I flip sites for a living - how can I help?

57 replies
Hey guys,

I've been flipping sites for a while now and have bought and sold more than I can remember within that time.

I'm pretty new to the forum but wish to become more active and help out the members.

So, if you have any questions related to flipping sites, please ask it here and I'll be happy to help.

Thanks!
Thomas
#flip #living #sites
  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by friend View Post

      I have a premium domain. I'm going to put it on auction, or sell it outright if someone's interested.


      BONGSTORE.NET
      bong store dot net is hardly a premium domain and advertising in the thread is not allowed, so do put it on auction somewhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    Hey Thomas, do you think any website flippers would be interested in a JV with a content writer? I suck at the technical aspect of things or deciding what keywords to target, but I adore writing unique, top-quality content. Would any of them "bite" for a partnership, 50/50 split of the profits (and if not, would a different profit structure help)? Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
      Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

      Hey Thomas, do you think any website flippers would be interested in a JV with a content writer? I suck at the technical aspect of things or deciding what keywords to target, but I adore writing unique, top-quality content. Would any of them "bite" for a partnership, 50/50 split of the profits (and if not, would a different profit structure help)? Thanks!
      That's an awesome way to make money flipping. I often JV with people with skills I don't possess. You can also approach website owners who have their site on the market and see if they would be interested in a profit share instead of an outright sale. This can be a great tactic as buyers often sell as they have no time/skill to maintain the site.

      Alternatively, one of my main recommendations and tips for flipping is: work to your strengths.

      If you're a great writer, look for a site that already has all the hard work done on design/coding but lacks unique content - this is where you can shine and add value.

      Conversely, if you are a great designer, but suck at writing, buy a horrible looking site that you can easily improve - always increases percieved value to potential buyers.

      And here's another tip: upsell your services. For example: buy a blog for $100, spend a month writing quality content once a week and submitting to ezine for quality backlinks. Flip the site for $1k. 9/10 the buyer will ask for your writer - at this point you can dictate your rate. I regularly sell blogs for $XXXX and then have an ongoing contract for $50 per 500 words, once a week. Sell 10 of those and you have a full-time income!
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      I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
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      • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
        Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

        That's an awesome way to make money flipping. I often JV with people with skills I don't possess. You can also approach website owners who have their site on the market and see if they would be interested in a profit share instead of an outright sale. This can be a great tactic as buyers often sell as they have no time/skill to maintain the site.

        Alternatively, one of my main recommendations and tips for flipping is: work to your strengths.

        If you're a great writer, look for a site that already has all the hard work done on design/coding but lacks unique content - this is where you can shine and add value.

        Conversely, if you are a great designer, but suck at writing, but a horrible looking site that you can easily improve - always increases percieved value to potential buyers.

        And here's another tip: upsell your services. For example: buy a blog for $100, spend a month writing quality content once a week and submitting to ezine for quality backlinks. Flip the site for $1k. 9/10 the buyer will ask for your writer - at this point you can dictate your rate. I regularly sell blogs for and then have an ongoing contract for $50 per 500 words, once a week. Sell 10 of those and you have a full-time income!
        Great advice, thanks. I bolded the part I'd love a little clarification on -- do you mean I should post one 500-word article a week, then submit the same article to Ezinearticles... and after four weeks, flip it? I'm very tempted to try it out.
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        • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
          Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

          Great advice, thanks. I bolded the part I'd love a little clarification on -- do you mean I should post one 500-word article a week, then submit the same article to Ezinearticles... and after four weeks, flip it? I'm very tempted to try it out.
          That's a general guide for a blog but make sure it is in context. For example: if you buy a blog where the previous owner posts once a month - post once a week. If they post once a week, post once a day. And if they already post once a day - don't bother

          You are looking to improve on what is already there. I don't really sell startup sites anymore - my main lucrative acquisitions are blogs that need a bit of TLC.

          I'd challenge you to give it a go. If you are a great writer, and it sounds as if you are - it can be extremely lucrative. Many people refer to flipping as building and selling new sites - but I tend to look at established sites that can be improved. Domain age, PR, SEO, design have already been done for you. If you have a browse on DP you can pick up some awesome sites for around the $500 mark.

          Hope that adds some clarification.
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          • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
            Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

            That's a general guide for a blog but make sure it is in context. For example: if you buy a blog where the previous owner posts once a month - post once a week. If they post once a week, post once a day. And if they already post once a day - don't bother

            You are looking to improve on what is already there. I don't really sell startup sites anymore - my main lucrative acquisitions are blogs that need a bit of TLC.

            I'd challenge you to give it a go. If you are a great writer, and it sounds as if you are - it can be extremely lucrative. Many people refer to flipping as building and selling new sites - but I tend to look at established sites that can be improved. Domain age, PR, SEO, design have already been done for you. If you have a browse on DP you can pick up some awesome sites for around the $500 mark.

