Fears & Obstacles of Flipping Sites
  • I'm interested in getting feedback from everyone on what their biggest fears and obstacles are for:
    1. Buying websites
    2. Selling websites
    3. Building websites to flip
    Obviously if you are only doing one or two of these, just answer the ones that you are focused on.

    When I first started out I can tell you my biggest fear in Buying sites was "what happens if after I purchase the site, the revenue the seller is quoting drops significantly right after purchasing it?" Chris Yates and I have been able to overcome that fear with several checks and balances we put in place when buying sites, so it's no longer a BIG fear. How about yours????
    Post edited by Unknown User at 2011-10-12 19:20:36
  • Buying websites has to be the biggest fear for me. Although I just made a purchase I did take long time with the decision due to the fact that I'm not that good at it yet. I'll get more comfortable as I get more involved in the business.
  • [quote="blillard"]
    Buying websites has to be the biggest fear for me. Although I just made a purchase I did take long time with the decision due to the fact that I'm not that good at it yet. I'll get more comfortable as I get more involved in the business.


    Thank you so much for sharing. Can I ask what specifically about buying causes fear for you? Is it a fear that you'll be scammed or maybe that the seller is exaggerating their claims?
  • We would love to get some more feedback on this. It's always good to find out what the fears and obstacles are for buying or selling sites. It helps Chris and I determine the kind of content we can put together to help out. Looking forward to more responses.
  • This is not a fear so much as an aggravation and strong demotivating factor: to sell a medium value site (say, one that makes $20 per month in revenue and is likely to sell on Flippa for $200) on Flippa, I will lose 34.5% of the selling price to Flippa when you add up the $19 listing fee, the $40 feature upgrade, and the $10 "success" fee. I have an auction going now (see the "advertise . . ." thread) for a site that I originally paid $35 for and have made about $40 so far in adsense income. So, the economics won't be awful if I net $131 by selling it on Flippa -- if I value the time I put into buying, rebuilding, managing, and listing the site at something less than minimum wage.
  • [quote="Keywordcontentguy"]
    This is not a fear so much as an aggravation and strong demotivating factor: to sell a medium value site (say, one that makes $20 per month in revenue and is likely to sell on Flippa for $200) on Flippa, I will lose 34.5% of the selling price to Flippa when you add up the $19 listing fee, the $40 feature upgrade, and the $10 "success" fee. I have an auction going now (see the "advertise . . ." thread) for a site that I originally paid $35 for and have made about $40 so far in adsense income. So, the economics won't be awful if I net $131 by selling it on Flippa -- if I value the time I put into buying, rebuilding, managing, and listing the site at something less than minimum wage.


    I understand this frustration. There isn't an easy solution for this if you are only selling on Flippa. Few ideas to increase your hourly rate:
    - put in less work and sell faster
    - put in more work to get revenue up much higher before selling
    - buy and sell more expensive sites
    - build up a list of buyers that you can sell to outside of flippa and avoid their costs altogether
  • I agree with Chris specifically about getting a list of buyers together. One way to look at Flippa or other auction sites is that it's more than just selling a site, it's about finding a network of leads for you to sell to in the future. And remember it's not just the person buying but also the network that person belongs to and the people they know. So keep in touch with your buyers and let them know you have more sites to sell in the future if they're interested. Many will be.
  • [quote="DavidGass"]
    I agree with Chris specifically about getting a list of buyers together. One way to look at Flippa or other auction sites is that it's more than just selling a site, it's about finding a network of leads for you to sell to in the future. And remember it's not just the person buying but also the network that person belongs to and the people they know. So keep in touch with your buyers and let them know you have more sites to sell in the future if they're interested. Many will be.


    Thanks, Chris and David, for your comments and suggestions.

    Another thought that occurs to me is that we are clearly in a buyers' market for income-generating sites, so I am planning to alter my approach from just looking for sites to flip, to looking for sites to flip as well as sites to hold for their long-term cash flow (this may be obvious to most people on here, but it is a relatively new insight for me) -- where else in the world can you invest ten bucks to buy a dollar per month in income that might last for years or decades? Of course, there is a lot of garbage out there, so selecting sites for long-term income will have to be done just as, or more, carefully as selecting sites to flip.

    My biggest fear at the thought of making long-term investments in sites is that the basic income model from CPC, etc might fall apart or evolve faster than I can keep up with the changes.
  • [quote="Keywordcontentguy"]
    [quote="DavidGass"]
    I agree with Chris specifically about getting a list of buyers together. One way to look at Flippa or other auction sites is that it's more than just selling a site, it's about finding a network of leads for you to sell to in the future. And remember it's not just the person buying but also the network that person belongs to and the people they know. So keep in touch with your buyers and let them know you have more sites to sell in the future if they're interested. Many will be.


