CAUTION: Auctions Geared to Scam Newbies at Flippa

52 replies
I've noticed an increase in auctions selling 100s of "autoblogs" that guarantee income of $1 per day. GUARANTEE! And the sellers are trying to get thousands of dollars out of these things

This is what I'm talking about (BIN at $2k):
https://flippa.com/auctions/114333/P...um-Domain-Name

And here's another (sold for $11,600):
https://flippa.com/auctions/113179/P...ale-No-Reserve

The second is REALLY outrageous. They are 800 BRAND NEW autoblogs, on a subdomain, and the seller was claiming 800,000 unique visitors PER MONTH, and 1.5 million page views/month. They also GUARANTEED that you would be making $1/day per blog (That's $800 PER DAY!!).

This is really a joke in my opinion, and lowers the reputation of Flippa when they allow junk listings like this.
#auctions #flippa #geared #newbies #trap
  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Registration Date 14th Nov, 2010

    They are all on sub domains. lol

    Well, the guy does disclose that these blogs are not the ones he has made money on.

    As for the noob who may have bought this - well their mama should have told them to know what they are buying before they buy it.

    And think positive! Maybe is was bought by someone who knows what they are doing.

    (I never would have bought it in a million years)
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Flippa has tons of junk listings. Since the first one is offering blogs that are not even made yet, the listing violates Flippa TOS. You have to list a site, not a service and there has to be a real domain for the site. I reported that auction. The second one probably also is a violation of TOS.

    But yeah, buyer beware on Flippa. There's a lot of dodgy listings. No quality control whatsoever. You got the money you got the listing.
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    • Profile picture of the author peace1
      Hi Suzanne,
      I wanted to access your site, but Niche Marketing Blogs - we build niche marketing blogs for sale is being blocked by my computer and also by Google and reported as an attacking or harmful site.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by peace1 View Post

        Hi Suzanne,
        I wanted to access your site, but Niche Marketing Blogs - we build niche marketing blogs for sale is being blocked by my computer and also by Google and reported as an attacking or harmful site.
        Yeah ... just got an email from webmaster tools saying that. Go figure. Far as I know there's nothing malicious on it. Don't even have Adsense on it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          Yeah ... just got an email from webmaster tools saying that. Go figure. Far as I know there's nothing malicious on it. Don't even have Adsense on it.
          You might have had a virus that took ftp data and uploaded scripts onto your websites. Had this not long ago - not super hard to clean up - pm me if you need help so we don't derail the thread.
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          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Kevin Williams View Post

            You might have had a virus that took ftp data and uploaded scripts onto your websites. Had this not long ago - not super hard to clean up - pm me if you need help so we don't derail the thread.
            I had a backup. I just restored it and asked Google to recheck it to remove the warning.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mapster
            I see quite a few auctions for cheap, spamming sites (clickbank templates) selling for $30k and UP. Some have more than 1 bidder.

            Is this bogus or Flippa internally generating these to up their profile?

            Chris
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          • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
            Originally Posted by Flipfilter View Post

            Sandra, your post sat just above a "ads by warrior forum" ad that read almost identical
            Darn! now everyone will know I´m psychic!

            Originally Posted by Eager2SEO View Post

            Oh, my I stopped reading at 800 autoblogs. That is horrible.
            you know? Thinking a bit about it, it might not be such a bad deal for the right person.

            imagine 800 crappy autoblogs autoposting 10 pages a day. That is 8K new pages a day. If they have this running already 10 days before selling, and the site is indexed, you have already 80K pages an counting. If 10% of them are indexed, you still have 8K useful pages.

            Now, you buy it and leave it where it is instead of moving it to your own server, different host and dns.

            Lets suppose that the sites have some promotion in place, auto pinging and auto post to ping.fm for example.

            this cluster will not give you money by itself probably, but... well... would you like to have 80K secured links to any page you choose to for a new project? I would certainly do.

            and... they can monetize it even more by offering a one way linking service.

            BTW, this is not something I would do or endorse, just a mental exercise to keep the neurons working.

            Sandra
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeLiving
    Well if it was Guaranteed couldn't you just request your money back when things didn't work out? I wonder if you get a phone call if your PayPal account has an $11,000+ dispute lol.