            Hope that adds some clarification.
            Ahh, excellent, thank you. That helped a lot. My "explore new areas of IM" budget isn't quite high enough for $500 yet, but I'll look for sites from $50-$150 and run an experiment, then. Is Flippa or DP better for these kinds of small blogs?
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            • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
              Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

              Ahh, excellent, thank you. That helped a lot. My "explore new areas of IM" budget isn't quite high enough for $500 yet, but I'll look for sites from $50-$150 and run an experiment, then. Is Flippa or DP better for these kinds of small blogs?
              You'll be there soon enough, don't worry

              I always look on DP first, a lot to sift through, but you can find some gems. Even put a WTB thread if you want something specific. Selling wise, I almost always use Flippa.
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              • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
                Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

                You'll be there soon enough, don't worry

                I always look on DP first, a lot to sift through, but you can find some gems. Even put a WTB thread if you want something specific. Selling wise, I almost always use Flippa.
                I hope so! I'd like to see how the profit vs. effort compares to my current main stream of income, and expand whichever pays off better over the course of the summer.

                And thank you for the awesome advice!
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

          Great advice, thanks. I bolded the part I'd love a little clarification on -- do you mean I should post one 500-word article a week, then submit the same article to Ezinearticles... and after four weeks, flip it? I'm very tempted to try it out.
          You're not likely to sell a 1 month old site that has no traffic or revenue for $1,000 unless it's really something special. If you are good at writing, you can upsell your writing services, as was mentioned, but to sell the site, many Flippa buyers are looking for traffic and revenue. Money talks ...
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          • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            You're not likely to sell a 1 month old site that has no traffic or revenue for $1,000 unless it's really something special. If you are good at writing, you can upsell your writing services, as was mentioned, but to sell the site, many Flippa buyers are looking for traffic and revenue. Money talks ...
            Thanks for chiming in with more advice for me. I was thinking of buying an existing site for around $100, something that has traffic already, then writing more content, making everything on the site unique, and flipping it for $500-$1000 -- I believe that's upselling? I'm confident enough in my writing, just unsure of the market. I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
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          • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            You're not likely to sell a 1 month old site that has no traffic or revenue for $1,000 unless it's really something special. If you are good at writing, you can upsell your writing services, as was mentioned, but to sell the site, many Flippa buyers are looking for traffic and revenue. Money talks ...
            Hey, sorry maybe I wasn't very clear. I was talking about buying an established site that needs some TLC and flipping that. Over on DP you can pick up some already established sites for low $XXX which I regularly resell for $XXXX within a month. Perhaps the $100 -> $1000 on your first flip is slightly optimistic, but it is certainly not impossible.

            Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

            Thanks for chiming in with more advice for me. I was thinking of buying an existing site for around $100, something that has traffic already, then writing more content, making everything on the site unique, and flipping it for $500-$1000 -- I believe that's upselling? I'm confident enough in my writing, just unsure of the market. I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
            Upselling generally refers to selling services after the initial sale. So selling a site, then hosting, then content services, then SEO would be upselling.

            The process I was describing was more adding value. Buy something rubbish ----> make it good = adding value

            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Actually, there's a very good way to provide a little Paypal protection, and I have taken thousands of dollars via Paypal successfully for flipped sites of mine. Paypal doesn't support digital transactions. So send the site on CD via certified mail and it's no longer a digital transaction and less likely to give Paypal a reason to refund the money once shipment with a tracking number has been confirmed.

            As for escrow, I recently talked to a guy who was protected by escrow from a guy who would not transfer the site files once the money was deposited. He transferred the domain, but not the site files. Escrow advised him to cancel the sale and he did ... money returned to buyer.
            That's a very good tip actually, and my bad for forgetting to mention

            Given the choice, I will always take Escrow over Paypal. The CD is a great tip, although isn't always cost effective if you are selling startup sites for tight margins.

            Escrow are very good, no denying that. Technically, though, their T&C's wouldn't help you if it came down to it once transaction has gone through. You do get an expection period though, so make sure you don't agree until everything is perfect. Never take promises from a seller without protection.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

              Hey, sorry maybe I wasn't very clear. I was talking about buying an established site that needs some TLC and flipping that. Over on DP you can pick up some already established sites for low which I regularly resell for within a month. Perhaps the $100 -> $1000 on your first flip is slightly optimistic, but it is certainly not impossible.
              Yeah ... this is flipping in the purest sense. I have purchased sites for $50 and sold them within a week for $500 with a little cosmetic surgery.
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    • Profile picture of the author missm2m
      Zabrina, Thomas,...

      This is timely! I just spent a little while today looking through Flippa again to familiarize myself with it a little more, because...........

      I'm planning to sell some names and/or sites.

      Thomas, are domain name only sales a good way to go...at all? I'm sure the websites are better of course...

      I have both, but not a lot of Flippa knowledge. I seemed to notice it's very close to how eBay runs their auctions. If so, I wouldn't have a problem I think. Except for pricing.... !
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  • Profile picture of the author yommys01
    WSO coming soon? Stop fooling us, I may be a kid but not born last night.
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    • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
      Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

      WSO coming soon? Stop fooling us, I may be a kid but not born last night.
      Sorry - I wasn't aware of the rules. I just spoke to Paul about this so have removed it. Apologies if you think I had the wrong intentions.