    Thanks, Chris and David, for your comments and suggestions.

    Another thought that occurs to me is that we are clearly in a buyers' market for income-generating sites, so I am planning to alter my approach from just looking for sites to flip, to looking for sites to flip as well as sites to hold for their long-term cash flow (this may be obvious to most people on here, but it is a relatively new insight for me) -- where else in the world can you invest ten bucks to buy a dollar per month in income that might last for years or decades? Of course, there is a lot of garbage out there, so selecting sites for long-term income will have to be done just as, or more, carefully as selecting sites to flip.

    My biggest fear at the thought of making long-term investments in sites is that the basic income model from CPC, etc might fall apart or evolve faster than I can keep up with the changes.


    This is a great strategy because it's along the lines of what we use in our own business.

    Regarding your fear, that's definitely a concern. That's one reason why I like to buy multiple sites with different monetization methods. For instance, if you have five sites monetized with adsense and five sites monetized with affiliates and your adsense account gets shut down, your business isn't totally dead because your other five affiliate sites keep you going until you can figure out the adsense problem.
  • As a brand-new member (just bought the book today) and having read through 3/4 of it, I feel that I am way over my head here! I really have no idea where to begin and don't understand much of what is being discussed!

    Is there something specifically I can do to get past this feeling of being totally overwhelmed?

    Lost in Idaho
  • JRRICH - what part of Idaho? I have a place in Sandpoint. Headed up there this summer for a couple months.

    Don't worry, this business is like any other or any first job. When you show up to work the first day no matter if you have been in the same line of business or not you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the new systems and procedures and people around. It's natural to feel that way. I still feel that way from time to time after purchasing a new site. If it's a big enough site you feel overwhelmed with getting to know all the site is doing to drive traffic, monetize the pages, understand the audience, etc. etc.

    What's helped me in this business is to focus on one thing! Don't try to learn it all. Don't worry if you make mistakes. And once you have that one thing that you are going to do - go for it!!!! The only way you'll learn the business is by doing it. Yes, the book is great, the videos are great, the forum is great. But known of it is worth any money unless you start to take action.

    My recommendation would be to decide what the business model is going to be for you. Are you going to build and sell. Buy and hold, buy and flip? Whatever it is choose that one thing. Then pick a niche within that one business model. Maybe it's a certain type of website you focus on - adsense, or affiliate marketing or a review website. Again, pick one and focus.

    Hope that helps.
  • [quote="jrrich"]
    As a brand-new member (just bought the book today) and having read through 3/4 of it, I feel that I am way over my head here! I really have no idea where to begin and don't understand much of what is being discussed!

    Is there something specifically I can do to get past this feeling of being totally overwhelmed?

    Lost in Idaho



    1.) Come to the forum for help. We're happy to answer any question regardless of how basic it is.

    2.) Take a look at the Action Plans in the book. It gives you step by step.
  • I live in Idaho Falls - full time. Never been to Sandpoint but I hear it's nice.

    [quote="DavidGass"]
    JRRICH - what part of Idaho? I have a place in Sandpoint. Headed up there this summer for a couple months.
  • [quote="DavidGass"]
    JRRICH - what part of Idaho? I have a place in Sandpoint. Headed up there this summer for a couple months.

    Don't worry, this business is like any other or any first job. When you show up to work the first day no matter if you have been in the same line of business or not you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the new systems and procedures and people around. It's natural to feel that way. I still feel that way from time to time after purchasing a new site. If it's a big enough site you feel overwhelmed with getting to know all the site is doing to drive traffic, monetize the pages, understand the audience, etc. etc.

    What's helped me in this business is to focus on one thing! Don't try to learn it all. Don't worry if you make mistakes. And once you have that one thing that you are going to do - go for it!!!! The only way you'll learn the business is by doing it. Yes, the book is great, the videos are great, the forum is great. But known of it is worth any money unless you start to take action.

    My recommendation would be to decide what the business model is going to be for you. Are you going to build and sell. Buy and hold, buy and flip? Whatever it is choose that one thing. Then pick a niche within that one business model. Maybe it's a certain type of website you focus on - adsense, or affiliate marketing or a review website. Again, pick one and focus.

    Hope that helps.



    Hey David, you've made some good points here; thanks. However, I don't know what videos you're talking about...? After purchasing the book and joining this forum, I did not receive any videos or anything else for that matter. Are the videos somewhere on this forum? If so, could you please direct me to them? :huh:

    Thanks.
  • The videos are part of the Buyingandsellingwebsites.com course. We have people in this forum that bought KillerFlippingSecrets book and some who have purchased the buyingandsellingwebsites videos.
  • As to selling I haven't sold any yet or listed any yet but my biggest fears are:

    1. Not knowing how to transfer everything
    2. Not having the knowledge about SEO or other IM stuff to answer any questions and coming across as being stupid or wrongly informed
    3. Getting bad feedback...because of the above.



