In sum, the rationale underlying the Seller's demand for LOI, can essentially be summed up as follows: 1) That giving an LOI to a seller by a prospective buyer, is an indication that the buyer is "serious" and willing to purchase; 2) That use of the LOI is the usual way of initiating a purchasing proposal by a buyer, and is the right and proper way to go; and 3) That there is nothing for anyone in the deal to lose by a prospective buyer signing an LOI.
Few traders and brokers realize that the Letter of Intent is not a standard document in International Trade. When "LOI" is used, it actually refers to the Letter of Indemnity. This is standard usage of the term and has been for decades. The Letter of Intent (hereafter referred to as LOI) is often used in specific domestic trades, such as in real estate or corporate mergers, but it has no standard usage in International Trade itself.