      Originally Posted by debra View Post

      Do you have a template or check list of the information that possible buyers would want to see before deciding to bid?

      What information is the most important that would persuade the buyer to purchase a site?

      What's the best way to ensure a successful sale vs a mediocre sale?
      Regarding template: no, I don't actually, especially for lower end sales. As long as you can provide all the stats required by Flippa (where I sell majority of my sites) you should be fine. That said, if you intend on reselling a site, you MUST track revenue and traffic carefully.

      I wouldn't say there is one specific factor that would persuade a buyer - generally they will need to like you and not find any holes in your pitch. Always be honest in your sales thread. Generally, buyers are not just buying a site, they are buying YOUR time. Be polite, responsive and informative. Always reply to comments, messages, emails etc quickly and you will soon build great relationships with your clients.

      Sell quality sites

      Joking apart, set a realistic sales price and offer an incentive to hit a certain price level. For example, "if you reach my BIN price, I will include free hosting for one year, 10 unique articles and 30 day's support". Much like when selling any other product, you want to overdeliver so the buyer thinks they are getting a great site and access to you (which is where the value is for a number of buyers).
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      • Profile picture of the author inter123
        Flipping appeals but am scared that I am going to be taken advantage of. I have been reading flippa is a bit like the wild west, its pretty much a place with little in the way of laws. You could sell something, not be paid, scammers get their money refunded by paypal etc.

        What steps should be taken to ensure everything is above board?

        Thanks.
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        • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
          Originally Posted by inter123 View Post

          Flipping appeals but am scared that I am going to be taken advantage of. I have been reading flippa is a bit like the wild west, its pretty much a place with little in the way of laws. You could sell something, not be paid, scammers get their money refunded by paypal etc.

          What steps should be taken to ensure everything is above board?

          Thanks.
          Yes, you are correct - it's a tough market and you need to be careful. DP is probably the worst. Flippa you just need to be careful and do your due diligence. One of my JV partners actually wrote this interesting article which I thought would be useful for all (from a seller perspective):

          To get started - the very first thing to do is NEVER enable the "Accept all bids" option, even when you're off to bed for the next 8 hours or out of town for a day. Having this option enabled is a surefire way to attract loads of illegit bids, as bidders are informed about the fact that their bids gets automatically accepted BEFORE they place their bid.

          That said, here's my personal checklist that I go through, each and every time I get a new bid (this applies to bids that are in excess of $500 - with smaller auctions, I tend to go with a more relaxed approach as time is money):

          1. Open up the bidder's account information page and check the general information, such as a) what's the age of their account; b) how much feedback do they have; c) if they've been actively bidding on other auctions.

          2. If the bidder has some feedback, I take a closer look at what's written, as well as check the profiles of those who have left the feedback to make sure that they're legitimate accounts (click on the "View feedback history for [username]" button).

          3. (Optional) In case of high amounts ($1,000+), combined with some doubt, i.e. the bidder has only a few pieces of feedback, I sometimes go the extra mile to actually PM the people who have left them feedback, asking if everything actually did go as planned. This is an important step, because more often than not, feedback is left right after the completion of a sale, and it can't be easily edited in the future, even if the buyer files a PayPal dispute a month later!

          4. In case everything checks out, the account is at least a few months old and there's some positive feedback, I go ahead and accept the bid.

          5. In case there are doubts (very new account, some negative feedback, etc.) I tend to ASK FOR A DEPOSIT (a small sum, usually between 5% and 10% of the bid, maximum $100) before accepting the bid. It's pretty simple really - I just tell the bidder to deposit a small amount via PayPal to guarantee their bid. Of course, I thoroughly explain the need for this and pay the money back promptly after the auction ends or after they've been outbid.

          Just in case some are wondering - I've had a chat with Flippa's staff about this and they have told me that they're fine with this - however (and that is important) in case you require deposits, you need to make sure that both your site's traffic details and revenue details are 100% correct and proven by screenshots! Also, Flippa obviously reserves the right to close down your account permanently in case you fail to return any of the deposits within 48 hours of the end of the auction.

          NB! SPEND A LOT OF TIME PREPARING YOUR DEPOSIT REQUEST PM! I can't stress this enough - most buyers on Flippa are complete newbies and can't even think of any scamming possibilities, meaning that unless you make things very clear, YOU will be the one suspected in a scam attempt.

          Also, it's most certainly not a good idea to ask for deposits if your own account doesn't already have extensive history and a nice amount of feedback.

          6. If the bidder refuses to pay the deposit then I ask if they have any alternative options to prove their legitimacy and if they don't then tough luck. Sure, you'll lose a bid or two every now and then but considering the amount of time (and money) it takes to relist an auction (as well as the fact that it will show as a relisting and, talking from experience, relistings tend to sell FAR worse than original listings, it makes sense to sacrifice a few bids.