    Anyway. These things are total crap, but someone should see this a mile away--especially those with just a little experience. Sometimes its just too good to be true, as is the case here.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I think it is deceptive that he has a video showing his adsense earnings from his other blogs - not the ones he is trying to sell in the auction.

    But, on the other hand that works out to only $14.5 per blog on that second one. That doesn't seem like a lot. And he is guaranteeing that you will make $1 per day per blog after 45 days so, that would be $800 a day which seems like a good deal when you look at it that way.

    So what you are saying is that you don't believe he will give the buyer their money back if the blogs don't make $1 a day, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      I think it is deceptive that he has a video showing his adsense earnings from his other blogs - not the ones he is trying to sell in the auction.

      But, on the other hand that works out to only $14.5 per blog on that second one. That doesn't seem like a lot. And he is guaranteeing that you will make $1 per day per blog after 45 days so, that would be $800 a day which seems like a good deal when you look at it that way.

      So what you are saying is that you don't believe he will give the buyer their money back if the blogs don't make $1 a day, right?
      You got it. That and both sellers are trying to scam those less informed.

      And I have a problem with Flippa allowing these listings.
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  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    https://flippa.com/auctions/113179/P...ale-No-Reserve
    Sold at Public Auction

    $11,600
    Ouch.
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  • Profile picture of the author AJG
    For anyone to honestly think that autoblogging is the way to go and then to throw such a large sum of money at them completely sums up the whole situation imo.

    There is no way that i would consider buying something like that, even if the earnings were from those blogs, would be better investing into one major focused site.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    • Profile picture of the author theimdude
      Well if you think about it this is very doable. If you build 800 subdomains under a decent .com and do some backlinking/etc on each subdomain it will or could earn you maybe more than $1 a day.

      Problem is we are to lazy to want to build these 800 subdomains and do the rest.
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      • Profile picture of the author powerspike
        Originally Posted by theimdude View Post

        Well if you think about it this is very doable. If you build 800 subdomains under a decent .com and do some backlinking/etc on each subdomain it will or could earn you maybe more than $1 a day.

        Problem is we are to lazy to want to build these 800 subdomains and do the rest.
        (couldn't resisting this one).. perhaps get one of those 100k+ backlink packages in the wso section
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  • Profile picture of the author powerspike
    Flippa is starting to have issues with quality of data, the first thing i do is refine my search to sites that have had revenue of $1+ or 100+ visitors a month, it usually weeds out 90% of the searches on the spot. But newbies won't know how to do this, perhaps flippa should make it default?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
    Well, if someone puts up a site or group of sites and they sell for $10,000, then it is valued at (at least) $10,000 because a willing buyer agreed to the price.

    It doesn't matter what you think, or anyone at WF thinks. If people don't know how to value websites/domains properly, then they shouldn't be buying sites/domains.

    If you don't know how to properly evaluate auto-blogs, then one has no business buying them.

    Tom

    Originally Posted by LegitIncomes View Post

    I've noticed an increase in auctions selling 100s of "autoblogs" that guarantee income of $1 per day. GUARANTEE! And the sellers are trying to get thousands of dollars out of these things

    This is what I'm talking about (BIN at $2k):
    https://flippa.com/auctions/114333/P...um-Domain-Name

    And here's another (sold for $11,600):
    https://flippa.com/auctions/113179/P...ale-No-Reserve

    The second is REALLY outrageous. They are 800 BRAND NEW autoblogs, on a subdomain, and the seller was claiming 800,000 unique visitors PER MONTH, and 1.5 million page views/month. They also GUARANTEED that you would be making $1/day per blog (That's $800 PER DAY!!).

    This is really a joke in my opinion, and lowers the reputation of Flippa when they allow junk listings like this.
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  • Profile picture of the author theentry
    I see a lot of autoblogs recently at flippa and the prices are insane...
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  • Profile picture of the author AFI
    Don't people have to prove their income streams before they will sell? Personally I would expect to get access to their logins to their affiliate programs so I can see the exact sales figures. I wouldn't accept screenshots.
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    • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
      Originally Posted by AFI View Post

      Don't people have to prove their income streams before they will sell? Personally I would expect to get access to their logins to their affiliate programs so I can see the exact sales figures. I wouldn't accept screenshots.
      Yes, that would be logical, however nobody would allow people to just access their accounts like that. I think so far you only have their word or possibly fake screenshots/videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by LegitIncomes View Post

