There are so many places over the Internet where you can buy and sell websites and domain names. However, Flippa.com is becoming more and more popular among the professionals. I have an account with Flippa since several years ago, and I have used it to sell the websites that I develop and also some of my domains. There are so many reviews about Flippa, but I think many of them are not true. This article is not a paid review. In this article, I am talking about my own experiences with Flippa, and I explain and analyse one of the most recent listings I had on this site. Then I will give you some tips and advice that will help you have a better experience in selling your sites on Flippa. I have never bought a website through Flippa, maybe because I have never wanted to buy a website. I browse the listings just to see what websites are for sale. I like to learn how the sellers think. I also like to learn how sellers determine the prices. However, I never wanted to buy any website. I like to start a site from the scratch, and if it gets anywhere on the search engines and receives traffic, I will think and decide about keeping it for myself, or selling it on Flippa.
That was a small introduction about my background with Flippa.
What Does Flippa.com Do Exactly?
Flippa.com is an auction website like eBay. However, at Flippa you can only buy and sell websites and domain names.
One of My Listings on Flippa
Today (July 27, 2012), I published one of my listings on Flippa, This listing is supposed to be live for 30 days. People can bid on my listing, and at the end of the auction, someone who has placed the highest bid will be the new owner of the site. I sell both the domain name and the site content. This site is listed on Google search result page as the #1 site with a relatively important key phrase. The image I have placed on the home page of the site is also the #1 image with the same keyword phrase, on Google image search.
Although I have never monetized the site (because I wanted to make money by selling it), it can potentially make hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars per month if monetized with Adsense, Amazon, CJ, eBay, ClickBank and…, because the key phrase the website is optimized for is related to some demanding products. Therefore, the site is a little expensive and I do not expect to receive too many bids from Flippa buyers.
Have you already read the article I have written about Google Sandbox? The website that I am talking about in that article is exactly the same website that I listed on Flippa today. Please read the Google Sandbox article to learn more about the site, the way it went live and started receiving traffic from Google.
That was all about the first day of my most recent listing on Flippa. The listing still has 29 days to be ended. I hope I receive good bids from the buyers. If not, I will have to list it again with a lower price, or keep it for myself for now.
I have to wait for 29 days to complete and publish this article.
August 03, 2012:
I have not received any offer and bid so far. According to the comments posted to the listing, the price I have determined for the site is too high. Maybe they are right, but I personally think that a website ranked #1 on Google for a highly competitive key phrase is even worth more than that. It is not only a website. It is a “business”, because it makes money. I don’t know how much money this website can make, because I have never monetized it with anything like Google Adsense, but I am sure if I monetize it with Adsense, eBay, Amazon, CJ, LinkShare, it will make a substantial amount of money every month. I don’t know how much, because as I said I have never monetized it so far, but I do know that it makes a lot of money. I say this according to my years of experience in this business: A website that receives free targeted traffic from Google, MAKES MONEY.
How Much Is My Site Worth Really?
It is impossible to give a precise answer to this question while you have not monetized a website yet, because you don’t know how much money it makes every month and every year. If you have a long record of monthly revenue for your site, it will be much easier to calculate the real value of the site. The rule of thumb to determine the price of a business is that you multiply the annul revenue by 10. Therefore, if a business makes $100,000 per year, its standard price is $1,000,000.
What about websites?
A website can be sold ever higher. It depends on many things, but a website that receives targeted traffic from a quality search engine like Google, can be sold even higher than 10x of its annual revenue.
So how much is my website worth?
As I do not have its annual revenue, first because I have never monetized it, and second because it has not been working for a year yet, I can not give a precise answer. However, even if it makes $100 per month, it will worth $12000 according to the “x10” formula. I am sure it can make much more than that. That is why its start bid is determined $19,000 and its “buy it now” price is $29,000.