    [quote="DavidGass"]
    I'm interested in getting feedback from everyone on what their biggest fears and obstacles are for:
    1. Buying websites
    2. Selling websites
    3. Building websites to flip
    Obviously if you are only doing one or two of these, just answer the ones that you are focused on.

    When I first started out I can tell you my biggest fear in Buying sites was "what happens if after I purchase the site, the revenue the seller is quoting drops significantly right after purchasing it?" Chris Yates and I have been able to overcome that fear with several checks and balances we put in place when buying sites, so it's no longer a BIG fear. How about yours????
  • I know someone who has done more than 25 deals in buying and selling sites. Not one time did they do the transfer, they asked the seller or buyer to do it. They do it that way because they didn't know how. Chris Yates and I are partners in our deals, he's the genius when it comes to programming, hosting and all that online stuff. So he does all the transfers with our deals, but I have purchased a few sites on my own that I was able to figure out the transfer, even with no programming experience. My point: Don't worry about looking like your new to all this. Just tell the people you are. Most people are nice and will help out.
  • My two biggest fears:
    1) technical issues of moving the site; (but just bought wp twin to help with this)

    2) actually getting payment for the site

    My sites are likely going to sell for less than $500 each (my current batch anyway) so escrow is out of the question.

    How exactly do you recommend taking the payment, doing the transfer, etc when you are brand, brand new? I just listed a site today..and now I am scared. LOL

    I do NOT have a paypal business account but my husband has a personal account. Not sure how is this going to play out with a buyer.
    What other options are usually acceptable? (Western Union, Xoom, etc?)

    Also, please elaborate on the order of events when a sale is made. I assume they MUST pay first; but if I am a brand new seller (which I am), how can I establish some trust for the transaction?

    If there is a thread here on the forum about this, I would love to see it but could not find it.

    Thanks in advance for any resources or links you might provide.
  • I'm not familiar with WP twin, perhaps some other members of the forum are and could give some insight there.

    First, the most important aspect of transferring a site is the domain ownership. You can transfer hosting and all files but if the ownership hasn't been transferred the person on the whois information has control and can take back the site. So whatever you do for payment or transfer make sure you control the whois information.

    For moving a site:
    I have found it easiest in buying a website to take over the hosting account so there was no need to move the site. In the cases where the owner had multiple websites on the same hosting account and they weren't able to turn over the account to me I made sure I had an account at the same hosting company and had that company move the site over for me. HostGator is pretty good with this. GoDaddy has a few extra steps but it's also pretty easy to do. If possible ask the buyer to set up an account with the same company you have your domain and hosting located. They can always transfer to their preferred company after. It makes the process much easier.


    For payment:
    I like using Escrow.com, but I understand for under $500 that's probably not reasonable. Keep in mind that other people don't know how new you are to this, and in most cases 80% of them are just as new as you. So being upfront about the transfer and lack of knowledge of certain hosting / domain companies etc is a fair comment. For the most part the hosting and registrar companies can help with the transfers so you won't have to worry about that as much as when to transfer money.

    If you use paypal, keep in mind that it's a very easy payment method to have people request a refund and get it. Very tough to fight it. Its a lot like Amex charge backs. So if you are selling you may not want to use paypal for this reason.

    A wire transfer is the best option.

    Once you receive payment for the wire, push the domain immediately to the buyer. Then you can transfer the site hosting after the domain has been moved.


    [quote="nicheblogger"]
    My two biggest fears:
    1) technical issues of moving the site; (but just bought wp twin to help with this)

    2) actually getting payment for the site

    My sites are likely going to sell for less than $500 each (my current batch anyway) so escrow is out of the question.

    How exactly do you recommend taking the payment, doing the transfer, etc when you are brand, brand new? I just listed a site today..and now I am scared. LOL

    I do NOT have a paypal business account but my husband has a personal account. Not sure how is this going to play out with a buyer.
    What other options are usually acceptable? (Western Union, Xoom, etc?)

    Also, please elaborate on the order of events when a sale is made. I assume they MUST pay first; but if I am a brand new seller (which I am), how can I establish some trust for the transaction?

    If there is a thread here on the forum about this, I would love to see it but could not find it.

    Thanks in advance for any resources or links you might provide.
  • Ok, I just got an offer for my BIN price -- didn't expect that so soon. (but this is good news)

    For doing a wire transfer, are you referring to something like Western Union or Xoom or AlertPay, or are you saying bank account? (not sure what country the potential buyer is from and I would think this would complicate...)

