my wife and I recently bought on online business a few months ago.
I had been learning and looking for a while, (empire flippers podcast, blogs etc) and thought I knew what I was looking for, the affiliate model, content sites. I was getting feeds from the larger brokerages ( FEI, empire flippers, etc) and also trolling through Flippa. which everyone will tell you is full of 'built to sell' bad sites, and it is. but it's easy to window shop.
then something came into my email from Flippa, hidden by an NDA, and I checked it out. It was NOT at all what I thought I wanted, it's a service / saas business in the pregnancy/baby niche. But the more I looked the better it seemed. It was run by the founder for over 10 years, lots of custom programming, and a us based VA in place. it was (and still is) a fixer upper. I had a consultant vet the idea for $200, he called it a screaming deal, and we closed on it for $30,000. Purchased for just over 1x earnings.
this is to say, it can happen.
yes their are scams etc. but our seller was thrilled to get someone who cared about her clients and was going to respect them, and what she had built. were happy to have bought a business we understand, can help run with limited time a week, and know we can significantly improve the 'look and feel' of and thus value.
I'd love to find folks here doing similar things and compare notes.