Why do people sell websites if they are making money?

32 replies
Hi, I'm not in the business of buying websites but in my time of browsing I have came across some places online that allow people to buy and sell websites. For example most of the time the websites are apparently making money through ads or affiliate marketing and been sold for a price that would allow the buyer to make back their money and a profit (based on what the websites are apparently generating) within a few months.

So why would people want to sell these for a once off payment if they would make more keeping them? Is it a type of scam or a genuine business? Thanks.
#making #money #people #sell #websites
  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Originally Posted by Byron2k12 View Post

    Hi, I'm not in the business of buying websites but in my time of browsing I have came across some places online that allow people to buy and sell websites. For example most of the time the websites are apparently making money through ads or affiliate marketing and been sold for a price that would allow the buyer to make back their money and a profit (based on what the websites are apparently generating) within a few months.

    So why would people want to sell these for a once off payment if they would make more keeping them? Is it a type of scam or a genuine business? Thanks.
    People sell websites for a variety of reasons. They may need or want the money. Or they may have switched focus to other things. I have sold several websites recently and it was simply because I have to many sites to manage along with my other projects.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    I used to wonder about this, too.

    I'm not sure I fully understand the answer, now.

    I think it's a big mixture of things, including market forces, some people's desire/need to raise quick money, supply and demand, and the fact that the prices for these things are artificially low because it's quick and easy for techie people with the right sort of skill-set to assemble such sites, and these days there's an enormous number of such people. Something like that, anyway? I suppose "market forces" and "supply and demand" are the same thing, really? I just tried to make them look different ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Bot Products
    Banned
    It's because some people may not have the time to monetize it and may move on to a better business. Please be wary that many people selling websites are trying to hide something (site has been penalised by Google, etc).
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  • Profile picture of the author Bot Products
    Banned
    Don't forget it's beneficial to the seller since they get the money paid instantly. I still wouldn't recommend buying a website.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
    Originally Posted by Byron2k12 View Post

    Hi, I'm not in the business of buying websites but in my time of browsing I have came across some places online that allow people to buy and sell websites. For example most of the time the websites are apparently making money through ads or affiliate marketing and been sold for a price that would allow the buyer to make back their money and a profit (based on what the websites are apparently generating) within a few months.

    So why would people want to sell these for a once off payment if they would make more keeping them? Is it a type of scam or a genuine business? Thanks.
    A website that is genuinely making is just like any business. Why do people sell businesses? To diversify, focus on other stuff, other uses for the money. not enough time to handle etc.

    Obviously, there are also people who sell websites just to scam people.
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  • Profile picture of the author sweetbribes
    I am learning about buying/selling sites right now. A couple of people that are helping me out with this sometimes-tricky marketplace have often sold sites that are making them good money, but a combination of paying outsourced staff and taking too much time has convinced them that "they needs to go".

    As others have mentioned already, there are quite a few reasons why people would sell sites that are earning them money. One reason why I know that I personally will decide to sell a site that is making me money is because of trends. If you build or buy a site that is making money on something that may *currently* be doing well sales-wise doesn't mean it will still be making those sales in the longterm - and you definitely don't want to wait to try and sell a site after sales have greatly decreased. There are other reasons, of course.

    This particular business model can be tricky to navigate, but it is a legitimate business model - but you gotta watch out for the snakes, they're everywhere.

    Sadie

    Originally Posted by mikedcarroll View Post

    Some of the people seem to be moving to other ventures. Others are interested in reducing their time input on some of those blogs and want to start spending more time with their family or other loved ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    A big reason is, there are on a downward spiral. Alot of people sell when they see their profits going down.

    It's just like a stocks, once it starts to go down, SELL, SELL, SELL!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author KyleG1461
    Car problems, unexpected medical bills, partner or family member's sudden job loss, once in a lifetime opportunity to buy their dream doohickey, anything where someone would be happy to settle for a large lump sum now rather than waiting several months or more for the same amount to trickle in?

    Or they're moving on to something new and dont want the hassle of keeping a website they are no longer interested in going, so they may as well get the largest amount possible, (again now so they can pump it into their new idea) without watching the trickle steadily dry up as they no longer give the website the time, attention and content it needs to remain profitable?
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  • Profile picture of the author dash0205
    I hope I will come to a point that its time to sell some of my websites. I don't see myself doing that for the next few years. I am enjoying it now.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I had two different websites that made me a ton of money, but neither of them earn money now, simply because I have not desired to offer those specific services anymore.

    I should have sold both of them when they were still doing really well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    I should have sold both of them when they were still doing really well.
    Same thing happened to my Cleveland Indians. We had a new stadium, we were contenders for the world series, and sold out about 355 consecutive games. After about 5-6 years, Dick Jacobs sold the team for a high price, and since then attendance is at it's lowest, team payroll is small, and profits are really small.