    Also, the bidder is brand new to flippa 6 days ago...seems even more reason to be sure of payment options (and guard against charge backs)



    [quote="DavidGass"]
    I'm not familiar with WP twin, perhaps some other members of the forum are and could give some insight there.

    First, the most important aspect of transferring a site is the domain ownership. You can transfer hosting and all files but if the ownership hasn't been transferred the person on the whois information has control and can take back the site. So whatever you do for payment or transfer make sure you control the whois information.

    For moving a site:
    I have found it easiest in buying a website to take over the hosting account so there was no need to move the site. In the cases where the owner had multiple websites on the same hosting account and they weren't able to turn over the account to me I made sure I had an account at the same hosting company and had that company move the site over for me. HostGator is pretty good with this. GoDaddy has a few extra steps but it's also pretty easy to do. If possible ask the buyer to set up an account with the same company you have your domain and hosting located. They can always transfer to their preferred company after. It makes the process much easier.


    For payment:
    I like using Escrow.com, but I understand for under $500 that's probably not reasonable. Keep in mind that other people don't know how new you are to this, and in most cases 80% of them are just as new as you. So being upfront about the transfer and lack of knowledge of certain hosting / domain companies etc is a fair comment. For the most part the hosting and registrar companies can help with the transfers so you won't have to worry about that as much as when to transfer money.

    If you use paypal, keep in mind that it's a very easy payment method to have people request a refund and get it. Very tough to fight it. Its a lot like Amex charge backs. So if you are selling you may not want to use paypal for this reason.

    A wire transfer is the best option.

    Once you receive payment for the wire, push the domain immediately to the buyer. Then you can transfer the site hosting after the domain has been moved.


    [quote="nicheblogger"]
    My two biggest fears:
    1) technical issues of moving the site; (but just bought wp twin to help with this)

    2) actually getting payment for the site

    My sites are likely going to sell for less than $500 each (my current batch anyway) so escrow is out of the question.

    How exactly do you recommend taking the payment, doing the transfer, etc when you are brand, brand new? I just listed a site today..and now I am scared. LOL

    I do NOT have a paypal business account but my husband has a personal account. Not sure how is this going to play out with a buyer.
    What other options are usually acceptable? (Western Union, Xoom, etc?)

    Also, please elaborate on the order of events when a sale is made. I assume they MUST pay first; but if I am a brand new seller (which I am), how can I establish some trust for the transaction?

    If there is a thread here on the forum about this, I would love to see it but could not find it.

    Thanks in advance for any resources or links you might provide.

  • That's great news!!! :D

    Yes, make sure you get money before you transfer the domain. The best way to receive money is by wire. All other methods can be difficult for people to use or get money with. Xoom can be good if they are in another country. Just check their chargeback policy.

    Congrats.
  • My biggest fear is charge-back or reversal of payment.

    I had an associate who took a payment that transferred into his bank account like a wire transfer. He was renting out one of his homes, and so he thought that since it was a wire transfer that everything was good and that he could then turn over the keys. His wire came in around the middle of the month for a property to be occupied the following month. But things were fishy because the wire transfer amount was wrong, was too much money. Thinking wired funds were cleared funds after only a day or so, he returned some of the overage to the party in question. Only he later learned that there was some kind of scam and that the wire was actually no good, only AFTER he had turned over both the excess cash and the keys to his property. (As he explained it to me, we both came to realize it was a variation of the Nigerian 419 scam!)

    Keys are no big deal in this situation, because as a landlord my associate was able to change the locks . . . cost a bit but he got it done. Keys = no big deal for us, either, as we can always DCMA-notify their hosting providers and alert them that they are contributing to the theft of stolen property and violating DCMA by doing so, and fight to keep the "stolen" site off the net. Somewhat of a pain but it can be done. But in the case of the wire into the bank that somehow gets reversed, that can be problematic! And because it was "wire fraud" and that the only person the bank had direct knowledge of was the customer, they were then contacting the Feds and trying to get my associate arrested upon the shortfall once it became clear the wire was not so good! He ended up eating the loss and bringing his account back into good standing with the bank from his own pocket, even though the bank had told him the funds were "good" prior to his withdrawal.

    And that is my biggest fear; that my first flip turns out to be doing business with a scammer and/or thief.

    Maybe I am just too paranoid, but I recall reading in the book that it was just a matter of time before we WERE somehow scammed and that it was a cost of doing business. So I guess I just need to suck it up and get started, but it would sure suck to have the first introduction to this great business be to be ripped off!
  • I understand what you are saying about wire transfers. This may happen occasionally, but in my experience a wire is one of the safest forms of payment. However, the best is using an escrow company. We always use Escrow.com when selling or buying a website. I would highly suggest this method above all others.

    Keep in mind that the #1 rule is "Whoever is listed as owner on WhoIs for the Domain has control". Keep that in mind when doing a deal.