    I've noticed an increase in auctions selling 100s of "autoblogs" that guarantee income of $1 per day. GUARANTEE! And the sellers are trying to get thousands of dollars out of these things

    This is what I'm talking about (BIN at $2k):
    https://flippa.com/auctions/114333/P...um-Domain-Name

    This is really a joke in my opinion, and lowers the reputation of Flippa when they allow junk listings like this.
    Like I mentioned, this one violates Flippa TOS. It is selling a service, not a website. You have to have a valid domain and an existing website. This listing did not. I reported it and it is gone. The other one may have also violated Flippa TOS but some sucker just put out big bucks for that one already.
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    • Profile picture of the author vok
      $11,600! That'll be hurting someone this christmas that's for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdmiralGloom
    Scary to think a few months ago I probably would of fell for it.

    Thanks for the info!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ethan Ooi
    yes, i noticed this auction also, its really weird why there are people willing to bid until over 10k...with all site buildt on subdomains....though it will be a different story if all are on different domains.
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  • Profile picture of the author wtatlas
    I have a lot of sympathy for the person who bought the 800 auto-blogs for $11,000. I am sure most of us have fallen the promise of easy pickings. Just look at 99% of the internet marketing sales letters that are all around the internet.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by wtatlas View Post

      I have a lot of sympathy for the person who bought the 800 auto-blogs for $11,000. I am sure most of us have fallen the promise of easy pickings. Just look at 99% of the internet marketing sales letters that are all around the internet.
      Or some of the pie-in-the-sky offers here in the WSO section.
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      • Profile picture of the author theemperor
        Looking at the comments on the second one, he was upfront that he had no earnings proof, and the starting price was $1. Not a scam I'm afraid.

        No more a scam than a bucket of water selling on eBay for $1000.
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        • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
          Originally Posted by theemperor View Post

          Looking at the comments on the second one, he was upfront that he had no earnings proof, and the starting price was $1. Not a scam I'm afraid.

          No more a scam than a bucket of water selling on eBay for $1000.
          That doesn't change the fact that the listing is junk, and newbies will fall for it.

          800 autoblogs on a single subdomain for almost $12,000.

          Beginners need to know when they see something like this to RUN AWAY.
          If they took that same $12,000 and put it towards their own sites, with UNIQUE content, good quality backlinks, etc... that's how sustainable businesses are started, not with junk like this.
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          • Profile picture of the author Eager2SEO
            Originally Posted by LegitIncomes View Post

            That doesn't change the fact that the listing is junk, and newbies will fall for it.

            800 autoblogs on a single subdomain for almost $12,000.

            Beginners need to know when they see something like this to RUN AWAY.
            If they took that same $12,000 and put it towards their own sites, with UNIQUE content, good quality backlinks, etc... that's how sustainable businesses are started, not with junk like this.
            I'm not saying I'm an expert but those domains may have value in the right hands. What about using them for backlinks? SEO Service? When you buy 100K backlinks the links have to go somewhere, no? Is someone who wants 100K backlinks going to care if some are on the same subdomain? And the owner may have scores of other packages like that.

            800 domains cost around 7-8K to register..and even a barebones wordpress per site is going to cost $2-$5 or so if you outsource. Depends how you look at things.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Eager2SEO View Post

              800 domains cost around 7-8K to register..and even a barebones wordpress per site is going to cost $2-$5 or so if you outsource. Depends how you look at things.
              It isn't 800 domains. It costs around $10 to register and then put all those subdomains on one domain.
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              • Profile picture of the author Eager2SEO
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                It isn't 800 domains. It costs around $10 to register and then put all those subdomains on one domain.
                Oh, my I stopped reading at 800 autoblogs. That is horrible.
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              • Profile picture of the author paulie888
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                It isn't 800 domains. It costs around $10 to register and then put all those subdomains on one domain.
                I wonder which registrar he used. If I remember correctly, I think that Godaddy only allows you to configure up to 100 subdomains per domain? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

                Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Luis Medilo
        I see that there are 3 bidders there. So there are 3 poor guys who fell for this scam.
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  • Profile picture of the author tilanus
    Because there is so much rubbish on Flippa I haven't bought anything there for months. It took me simply too much time to find out if it is true what the seller wrote and if I thought it was a good one the bidding went skyhigh or the site was suddenly sold outside the bidding proces. So no more Flippa for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author peace1
    You can see it in the comments of the auction that it's a clear scam. Scammers will allways try to hide things and be aggrassive to those that dare to give a word of criticism.
    At the end when he got a little desperate to sell quickly he made outrageous promises (Facebook account with 50 000 friends, 2 Twitter account with thousands of followers).
    I learned to never put myself under pressure and then make a decision. When some internet marketer tells you to urgently buy now, then you should just take some time to relax and think clearly.

    People buying that have a fear of missing out. You should take action but never be driven by a fear of missing out.

    I think it's horrible that even well known internet marketers lie to people by saying on their $37 product are just 20 places left. If you come back after a month it's still the same. Well they are not ripping off a single person with $ 11 000, but they are ripping lots of people off for smaller ammounts - no difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    Can you believe it?

    I just wasted 10 valuable minutes out of my schedule to read every single one of the post on this thread.

    I understand this is wrong but i would rather spend my time writing a follow up for my new site than wasting my time talking about this.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    That second example is particularly egregious. I don't recall ever seeing a brand new site of any kind earning absolutely zero income selling on Flippa for that much!

    He is very deceptive in his sales copy, and I imagine that many people must have skimmed over the important parts, such as the part where he categorically states that the subdomain sites have not made a dime yet! He also goes on to boldly guarantee that the 800 subdomains will each be making $1 per day in 45 days.

    I can't believe someone fell for this, and I feel that with his 365 day moneyback guarantee it's only a matter of time before a refund is requested.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    What's even worse on Flippa is these craptacular domain scalping auctions with this headline:

    "Godaddy says TheBestDomainYouCouldEverHave.com is worth an overpriced amount of money where I have TheBestDomainYouCouldEverHave.net for much less!"

    Or something along those lines.
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    • Profile picture of the author jayman
      Originally Posted by Biggy Fat View Post

      What's even worse on Flippa is these craptacular domain scalping auctions with this headline:

      "Godaddy says TheBestDomainYouCouldEverHave.com is worth an overpriced amount of money where I have TheBestDomainYouCouldEverHave.net for much less!"

      Or something along those lines.
      Yeah, this is so true ! Seen it a lot recently. Also offered for .info, .ws., .biz, .co
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  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    I've noticed in recent weeks that the word 'potential' figures in a lot more Flippa titles lately than it used to do. There was a bit of a phase where it seemed to be frowned on and wasn't used so much, but it looks like it's made a comeback. Around three weeks ago I was seeing it so much that I even wondered if it had been advised by some site-flipping product that's on the go somewhere.

    It's kind of sad that 'potential' sells, given the cyber-slop that's labelled with much of it (usually in conjunction with an inflated asking price). I suspect that a lot of it is purchased by people who don't know the first thing about buying websites and are buying hopes and dreams instead.

    Another thing I've noticed is how many budget sites (often sold for as little as $70 or less) are being listed as including the WP-Robot plugin, despite the fact that the developer licensed version of the plugin prohibits it from being sold with sites that fetch less than $140. The buyers of these sites are being ripped off blind - if a crucial update to the plugin is released (as it was in the case of the recent changes to the Amazon 'comments' feed) these buyers will discover that the plugin they 'own' - and an integral part of their site - is unlicensed and therefore unsupported. Lovely. Not.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Diana Lane View Post

      I've noticed in recent weeks that the word 'potential' figures in a lot more Flippa titles lately than it used to do. There was a bit of a phase where it seemed to be frowned on and wasn't used so much, but it looks like it's made a comeback. Around three weeks ago I was seeing it so much that I even wondered if it had been advised by some site-flipping product that's on the go somewhere.
      Yeah ... there's one prolific seller who sells nothing but unremarkable startup sites and every one of them has the

      POTENTIAL TO EARN $136,000

      or some other nonsense figure he pulls out of his arse. I really do feel sorry for the newbie buyers who fall for this crap.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewAU
    Hi all.

    Some great comments and a few things worth covering off here (as you'd expect from a thread with 40 replies!).

