Accepting Bids on Flippa

by LarryC 22 replies
I'm fairly new to selling websites, but I've sold a couple on Flippa recently. There seems to be more issues with suspicious bidders here than on other auction sites such as eBay. For this reason, they give you the option to accept or reject any particular bid. I'm wondering what the best approach is.

I had a bidder the other day, for example, who was listed as having logged in from three different countries in the last 24 hours. Nor did he have any feedback. There was an additional warning that he might using multiple user names. I rejected this bid, as it was fairly obviously not legit. However, I've also had a few other bids from people who have just signed up to Flippa with no feedback rating. They do, however, have a verified phone number.

I'm wondering if any experienced Flippa sellers could tell me what criteria they use when deciding whether to accept or reject a bid. Someone has to sign up sometime, so being new doesn't automatically mean one is a scammer. Do you give such people the benefit of the doubt, or is it safer to only accept bids from established buyers?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #accepting #bids #flippa
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    If I have a reserve set, I accept all bids under the reserve. After the reserve has been met, I then become picky and look for fraudulent buyers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      If I have a reserve set, I accept all bids under the reserve. After the reserve has been met, I then become picky and look for fraudulent buyers.
      I agree with Suzanne, I wouldn't worry too much about that until after the reserve price has been met.
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  • Profile picture of the author frankl
    Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

    I'm fairly new to selling websites, but I've sold a couple on Flippa recently. There seems to be more issues with suspicious bidders here than on other auction sites such as eBay. For this reason, they give you the option to accept or reject any particular bid. I'm wondering what the best approach is.

    I had a bidder the other day, for example, who was listed as having logged in from three different countries in the last 24 hours. Nor did he have any feedback. There was an additional warning that he might using multiple user names. I rejected this bid, as it was fairly obviously not legit. However, I've also had a few other bids from people who have just signed up to Flippa with no feedback rating. They do, however, have a verified phone number.

    I'm wondering if any experienced Flippa sellers could tell me what criteria they use when deciding whether to accept or reject a bid. Someone has to sign up sometime, so being new doesn't automatically mean one is a scammer. Do you give such people the benefit of the doubt, or is it safer to only accept bids from established buyers?
    If there is still a lot of time left, just accept their bids. This way the listing price will go up. But towards the end be careful with them. It's also a good idea to contact them and see what they have to say. If they still seem dodgy, just ignore them and accept bids from trusted buyers.

    PS. My last flippa listing had to be relisted because the buyer didn't pay. The guy had 100% positive feedback so it's really hard to know who is trying to scam you. And ironically the guy who bought the site in the end was a new user with zero feedback.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Dunstan
    I agree with the advice to accept the bids early on until your reserve is met. Also, auctions with bids are much more likely to get other punters looking at them.

    Later on, message the bidders and ask them if they are really interested or bidding for fun. You tend to get some indignant responses (that is what you want), or NO RESPONSE at all. In the second case, reject all those bids.

    There is clearly something strange going on at Flippa at the moment in those cases. SOme have suggested that bots are bidding. I was getting several unpaying bidders a week amongst the genuine people, but these were always from people who never respond to any messages - hence my reasoning for not accepting them later on in case they win!

    If you have a good bidder with good feedback at a price you are happy with - close the auction out early! Take the money. Don't be greedy!
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  • Profile picture of the author frankl
    I think Flippa should charge buyers a small fee if they want to enter an auction. Let's say they need to pay $5 and then they can continue biding. If they won the auction then that $5 would be counted towards the final price. If they don't win, then the bidding fee would be deposited in their flippa account and they could use it on other listings.
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    • Yeah you're right so that they can again bid and used the recent bid that you used before.
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  • Profile picture of the author Certitude
    Flippa isn't what it used to be.

    I usually check out each bidder and am less picky at the start of the auction. As the price rises and the auction nears the end I am super picky and reject any bids I don't like the look of.
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    • Profile picture of the author LarryC
      That sounds like good advice -to accept bids early to get the momentum going. It seems the lower priced sites get more questionable bidders, probably because they are more likely to be paid with Paypal rather than Escrow.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
        Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

        That sounds like good advice -to accept bids early to get the momentum going. It seems the lower priced sites get more questionable bidders, probably because they are more likely to be paid with Paypal rather than Escrow.
        I agree with accepting bids early until you're close to the Reserve, but I'd be very picky about bids I accepted to exceed the Reserve, because once it's exceeded you're obligated.

        As far as buying history goes, if a person has a solid history there with good feedback and the transaction is under $300-$400.00 or the theme and content aren't unique, I'll take Paypal and not worry about it too much. Most people that have a good history there don't want to mess it up, especially over a small transaction.

        However, I always use Escrow on anything over $500.00 and insist that we split the Escrow AND Flippa fees. That's only $10.00 each for Escrow (with the Flippa discount) if the buyer is in the USA, but there's an additional $25.00 fee to split if they're outside the States. Then half of whatever Flippa charges.

