Possible to flip website without traffic and income?

29 replies
I've seen it happen a couple of times, a brand new website that has no traffic and makes no money selling for several hundred dollars on flippa.

What sort of ingredients does a site like this need to have in place in order to still be attractive to prospective buyers?
#flip #income #traffic #website
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    People would buy your site if you had a) a compelling domain and/or b) lots of content.
    Signature

    Want To Make More Money Online? Invest in BETTER CONTENT!
    Articles - Blogs - Authority sites - Ecommerce descriptions - Emails - Youtube video scripts - AFFORDABLE RATES!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8413781].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
    It's very rare for a brand new site to sell for enough to cover costs on Flippa these days. 4-5 years ago it was possible, but not anymore (not on a consistent basis, despite what the WSOs will tell you).

    The only people who might do this regularly will either have a list of their own where they have hyped up the opportunity, shill bid on their own listings or have just got lucky. The only way for this model to be profitable in the long run is with more profitable upsells in place after the initial sale (e.g. SEO).
    Signature
    I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8414850].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      FreeMeal,

      The best chance you'll have (to do this) is to add as much value as you can.

      Obviously, the greatest value is first, in revenue generated, and second, in targeted traffic to the site.

      But there are other ways to add value, as Writeaway pointed out - a compelling domain name and targeted content loaded onto the site.

      There a still a few other things you might add:

      1. A unique and great site template customized to the niche. If WordPress is the site platform, don't just add one of the many free themes. Find a custom theme that goes well in the niche.

      2. If the site is set up to sell (and not just a blog), add the sales letter and a product in the niche. It could be a PLR product already modified, an resell rights product, a new product, or a licensed product that could be legally transferred.

      3. Set up the sales funnel in advance. Of course the new owner would need to modify links, maybe autoresponder details, payment processor, etc. The more work you save the new owner, the more valuable the site becomes in his eyes. This could include an OTO, OTO product, AR series, etc.

      4. Get some linking going. A few nice backlinks at targeted places (and document them) should make your site more valuable even if the traffic isn't established yet.

      5. Along the lines of #4 above, you could also do some free press releases (and document them) so the owner could see that you were diligent in setting up the site and launching it.

      There are certainly things I've left out. Review the WF for lists of "web site launch" or "product launch" steps. Do everything you can that doesn't cost a lot or that doesn't require input from the new owner.

      Add value wherever possible and it will increase your chances of a sale.

      I don't necessarily agree with Thomas's statement above . . . "It's very rare for a brand new site to sell for enough to cover costs on Flippa these days. 4-5 years ago it was possible, but not anymore. . ."

      The best to you.

      Steve
      Signature

      Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
      SteveBrowneDirect

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8414970].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
        Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

        I don't necessarily agree with Thomas's statement above . . . "It's very rare for a brand new site to sell for enough to cover costs on Flippa these days. 4-5 years ago it was possible, but not anymore. . ."
        Do you have any recent data to back that up? It might work every now and then, but there is no reliable formula to do it that doesn't rely on luck or an established reputation. Some of your suggestions would have been good a few years ago, but simply finding a premium theme, adding a PLR product/sales funnel and building a few backlinks isn't effective these days.

        Even valuing your time at $0, there are very few sellers who sell turnkey sites for a profit on a regular basis. I'm sure a number make money on the back-end but on the front-end it's not easy. Obviously a lot depends on your costs to build sites, but I don't see this model working these days. It's also very hard to get exposure to a Flippa listing (assuming you have no reputation, no account history, no list elsewhere) unless you pay for upgrades - which quickly eat into margins with brand new sites.

        Your suggestion of using a PLR product used to work really well - these days buyers as a whole are more educated and realise PLR is usually worthless.
        Signature
        I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8415136].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

          Do you have any recent data to back that up?
          Thomas,

          Sure, did you read post #9 on this thread? If you will take the time to research "web sites sold" where that function is available, you will see a number of ready made sites that have sold that didn't have either income or traffic. What you're forgetting is that many people would like to have a site online but don't have a clue how to create one. Custom sites are not always the answer.

          Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

          Even valuing your time at $0, there are very few sellers who sell turnkey sites for a profit on a regular basis.
          That is just your guess. How are you able to tell which sales make a profit and which don't? Are you monitoring all the places where web sites are sold? Are you talking with the sellers to see how much investment they have in each site?

