Websites for Sale on Flippa ... Is Flippa Using Fake Bid Bots to Boost Consumer Esteem?

36 replies
Okay so I'm following this site for sale on Flippa:
https://flippa.com/2737300-2006-webs...mo-great-da-pa

Also checking out this one -
https://flippa.com/2734651-up-to-90-...ffic-hot-niche

Great deal, Great Steal... whatever..... What always get me, these little bidders for $5 / $10........... that have just registered their accounts a day or so before OR day-of auction start.

Is Flippa using bots to make the consumer feel there's people on the site buying all the time? Raise consumer esteem about spending their money?

I want to know if there was any case studies on this or any solid opinions out there.
#bid #boost #bots #consumer #esteem #fake #flippa #sale #websites
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    No. Flippa would not be doing that. The sellers themselves could register numerous accounts to shill bid on their own auctions to make them appear popular. The more bids an auction gets and the more comments it gets ... it puts them in the most active tab and gets more exposure. If there are a lot of brand new accounts that have only bid on those particular auctions, I would assume shill bidding is going on.
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    • Profile picture of the author DaWarrior
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      No. Flippa would not be doing that. The sellers themselves could register numerous accounts to shill bid on their own auctions to make them appear popular. The more bids an auction gets and the more comments it gets ... it puts them in the most active tab and gets more exposure. If there are a lot of brand new accounts that have only bid on those particular auctions, I would assume shill bidding is going on.

      Good point. I just checked the most active and already spotting some very weird bidding on sites with nothing going on.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    Forgot to mention ... it is not uncommon for a bunch of cheapos to bid on everything in sight, hoping to win a site with no reserve for very cheap.

    EDIT: I just looked at those auctions. One has 0 bids and the other only 1 bid from someone who obviously falls into the category I mentioned above.
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    that's pretty interesting.

    I never even thought of the most active bidding bit

    One of those is mine but I dont bid myself. However, i did notice once i approved a bid and rejecte done, instantly got more responses
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  • Profile picture of the author JBanis
    Pretty sickening isn't it...that this kind of shill bidding is going on. I noticed this too...I found several sellers who in their profile had lots of possible links to other (dubious) sellers...in other words...more of their own accounts...

    Oh well...I guess it happens in any market...but it sucks nonetheless
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  • Profile picture of the author NBaller
    There are tons of scams going on in Flippa that most people don't know about. Shill bidding is a big one.

    However, you can't bucket all new buyers as shill bidders. I've actually legitimately sold a few websites to brand new bidders. However, I had one horrendous experience with a new buyer who demanded that I add custom coding to my website because he anticipated that it would be there without actually checking out the site itself before placing a bid. He won the auction...unfortunately.

    The key as a seller is to communicate with these people. You can typically filter out scammers from non-scammers in new buyers this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Re-cycle
    We currently sell on Flippa every week and 6 out of 10 sales end up being non-paying customers or probably some automated bidder flippa has to make things more interesting. Flippa is going down soon, their greed has made the flipping business very hard to make a profit, too bad they dont live up to their name "flippa".
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    • Profile picture of the author Noctilus
      Originally Posted by Re-cycle View Post

      Flippa is going down soon, their greed has made the flipping business very hard to make a profit, too bad they dont live up to their name "flippa".
      About time that happens because any marketplace that allows scammers to work under their umbrella should 'go down'. Getting a cut out of cheating others is as bad as being a scammer yourself. Period.
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      • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
        Originally Posted by Noctilus View Post

        About time that happens because any marketplace that allows scammers to work under their umbrella should 'go down'. Getting a cut out of cheating others is as bad as being a scammer yourself. Period.
        true but there is always still consumer responsibility to do your homework.

        can't always blame the marketplace if there's people winning
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    Yeah, I actually had a guy submit to close the auction and use B.I.N. without paypal

    I didn't allow the bid however without them responding to a msg first.

    next thing i know they retracted the bid. A lot of funny stuff on Flippa.

    I see a lot of low bidding going on from new accounts which i find to be strangest thing. I feel like there's new accounts popping up always to attempt a low bid with the reserve never being met.

    Also, is it bad to ask people to BID instead of giving them the reserve info?

    Personally, I'd rather have everyone bid than give that information out. I feel its cheating yourself as a seller.
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  • Profile picture of the author Artwm
    I'm sure Flippa doesn't do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author JannuBl22t
    Well Flippa bans for fake accounts, but I believe they can be seller's fake accounts to get to the first page and create interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
    could it just be that flippa is just that popular?

    i sold a site last summer on there for $15,000
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    I've done ~5k in sales on Flippa. However, there's not nearly the buying market power as it was when I began there.

