Author Topic: Flippa  (Read 5044 times)

aclarridge

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Flippa
« on: September 25, 2014, 11:42:57 AM »
Has anybody ever used flippa? I was toying with the idea of buying a website or possibly even a mobile app (although I don't really have a smartphone - I wonder if it's even required?).

Some of the stuff for sale there would be for example a website that has a "buy it now" price which is less than its annual profit and apparently requires little to no effort to run. In certain cases it seems way too good to be true.

I'm an engineer and good with computers/coding but not that familiar with web-based programming or blogging - so I'm not the ideal person to be looking at this type of investment. That said, some of you are, so I'd appreciate the insight.

arebelspy

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 01:11:05 PM »
I looked into it for awhile, but there was too much I didn't know, and too many unknowns.  It would have been pure gambling/speculation, so I decided to pass.

Someone who educated themself a lot on the relevant topics could likely do fairly well (though you always have the caveat of if it's so good, why is the person selling type thing).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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aclarridge

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 03:10:56 PM »
Someone who educated themself a lot on the relevant topics could likely do fairly well (though you always have the caveat of if it's so good, why is the person selling type thing).

Yeah that's what I was thinking. The potential buyers seem to ask that question a lot too, and the typical answer seems to be "I am working on other projects and don't have time for this" - basically, that they have even more lucrative stuff going on, and hence their time is so valuable that even the small time commitment required to run this business is too much for them. Very hard to believe that this is often the case.

I am looking at a deal right now that makes about 3-4k/mo profit...other than the seller using the argument above, 2-3 hrs of due diligence turned up no major concerns, the numbers look pretty much believable, and some obvious improvements should yield higher revenues. The bidding hasn't really started yet, but I could see the seller looking for >50k, which if it is all legit, might make sense. I only would want to pay 5-10k on a first deal though, so I think I'd have to pass on it, no matter how good it looks.

CanuckStache

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 10:53:42 PM »
I don't have direct experience with it but everyone I know who has tried it has been disappointed. Lots of 'lemons' on that site, and jacked up stats.

aclarridge

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 05:55:43 AM »
I don't have direct experience with it but everyone I know who has tried it has been disappointed. Lots of 'lemons' on that site, and jacked up stats.

Are there other, better marketplaces?

arebelspy

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 07:45:33 AM »
Not really, no.

You just have to know what you're doing. Which is difficult, without experience. Start small, so if you get burned you're not out too much money.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

aclarridge

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 01:46:57 PM »
That NichePursuits blog is pretty interesting.

I think probably I should try to design a site of my own first before getting into this. There's just so much I don't know.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 02:20:40 PM »
Yes, I did buy one.

It was a big mistake. This is why
  • The material was copied from all over the web. Google likes originality. Once it marks it a copied site, it will never go anywhere in the rankings
  • There was some bad  code within the web which caused my other sites on the same server to be banned. I only recovered when I removed all pages from this site and put up a under construction page

I got the seller to refund the cost of the website, minus the cost of the name of the domain.

So, Caveat Emptor.


« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 02:36:55 PM by CowboyAndIndian »

arebelspy

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 04:40:30 PM »
I got the seller to refund the cost of the website, minus the cost of the name of the domain.

Wow, that's a pretty good outcome.  I wouldn't count on that, and flippa is very much buyer beware, as you said. 
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2014, 08:21:47 AM »
I got the seller to refund the cost of the website, minus the cost of the name of the domain.

Wow, that's a pretty good outcome.  I wouldn't count on that, and flippa is very much buyer beware, as you said.


Thanks. The good part was that I got the domain name which was mainly what I was after.

If I had to buy another site from Flippa, these are some of the other things I would do
  • Go thru articles and google unique sentences found in the artlcles. By this, I hope to find out if it has been copied from some other site
  • Do not use any of the sellers themes, use my own. In my case, code hidden within the theme  was used as a trojan horse for the spoofing code
  • Be very wary of sellers number of unique visitors and number of pageviews. 
  • Be very wary of money being earned from a website 

Flippa may be good for an established web site, but in the case of websites which have just been setup, it is of not much value.