    It's just not with websites, in any business you need to know when to sell or you could find yourself looking into an empty well.
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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    I sell websites for a host of reasons but one as tpw states. I know I will get bored later so why not make money on it while its hot and move on.
    I also do websites that are fast and can be flipped for money for other projects.

    Remember though, just like in the IM world it is easy to fake alot of the information they give you on flippa and like sites. Not all of those websites are actually making money. Even the most honest can leave out the 1,000 they spent on ppc ads. so make sure if you ever do buy one you do your research very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevoarnold
    For some, that is the business model - to build an asset and then cash out quickly.

    Lets say it costs you $100 to build a site that takes 3 months to start earning $100 per month.

    If you could sell that site in 3 months for $1000, then you could reinvest that profit make 10 more similar sites in that month alone.

    So then after another 3 months, you'd have 10 sites, each earning $100 per month, which you could then potentially sell for $10,000.

    Re-invest that into 100 similar sites, which in another 3 months would be earning $100 per month each, you've then got $10,000 recurring income within 9 months from starting out. But, if you sell those 100 sites at 10x, thats $100,000 in your pocket...

    This is a very crude example, but it kinda illustrates the point.

    "Flipping" sites is the quick way to big bucks and right now, I believe is the sensible way to go because who knows if your sites are still going to be getting "google love" in a years time?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Maschke
    Some people are of the opinion that you go into business to get out of business; that is, they have an exit strategy.

    Other people wouldn't ever walk away as they have too much emotion and identity tied up into it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
    Some people are full-time site flippers, which means they build a site and then sell it for profit, most of the sites you found on Flippa are from such people.
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  • Profile picture of the author OLechat
    Lots of people wonder exactly this -- we get this question so often, in fact, that one of our regular contributors wrote a post about it on the Flippa blog: Why Smart Entrepreneurs are Selling Their Money Making Websites
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    To never put their eggs all in one basket. Having more than one income stream isn't a BAD thing
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  • Profile picture of the author kinyash
    Others do it as their business model where they build sites and sell them just like guys who buy companies, make them profitable and sell them. Not every one wants to be entangled in the business processes required for it to remain profitable. They would simply want a quick buck and move on to other things.
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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    I'm running a t-shirt business that I love very much, yet I've come pretty close to selling it on a couple of occasions because it's taking up my time and energy, and I'd like to focus on other projects. I think that's part of the entrepreneurial mind- you've built something, you've set it in motion, now you want to free up your time and energy so you can set something else in motion.

    You might make more money keeping the website in the short-term, but the cost that has on your time and energy might not be worth it for you in the ultra-long run. It really depends on your priorities and what you want to achieve.
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    • Profile picture of the author IamBaksi
      Like many others have mentioned, running a website requires time and money.

      Additionally, I think your question can be translated into a real life example. 'Why do people sell houses when they can get rent off it'. Answer: Cash in while you can

      If the people selling the websites are Pro flippers though, they could probably build a site in a matter of days and then sell it. Rinse and repeat = profit. Why would they waste their time on one particular website.

      Regards

      Caleb Prince
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  • You still have to maintain websites. It they don't have time they might sell them. Or maybe they want a chunk of cash instead of waiting a year to get the kind of money they need....
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    1. Boredom
    2. Loss of interest
    3. Different projects
    4. Need the money
    5. Interested buyer

    I've sold sites for all of these reasons.
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  • Profile picture of the author programmer24j
    I have sold some of my websites in the past and the only reason for that was to get some quick cash .
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  • Profile picture of the author ClaraBr
    Banned
    Hi there, I think the reason for selling your own website may vary from person to person. But I would say the need for quick money, like in case of medical problems or other things like that, and probably when people want to start something new.
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  • Profile picture of the author amcg
    Originally Posted by Byron2k12 View Post

    Hi, I'm not in the business of buying websites but in my time of browsing I have came across some places online that allow people to buy and sell websites. For example most of the time the websites are apparently making money through ads or affiliate marketing and been sold for a price that would allow the buyer to make back their money and a profit (based on what the websites are apparently generating) within a few months.

    So why would people want to sell these for a once off payment if they would make more keeping them? Is it a type of scam or a genuine business? Thanks.
    Cash? If you're running a advertising, subscription or e-commerce business, cash-flow is pretty much a prime concern.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I am even surprised to hear that most of these website owners are just sick and tired of doing business online and maintaining things. They want to retire so selling their website for a nice hefty fee is all worth it for them.

    A lot of people, that is their main goal when they first start to build their sites.

    I even know of one guy who had his website ranked high for the keyword work at home. He sold his website 3-4 years ago but he started a new website and built everything from scratch.
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