          7. Once the deposit is paid, I approve the bid instantly and also check the "Approve all bids from this bidder" option to allow him to continue bidding without the need for further manual approval.

          Some additional tips:

          * DO NOT trust Flippa's ranking system. Flippa gives enormously high ranking boosts for very simple things, such as connecting an established Facebook and Linkedin account (while the account details are only visible to Flippa themselves), allowing scammers to acquire a trust rank of +12 with minimal effort.

          * Don't pay any attention to the country the bidder displays. Flippa's phone verification is extremely primitive, and it's very easy to specify US as your country even if you verify your account using a Lebanese phone number, for instance.

          That pretty much sums up the due diligence you should do on Flippa. It sounds like a lot of effort, but you will save yourself a lot of hassle and heartache by following these rules everytime you sell.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by inter123 View Post

          Flipping appeals but am scared that I am going to be taken advantage of. I have been reading flippa is a bit like the wild west, its pretty much a place with little in the way of laws. You could sell something, not be paid, scammers get their money refunded by paypal etc.

          What steps should be taken to ensure everything is above board?

          Thanks.
          If it's a high end site, use escrow.com. I've taken payments up to $2,500 for a site with Paypal, although it's probably not a good idea. I just had numerous conversations with the buyer and developed trust in them. Checking to see if a buyer has previous feedback is one way to see if they have had honest transactions previously. Talk to the buyer.

          There's never any guarantee that you won't get ripped off (except with escrow), but over time you get a gut feeling about buyers.
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          • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            If it's a high end site, use escrow.com. I've taken payments up to $2,500 for a site with Paypal, although it's probably not a good idea. I just had numerous conversations with the buyer and developed trust in them. Checking to see if a buyer has previous feedback is one way to see if they have had honest transactions previously. Talk to the buyer.

            There's never any guarantee that you won't get ripped off (except with escrow), but over time you get a gut feeling about buyers.
            Agreed on Paypal. Avoid at all costs

            Regarding Escrow, I feel I should correct you on this often misunderstood small print. Escrow.com don't actually offer any protection for SITES, only domains.

            Theoretically, once the domain is transferred, the transaction is complete in Escrow's eyes. Even if the site has been transferred, you can still be stung with nasty hackers etc. Make sure you change all related passwords immediately, even if the seller "seems nice".
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

              Agreed on Paypal. Avoid at all costs

              Regarding Escrow, I feel I should correct you on this often misunderstood small print. Escrow.com don't actually offer any protection for SITES, only domains.

              Theoretically, once the domain is transferred, the transaction is complete in Escrow's eyes. Even if the site has been transferred, you can still be stung with nasty hackers etc. Make sure you change all related passwords immediately, even if the seller "seems nice".
              Actually, there's a very good way to provide a little Paypal protection, and I have taken thousands of dollars via Paypal successfully for flipped sites of mine. Paypal doesn't support digital transactions. So send the site on CD via certified mail and it's no longer a digital transaction and less likely to give Paypal a reason to refund the money once shipment with a tracking number has been confirmed.

              As for escrow, I recently talked to a guy who was protected by escrow from a guy who would not transfer the site files once the money was deposited. He transferred the domain, but not the site files. Escrow advised him to cancel the sale and he did ... money returned to buyer.
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      • Profile picture of the author yommys01
        Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

        Sorry - I wasn't aware of the rules. I just spoke to Paul about this so have removed it. Apologies if you think I had the wrong intentions.
        Well good that you were not banned but it is very obvious that you are here to benefit from them forum without giving to it.

        If you come here and you start blowing your own trumphet and you have in your signature site flipping expert - WSO coming soon then it shows that you have come here to game the system and not contribute to it.

        And to those who may jump on me, please note that I am only saying what I feel so please stay off me.
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        • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
          Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

          Well good that you were not banned but it is very obvious that you are here to benefit from them forum without giving to it.

          If you come here and you start blowing your own trumphet and you have in your signature site flipping expert - WSO coming soon then it shows that you have come here to game the system and not contribute to it.

          And to those who may jump on me, please note that I am only saying what I feel so please stay off me.
          Yommy,

          I don't know what I've done to offend you, but I feel that is slightly unfair. I wasn't aware of the rule regarding signature, and as soon as I realised my mistake I removed it. I even PM'ed a mod to clarify off my own back.

          In regards to not giving to the forum: I have donated to be a war room member and there are no wrong intentions with this thread. I am merely here to share my knowledge and build up a good reputation. I am very well regarded on other forums, and have never sold a thing to any of them.

          I'm not here to brag, I merely wanted to begin to be an active contributor.

          Apologies if I offended you, but I'm a nice guy really

          Thomas

          Originally Posted by kb24 View Post

          Hi thomas just saw this post... do you know if I would be able to flip a free weebly site or would I need domain/hosting? Sorry if this is a dumb question as I am still researching what website flipping is ect..
          It's not impossible but highly unlikely - especially on marketplaces such as Flippa where you need to prove ownership. You definitely need to own a domain. Hosting wise, free is fine, although I'd recommend investing in some cheap shared hosting as soon as you can (so you have 100% control over your domains and files).