    I feel a majority of the sites there today don't even sale. One of their strong points in marketing however is 'most auctions get bidded on' I believe? could be way off on this

    However, I see a lot of people are auto-bidding hoping to catch a RIDCIULOUS deal from someone in desperate times OR Flippa has a complex multi-level team of Oversees ODesk Hireees working to bid and ask questions / converse with sellers to have some sort of interaction... making dollars spent on Flippa auctions feel valuable...

    I just know the interaction I used to get 1.5 years ago felt different and that's when I was getting REAL SALES all the time.

    This may sound far fetched to some but I know multi-level schemes are done like this for YouTube daily, so why not Flippa?

    I have a B.I.N of $6000 and a guy asks me today if i could end the auction now for his $150 bid? LOL

    For a 2006 website with 1300+ unique pages of content and 100,000+ backlinks..... ~$304 income MONTHLY... he wants me to end the auction now for $150? To me, this can't even be a serious bidder. Who would sell something legit so backwardsly ?
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    • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
      Originally Posted by CBusiness View Post


      I have a B.I.N of $6000 and a guy asks me today if i could end the auction now for his $150 bid? LOL

      Who would sell something legit so backwardsly ?
      i bet if you consider the country that person is from you will understand better why they think you would be so foolish.
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      • Profile picture of the author Robby54
        This is why I am so skeptical about using services like Flippa
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  • Profile picture of the author oda
    I loaded a site for sale at Flippa 2 weeks ago on a 30 day auction.
    Within 48 hours I had 7 bids on the site. Every one of them from a new account less than 3 days old. ALL the bidders had also placed bids on multiple domain names some as high as 50!

    I rejected the bids and the domain listing has gone quite.

    Last domain I list at Flippa EVER. I have no Doubt some of you make good money there, but for me Its all Over.

    Ever felt you where late for a party?

    Cheers

    Oda
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  • Profile picture of the author mbahgugel
    Guys...please don't judge new account who bid your listing on flippa. Does any one here get "pro" status for the first time registered in WF?. From my last two site that had been sold on flippa, the buyers are new on Flippa.

    But we still need to ask for bidders if they are "real" buyer...not a fake bidder, don't just accepted bid if you're not sure. PM them and asking a few questions. And if 2 days they're not paying your site, you can dispute your listing on your dashboard...so your listing status changed from sold to unsold, but this can save your money from paying free fee to flippa ( but still loss $19 from your pocket ).

    For me the chance to take the bid from new account is 50-50....., still risky but depends on you to decide
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    ^ agreed

    Checking on the bidders is important. After I read posts here earlier, I decided to contact every bidder before accepting.

    As stated, I got a 'BIN' bid but not instant payment via paypal. When i asked if they were real, they retracted the bid.

    Only a real loser would do this in my opinion but its whatever. . If that makes somebody happy wasting their time, so be it
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  • Profile picture of the author jpete
    I don’t believe flippa would do that... If anything, buyers are registering multiple accounts.. Generally I only accept bids from new users early in the auction...
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    I also do not think that Flippa would do this intentionally, not only would it be illegal and fraudulent, but it would be a really bad way to do business online.

    The real problem I see with Flippa is that they do not seem to be properly motivated to take steps to reduce the potential for fraud. Since they make money in this case and most of these small auctions, are not well monitored, most of the time the only people making money in this instance is flippa.

    That concerns me to a great extent, so much so that I am loath to use that website until they clean out the sewer that it has become.

    I think that if they do not do something soon another vendor may step into the space they used to occupy.
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    No Big BUsiness stays within 100% legal practices.
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    • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
      Originally Posted by CBusiness View Post

      No Big BUsiness stays within 100% legal practices.
      that statement is untrue
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  • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
    I think the issue is many are probably new to flippa, not realizing flippa is not itself "new"

    Flippa is the latest iteration of the Sitepoint Marketplace. Which throughout the years has been the #1 place to sell a website on the internet.

    Eventually they decided to spin off their buy/sell section and called it flippa. I remember when they announced it and even gave a free listing credit of $50 to anyone who had ever placed an ad on SP (which also cost money).

    They immediately got a lot of great real sites for launch.

    They have done a great job in marketing the newly branded FLIPPA (Site Flipper).

    There are truly new users coming on every day (just like here on warrior forum) who are legitimate buyers.

    The other thing to consider is, as with ANY auction, the auctioneer's audience, in this case flippa, should NOT be the only place you are marketing your site for sale.

    With that being the case, if you are properly marketing your site for sale, then you SHOULD have a ton of new users. In fact, the odds are your best sales will come from people new to flippa.

    But I only try to deal in higher end sales so YMMV
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Yes, there are a lot of strange people trying to do strange things on Flippa.

