$20,000/month with turnkey websites?

28 replies
I am not offering a get rich scheme, just asking opinions. I have been looking at the many turnkey websites being offered on eBay. I have been doing some research, and the results surprised me.

On eBay, three sellers basically share the entire category, a British, an American and another one from Malaysia. I do not like gossiping so no names.

They all sell exactly the _same_ websites (same WordPress theme, LifeStyle from Studiopress), same design, same affiliates etc. So tons of absolutely identical websites, only domain name and keywords / photographs change, depending on the niche. So we have incredibly lame names such as TheAcneRemovalAdvisor.com and so on. After a couple weeks the same seller would sell exactly the SAME website calling it TheNewAcneSolution.com, or change name and photos to say, TheVeryUsefulWineMakingClub.com, then rinse and repeat.

Obviously one may think that people would never purchase anything like this (all the sites come with 10-20 articlebase articles, always the same, not even spinned), yet, the British for example, has made approx. 220 sales in the last 30 days, average $30 each. That is $9,000. Every bidder is required to purchase (out of eBay, which is not even allowed per eBay rules) one year of hosting at $50, that's another $11,000. Total income about $20,000. (If the winner does not want the hosting there is a $25 migration fee). The only expense is the domain name and the low eBay fee since they start the auctions at 1 cent.

I admire these sellers, I am not saying they are crooks, these are talented and smart internet marketers and there is no doubt managing all this requires a lot of work. Although of course, they always say 'established' when in fact the domains are one week old, show unrealistic possible income etc. But evidently buyers do not notice this either.

What I do not understand is how all this is possible. Anyone, even totally untrained, just looking at the listings, can tell that they sell the same websites over and over, that there is no way these sites would produce any visitors, hence profit, that the content is not unique and that they are, in two words, completely worthless.

But since people are not stupid, and their feedback is excellent, their sales flourish, I am wondering what am I missing here and would love to know your thoughts.
#$20 #ebay #or month #turnkey #turnkey websites #websites
  • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
    If/when the buyers wise up what do they have left?

    This is not a sustainable business.

    Tyrus
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ahead-DESIGN View Post

    Anyone, even totally untrained, just looking at the listings, can tell that they sell the same websites over and over, that there is no way these sites would produce any visitors, hence profit, that the content is not unique and that they are, in two words, completely worthless.
    If I were buying them, I wouldn't expect the sites to be producing traffic.

    I'd be expecting to produce the traffic myself, and use the site to convert some of it into affiliate commissions.

    I wouldn't mind some of the content not being unique, and would plan gradually to change it as I go along, anyway.

    To me, it wouldn't be completely worthless. But people have different ways of valuing things.

    I agree that being "forced" to buy hosting with them is clearly a bad deal, but I have no difficulty at all in seeing $30-worth of value in such a site.

    Originally Posted by Ahead-DESIGN View Post

    I am wondering what am I missing here and would love to know your thoughts.
    I'm not sure you're "missing" anything. I imagine the facts, as you report them, are entirely accurate. And about the hosting, I agree with you (and I suspect that that's where most of their profit is, really). For the rest, we just have different perspectives, because you don't think a ready-to-go site like that can be worth $30 (perhaps because you're able to produce one yourself in very little time, because unlike me you have some technical skills?), whereas I think it could easily be worth that (because I can't easily make it myself, but can fairly easily replace the expected poor quality writing on it with masterpieces of my own. Or at least mantelpieces, which is close enough).
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    • Profile picture of the author pickthat apple
      Making pancakes is not such a big deal for those who know how to make them, but not so, if you have never tried...
      Building a wordpress site takes 5 min., so they say, if you know where to put your hands...
      I believe that the service of those sellers offering basic "chain made" sites is quite useful, because not many could be bothered offering it, since it must be quite a repetitive job. Why not? Because many prefers developing the sites they create.
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  • Profile picture of the author jlady
    There are sellers on this forum doing just that. Look at the websites for sale. Most are offering a very nice looking website with content but are selling on average 20 of the same thing. Except these sellers are not selling the domain name or the domain but the exact same site to many (you have to get your own domain). To me that is pretty much the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenny5
    I must admit I've fallen for these before. The idea of doing nothing and getting money is just so appealing for newbies, which I was not too long ago.

    Of course almost nothing ever happens with these sites. I guess you can drive traffic to it but you can never have anything unique with these.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by kenny5 View Post

      I must admit I've fallen for these before. The idea of doing nothing and getting money is just so appealing for newbies, which I was not too long ago.