          Hope that helps!
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

          Well good that you were not banned but it is very obvious that you are here to benefit from them forum without giving to it.

          If you come here and you start blowing your own trumphet and you have in your signature site flipping expert - WSO coming soon then it shows that you have come here to game the system and not contribute to it.

          And to those who may jump on me, please note that I am only saying what I feel so please stay off me.
          Come on yommys ... there's more than enough room for all of us flippers. The guy is putting out info and trying to begin a reputation and undoubtedly will sell something sooner or later ... as do we all.
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          • Profile picture of the author yommys01
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Come on yommys ... there's more than enough room for all of us flippers. The guy is putting out info and trying to begin a reputation and undoubtedly will sell something sooner or later ... as do we all.
            I disagree with you, he here to blow his own trumphet and then start an WSO.

            You need to see his signature before he was probably told to remove it. He came here, claim he has sold zillions of websites and has in his signature, "SITE FLIPPING EXPERT - WSO COMING SOON".

            Is that the way you built your own reputation? There is a big difference between trying to game the system and contributing to the system. I am very sure this guy is here mainly because he wants something from the system.

            OKAY, maybe I am wrong but his signature before it was removed points to the fact that he is only here to make some money.

            Like I said, it is my opinion and I may be wrong.
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            • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
              Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

              I disagree with you, he here to blow his own trumphet and then start an WSO.

              You need to see his signature before he was probably told to remove it. He came here, claim he has sold zillions of websites and has in his signature, "SITE FLIPPING EXPERT - WSO COMING SOON".

              Is that the way you built your own reputation? There is a big difference between trying to game the system and contributing to the system. I am very sure this guy is here mainly because he wants something from the system.

              OKAY, maybe I am wrong but his signature before it was removed points to the fact that he is only here to make some money.

              Like I said, it is my opinion and I may be wrong.
              Man, I have admitted I was wrong, I removed it IMMEDIATELY when I realised it was in breach of the rules and apologised publicly!

              I don't see how anything in my signature would contribute to my reputation. I could write whatever I like in there and it wouldn't make any difference as I am clearly new and haven't contributed much in the past. And just because I am new, doesn't mean I am not already successful. I have no intention of disclosing how much money I make each month.

              I'll let my words do the talking.

              I don't want to argue, Yommy. I apologised for my mistake.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

              OKAY, maybe I am wrong but his signature before it was removed points to the fact that he is only here to make some money.

              Like I said, it is my opinion and I may be wrong.
              I'd say 99% of us are here to make money and you got to start a conversation somewhere. As for that WSO coming soon .... I see that all the time. Don't think there's any rules against that.
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              • Profile picture of the author yommys01
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                I'd say 99% of us are here to make money and you got to start a conversation somewhere. As for that WSO coming soon .... I see that all the time. Don't think there's any rules against that.
                Did you read the starting thread? What does it sound to you considering what I said was in on his signature.
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        • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
          Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

          Well good that you were not banned but it is very obvious that you are here to benefit from them forum without giving to it.

          If you come here and you start blowing your own trumphet and you have in your signature site flipping expert - WSO coming soon then it shows that you have come here to game the system and not contribute to it.

          And to those who may jump on me, please note that I am only saying what I feel so please stay off me.
          Man, I really tried to ignore this but your seeming jealousy and desire to take over this thread is way over the top. Look, I get that you are a "Site flipping" guru but give this guy a break. He came here looking to help. Am I missing something here?

          You point out that he has a sig file leading to a WSO for site flipping ... uh, so do you ...???? If you would kindly leave it alone and allow others to benefit from this thread I would appreciate it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tom B
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Marhelper View Post

            Man, I really tried to ignore this but your seeming jealousy and desire to take over this thread is way over the top. Look, I get that you are a "Site flipping" guru but give this guy a break. He came here looking to help. Am I missing something here?

            You point out that he has a sig file leading to a WSO for site flipping ... uh, so do you ...???? If you would kindly leave it alone and allow others to benefit from this thread I would appreciate it.

            Your bitching about a post made 5 days ago. You are now the one derailing the thread by bringing it up, yet again. :rolleyes:
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            • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
              Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

              Your bitching about a post made 5 days ago. You are now the one derailing the thread by bringing it up, yet again. :rolleyes:
              My bad. I did not catch the date. Your the first person to accuse me of bitching since my wife did it a few hours ago ... ouch.
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              • Profile picture of the author Tom B
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Marhelper View Post

                My bad. I did not catch the date. Your the first person to accuse me of bitching since my wife did it a few hours ago ... ouch.
                My condolences on the double whammy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neromancer
      Originally Posted by yommys01 View Post

      WSO coming soon? Stop fooling us, I may be a kid but not born last night.
      lol good - but I would expect that
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  • Profile picture of the author debra
    Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been flipping sites for a while now and have bought and sold more than I can remember within that time.