    Two days ago I read an excellent WSO from NBaller which exposes many of these strange things. Once you know what is going on you won't fall into the traps.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThisTimeNextYear
    I'm not surprised people use dodgy techniques to get their sites on the most active tab.

    I've had profitable sites in good niches fail to receive any interest on there before and I've sold crap sites which shouldn't really have had much interest.

    It's hard to get your site noticed so people will naturally "game" the system.
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  • Profile picture of the author thegotoguy
    One strategy I use when selling a website on Flippa is to not accept the bid as soon as it comes in. I try to wait until I have 3 pending bids. When I get 3 or more pending bids within a short amount of time, I accept them all at the same time. This makes it seem as though the listing is more popular than it is and gives you a better chance of showing up somewhere on the most active list. Getting up near the top of the most active list will significantly increase not only exposure, but more bids on your listing.

    Nowadays, Flippa doesn't seem to be as good as it use to be to me. For instance, I watch the auctions every day and I notice some really nice sites that have a reported profit ending without either the reserve being met or no bids at all. But then I see these ridiculous auto-blogs with no revenue reported and no page rank that are a month old bringing 10k. Where is the sanity in that?

    I am watching my second listing in a row right now ending without a sale. And it costs me approximately 30.00 each to list them with a couple of extras. So now, I am thinking it is not worth messing with anymore. I don't know.

    Don't pay for Flippa to tweet your listing to its followers for $80.00! I checked and they only have like 3500 followers. I almost fell for it until I looked at their twitter profile. No way am I falling for that for $80 bucks!
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  • Profile picture of the author AllanCollins
    Just look at the ridiculous "Just Sold" prices. With one bid for $300,000... yeah right.
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    • Profile picture of the author thegotoguy
      Originally Posted by AllanCollins View Post

      Just look at the ridiculous "Just Sold" prices. With one bid for $300,000... yeah right.
      $300k with one bid? Yep! That's a scam for sure! Like any of us would believe that. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryanloop
    please be aware, I will contact anyone who bids to get a Quick Reply, confirming you are not one of the bidding bots . I notice there's bids from accounts that register, just to bid. I was told on Warrior Forum / Digital Point to watch out for these, various reasons.
    Thanks!
    This is the first comment from the seller, it seems that answers to the questions ...

    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    Thanks everyone and Yea, I wrote that in the auction after learning here on the Warrior forums. Hopefully discourages some crappy bidders
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  • Profile picture of the author clenard77
    I have a hard time believing a company like Sitepoint would risk trust and respect, along with millions per year, all so someone can make an extra $5-$10.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Dunstan
    I have long felt that something strange is going on.

    I always write to brand new bidders to see if they reply to me, before I accept their bid. Often they never reply. I have also had bidders outbidding themselves, and bidding on several of my sites at once, but never replying to anything.

    Check out whether they are verified by VOIP, or if they have a fixed landline/mobile in a country. I have never had a VOIP come through and pay - nor have they ever replied.

    That said - Flippa will relist the site for free and re-credit the success fee, so aside from being a pain in the rear, you are not out of pocket.

    My guess is that somebody has been outsourced to set up accounts and shill bid. Occasionally, they win auctions, at which point they go quiet and their account gets banned by Flippa after a dispute has been raised.

    I do sell sites to real people too though. I have found that if a real bidder has bid for a site and I am happy with the price, I just close out the auction early to avoid it going to one of these phantoms. This has worked for me.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    my auction is a bit short of what i want to close out at. Would be nice to close out now however.
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    • Profile picture of the author ContactSquid
      Confused. I've never used Flippa, and not sure I should. I do have a few sites that I would like to sell such as:

      fresnopokerhouse.com

      I would be happy to get paid for what I've invested in the site, which is around $750. Just would like to get rid of some projects that I'm no longer interested in. Is there a better site to put websites, such as the above, up for sale or should I put them for sale at Flippa?
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      • Profile picture of the author coloma21
        Hi guys,

        I too am experiencing this weird phenomenon on flippa, where i would get an handful of New Flippa Accounts bidding on my listing within 4 hours of becoming available...

        And if you check their accounts, they pretty much do Mass-Bidding without winning anything!

        It's very clear these are Bots or Hired Goons... But how the heck do they benefit if they are doing fake bids on other people's listing rather than their own?

        The only conclusion i can come up with is possibly Flippa doing this.. They are the only person that can benefit from these stupid fake bot bids... its pretty much inflating the entire flippa market to an extent

        On the other hand, if its not Flippa behind this, I can't possibly understand what kind of gain a person can get... unless, as mentioned earlier, someone is using mass bots in hopes of automation towards great deal?

        What are your guys thoughts?


        From,

        Marc Coloma
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