      Of course almost nothing ever happens with these sites. I guess you can drive traffic to it but you can never have anything unique with these.
      You're making the assumption that people buy PLR sites and do nothing with them. If that's the case, of course they will make nothing, but that's not the case with all buyers.

      In many cases, you are getting a premium theme, great design and layout and graphics and starter content to get you going at a very cheap price. If you're smart, you'll rewrite the content and start adding your own content and promoting the site.


      Originally Posted by jlady View Post

      There are sellers on this forum doing just that. Look at the websites for sale. Most are offering a very nice looking website with content but are selling on average 20 of the same thing. Except these sellers are not selling the domain name or the domain but the exact same site to many (you have to get your own domain). To me that is pretty much the same thing.
      Not the same thing if the Ebayers are offering it as a unique site. The sellers here are offering them as PLR sites. The customer knows exactly what they are getting and they're getting it at rock bottom prices... less than it would cost for just the premium theme alone.

      It's up to the buyer to add new content and promote and make some money with it. No one should expect to buy a revenue producing website for $25 or less.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    They all sell exactly the _same_ websites (same WordPress theme, LifeStyle from Studiopress), same design, same affiliates etc. So tons of absolutely identical websites, only domain name and keywords / photographs change, depending on the niche. So we have incredibly lame names such as TheAcneRemovalAdvisor.com and so on
    If you are looking to get into the acne niche it may not be such a bad deal. You get a decently designed site with some nice graphics. This could well be worth $30 although it's really $55 with transfer cost.

    The articles you can discard, write your own unique content. You now have a decent looking site with unique content. You can add your own ebook, build a list.

    Build links to the site and get traffic. A site is really about content, links and traffic.

    Of course there's nothing turnkey about these site but what you getting is a well designed site and graphic and a domain name containing the keyword.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ahead-DESIGN
    I run a small webdesign business and I struggle a bit to find customers. Certainly, making $20,000/month would be a dream, that's why I was asking, basically, if this is just a fad or a sustainable business.

    As an experiment today I have designed a wordpress site exactly identical to those. Took me very little time, but it took me much, much longer to configure all the affiliates stuff (they have Amazon store, clickbank, adsense, textlinks etc). On top of that to finalize the sale you have to push the domain name, manage the transfer, take care of the hosting configuration and dealing with problems, which are likely since I believe they deal with newbies. So, these sites, if just for the labour, are definitely worth $30 (although some of them have sold at $200 or $300 and even more).

    The question is, from a buyer perspective, if they are worth anything. Of course they are not. Yet, they have repeat customers, and their all-positive feedback goes back as far as eBay feedback goes. So customers must be happy (?). Everyone knows that getting traffic is far more difficult than (very basic) designing. Plus, if you want to make the site unique, you have to change pretty much everything, pictures, text, graphics etc. This requires skills in WordPress so one might as well design the site from scratch and save the $30 - and be unique.

    What also surprises me is that I have been an eBay seller for over ten years (not for IM or services, for real goods) and I assure you, seeing sellers with dozen of bids, consistently, is not very common these days. In the services categories, it is almost unheard of.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuruBomb
    Any real customers with real results there?
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    • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
      I believe I've found the UK seller you are referring to...interesting to see what he's sold, how it's marketed, etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    this business is based on one element - Fast. Their customers are those who want an online business fast, immediately, without having to get their hands dirty with installation or setting up a website.

    They made money in 2 ways, front end and back end. For front end, the template...but it's the backend that really is gold.

    I mean, how often would you change your hosting company? As long as the hosting service is good, i will continue paying for the domain and the hosting.....

    I think that's smart business....because all they do is sell the template (which they already have) and probably the set up.
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    • Profile picture of the author JTVee
      Originally Posted by kenny5 View Post

      I must admit I've fallen for these before. The idea of doing nothing and getting money is just so appealing for newbies, which I was not too long ago.

      Of course almost nothing ever happens with these sites. I guess you can drive traffic to it but you can never have anything unique with these.
      This is it from the purchaser's perspective.


      Originally Posted by madison_avenue View Post

      If you are looking to get into the acne niche it may not be such a bad deal. You get a decently designed site with some nice graphics. This could well be worth $30 although it's really $55 with transfer cost.

      The articles you can discard, write your own unique content. You now have a decent looking site with unique content. You can add your own ebook, build a list.

      Build links to the site and get traffic. A site is really about content, links and traffic.

      Of course there's nothing turnkey about these site but what you getting is a well designed site and graphic and a domain name containing the keyword.
      This is the reality of what they get.


