Question For Experienced Flippa Sellers

27 replies
Quick question for those that sell on flippa. How do you accept payment without getting ripped off?

I was setting up my first auction and when it came time to set up payment options I realized that most if not all but cash in person could be taken advantage of by a shady buyer.

I just got off the phone with paypal and confirmed with them that there was ZERO protection for the seller of a website. I'd love to just accept paypal but with zero protection from Paypal it is a little scary to sell anything but a very low priced site.

So how are you pros doing it? Taking paypal and risking it? Is there something I'm missing... maybe Flippa has protection policies in place??

Thanks in advance!!
#experienced #flippa #question #sellers
  • Profile picture of the author WhamSoft
    I have a similar concerns but as a buyer of websites, I think the only 100% safe way is via the escrow.com service. I have never used them myself perhaps some of WF members could share their experiences with us.
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    • Profile picture of the author dbsilva
      I've only flipped three or four sites at this point, so I don't have a definitive answer. I've used PayPal exclusively and haven't had any trouble. However, it's my understanding that if you're going to flip higher end sites, those that are selling for $500 or more, then it's wise to use an escrow service as suggested by WhamSoft. On the lower end, I think you're probably safe to go with PayPal.

      Dave
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    • Profile picture of the author CorporatePuppet
      @Whamsoft - As a buyer you'd be protected by Paypal. I have a LOT of experience in dealing with paypal as a seller and buyer and can tell you that sellers rarely have any protection. Buyer wins almost all the time.

      The only exception is selling a physical product through Ebay. Paypal offers more protection in that area since they are owned by Ebay (iirc). Even then though you really have to have all your I's dotted and all your T's crossed in order to win a dispute as a seller.

      That's the reason I'm scared of using Paypal on Flippa as a seller. Hope someone can shed some light on the best way to accept payment on Flippa.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    There is no real protection. If the website is expensive enough, it's worth doing it through escrow.com. That's the safest way. It's risky any other way, except for if they wire cash. So far I haven't been ripped off but have come close.
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  • Profile picture of the author yommys01
    My last 4 sales are through escrow.com. Surprisingly the same person has been buying the site. Another thing you can do is to hold on to the domain name for 46 days.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave d
    I was always under the impression that if you were to accept large payments then an escrow service was the safest bet. However I have recently come across a similar discussion and there were people referencing links to escrow scams, although I did not actually check out the links.

    Dave d
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  • Profile picture of the author Imran Naseem
    Banned
    Beware, some people will do a chargeback and steal your website.
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    • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
      Escrow.com - This will protect you against chargebacks, and also ensure you get the payment in the first place, without releasing anything to the other party until payment is secured.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    If it's a large amount of money, escrow.com is the way to go. Figure in the fees before you set your price.

    Otherwise, just use paypal. I've sold hundreds of sites and not been ripped off once, but I expect it will probably happen some day. It's one of the risks you take when selling websites (and other digital products) online.

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author Kezz
    I agree, escrow.com is the best choice if the site is a fair amount of money. However, the thing to be aware of is that technically this service cannot protect a website sale, only a domain name sale.

    For me, when I've done large transactions I've arranged with the buyer to submit payment to escrow, after which I transferred the domain. When they had ownership of the domain they released the payment. After they released the payment I transferred & installed the actual site files.

    This worked for me because the buyer knows your site files are virtually worthless without the domain, so they feel protected. At the same time you know that it's only when you've secured your payment that you'll release all the assets.

    I haven't had any trouble with this method, and in fact I think insisting on it deflected some slightly shady characters as well.

    For smaller sites, Paymate is also an option. They are very similar to Paypal, with the difference being you need a credit card to submit payment to them, and they don't have Paypal's notoriously bad chargeback policy. As long as you keep up your end of a bargain you are safe with Paymate. Paymate: Online payment service - sell online, buy online
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    • Profile picture of the author A Bary
      Why this enthusiasm to Escrow??

      You don't need them, you can simply accept money as a transfer to your bank account, I don't think this can be reversed.. the money will be in YOUR Bank account
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by goldmind123 View Post

        Why this enthusiasm to Escrow??

        You don't need them, you can simply accept money as a transfer to your bank account, I don't think this can be reversed.. the money will be in YOUR Bank account
        Because escrow protects buyer and seller. Buyers who give up the cash to your account have no recourse when the seller is dishonest.
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    • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
      Originally Posted by Kezz View Post

      I agree, escrow.com is the best choice if the site is a fair amount of money. However, the thing to be aware of is that technically this service cannot protect a website sale, only a domain name sale.

      For me, when I've done large transactions I've arranged with the buyer to submit payment to escrow, after which I transferred the domain. When they had ownership of the domain they released the payment. After they released the payment I transferred & installed the actual site files.

      This worked for me because the buyer knows your site files are virtually worthless without the domain, so they feel protected. At the same time you know that it's only when you've secured your payment that you'll release all the assets.