    I'm pretty new to the forum but wish to become more active and help out the members.

    So, if you have any questions related to flipping sites, please ask it here and I'll be happy to help.

    Thanks!
    Thomas
    Do you have a template or check list of the information that possible buyers would want to see before deciding to bid?

    What information is the most important that would persuade the buyer to purchase a site?

    What's the best way to ensure a successful sale vs a mediocre sale?
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  • Profile picture of the author kb24
    Hi thomas just saw this post... do you know if I would be able to flip a free weebly site or would I need domain/hosting? Sorry if this is a dumb question as I am still researching what website flipping is ect..
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  • Profile picture of the author yommys01
    I back off not because I am sure that you are for real but because I don't have time for the arguement. You know yourself, search your heart you know the truth.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    As for escrow, I recently talked to a guy who was protected by escrow from a guy who would not transfer the site files once the money was deposited. He transferred the domain, but not the site files. Escrow advised him to cancel the sale and he did ... money returned to buyer.
    On my last flip that used Escrow.com, I'm pretty sure you could list different "steps" to the transaction. So my buyer listed "inspect website" as the final step and they did not release the money to me until he gave them the OK that I had transferred the files.

    That tip about sending the CD via certified mail is GENIUS! Now why didn't I ever think of that?
    Signature
    Gone Fishing
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    • Profile picture of the author PolarBearAK
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      On my last flip that used Escrow.com, I'm pretty sure you could list different "steps" to the transaction. So my buyer listed "inspect website" as the final step and they did not release the money to me until he gave them the OK that I had transferred the files.

      That tip about sending the CD via certified mail is GENIUS! Now why didn't I ever think of that?
      Hmmm, couldn't the seller send incomplete data on a CD? You'd still have to be able to check the contents before releasing funds to the seller.

      Thomas,

      Thank you for the great information you're providing. I find it very helpful.
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      • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
        Originally Posted by PolarBearAK View Post

        Hmmm, couldn't the seller send incomplete data on a CD? You'd still have to be able to check the contents before releasing funds to the seller.
        I believe the CD comment was referring to Paypal. It's a trick that works well. Need to remember that Paypal is largely automated though, so if you get a number of chargebacks (anyone sell on DP?!) you could still be limited even if you win each one with a tracking number for a CD.

        Another important way to cover yourself as a buyer or seller is with the use of a contract. They are extremely under used when buying and selling sites. I will ALWAYS write one up if I'm selling anything over $1k just to be safe. It also adds an extra level of trust, especially if you are the seller.
        Signature
        I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
    Personally I like to keep my business model simple and 95% of the time sell sites. Domains aren't best sold on Flippa, you would be better off somewhere like Sedo.

    For domains that aren't worth much you can add a lot of value by building a site, whereas a 5 figure premium domain isn't worth developing unless you have good plans.

    There is plenty of money to be made with domains, but I find sites to be more profitable - purely due to the fact I can add value (percieved and real) in various ways depending on the site.

    On low end sites, margins are tight since the move to Flippa from Sitepoint but you can still make a profit if you are efficient. The hardest part is getting exposure to your listings. I personally feature every auction I run, and swear by that as a tactic. Others may argue you could generate relevant traffic to your auction by blog commenting etc.

    To be honest - there is no right or wrong answer, because ultimately, only the market can decide what sells and what doesn't. Why don't you give it a shot with a site and report back with how it went for you?
    Signature
    I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
    Hi Al,

    To be profitable you need to be able to react quickly to shifts in demand, and it has been a solid business model for me. Selling brand new sites is not impossible, but a lot harder to realise a long term profit. There is still demand for new sites you just have to offer a unique selling point, a superior product or, ideally a combination of both and most importantly: get your site infront of as many potential buyers as possible. Once you have mastered lower end sites you can move onto bigger sites where similar ROI's are still possible.

    I specialise on purchasing sites in the $XXX range and flipping in the $XXXX-$XX,XXX range in the shortest time possible to maintain good cashflow and make it worthwhile. And I don't do badly

    It's certainly not for everyone as it does require a lot of work and isn't as "autopilot" as some methods. However, it is a great way to build a portfolio of sites whilst making a profit at the same time.

    Thomas
    Signature
    I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
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    • Profile picture of the author jhongren
      Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

      Hi Al,

      I specialise on purchasing sites in the range and flipping in the -,XXX range in the shortest time possible to maintain good cashflow and make it worthwhile. And I don't do badly

      Thomas
      Hey Thomas, Thanks for this great thread.

      How do u scale this site flipping model beside buying site for a lower cost and selling them for a higher price and upselling the buyers with content services?

      Personally I find site flipping tedious too.

      Love to hear from you.

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
        Hi John,

        I think most people when they think scale think "higher volumes of sales". I personally don't look at it that way. My ROI increases month on month by investing in bigger sites each time. If you sell startup sites you need to sell A LOT to be worthwhile and scale it.