          My observations would suggest that this is certainly not the optimal way to sell a web site; however, to say "there is no reliable formula to do it that doesn't rely on luck or an established reputation" is pure conjecture. There is evidence that people are selling these sites online every day. Have you every noticed how many hosting providers sell ready web sites as add-ons to their hosting service? It is done every day of the week.

          Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

          Your suggestion of using a PLR product used to work really well - these days buyers as a whole are more educated and realise PLR is usually worthless.
          What I actually said was . . . "It could be a PLR product already modified, a resell rights product, a new product, or a licensed product that could be legally transferred."

          PLR is not worthless if you know the PLR sellers that put out quality products. There are a number of such people right here on the Warrior Forum like Justin Popovic, Ruth Pound, Tiffany Dow, Tina Golden, Liz Tomey, Jeremy and Simon, Kevin Coop, Amanda Craven, Peggy Barron, and certainly others.

          In addition, I suggested you "modify" the PLR to add value and make it your own. This is a very workable solution for those who can't or don't want to create their own product.

          Good luck to all,

          Steve
          Signature

          Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
          SteveBrowneDirect

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8440563].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
            Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

            Thomas,

            Sure, did you read post #9 on this thread? If you will take the time to research "web sites sold" where that function is available, you will see a number of ready made sites that have sold that didn't have either income or traffic. What you're forgetting is that many people would like to have a site online but don't have a clue how to create one. Custom sites are not always the answer.

            That is just your guess. How are you able to tell which sales make a profit and which don't? Are you monitoring all the places where web sites are sold? Are you talking with the sellers to see how much investment they have in each site?
            #9 just backs up my point. Selling a site for $90 will barely cover costs if you take into account the seller's time. On paper you might make a few dollars (let's say $50 in this case) but by the time you have:

            Built the site (even if copied)
            Registered a domain
            Added content (even if PLR)
            Listed it (even if copied)
            Answered questions
            Accepted bids
            Taken payment for the site
            Transferred the site
            Helped with after-sales support

            (I am also assuming that all auctions won go through and there are no issues with chargebacks/refunds - both of which are extremely common on Flippa and elsewhere, unfortunately).

            There is very little profit in there assuming it's run as a business with any sort of overhead aside from variable costs. For a person working on their own, there may well be a small return on time, but selling a site for $100 with fees etc. doesn't seem like a sustainable model (unless you live in a third world country with low cost of living) - and is only really viable if you have a good system in place (e.g. upselling other services, selling more sites to the same buyers at higher margins etc.).

            I've been doing this for years, and yes I do monitor everywhere sites are sold. I also spend the majority of my time talking to people selling sites and the number one question I ask is "how much time do you spend". You'd probably be surprised how many people make a loss even if you value their time at $5/hour. I've also been approached by a number of people with turnkey website selling businesses who are looking to sell - so I'm quite confident in the quality of my data, nor am I "guessing".

            I'm not saying it's impossible to sell a new site, I'm saying it's very difficult to get started in the current market and there's hardly any margin. I also agree there are always people looking to buy cheap sites (and I don't have an issue with that). Selling these on Flippa with Flippa's rising fees and increased competition is very hard.

            There are very few people doing this on Flippa sustainably or full-time which was my point - as a one off sale it's possible. Check out Flippa Leaderboard - Who Sold What On Flippa and For How Much and filter by number of sites sold. You'll notice there are very few sellers (with more than 100 sales) averaging more than $100 per sale (and that doesn't take into account unsold sites which have a cost) and other overheads/costs. That backs up my point about there being no reliable formula to do it regularly and profitably. 3 years ago it was possible (and I had a best-selling course teaching people how to do it). Not anymore - hence why I transitioned into brokering.
            Signature
            I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8440626].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
      Originally Posted by Thomas Smale View Post

      It's very rare for a brand new site to sell for enough to cover costs on Flippa these days. 4-5 years ago it was possible, but not anymore (not on a consistent basis, despite what the WSOs will tell you).

