Some basic tips on making money from Website Flipping

Mani Karthik wrote a post today on BloggingTips entitled ‘Earn money from Internet Real Estate business‘. Mani mentions in the post that I have ‘great store house on knowledge in this aspect'. I think Mani was being way too kind when he said that. Over the years I have sold and I have bought more sites I care to remember but I am far from an expert on the subject, infact, I have made a lot of mistakes.

So here are some basic tips on how to make money from buying and selling websites.

  • Don't buy websites you have no time to work on

    This is the one mistake I have made time and time again. I have come across some bargains over the years, sites which were being sold for much less than what they were really worth. I snapped them up quickly and had lots of ideas on how to increase traffic and how to start making money from the site but I didn't have time to implement those ideas and slowly the traffic for the site dropped. The main reason I didn't have time was because I took too much on, I bought websites with good potential but I didn't have time to update them. I also bought too many websites at the one time which again resulted in my ideas on how to improve the site not being implemented.

  • Know when to cut your losses

    As I mentioned above, there have been many times when I have purchased a site with good intentions to increase traffic to it and either quickly sell it for a profit or to start making money with it. After a while you need to be honest with yourself and ask if you will ever have the time to update it, if the answers no then you should cut your losses and move on. If a website is not being updated then most of the time the value of the site will decrease as time goes by. How much this decreases depends on the website, the market and other aspects but on the whole it's best to cut your losses and try and redeem something back for the site.

    Sometimes you will make your money back and break even, sometimes you may actually make a nice profit on the site even though you haven't updated it however sometimes you will have to swallow your pride and sell it for less than what you paid for it (or spent on it after you bought it!).

  • When buying a website, do your homework – Research, Research, Research

    When it comes to buying a website the most important thing to remember is to do your homework. Research the website's stats, research the seller, research the site's competitors and most importantly think about what you can do with the site.

    • Research the website's stats – Has the seller provided traffic stats? Where is the traffic coming from? What keywords is search engine traffic being generated with? These are the types of questions you need to ask. Don't assume that every seller is as nice as they make out, there are a lot of con artists out there. Some may inflate traffic whilst others will just downright lie about it. Where the traffic is coming from is definately one of the most important questions. Some sellers will purchase very cheap non targeted advertising so that pageviews increase, others will send a lot of traffic from one of their other websites and then remove the link once they have sold the site. Be Smart!
    • Research the seller – Look into the previous transactions of the seller and look at how many posts the seller has in the community. Are they trustworthy?
    • Research the site's competitors and think about what you can do with the site – Try not to get caught up in a bidding war for a site, particularly if you don't know what your going to do with it. One of the biggest factors of flipping a website is the ability to increase traffic to it and/or increase income from it. You need to have a clear vision in your head of how you would improve the site. It's no good just throwing money at every half decent website you find. Of course, it is worth buying a website if you think it's undervalued and you can quickly resell it elsewhere for a higher price but in general you really need to be able to imrpove a website to consistently make money from trading websites.

      It is also important to determine how much time you would have to spend on the site, either to run it or to improve it and then sell it on. Remember, time is money!

    Remember, you don't want to be ripped off and you want to get as good a price as you can so do your homework. Also, don't get caught in a bidding war as you may find yourself paying over the odds for the site.

  • Some quick tips on selling a website
    • Provide as much evidence of traffic stats and income as you can.
    • Be honest in your sale post, it's not in your interests to con anyone.
    • Don't price yourself out of a sale. Remember, a website's price is determined by how much it is worth to the buyer, not to you ie. how much time you spent on the website and how much money you spent on it is of no interest to the buyer.
    • Give good after sales support. I always try my best to give good after sales support. If you are selling websites on a regular basis then people will become familar with you and this is when a good reputation can make you money. I have made a lot of sales from people who have bought from me before and I have also sold sites to people who decided to buy a site from me after a previous buyer left a positive comment about me (ie. saying that the previous sale went smoothly).

    Summary

    Flipping websites isn't as exciting as some people may think. It can be time consuming as good deals are very hard to come by and it can also bea bit risky from time to time too. However, if you use some common sense and do as much research as you can you might just be able to make a good profit.

    Remember, flipping websites is just one way of making money on the web and time spent flipping is time you could be spending doing something else ie. building a website from scratch or adding content to an existing site you have.

    This isn't a very detailed post on the subject and I'm sure I haven't covered everything so if there is anything you want to ask please leave a comment :)