of six months (“Listing Term”). Specifically, you agree that Broker is the exclusive permissible method to sell your Asset during the Listing Term. You may not, directly or indirectly, list, solicit offers, or attempt to sell your Asset using any other service, person, or agent for the duration of the Listing Term. If you violate this provision, you agree to pay Broker a commission of fifteen percent (15%) of the total sale price of your Asset to Broker, plus any costs and attorney fees Broker incurs in connection with enforcing this Agreement.

E. Maintenance of the Business During the Listing Period. During the Listing Period, you agree to maintain your Asset as it was prior to the Listing Period, to the best of your ability. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining third-party links on the Asset to be sold and other websites and any marketing, advertising, or other referral source, if applicable. During the Listing Period, you also agree to maintain accurate and up-to-date business records and to provide the same to Broker upon request.

F. Sale Terms. If Broker, in its sole and absolute discretion, approves your Asset for listing in the Broker’s marketplace, Broker will suggest a listing price. Once you agree to that listing price, as evidenced by the listing of your Asset at that price on Broker’s marketplace, you are obligated to accept full listing price offers from Buyers. To be clear, by agreeing to this Agreement, you are deemed to have accepted any full listing price offers on your Asset. Any written confirmation of your acceptance of the listing price, while not required, is incorporated into this Agreement.

G. Migration Process & Inspection Period.
  • Subsequent to Buyer’s acceptance of Buyer’s Terms of Use Agreement, which is incorporated into this Agreement in whole, and payment of the Purchase Price to Broker, the process to transfer the Asset to the Buyer begins (“Migration Process”). The Parties understand and agree that the Migration Process typically takes 2 - 4 weeks to complete, but could take substantially longer. The Parties acknowledge and agree that Broker cannot guarantee a specific timeframe for the Migration Process.
  • The Migration Process is completed when the Buyer confirms sole control and ownership of the Asset or when Broker has confirmed, in its sole and absolute discretion, that Buyer is in control and has ownership of the Asset (“Completed Migration”).
  • Buyer shall have a period of fourteen (14) days from the Date of the Completed Migration to fully inspect the operation of the Asset (“Inspection Period”) upon the following terms and conditions:
    • During the Inspection Period, Buyer shall have the opportunity to confirm the Asset’s Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is consistent with the Asset’s Average Monthly Net Revenue.
    • Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is defined as the Assets’ monthly gross revenue after the Completed Migration less normal and customary expenses associated with the historical operation of the Asset as provided in the Average Monthly Net Revenue.
    • Average Monthly Net Revenue is defined as the most current information regarding the Asset’s average monthly net revenue made available on the Broker’s website.
    • Buyer shall have the right to request termination of this Agreement to cancel the sale and obtain a refund of the Purchase Price if the Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the Average Monthly Net Revenue during the Inspection Period (“Substantive Deviation”). If the Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the Average Monthly Net Revenue, Buyer shall have no right to request to terminate or cancel this Agreement.
    • To enforce his ability to request termination of this Agreement based on a Substantial Deviation, Buyer must 1) notify Broker in writing of his request to terminate this Agreement within the Inspection Period at support@empireflippers.com or the Zendesk ticket already being used and 2) provide evidence of the Substantial Deviation and Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue through screenshots or providing Broker access to the Asset.
    • If Buyer requests termination of this Agreement consistent with the provisions above, Broker will conduct an investigation into the matter. The Parties agree and understand this investigation could take 2-4 weeks to complete or longer depending on the circumstances (“Broker’s Investigation Period”). Broker may require additional information from the Parties to conduct its investigation and the Parties agree to reasonably comply with such requests.
    • If Broker confirms the presence of a Substantial Deviation, Broker will cancel the sale, the Asset will be returned to Seller and the Purchase Price will be returned to Buyer. The Parties agree to cooperate to complete these actions.
    • If Broker confirms no Substantive Deviation exists, the sale will close as contemplated consistent with paragraph 7, iv.
    • Broker retains full and sole authority to determine the presence or absence of a Substantial Deviation.
    • If Buyer fails to provide written notification of his request to terminate this Agreement within the Inspection Period, Buyer is deemed to have freely and voluntarily waived any and all contingences in connection with his purchase of the Asset, including any discrepancies, fluctuations, or changes in the performance of the Asset and specifically its gross revenue, net revenue, expenses, traffic, and other metrics of performance, including any discrepancies, fluctuations, or changes in the performance of the Asset during the Migration Process or during the Inspection Period.
    • The Parties are free to waive the Inspection Period and close the sale consistent with paragraph 7, iv at any time.
  • Upon expiration of the Inspection Period, or if applicable the Broker’s determination regarding a Substantial Deviation, Broker will release eighty-five percent (85%) of the Purchase Price to Seller, which constitutes the Purchase Price minus Broker’s Commission (“Net Purchase Price”). Broker will retain the Commission.
  • The Parties agree to provide Broker all necessary information upon request to facilitate the Migration Process.