Nords

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 09:53:05 AM »
Has anybody ever used flippa? I was toying with the idea of buying a website or possibly even a mobile app (although I don't really have a smartphone - I wonder if it's even required?).

Some of the stuff for sale there would be for example a website that has a "buy it now" price which is less than its annual profit and apparently requires little to no effort to run. In certain cases it seems way too good to be true.

I'm an engineer and good with computers/coding but not that familiar with web-based programming or blogging - so I'm not the ideal person to be looking at this type of investment. That said, some of you are, so I'd appreciate the insight.
Right now your level of knowledge is the equivalent of walking on to a used-car lot outside a military base, handing over your credit card, and asking them to sell you a car so that you can learn how to drive.  Once you boost your skills, you'll be fine and you won't need the used-car lot anymore.

Flippa does a good job of providing a fairly liquid market for websites, but there's plenty of sites built with dubious tactics as well as downright scammers.  There are several outside tools that you can use to check their statistics, and you can read the quality of the posts for yourself.  As for revenue claims, you could ask for Google AdSense reports or even tax returns-- but when you purchase the site then you're going to take over the advertising for your account.  There's no guarantee that you'll land the same quality of deals as the previous owner, especially if you're new to the niche.  But experienced bloggers and entrepreneurs use the site to buy & sell, and it's no worse than eBay or Craigslist.

Starting a blog requires zero web-based programming skills.  You can certainly use them if you have them, but they're not relevant to starting or running a blog.  As for blogging itself, you can start a free blog on WordPress.com (their hosting, not your own hosting) and use their daily tutorials to improve your skills.  And after you've done that, you won't need Flippa anymore.

Someone who educated themself a lot on the relevant topics could likely do fairly well (though you always have the caveat of if it's so good, why is the person selling type thing).
Yeah that's what I was thinking. The potential buyers seem to ask that question a lot too, and the typical answer seems to be "I am working on other projects and don't have time for this" - basically, that they have even more lucrative stuff going on, and hence their time is so valuable that even the small time commitment required to run this business is too much for them. Very hard to believe that this is often the case.

I am looking at a deal right now that makes about 3-4k/mo profit...other than the seller using the argument above, 2-3 hrs of due diligence turned up no major concerns, the numbers look pretty much believable, and some obvious improvements should yield higher revenues. The bidding hasn't really started yet, but I could see the seller looking for >50k, which if it is all legit, might make sense. I only would want to pay 5-10k on a first deal though, so I think I'd have to pass on it, no matter how good it looks.
Entrepreneurial bloggers have a lot of ideas, and developing a new idea can consume a lot of time.  Having to spend an hour or two a day on an existing blog may not seem like a big deal compared to being chained to a cubicle, but when you're no longer interested in the blog or the topic then you get pretty grumpy.  If there are additional frustrations with sloppy web hosting companies or disgruntled customers then it's even more of a hassle.  The majority of bloggers are also inexperienced at delegation and hiring out tasks, so they feel that it's easier to just take the money and run.

The guy selling a $4K/month blog is probably working on a project that will yield $5K-$10K/month. 

Last week at a conference, one blogger confessed that he's "running" over 40 blogs.  A lot of that is delegated and outsourced, and he's making a nice living at it, but he's responsible for more businesses than most people want to tackle.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 10:00:19 AM by Nords »

aclarridge

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2014, 06:55:03 PM »
Thanks for the advice Nords. Starting a blog to learn the ropes seems to be the way to go.

maki

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Re: Flippa
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 03:17:35 PM »
i purchased 3 sites from flippa to test. you really have to spend a lot of time on that site to sift through the chaff. two of the three i purchased have started to show upward trends in traffic and revenue (all adsense) due to some optimization and content and backlink building i did. the third is a real works-in-progress, but it's in a niche that i hold dear to my heart, so it's not that bad. i consider it to be a labor of love.

some sites i'd recommend to cross-reference the information sellers are quoting are (in addition to google analytics, of course): moz open site explorer, majestic seo, semrush, copyscape (helps to assess content originality), and whois.

i feel churning a profit from sites purchased on flippa is largely based on your ability to spot problem areas that you know you can remedy, but then again, i feel this holds true for a lot of investments in general.