        As a basic example of how I would do it: month one, sell a startup site, $100 profit. Invest that $100 to make $200. Invest $200 to make $400 and so on...

        Selling startup sites is very hard to scale. Consider this: sell 10 sites for $100 each for $1000 profit total, and then next month sell 100 sites for a $10,000 profit?

        Or would you prefer this: sell 10 sites for $1000 profit each and make $10,000? I always find dealing in lower volumes easier, it means I can give my customers the service they deserve and pay for without relying on staff.

        Scale your margins not your volume of sales

        When you get to the stage of selling 95% of sites in the $XXXX-$XX,XXX bracket, you don't need many sales to be very profitable each month. I also have a number of repeat customers for established sites so I look to buy sites that they will be interested in too.

        Another tip is to always buy quality. I don't buy/use PLR, I don't outsource anywhere where English isn't their first language and charge accordingly. Contrary to popular belief it isn't all about price. There are plenty of buyers lined up to pay top dollar for quality.

        Hope that is helpful

        Thomas

        Originally Posted by jhongren View Post

        Hey Thomas, Thanks for this great thread.

        How do u scale this site flipping model beside buying site for a lower cost and selling them for a higher price and upselling the buyers with content services?

        Personally I find site flipping tedious too.

        Love to hear from you.

        John
        Originally Posted by Chris Hunter View Post

        Thomas,

        Do you ever flip any websites that have mailing lists? If you do, what list service do you use and how do you facilitate the transfer of the email list?

        Thanks!
        Hi,

        I tend to avoid selling sites with mailing lists as I'm aware that services such as Aweber don't allow you to transfer accounts. The vast majority of my sites have members, so I suppose in that sense there is a mailing list - but in these cases members are just stored in an mySQL database which is transferred with the site.

        From what I gather about email marketing, you should never sell your list anyway

        Thomas

        Hi,

        I think I'm different to a number of "flippers" as I don't tend to outsource. My business partner can code/design and I can do everything else to some extent. As I mentioned earlier, I don't sell startup sites very often anymore.

        My primary business model is buying undervalued assets on forums such as DP and reselling them on Flippa with a markup. My model requires excellent quality, something that I wouldn't want to trust to a 3rd party.

        Thomas

        Originally Posted by Alminc View Post

        Thomas,

        You offered your help so I use the opportunity to ask
        if you can provide your best outsourcing resources

        - for website graphics design
        - for website content writing
        - for ebook content writing (if the site sells the ebook)

        I think that's how you site flippers actually make money.
        You have your secret cheap graphics and content creators,
        you put together the site (with or without the ebook)
        and sell it for profit, right?
        Signature
        I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
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  • Profile picture of the author yommys01
    Originally Posted by precious007 View Post

    Flipping sites has never been a business
    model for me, since if I were to outsource
    all the work I could hardly see any profits
    even in months.

    I'm not saying you can make any money by
    flipping your sites, I've made $50,000 last year
    alone selling my own sites, I haven't had in mind
    to sell them at first but needed some cash to
    move forward with some other projects.

    Site flipping is a tedious process, and I've noticed that
    the vast majority of site flippers back on Flippa tend
    to fail.

    There's only one reason -- People are selling sites for
    $200 - $500 that are not even making a single dime. Websites
    that I would be able to put up in seconds. Fooling people
    around just doesn't work any more.

    Al.
    You are not seeing any profit with your outsourcing because you are not doing the right way. I personally don't sit in front of the computer all day again, never... my xbox will not allow that.

    Instead I pay to get the job done and still get my profit. The key is to have as many sites as possible and go for the cheapest outsourcers.

    And when I said cheapest I don't mean Indians ( no disrespect to my Indian friends ) or Asians as their English is not always good for me.

    If you want outsourcers, look at Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and possibly South Africa. They are cheap and English is not a big problem.

    Also, you must be willing to spend time to educate them on how to get things done then you leave them to work for you.

    If you really want to become a big time site flipper, then you must outsource. You just can't do everything by yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Hunter
    Thomas,

    Do you ever flip any websites that have mailing lists? If you do, what list service do you use and how do you facilitate the transfer of the email list?

    Thanks!
    Signature

    Ok, sure. You can follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/Chris_Hunter ;)

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    • Profile picture of the author Alminc
      Thomas,

      You offered your help so I use the opportunity to ask
      if you can provide your best outsourcing resources

      - for website graphics design
      - for website content writing
      - for ebook content writing (if the site sells the ebook)

      I think that's how you site flippers actually make money.
      You have your secret cheap graphics and content creators,
      you put together the site (with or without the ebook)
      and sell it for profit, right?
      Signature
      No links :)
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    • Profile picture of the author ErnieB
      Originally Posted by Chris Hunter View Post

      Thomas,

      Do you ever flip any websites that have mailing lists? If you do, what list service do you use and how do you facilitate the transfer of the email list?