H. Default and Termination. Broker reserves the right to terminate the Migration Process at any point for any reason or no reason at all. If Broker terminates the sale, it agrees to return the Purchase Price to Buyer and the Asset to Seller.

I. Remedies for Material Breach. The Parties, including the Broker, understand and agree that monetary damages would not be a sufficient remedy for any breach of this Agreement and that, in addition to monetary damages and all other rights and remedies available at law or according to the terms of this Agreement, the non-breaching Party, including the Broker, shall be entitled to equitable relief, including injunctive relief, specific performance and/or the granting of an immediate restraining order or preliminary injunction (without posting bond) enjoining any such breach or reasonably anticipated breach as a remedy. Such equitable remedies shall not be the exclusive remedies available to the Parties, including the Broker, for breach of this Agreement, but shall be in addition to all other remedies available at law, equity or according to the terms of this Agreement. At all times, Broker retains complete discretion to cancel any sale and/or Migration Process.

J. Non-Compete Agreement. Seller agrees not to create or operate an Asset that would directly compete with the Asset for at least three years.

K. Indemnification of Buyer.
  • Seller agrees to indemnify Buyer from all liabilities arising out of Seller’s operation of the Asset prior to the Completed Migration;
  • Buyer has agreed to indemnify Seller from all liabilities arising out of Buyer’s operation of the Asset after the Completed Migration; and
  • The Parties agree to indemnify Broker from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, costs, and fees, including attorneys' fees, arising out of or related to this Agreement. The Parties’ obligation to defend Broker will not provide the Parties with the ability or right to control Broker’s defense, and Broker reserves the right to control its defense, including, but not limited to, the choice to litigate or settle and the choice of counsel.


L. Limitation of Liability

YOU AGREE THAT THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN AS-IS BASIS AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF QUALITY, ACCURACY, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, SECURITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, AND TITLE. YOU AGREE THAT BROKER WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIMS, DAMAGES, JUDGMENTS, CHARGES, OR FEES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COMPENSATORY DAMAGES, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SPECIAL DAMAGES, INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, PUNITIVE DAMAGES, EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, COSTS AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES, DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ERRORS OR OMISSIONS, AND DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE UNAVAILABILITY OF THE EMPIRE FLIPPERS’ WEBSITE OR SERVICES OR OTHER DOWNTIME. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THAT BROKER’S LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT THAT YOU PAID TO USE THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES OR $1,000, WHICHEVER IS LESS.

M. Indemnification of Broker.

You agree to hold harmless, defend, and indemnify Broker from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, costs, and fees, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of or related to: (1) the use of the Empire Flippers’ Website; (2) the use of any Service; (3) the review and listing of your website for sale; (4) the violation of any term or condition of this Agreement; (5) the violation of the rights of third parties, including rights of privacy or publicity or intellectual property rights; and (6) the violation of any law, statute, regulation, ordinance, or treaty, whether local, state, provincial, national, or international. Your obligation to defend and indemnify Broker will not provide you with the ability or right to control Broker’s defense, and Broker reserves the right to control its defense, including, but not limited to, the choice to litigate or settle and the choice of counsel.