      The only people who might do this regularly will either have a list of their own where they have hyped up the opportunity, shill bid on their own listings or have just got lucky. The only way for this model to be profitable in the long run is with more profitable upsells in place after the initial sale (e.g. SEO).
      I dont think luck has anything to do with it neither do i believe in luck if someone bought that site it is because they really wanted it and know something that others do not know about that site or have an idea to market that site that others do not. People dont buy for the sake of buying a site there's something valueable that they see in it.

      e.g. A site targeting google glasses or something like that before it launched or even announced publicly could sell just because the is a potential to market it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8415134].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Thomas Smale
        Originally Posted by Alex Mensah View Post

        I dont think luck has anything to do with it neither do i believe in luck if someone bought that site it is because they really wanted it and know something that others do not know about that site or have an idea to market that site that others do not. People dont buy for the sake of buying a site there's something valueable that they see in it.
        I'm not sure how many sites you've sold on Flippa (I am the all-time top seller there FYI) but from my experience, the vast majority of buyers at the low end of the market have no idea what they are doing and usually are buying a site because they like the look of it or have been told that buying websites is profitable (thanks, in part, to forums like this) - not because they know what they are doing/will ever make any money with it. That's why it's important to focus on "popular/sexy" niches as opposed to niches that are profitable (when focusing on selling turnkey sites that is).

        I tend to agree that luck doesn't usually have anything to do with it, but when it comes to a marketplace FULL of terrible sites, it's very difficult for a new legitimate seller to get exposure selling sites with no income.

        I'd love for someone to prove me wrong, as that's how I got my business off the ground 4 years ago, but I do believe it's significantly harder these days to sell sites with no income and make a profit.
        Signature
        I specialize in selling websites over $10,000 in value. No obligation, confidential valuation here.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8415166].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Fantastic
    If it has a good domain, quality content, and they see potential in it...


    I don't see why not.


    It's unlikely of course but it depends on what you've got.


    Worth a shot either way but don't get your hopes up in all honesty.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8414982].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author usfemail
    I still sell sites with no income, profit or traffic. As a matter of fact, I just sold two this week. One sold for $80 and the other sold for $110.

    Of course you never know what you are going to get when you sell a site on Flippa. Sometimes when you list it, the site does not sell. Then if you re-list it the site sells.

    It's such a hit and miss. I make a decent income on Flippa; although I only do it on a part-time basis. You can definitely make some good income if you know what you are doing.

    I suggest that you learn a little bit about it before you try to jump into it. While it is simple, there are some things that you need to know before you take action.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8428047].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
      Originally Posted by usfemail View Post

      I still sell sites with no income, profit or traffic. As a matter of fact, I just sold two this week. One sold for $80 and the other sold for $110.

      Of course you never know what you are going to get when you sell a site on Flippa. Sometimes when you list it, the site does not sell. Then if you re-list it the site sells.

      It's such a hit and miss. I make a decent income on Flippa; although I only do it on a part-time basis. You can definitely make some good income if you know what you are doing.

      I suggest that you learn a little bit about it before you try to jump into it. While it is simple, there are some things that you need to know before you take action.
      Those are decent prices. But are they worth the time after deducting all expenses?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8429392].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author usfemail
    Yes, I only paid $2.00 at most for the domain. $9.00 to list the site and then the success fee. One of the fees was $16 and the other success fee was $12. I already had the template for the site, so I uploaded it in about 3 minutes with WP Twin Plugin.

    I already have my auctions pre-written so I just cut and paste them into Flippa.

    So yes definitely worth my time and investment.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8429498].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
      Originally Posted by usfemail View Post

      Yes, I only paid $2.00 at most for the domain. $9.00 to list the site and then the success fee. One of the fees was $16 and the other success fee was $12. I already had the template for the site, so I uploaded it in about 3 minutes with WP Twin Plugin.

      I already have my auctions pre-written so I just cut and paste them into Flippa.

      So yes definitely worth my time and investment.
      Thanks for the reply. How about the images, articles, header, banners etc.?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8429538].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author usfemail
        Originally Posted by mikelmraz View Post

        Thanks for the reply. How about the images, articles, header, banners etc.?

        The headers are already pre-done on my templates. I have sold some sites that I needed to create a header. I just outsourced to Fiverr.

        As for images, some sites I sell with images, some I don't. It just depends on the type of sites I am selling.

        Banners, I just use affiliate banners from Clickbank if I am promoting that the site can be monetized with Affiliate programs.

        Just depends on the type of site I am selling..

        Hope this answers your questions.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8429678].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Meharis
          Originally Posted by usfemail View Post

          The headers are already pre-done on my templates. I have sold some sites that I needed to create a header. I just outsourced to Fiverr.

          As for images, some sites I sell with images, some I don't. It just depends on the type of sites I am selling.

