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Thread: Where To Sell A Website - All The Main Options Covered

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Where To Sell A Website - All The Main Options Covered

    I'm replacing the current sticky thread in this section. That thread, [[Edit: link to obsolete thread removed. Kay]].

    If you're new to this site / new to selling a website, here's an overview of your options:

    At present websites are sold through brokers, classified listing sites and online forums/auction sites.

    Brokers: The broker market is highly unregulated and there are hundreds of self-styled "website brokers". There are only a handful of any significance who regularly attract buyers and sellers. As brokers list their available properties online, it's relatively easy to distinguish the ones attracting the most business. On average, a good broker has circa 20 properties on their books at any given time. Brokers tend to have a threshold and may not take on properties they feel will sell below that dollar threshold. The threshold varies from about $20K to $50K+. There tends to be no up-front fee, but they charge anywhere from a few percent up to 15% of the final sale price if successful. As with property sales, there is sometimes an element of inflated valuations used to attract customers.

    Classified Listing Sites (CLS): Sites like businessesforsale.com and bizquest.com are primarily aimed at selling B&M businesses. The CLS tend to have a section for websites added on as an afterthought. They don't understand this market - the metrics and stats they provide on each listing revolve around premises/furniture/stock/business rates etc., whereas buyers of websites are more interested in uniques (visitors), size of the subscriber list, Google Page Rank.... Sellers create their own listings and CLS tend to charge a fixed fee of circa $100-$200 to list a website for a specified period of time, often a few months.

    Forums and Auctions sites: Numerous online forums have sections where websites can be listed for sale. This is a highly fragmented market. Most of these forums charge nothing for listing. The one exception is an auction site called Flippa (flippa.com). This is a dedicated marketplace for websites and is popular among sellers of lower priced sites. Roughly 60,000 sites a year are listed at Flippa. Well in excess of 50% never sell but that's a better margin than what's achieved in small forums. 92% of the sites that sell go for less than $1,000. Approx 1% sell for more than $10,000. Flippa charge a listing fee of $29, various promotional fees ($30 to several hundred dollars) to give a listing more visibility on their platform and a final "success fee" of 5% subject to a maximum of $2000. The last fee is payable only if you find a buyer. Other auctions sites include the likes of eBay and Craigslist.

    Independent Sale: You can also sell your website independently without using any of the above options. This requires some legwork, but intelligent and business-savvy independent sellers are the ones who, probably, achieve the highest multiples (of earnings). They do so by carefully studying their market and identifying competitors/suppliers/customers or others who might benefit from acquiring their website. Target buyers are those who are likely to see synergies or large cost savings from the acquisition. Once they've identified their target, the seller carefully plans a professional approach which sometimes involves meeting up with the prospective buyers and making a presentation. This option is not for the fainthearted.

    Whichever option you choose, good luck with your sale. Feel free to register and start a thread with questions you have about any of the above options.
    Last edited by Kay; 14 February 2014 at 8:08 pm. Reason: link to obsolete thread
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    Kay (26 October 2012), TheodoreK (26 October 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    Brokers: The broker market is highly unregulated and there are hundreds of self-styled "website brokers". There are only a handful of any significance who regularly attract buyers and sellers. As brokers list their available properties online, it's relatively easy to distinguish the ones attracting the most business. On average, a good broker has circa 20 properties on their books at any given time. Brokers tend to have a threshold and may not take on properties they feel will sell below that dollar threshold. The threshold varies from about $20K to $50K+. There tends to be no up-front fee, but they charge anywhere from a few percent up to 15% of the final sale price if successful. As with property sales, there is sometimes an element of inflated valuations used to attract customers.
    Clinton,
    I've been doing some searches across the forum looking for a list of brokers that people have had good experiences with or are at least worthy of looking at. I wouldn't expect you or anyone to certify or stake your reputation on any particular broker or appear to market their services for that matter. But I wonder if there is a starter list somewhere I could put my hands on to save me from wasting time on brokers that clearly don't make the cut.

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    I don't think we have such a list on EP at present. There's an option for brokers to advertise what they offer in our new marketplace under the Services Offered category, but none have listed yet. Even so, unless some respected members replied saying they're satisfied customers, then it is only an advert and should not be treated as being any kind of recommendation. Same goes for any advert.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goto View Post
    Clinton,
    I've been doing some searches across the forum looking for a list of brokers that people have had good experiences with or are at least worthy of looking at. I wouldn't expect you or anyone to certify or stake your reputation on any particular broker or appear to market their services for that matter. But I wonder if there is a starter list somewhere I could put my hands on to save me from wasting time on brokers that clearly don't make the cut.
    If I were starting today looking for a broker I would Google brokers and spend some time on each one's site to form my opinion of them before drawing a shortlist and then calling each one up to have a chat. I'd prepare some questions in advance. This page of broker listings is several years old but might still be of use.

    I've had dealings with several brokers both as a buyer and seller. They all have their pros and cons. The older, more established brokers like websiteproperties are not necessarily the best. Some newer brokers like Latonas are more clued up (or at least the owner is). Maybe I'm a fussy sod but little things annoy me. For example, I emailed Latonas to tell them that after doing the DD I wasn't going to proceed with a purchase of one of their sites. They didn't bother to write and thank me for using their services. A simple boiler plate would have done and would have added a bit of professionalism. What's worse is that several weeks later when I wrote to them to say I still had access to the site's Google Analytics and could they please tell the seller he could turn it off, they didn't. They ignored my email i.e. I'm not a customer any more so I can bloody well sod off. To me that was a disservice to their client, the seller.

    I give Thomas from FlippingEnterprises a bit of a hard time here sometimes, but he handled one sale for me to my complete satisfaction recently. I'd like to think they handle all sales with the same efficiency, I'm sure Thomas will say he does but I'm notorious enough as a moaning b@stard to get my listings scrutinized and handled carefully at everywhere from Flippa to private brokers so I don't know to what extent my listings/enquiries are given special attention anywhere - including at Flippa, websiteproperties, Latonas, FlippingEnterprises and elsewhere - but if they are I suppose it's one of the perks of owning this site (and being a moaning b@stard).
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Clinton For This Useful Post:

    Goto (28 April 2013), Kay (27 April 2013), petertdavis (27 April 2013), Thomas (27 April 2013)

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