N. General Provisions.
  • Fair Market Value. The Parties each acknowledge the Purchase Price represents fair market value.
  • Costs. The Parties agree to pay their own costs and expenses incurred with respect to this Agreement.
  • Valid and Binding Agreement. This Agreement represents a binding legal obligation and is enforceable in accordance with its terms and is binding and shall inure to the benefit of each Parties’ respective heirs, legal representatives, successors, and assigns.
  • Confidentiality. The Parties agree to maintain complete confidentiality regarding this Agreement.
  • Waivers. A waiver by either Party to any provision of this Agreement does not constitute a waiver of any other provision of this Agreement.
  • Notices. Any notice to Broker required under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed properly given when emailed to XXX.
  • No Third-Party Beneficiaries. Except as otherwise provided, nothing in this Agreement will provide any benefit to any third party or entitle any third party to any claim, cause of action, remedy, or right of any kind. This Agreement is not a third-party beneficiary contract.
  • Sections and Headings. The sections and headings in this Agreement are for organization and clarification purposes only and should not be interpreted as part of this Agreement.
  • Choice of Laws and Venue. Parties and Broker agree that any and all claims arising out of or related to this Agreement brought by or against Broker, including its validity, interpretation, breach, violation, or termination, shall be brought in the exclusive forum of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and pursuant to Michigan law. The Parties expressly consent to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this forum. The prevailing party is entitled to payment of its costs, expenses, and attorney fees by the non-prevailing party for actions, disputes, or litigation arising out of or related to this Agreement.
  • Entire Agreement. Except as otherwise provided, this Agreement is the entire agreement between the Parties. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  • Severability. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions will continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision will be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
  • Amendments. This Agreement may be amended in writing if both Parties sign and date in writing.
  • Effective Date. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date it is agreed to by Buyer.

Depositor Terms Of Use Agreement

Effective Date: April 1st, 2016

Introduction

Welcome to Empire Flippers. We take the friction out of buying and selling websites.

This is our Depositor’s Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) and it contains important provisions regarding your use of this website, including provisions regarding your deposit of money in connection with a potential purchase of a website, app, or other online business (“Asset”). You should review this Agreement carefully before deciding whether to deposit money with Empire Flippers. If you do not agree to the terms contained within this Agreement, you should not deposit money or purchase an Asset through Empire Flippers.

This Agreement is being entered by and between you, the user, and Empire Flippers, LLC (“Broker”). Broker is the owner of an online marketplace for buying and selling websites (“Services”), which are provided subject to the terms of this Agreement. You are referred to as “You”, “Your”, or “Depositor”. Collectively, Depositor and Broker are referred to as the Parties.

THIS AGREEMENT IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT AND YOU HAVE A DUTY TO READ THIS AGREEMENT BEFORE USING THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. WHEN YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS, YOU MANIFEST YOUR ASSENT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CEASE YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. EMPIRE FLIPPERS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, AMEND, REPLACE, SUSPEND, OR TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND WITHIN IT SOLE DISCRETION. IN THE EVENT EMPIRE FLIPPERS MODIFIES, AMENDS, OR REPLACES THIS AGREEMENT, THE EFFECTIVE DATE, LOCATED ABOVE, WILL CHANGE. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES AFTER A CHANGE IN THE EFFECTIVE DATE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACQUIESCENCE TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY MODIFICATION, AMENDMENT, OR REPLACEMENT.