        I also use Escrow on most smaller transaction from new buyers in the USA as well. After I've done business with them 2-3 times, spoke to them on Skype and got to know them a little, then I'd start to consider accepting Paypal, but not before - unless it's a site that's not unique in any way and has no or little traffic.

        The cost of doing business there is starting to really add up and most "business minded" people realize this, so they don't have a problem with splitting the fees. I've sold several sites there now (another one last night :-)) and have never had anyone complain about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author FNHPWR11
    Yeah, once it hits the reserve, I become pretty strict with taking bids. I check feedback, prior purchases, etc.. Even then, it can still be hit and miss. Only use Escrow or Bank Transfer (if that's the case). For the most part, if they don't have a track record of positive completed transactions, I'm not going to deal with them. Yet, if you are selling $99 sites or something, your criteria might be different.
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  • Profile picture of the author fresh68
    i lost a ton of money on flippa,, unscrupulous sellers
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    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Originally Posted by fresh68 View Post

      i lost a ton of money on flippa,, unscrupulous sellers
      There will be bad buyers and bad sellers in any marketplace, including places like Warrior Forum, eBay, Etsy, and so on - you can't blame an entire website just because of bad experiences with specific individuals.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    I had a strange experience with my last sale. The person paid via Paypal with no problem. But I've been unable to get the right info from him to push the domain. He's since been banned from Flippa, apparently due to a problem with somebody else. He emailed me once, but when I replied the email was undeliverable. So now I have to worry he's going to ask for a refund, even though I'm unable to deliver what he ordered.
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    • Originally Posted by LarryC View Post

      I had a strange experience with my last sale. The person paid via Paypal with no problem. But I've been unable to get the right info from him to push the domain. He's since been banned from Flippa, apparently due to a problem with somebody else. He emailed me once, but when I replied the email was undeliverable. So now I have to worry he's going to ask for a refund, even though I'm unable to deliver what he ordered.
      Those are warning signs of fraud. Don't be surprised when you get a PayPal dispute on this transaction. He could be using someone else's card or account to pay, or he may claim someone else used his card and dispute the charge.

      You're probably lucky that you haven't been able to transfer the domain. Remember, folks, when you're dealing with strangers, escrow.com is by far the best way to go.

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      • Profile picture of the author LarryC
        Yes, I'm thinking about just sending him a refund to avoid any such possibilities. I know Escrow is usually recommended, but it's not usually used for smaller transactions. This one was only $175.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    I'm not certain that it's a scam. Payment was sent 3 weeks ago and he/she has contacted me several times. Only the info they sent didn't work for pushing the domain. Also, they don't seem to speak English well. I don't know if it's some kind of fraud or just someone very inexperienced.
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  • Profile picture of the author ddev
    Quick question: Suppose that i accept an "unknown bidder" and his bid is under the reserve price (just to add some dynamic to the sale). Can i later reject his bids (when the reserve price has been passed by someone else)?

    Best Regards,

    Diego.
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    • Profile picture of the author madh2h
      Originally Posted by ddev View Post

      Quick question: Suppose that i accept an "unknown bidder" and his bid is under the reserve price (just to add some dynamic to the sale). Can i later reject his bids (when the reserve price has been passed by someone else)?

      Best Regards,

      Diego.
      Yes, Flippa allows you to delete them from the bidding list.
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  • Profile picture of the author Borja Obeso
    It really depeds on what you are selling and the payment methods you accept. O woul say if you are selling a website for over 1k only accept escrow and then accept everyone, as with ecrow they can't "issue a refund claim" under some BS reason, paypal will 90% of the time rule in favour of the buyer when it comes to digital goods such as a website, so It's an easy way for a buyer to scam you.

    You could choose to only use escrow with any amount of selling price but then the fees are a little expensive.

    Anyone like you have described is a red flag, but not necessarily someone that has a link to a couple accounts is vad as long as those linked account have 100% fredback or are at least not suspended ot vanned of course.

    For new users just contact them and get a feel of how interested they really are.
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  • Profile picture of the author OLechat
    It's important to note that our bidding system has changed since this thread was started, so Suzanne's advice doesn't necessarily hold anymore. You can't see the amount for which a bid is placed before accepting it (because the bidder's maximum bid is always kept secret, in order to prevent abuse). This means that you should only accept bids from bidders to whom you would actually sell your site. Yes, it takes more time to communicate with each bidder before accepting their bid, but it's the only way to ensure you don't get stuck with a no-show buyer.
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  • Profile picture of the author kylenelson24
    I just sold a site on flippa. Under $1k and used escrow.com. I havent had a huge amount of contact with the guy who bought it but it is nice to know that escrow.com is holding the money until the whole transfer is done and he cannot just cancel after receiving the site.

    Always go with escrow.com even if its a friend buying your site. Its worth the extra money and time.
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