          Banners, I just use affiliate banners from Clickbank if I am promoting that the site can be monetized with Affiliate programs.

          Just depends on the type of site I am selling..

          Hope this answers your questions.

          usfemail,

          You forgot to mention that your $27.00 invested, have returned you 196% profit for a sale of $80.00.

          If that is not a good return, well, I don't know what a good return is...

          Meharis
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430467].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
          Originally Posted by usfemail View Post

          The headers are already pre-done on my templates. I have sold some sites that I needed to create a header. I just outsourced to Fiverr.

          As for images, some sites I sell with images, some I don't. It just depends on the type of sites I am selling.

          Banners, I just use affiliate banners from Clickbank if I am promoting that the site can be monetized with Affiliate programs.

          Just depends on the type of site I am selling..

          Hope this answers your questions.
          Forgot to ask ... how about the articles?
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430595].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mrgoe
    Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

    I've seen it happen a couple of times, a brand new website that has no traffic and makes no money selling for several hundred dollars on flippa.

    What sort of ingredients does a site like this need to have in place in order to still be attractive to prospective buyers?
    Those websites are all about the idea behind them. And it`s something hard to replicate, that`s why people would buy them..
    Signature
    I Use SiteGround For Hosting
    And SpinRewriter For Unlimited, Unique Content.
    Try Them
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8429549].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author VitalityMN
    Would be a challenge but seems like it would work
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430547].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Devin X
    Banned
    Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

    I've seen it happen a couple of times, a brand new website that has no traffic and makes no money selling for several hundred dollars on flippa.
    Sure, but like you've seen, they don't sell for more than a few hundred dollars at maximum.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430695].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SandraLarkin
    Banned
    You used to be able to create information product sites an sell them. The value of course was a full blown, unique information product, along with a sales page.

    That can work still. Not as good as before however.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430724].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dougp
      (1) If you're selling the site with a dictionary domain name

      (2) You have something proprietary about the site. For example, it uses a special custom build web script for a specific business purpose, or you get the 100% ownership to a product they created but not going to have the money to promote

      I can't think of any other major reasons. However, I would recommend building a stable business in something you're interested in, as flipping a site without no virtual assets is a risky an short term business.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430746].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8430912].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WordpressManiac
    If you have a unique site or a really interesting Domain name you could sell without traffic, others sell sites with high PR from expired domains or eCommerce sites. It all depends on your knowledge, sales letter on Flippa and some good luck ;-)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8435857].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author micksss
    Does anyone know of a good website broker that will take care of selling a site for you on Flippa or other avenues? I want to sell my web hosting forum but don't want to deal with Flippa myself.
    Signature
    Web Hosting Reviews ► www.CastironHosting.com ◄ Read or Submit Feedback on Web Hosts.
    Web Hosting Coupons, Deals & Promos!

    Need a Virtual Private Server? www.VPSPlan.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8457106].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author OLechat
      micksss --*there are a few brokers who list on Flippa (one of them is even active on this thread!). They generally deal with large sales (10k+), otherwise it's not really worth the time.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8467277].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author micksss
        Originally Posted by OLechat View Post

        micksss --*there are a few brokers who list on Flippa (one of them is even active on this thread!). They generally deal with large sales (10k+), otherwise it's not really worth the time.
        That makes sense. I guess I will have to do the work myself. Thanks!
        Signature
        Web Hosting Reviews ► www.CastironHosting.com ◄ Read or Submit Feedback on Web Hosts.
        Web Hosting Coupons, Deals & Promos!

        Need a Virtual Private Server? www.VPSPlan.com
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8468821].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
    Hi @FreeMeal,

    When looking to buy a website the most important thing, in my opinion, other then traffic and sales of a website would be the actual domain NAME, and AGE. These two thing combined with the (website PR, ie: PR1, PR2, etc.) would be critical when a potential buyer is making a decision.

    Traffic usually follows a solid ranking website, however I've seen websites with a legitimate P4 that have very traffic running through it simply because there is age and backlinks to that domain.

    Things to look for when buying an expired domain:

    1. Age (the older the better)
    2. PR (PR 3-4 is ideal)
    3. Above 20K true backlinks
    4. Catchy domain name (short, easy to remember, no numbers in it)
    5. Only buy a .com, .org, .net, and even sometimes a .ca
    Signature

    Jon

    "Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone." -- Deepak Chopra

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8467311].message }}

Trending Topics