  1. Deposit Amount. You are agreeing to place on deposit with Broker the amount stated for the applicable listing (“Deposit”).
  2. Information. By making the Deposit with Broker, You will be given confidential information regarding the Asset, including but not limited to access to the URL (if applicable), detailed proof of earnings, and access to seller for questions.
  3. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure.
    1. Depositor will be provided Confidential Information after making the Deposit. “Confidential Information” shall mean nonpublic proprietary information revealed by the providing party (whether in writing, orally or by any other means) to the Depositor including (a) information expressly marked or disclosed as confidential, (b) all forms and types of financial and/or business information, (c) any and all details relating to the Asset, including its URL, detailed sales and revenue details, and any other information related to the Asset.
    2. Confidential Information shall remain the property of the providing party and all applicable rights in patents, copyrights, trade secrets and similar intellectual property rights embodied in the Confidential Information shall remain in the providing party. The Depositor party agrees to treat all such Confidential Information as confidential and shall not disclose such Confidential Information to any third party; provided that the Depositor may disclose the Confidential Information to its Representatives (as defined below) who have a need to know such information in connection with the evaluation of the purchase of the Asset. The Depositor shall use at least the same degree of care to avoid disclosure of such Confidential Information as the Depositor uses with respect to its own confidential information of like importance.
    3. The Depositor shall not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than evaluation of the Asset for purchase and shall prohibit its agents, financial advisors, employees, officers and directors (collectively, “Representatives”) from using the Confidential Information for any purpose other than as specifically agreed upon by the parties hereto.
    4. This Agreement shall not apply to information that on the effective date of this Agreement has been or thereafter is: (a) developed by the receiving party independently of the providing party and not based upon or derived from information provided or delivered by the providing party to the receiving party; (b) rightfully obtained by the receiving party from a third party without restriction; or (c) publicly available other than through the receiving party in violation of the terms of this Agreement.
    5. In the event that the Depositor is required to disclose any Confidential Information, the Depositor will cooperate with the providing party and, when possible pursuant to statutory or regulatory authority, provide the providing party with prompt written notice so that the providing party may seek a protective order or waive compliance by the Depositor with the provisions of this Agreement.
    6. The Depositor acknowledges that the unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Information may cause irreparable injury to the providing party and that, in the event of a violation of any of the Depositor’s obligations hereunder, the providing party shall have no adequate remedy at law and shall therefore be entitled to seek enforcement of each such obligation by temporary or permanent injunctive relief without proving damages, and without prejudice to any other rights and remedies which may be available to the providing party at law or in equity.
  4. Right of First Refusal. If, at any time while Depositor’s Deposit is on account with Broker, the Seller associated with the listing connected to your Deposit receives a bona fide offer below list price from any party to purchase the Asset, Broker shall notify Depositor of the offer. If Depositor does not elect to match the offer in writing within twenty-four (24) hours, Seller may then sell the Asset to the first offeror, provided the sale is on the conditions specified in the offer sent to Depositor.
  5. Refund of Deposit. Depositor may request a refund of the Deposit at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. Broker will refund the Deposit as soon as commercially possible.
  6. Deposit Not Used for Purchase. Should you choose to make a purchase of an Asset, your Deposit will be returned to you and will not be used as a potion of the Payment Price of the Asset.
  7. Wire Fees and Other Expenses. Broker does not charge Depositor any wire or transfer fees, however, certain fees and expenses may be charged by your financial institution and are solely your responsibility.
  8. Notices. All notices required under this Agreement shall be made to Broker at support@empireflippers.com.
  9. Choice of Laws and Venue. Parties and Depositor agree that any and all claims arising out of or related to this Agreement brought by or against Broker, including its validity, interpretation, breach, violation, or termination, shall be brought in the exclusive forum of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and pursuant to Michigan law. The Parties expressly consent to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this forum. The prevailing party is entitled to payment of its costs, expenses, and attorney fees by the non-prevailing party for actions, disputes, or litigation arising out of or related to this Agreement.
  10. Entire Agreement. Except as otherwise provided, this Agreement is the entire agreement between the Parties. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  11. Effective Date. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date Depositor consents to the same.