      Originally Posted by fated82 View Post

      this business is based on one element - Fast. Their customers are those who want an online business fast, immediately, without having to get their hands dirty with installation or setting up a website.

      They made money in 2 ways, front end and back end. For front end, the template...but it's the backend that really is gold.

      I mean, how often would you change your hosting company? As long as the hosting service is good, i will continue paying for the domain and the hosting.....

      I think that's smart business....because all they do is sell the template (which they already have) and probably the set up.
      And this is the seller's perspective.


      No doubt you could make money if you rewrote the content, built links, built traffic etc but is this what the buyer's intended to do?

      I haven't seen the sellers' sales pitches or their profiles but wonder about them having great feedback etc. Why is no-one complaining? They must be happy with what they got. Either that or they put it down to experience, learn and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaarrrggghhh
    @Ahead-DESIGN

    As a professional designer, developer and website flipper, if I may be so bold here to say: you are making too many assumptions about the buyers.

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong but I sincerely think you are missing the BUSINESS SYSTEM that is in place which makes it a profitable business proposition for both the buyer and the seller.

    "What I do not understand is how all this is possible. Anyone, even totally untrained, just looking at the listings, can tell that they sell the same websites over and over, that there is no way these sites would produce any visitors, hence profit, that the content is not unique and that they are, in two words, completely worthless."

    Just because you own a site will not make it profitable. BUT how you USE that site can IF you know what you are doing. Having a website is only one part of the long term money making equation.

    The buyers may be technically challenged but they know the value in having a site already prepared that they only need to make some modifications to and focus on marketing.

    Depending on the niche, as long as it is a general niche, then the buyer can determine what keywords to optimize the site for, create their money pages and promote those money pages. All without having to worry about designing and developing a website from scratch.

    "But since people are not stupid, and their feedback is excellent, their sales flourish, I am wondering what am I missing here and would love to know your thoughts"

    People are far from stupid. You need to offer REAL value. You need to CONTRIBUTE in a way they are either (1) not able to do for themselves or (2) don't have the time to waste on a particular task and fill that need.

    My PLR blogs continue to be one of my biggest sellers to both seasoned marketers and newbies.

    PLR content is not meant for the search engines. It is meant for your VISITORS experience.

    The new owner will still need to add their own content, preferably unique content that is written around keywords that have been identified that they can rank easily for in the Search Engines. The rest of the content, no matter how generated, whether it is PLR or automated content, it is for the benefit of the VISITORS of the site.

    So, even if there are thousands of the same site out there, they will all perform extremely different, depending on how knowledgeable its new owner is in (1) identifying how to make money with the site; (2) the keywords that it can rank for; (3) creating unique content around those keywords and (4) promoting those key pages for the search engines and direct traffic.

    Any website would die without MARKETING, PROMOTION and TRAFFIC, regardless of how beautifully designed it is. If no one can find it...it's not worth having.

    BUT, that's not to say that you should not design both beautiful websites that you know will CONVERT for your buyers.

    As a designer, it is not my job (or yours) to get the traffic for the sites. A designers job working in the Internet Marketing industry is to create sites that will CONVERT their hard earned traffic into CONVERSIONS (i.e. subscribers, clicks, purchases, etc.) so that ALL traffic is thoroughly monetized for MAXIMUM results for the buyer.

    @kenny5

    "I must admit I've fallen for these before. The idea of doing nothing and getting money is just so appealing for newbies, which I was not too long ago."

    Unfortunately that will never happen no matter what business you get in to.

    I have many sites I do NOTHING on....but I am ALWAYS marketing and driving traffic to them, that is something that usually doesn't slow down until 9-12 months.

    "Of course almost nothing ever happens with these sites. I guess you can drive traffic to it but you can never have anything unique with these."

    This is why the design OR the layout OR both are EXTREMELY important.

    You can find the BEST sites right here in the forum. Seriously, there are some great sites that you can easily make money with BUT you still need to WORK them. These sites are designed from fellow internet marketers...just because someone designs, does not mean they know internet marketing and what it takes to get CONVERSIONS. But the designers here in the forums DO KNOW what it takes.

    The WarriorForum is all about MARKETING. All the tools and resources are right here, under your nose

    Sorry, this ended up longer than I expected...hope it helped!

    Kindest regards, Leah
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    • Profile picture of the author Ahead-DESIGN
      @Arghhhhh

      I agree but at this point let's be honest, wouldn't it better to be offering a site with domain+hosting+fresh WordPress installation and that's it. Up to the buyer to design - or have designed - a website UNIQUE and search engines friendly. If you look at one of these sites (as said they are exactly the same, see acnetreatmentadvisory.com for example) from a design point of view they are just basic wordpress themes, from a content point of view they are not PLR just articles scrapped from articlebase with the author name stripped, from a SEO point view also total disaster, they have no H1/H2 tags, no METAs such as keywords or description, no cache etc.