Therefore, those who believe that I am selling it too expensive, are absolutely wrong. They are smart and want to buy it cheap. But I know the value of my websites. Even if nobody buys it, I will monetize it and will keep it for myself. Let’s see. It still has 22 days to go.
August 26, 2012:
My listing was ended and I could not sell the site. Either I have to re-list the site, or keep it for myself. I prefer to keep it for myself because obviously buyers don’t know the value of the site. Maybe they look for the invaluable sites that are being sold with a cheap price. I do not like to lose my sites so cheap and below the real price. If I keep the site for a couple of years, I can sell it with a much higher price.
I wanted to talk about Flippa and the way it works. All I can say is that “so far so good”. I have not been faced with any of the problems that people have talked about on the other sites. For example, I see that some people have complained about the fake bids that their listings receive. They say these bids are placed by Flippa, probably to pretend that their site is busy and the listings are seen by the buyers. I do not agree with these people at all. I have never received any fake bid. There are some options that let you receive bids from more qualified buyers. I recommend you to take the advantage of these options, not to be bugged by non-professionals.
1. If you want to sell your website, DO NOT use PayPal to receive your money. It is too risky, and it is possible that the buyer scams you. I have read over the Internet that some byers contact PayPal after paying the sellers, complaining that they have not received what they have paid for. PayPal is so strict about these kinds of complaints and returns the money to the buyer while he has already received the domain or the website he has bought from you. It is a little hard to prove to PayPal that you have delivered the domain and the site, and if you can not convince them, they return the money to the buyer. So you not only will lose your domain and site, but also the money that you have received from buyer. Be careful. There are some scams that have done this to so many sellers already.
2. Having a long record of monthly revenue for your site helps you sell it faster and with a higher price. The more information you represent about your website monthly/yearly revenue, its source of traffic and…, the easier you can sell it.
3. Don’t listen to the commenters who try to discourage you about your listing. Unfortunately there are some sick people everywhere including on Flippa. There is no point to leave a negative comment for a listing when a buyer thinks that the listing price is too high and the site is not worth that much. He can easily skip the listing. But some of them leave negative comments that offends sometimes. Just ignore them and delete their comments. They have to learn that they can not buy a website for a few dollars. If they can not afford the price, they can easily register a zero kilometer domain and start working on it from the scratch. There is no point to leave negative comments to sabotage the sellers’ listings.
4. Do not sell a website that receives free targeted traffic from the search engines, unless you have to. Just monetize it properly and let it make money for yourself. If your website is well-designed and optimized and is not over-optimized, its traffic will increase as the time goes on. For example, if a website makes $500 per month through Google Adsense, sell it only if someone is serious to buy it for $60,000 which is its real price according to the formula that I explained above. However, it rarely happens that you find a buyer who wants to pay $60,000 for a website that makes $500 per month. Today I saw on Flippa.com that a website with $100,000 profit per year was sold for $158,000 which is ridiculous. Either the seller has exaggerated about the website yearly revenue, or he intentionally wanted to sell the site for a very low price. Such a website is worth much more than that, if it really makes $100,000 per year.
A website that currently makes $500 per month through the free targeted traffic it receives from the search engines, will make at least $700 per month the next year, and $1000 per month after 2 years, even if you do not work on it and you do not add any new content to it. Unless you try to increase its traffic through over-optimization or black-hat SEO techniques that will completely ruin your website ranking.
5. Do not sell a new website that doesn’t make any money now, but it has a good “exact match” domain name. If you have succeeded to register an exact match domain name for a good and reasonable keyword phrase, then don’t sell it because if you design the site properly and add unique and quality content to it, sooner or later it will be appeared on Google first page and will receive lots of free targeted traffic, and so will make a lot of money. Sell it only when you have to, or when someone is serious to pay the real price. Otherwise keep it for yourself, run it, promote it, monetize it and let it make money.
That is it about Flippa.com and selling your website on it. I will write more about it in case I come to new findings.