      I haven't had any trouble with this method, and in fact I think insisting on it deflected some slightly shady characters as well.
      That's the exact method I use. Domain through Escrow, then once that is complete and payment has been released to me, I give them the other files.
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      • Profile picture of the author A Bary
        There's much better way to protect your money on Flippa

        Sell your sites to users with high trust rate and good number of positive feedback, I do this and I never go into a problem, don't sell your $5000 site to someone who just joined yesterday and never bought annything from Flippa before, it's unlikely to be a successful sale, if he doesn't turn to be a scammer, most of the time he will fall in remorse and run away without completing the sale, and you lose time and opportunity to find other potential buyers.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by goldmind123 View Post

          There's much better way to protect your money on Flippa

          Sell your sites to users with high trust rate and good number of positive feedback, I do this and I never go into a problem, don't sell your $5000 site to someone who just joined yesterday and never bought annything from Flippa before, it's unlikely to be a successful sale, if he doesn't turn to be a scammer, most of the time he will fall in remorse and run away without completing the sale, and you lose time and opportunity to find other potential buyers.
          There are far more newbies on Flippa than experienced buyers with a ton of good feedback. I've sold sites for $2500 to newbies through Paypal without any problems, but of course, I could have had problems. The one time I almost lost the domain and site I purchased was from someone on Sitepoint with a lot of positive feedback. Turns out even scammers can get good feedback. There's another one I won't mention his name had hundreds of positive feedbacks while selling PLR that cost him about $5 sites as UNIQUE sites for a couple hundred dollars. Naturally, these went to unsuspecting newbies rather than buyers who do some due diligence.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kezz
    I've offered direct transfer but nobody has taken it up. I think the reason is the buyer wants to feel they have some protection and recourse as well.

    If they stick money in someone's account that turns out to be a scammer it would be hard for them to get it back.

    It lets someone know you're legit if the payment option you offer protects them as well as you.
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    • Profile picture of the author CorporatePuppet
      Thanks for the reply's. Sounds like escrow is the best option. I emailed Flippa also and long story short they said you are on your own. They did mention they are working on an escrow solution. I'm surprised they are just now putting this together. Companies like Afternic have had inhouse escrow for a long time.

      Also just FYI - I mentioned wire transfer when talking the the Paypal rep and he said even those can be reversed. He was pretty cool and we talked about it for a minute. He said that when you get down to it you don't have any protection with any kind of monetary transaction for digital goods except maybe cash in person. I don't think he thought about escrow though. That sounds like the safest bet.
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  • Profile picture of the author iYingHang
    Originally Posted by ch3712 View Post

    Quick question for those that sell on flippa. How do you accept payment without getting ripped off?

    I was setting up my first auction and when it came time to set up payment options I realized that most if not all but cash in person could be taken advantage of by a shady buyer.

    I just got off the phone with paypal and confirmed with them that there was ZERO protection for the seller of a website. I'd love to just accept paypal but with zero protection from Paypal it is a little scary to sell anything but a very low priced site.

    So how are you pros doing it? Taking paypal and risking it? Is there something I'm missing... maybe Flippa has protection policies in place??

    Thanks in advance!!
    Using Escrow is definitely the best but of course there're some charges.

    Cheers,
    iYingHang
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  • Profile picture of the author InternetM39482
    Escrow.com, or a direct bank transfer.

    Safer, although I've used Paypal for upto ~$4k sites without any problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author GossipCrunch
    Positive feedback buyers are the trusted one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Money on the Side
    Originally Posted by ch3712 View Post

    Quick question for those that sell on flippa. How do you accept payment without getting ripped off?

    I was setting up my first auction and when it came time to set up payment options I realized that most if not all but cash in person could be taken advantage of by a shady buyer.

    I just got off the phone with paypal and confirmed with them that there was ZERO protection for the seller of a website. I'd love to just accept paypal but with zero protection from Paypal it is a little scary to sell anything but a very low priced site.

    So how are you pros doing it? Taking paypal and risking it? Is there something I'm missing... maybe Flippa has protection policies in place??

    Thanks in advance!!
    I've flipped several sites in the $500 range and I think Flippa should set up and handle escrow as an added service. If your site is worth much more than that, you should consider going through an ebiz broker. I sold one of my sites for $48,000 through Quietlight Brokerage with great success, taking less than a week from the time I posted it for sale.

    Prior to listing it, they assured me that they do not advertise on Flippa, because it is filled with scammers.

    Good luck on there...but be careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I've sold several sites on flippa w/ no problem. However my own personal rule is If the website sells for more than $2k, then I go with escrow.com. - The money is held, until both sides meet the pre-agreed to criteria.
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  • Profile picture of the author FlippaLuke
    All the advice here in regards to PayPal and escrow.com has been pretty spot on. We're in the process of integrating escrow into Flippa at the moment, but until then, we recommend using escrow.com for more expensive transactions.

    As goldmind123 suggested, if you're selling an expensive site, then look into who you're dealing with. Ask bidders for some credentials and do some background checks before you accept bids.
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  • Profile picture of the author newton
    I've probably been lucky but with more than 100 sales through Paypal I haven't had any issues.

    Although granted, all were less than $2000.

    If you are selling sites for more than that, then I would use escrow. I don't like the idea of bank transfers and handing over my account details to someone I don't know.

    Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author francoza
    I didnt face any problems. I sold sites over there and i do through escrow.
    But my friend you have to take risk in life.
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    • Profile picture of the author dvwiz
      Also, always use escrow.com or your trusted escrow service. *NEVER* use an escrow or similar service that is suggested by the buyer unless you're absolutely sure it's bona-fide. Some scammers have connections with the services they say they "trust" (i.e., the appraisal scam).

      I used escrow.com to sell a $1,000 domain with no problems at all.
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