    Firstly, in terms of the original auctions: we work hard to block any scams on Flippa. There are a number of questionable listings that don't see the light of day and we jumped on both of those listed above as soon as they were brought to our attention. The first was already sold however the second we were in time to terminate.

    Flippa doesn't manually approve each listing before it goes live - not something that can effectively be scaled to cover the 150 or so new listings we have each day. Having said this, we do have automated validations and checks which we are constantly tweaking to ensure the quality of the listings on Flippa. We also find the "report it" link at the footer of every listing to be an effective means for anyone to flag their concerns about a listing - one of many benefits of having such an active buyer/seller community!

    The manual approval of website listings may seem fairly straight-forward, especially for offending listings such as the two flagged originally above. However, this is not something we're really looking into given the inconsistencies this often generates at the edges (look at our review-model competitors for examples of this). Instead, our view is that buyers should be the ultimate determiners of what value means to them (given their skills, interests, budget, goals etc). We strive to do what we can to ensure buyers remain informed and educated on the opportunities and pitfalls in purchasing websites (something we are gladly aided in by bloggers and forums such as this one).

    In terms of website listing search, the large variety of websites on Flippa means users rely heavily on our search, guided navigation, refinement and sorting tools to find the sites they are after. We constantly invest in improving these tools and agree we there is opportunity for improvement here (we'll be seeing improvements in the next few months).

    Finally, we share commenters' concerns on the rise and rise of the use of "potential" revenue or traffic claims. While sellers are well within their right to flag quakified potential revenue as a basis for site value, these figures often have significant execution risk and buyers need to ensure they build this into their bid price. As much as this is flagged across all business buying blogs, forums and texts, it is something worth calling out for us on our blog.
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      150 sites a day is not exactly tonnes and tonnes is it? The cynical folks may think Flippa are not altogether fussed about it as it means more $$$ for them.
      The market is ripe for a for a company to set up shop based on the flippa model but employs people to carry out due diligence to ensure buyers and sellers can trade with total confidence.

      Originally Posted by AndrewAU View Post

      Hi all.
      Flippa doesn't manually approve each listing before it goes live - not something that can effectively be scaled to cover the 150 or so new listings we have each day.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by AndrewAU View Post

      Some great comments and a few things worth covering off here (as you'd expect from a thread with 40 replies!).

      Firstly, in terms of the original auctions: we work hard to block any scams on Flippa. There are a number of questionable listings that don't see the light of day and we jumped on both of those listed above as soon as they were brought to our attention. The first was already sold however the second we were in time to terminate.

      Flippa doesn't manually approve each listing before it goes live - not something that can effectively be scaled to cover the 150 or so new listings we have each day. Having said this, we do have automated validations and checks which we are constantly tweaking to ensure the quality of the listings on Flippa. We also find the "report it" link at the footer of every listing to be an effective means for anyone to flag their concerns about a listing - one of many benefits of having such an active buyer/seller community!

      This is what I was saying Andrew. I reported the one that wasn't sold already and it was gone by the next day.

      People can get familiar with the TOS of Flippa and report bad auctions. I do it when I see them. Most of the ones I report get delisted. Much the same as here ... report the post and it gets nuked if it should be nuked.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        This is what I was saying Andrew. I reported the one that wasn't sold already and it was gone by the next day.

        People can get familiar with the TOS of Flippa and report bad auctions. I do it when I see them. Most of the ones I report get delisted. Much the same as here ... report the post and it gets nuked if it should be nuked.
        Exactly. Did the OP report the auction to Flippa or just posted this thread? Every auction has the "report this" link so as a community we can bring these auctions to Flippa's attention.

        eBay doesn't manually check auctions either it's just not possible so they have to rely on the community watching out for each other. Similar to a neighborhood watch.

        If I see something suspicious like someone breaking into my neighbor's house I wouldn't come here and post how terrible it is and the police sucks for letting it happen when I haven't even bothered to call 911.
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  • Profile picture of the author monthlykash
    There are suckers born everyday! I tried Flippa for 10 different autoblogs and made about $500 total. It cost about $100 to register the domain names, $200 to list the auctions on Flippa and about 10 hours of work to create the blogs. Definately a waste of time and effort!

    To your success!
    Bruce
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    Bruce McCulloch
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