      If I was to make $20,000/month with one design, at least I would buy a Thesis developer license and design a stunning and SEO friendly site. These people have definitely the skills to do that, without flooding the internet with less than mediocre websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggerHigh
    Originally Posted by Ahead-DESIGN View Post

    I am not offering a get rich scheme, chop
    Newbies need all the help they can get. Due diligence is a concept foreign to most beginners.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I havent read over all the responses here, but I was doing something very similiar earlier in the year and did $10,000 in one month without even trying.

    Heres how.

    Start A Web Design Business | How to Make $10,000 a Month or More Doing Web Design
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaarrrggghhh
    @Ahead-DESIGN
    Oh I agree with you...that is not a business model that would work for me due to my own personal beliefs about the internet and how to make the most money from sites.

    "wouldn't it better to be offering a site with domain+hosting+fresh WordPress installation and that's it"

    Yes, it is for me anyway, but I cater to those customers that need those type of services.

    Also, look at this way, you have been able to identify your Unique Selling Proposition! By identifying a business model that is profitable and adding your own added value twist to it...now you can compare your services and let your new potential customers know WHY they should do service with you vs. the other guy.

    Best of luck to you!
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    • Profile picture of the author scriptbazaar
      Earlier i used to run a turnkey websites business through DeccanBazaar.biz and i earned alot of money the best part is earlier i used a turnkey website shopping cart to sell those php script.

      Turnkey Websites can get huge money unless and until you know how to get traffic to those websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author betterwtveter
    I would recommend you to go to flippa and get a real website from sellers that have good reviews or feedback from people that know that their websites work.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    Not a bad idea haha. Kind of refreshing not to overthink the whole IM sales thing. There are IM newbie suckers born every minute. How can these site sellers keep good feedback though? If buyers don't get results for the site wouldn't they be publishing negative feedback?
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    • Profile picture of the author dean20653
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      Not a bad idea haha. Kind of refreshing not to overthink the whole IM sales thing. There are IM newbie suckers born every minute. How can these site sellers keep good feedback though? If buyers don't get results for the site wouldn't they be publishing negative feedback?
      The feedback system is on the sellers credibility. Did they deliver what they said? Yes a ready made site

      Was the listing accurate, Yes it had everything stated and it's "ready for business"

      I believe you only have 30 days to leave feedback and its about the transaction more than anything else, plus I'm SURE there is a CYA statement on the listing. " Success is not guaranteed and we can not guarantee that you will make XX amount of dollars , This listing is for yada yada and you agree upon buying........"

      Fine print will get ya,
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      • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
        Originally Posted by dean20653 View Post

        The feedback system is on the sellers credibility. Did they deliver what they said? Yes a ready made site

        Was the listing accurate, Yes it had everything stated and it's "ready for business"

        I believe you only have 30 days to leave feedback and its about the transaction more than anything else, plus I'm SURE there is a CYA statement on the listing. " Success is not guaranteed and we can not guarantee that you will make XX amount of dollars , This listing is for yada yada and you agree upon buying........"

        Fine print will get ya,

        yep, I'd think you'd get many disgruntled newbies after a period of time that didn't know how to drive traffic. you know, its easier for people to point their blame fingers!
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  • Profile picture of the author emelef
    I don't see what the problem is. They are giving you a ready made website. If you spend the time learning how easy it is to setup and create your own wordpress site then fine, but lots of people have no clue and don't want to LEARN or spend time learning, which is fine. So then they will be sold stuff like this. $80 for a ready to go website, steal.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Yeah it seems like a pretty legit business model if people are in need/want of this site. If they deliver on what they said then I don't see why its wrong to do. Hopefully they are selling multiple sites in multiple niches if their sales are flourishing
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  • Profile picture of the author Rageki
    Most of the buyers are probably newbie buying a dream in a box
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  • Profile picture of the author beltoprent
    People who buys those websites are mostly newbies, just like I was years ago. I did not know anything about how to make money with a website. But I've spend a lot of money before i have learned that it's not easy boy..
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  • Profile picture of the author nRehman
    Earning $20,000/month with turnkey websites is certainly a hype but for a newbie buyers its an opportunity to get technically right, nicely configured, ready to make money portal which also holds a learning curve that can bring lot more money than 20K if followed.
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