      Thanks!
      I use Aweber and sold a site with a list. The buyer and i both contacted Aweber and they took care of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by precious007 View Post

    Flipping sites has never been a business
    model for me, since if I were to outsource
    all the work I could hardly see any profits
    even in months.

    I'm not saying you can make any money by
    flipping your sites, I've made $50,000 last year
    alone selling my own sites, I haven't had in mind
    to sell them at first but needed some cash to
    move forward with some other projects.

    Site flipping is a tedious process, and I've noticed that
    the vast majority of site flippers back on Flippa tend
    to fail.

    There's only one reason -- People are selling sites for
    $200 - $500 that are not even making a single dime. Websites
    that I would be able to put up in seconds. Fooling people
    around just doesn't work any more.

    Al.

    That is Flippa's biggest problem ... all the crap sellers that try to pawn off crap sites to make a fast buck. There are a lot of scammers who buy sites for $5 (PLR) and sell them for $100-$200. A lot of buyers on flippa are newbies and don't really do any due diligence so many of them aren't aware that they could have had the same site for $5.

    I've heard many buyers complain that it's useless using Flippa because they have to weed through all the trash. Fortunately, there's still plenty of buyers left who recognize a great site when they see it.

    Flipping is unlike your average Internet Marketing Make Money Online thing. I love to build and develop sites and flip them. It's a real job ... it's work. You aren't going to make $50,000 in your pajamas so if that's what you're looking for, don't flip. You'll just end up filling up places like Flippa with more junk if you don't love the job. Outsourcing will, of course, cut into your profits. I build the sites myself. I have very high standards with site design. I do outsource content often.

    Originally Posted by missm2m View Post

    I'm planning to sell some names and/or sites.

    are domain name only sales a good way to go...at all? I'm sure the websites are better of course...
    Flippa is not the best site to sell domains. Sedo and afternic are much better for that. I just sold one yesterday for $250 that I've had sitting around for awhile. It's often not as quick as flipping sites. I list a lot of them on Sedo and then just let them sit there until someone makes an offer.

    If you want to sell domains to reseller at a cheaper price, namepros.com is the way to go. Great site for domaining.
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    • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      That is Flippa's biggest problem ... all the crap sellers that try to pawn off crap sites to make a fast buck. There are a lot of scammers who buy sites for $5 (PLR) and sell them for $100-$200. A lot of buyers on flippa are newbies and don't really do any due diligence so many of them aren't aware that they could have had the same site for $5.

      I've heard many buyers complain that it's useless using Flippa because they have to weed through all the trash. Fortunately, there's still plenty of buyers left who recognize a great site when they see it.

      Flipping is unlike your average Internet Marketing Make Money Online thing. I love to build and develop sites and flip them. It's a real job ... it's work. You aren't going to make $50,000 in your pajamas so if that's what you're looking for, don't flip. You'll just end up filling up places like Flippa with more junk if you don't love the job. Outsourcing will, of course, cut into your profits. I build the sites myself.
      Couldn't agree more. Their reasoning behind the higher listing fees and success fees since moving away from SitePoint is justified in that it keeps the crap away to some extent.

      Flipping isn't something you should get into for a fast buck. You should focus on building a business with repeat clients. And like you say, it's almost like a real job and can be quite time intensive. If you stick at it you can build a very profitable business quickly.

      I also agree on the outsourcing. If you want to sell quality sites, do it yourself. You don't want to rely on other people. I see so many sales threads were a seller is offering an "amazing deal" only to blame their staff when a customer is unhappy - which in my opinion is just bad business.

      You get what you pay for at the end of the day.
      Signature
      I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
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  • Profile picture of the author buffblaze
    where can i sell a domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author AzzamS
    Thanks for the thread Thomas.

    I have done OK in flipping new sites for low rates since I can create decent sites since I have good coding skills especially with wordpress and design skills.

    I think I am ready to move up the scale and invest in some decent sites over at DP.

    Can I ask is there any specific niche's you go through:

    I would appreciate to know what it is that you focus mainly on for a site? i.e. content, design, presentation.

    If you got a site for $500 range and wanted to flip for $2500 by would be the traffic and expected revenue for that site that you would give to the new owner, sure I understand that you can flip a site for x8 - x12 revenue, but what do you go for?

    What are the revenue streams you focus on? custom info-products, adsense, cpa, etc
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOExpert104
    Do you sell ready made sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author jordan08
    Thomas,

    I, for one, think you are doing an excellent job of giving useful info. You continue to answer questions with detailed responses and that is very refreshing.

    Keep up the great work!

    Ayesha
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  • Profile picture of the author NK
    I actually like the idea of using a contract, but have been unable to find a template I could use or refer to anywhere online. Do you know where I can find one?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
    Hi thomas, I ve got a site at rank 6 on google for a keyword that gets about 4000 searches per month. It is monetized with adsense and amazon but not making any sales yet. the site is 2 months old. How much do you think I can get for this site? And should i sell it now or wait until it is making money first?
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