Buying sites at Flippa

I traded websites for years at the SitePoint Marketplace and have continued to use their new site Flippa once they moved most of their services there.

It remains the best place available to buy and sell websites. I’ve found it really difficult to sell domains there though you can sell pretty much any website there. I’ve been keeping an eye on Flippa recently for any decent websites to buy.

A few sales have caught my eye. A blackberry community was a steal at $5,000 but although I recently purchased a blackberry, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about it every week and think it would have been difficult to find good writers for the site.

KeyboardForums.com is also being sold just now for a few thousand, which is a decent price when you consider how good the domain name is. The design is really cool though that will be obsolete when you upgrade to Vbulletin 4. When you consider the price of getting a new design and getting a new owned license for the forums you need to spend about $1,000; and that’s before you even try to monetize a site which I believe will be difficult to monetize until it gets larger. So again, I decided not to bid.

The last site I was looking at was Codnation.net. I’m a huge Call of Duty fan so it would have been easy to run. I did bid up to $3,000 but I was reluctant to go any higher as it will be hard to make money from a site like that. Most of your regulars are going to be teenagers or adults who already have the game, so it’s difficult to push any products to them. It would be a good place to promote other websites you own though, which is why I wanted it. Though I’d rather spend cash on websites which are going to bring in money on a monthly basis.

Research, Research, Research

Unfortunately, like eBay, Flippa has loads of junk for sale. In fact, the majority of listings are junk. People are spending a few hours building a site and then listing it for sale. Others are waiting for an affiliate commission to go through and then making ridiculous claims that the site will make thousands per month (but they are willing to sell it just now for a few hundred). Most people in this game and can spot these cons a mile away but I’ve seen a few people being duped.

False information is also a big problem for Flippa. I think it would be good if people could report things which are blatantly false. For example, I see many people using freely available designs which have been downloaded and used on thousands of websites and then claim that the design is unique. And unless you do your research, you won’t know otherwise. In fact, even if you do you might not spot it. I bought a cheap forum for a few hundred bucks a few years ago because it has some activity and a decent design. It was only later that I found out it was a free design being used by many communities but I just couldn’t find the design elsewhere when I looked into it before bidding.

Traffic and revenue stats are also heavily inflated on the site. Though if you ask for evidence you should be able to avoid being ripped off.

However, there are still some bargains about. I’ve noticed that sellers initially make their reserves and buy it nows unrealistic but towards the end of the sale they drop their prices, particularly if the auction isn’t getting many bids.

I’m working on launching my new blog soon, which will focus on the WordPress platform. Therefore, I’m not too bothered if I pick up a good bargain or not just now. In fact, it’s maybe better if I don’t so that I can put all my energy into my new blog.

Though if I do pick anything up I’ll let you all know :)

Kev

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