Buyers who've made several purchases in the past know that some of the best deals come outside of the Flippa type "marketplaces". Perhaps you know the seller, or someone has tipped you off about a site that's possibly for sale, or you've seen an exclusive in our BSTE section about a site for sale that nobody else knows about yet.
You start a conversation with the seller, he tells you about the fantastic opportunity here, the ideas he has that he'll share with you, the help he's willing to provide post-handover etc. You then move to talking more confidential stuff like traffic stats, earnings, how well each earning program is doing.
When do you start talking about price expectations?
Most buyers tend to put this off for as long as possible. And when they do raise the question sellers often just lob the ball back into their court. "How much would you be willing to pay?" Arrgghh!
After dealing with hundreds - maybe thousands - of sellers, I've learnt to raise this as early as possible and to take a tough line. If the seller doesn't have a price in mind I don't pussyfoot, I walk away. When they don't quote a figure I believe it's because a) they don't have a clue how much their site is worth (and are going to be disappointed when they find out and change their minds) b) they'd like / expect to get much more than is realistic for the site and c) they are time wasters just feeling around looking for a village idiot who has more money than sense.
What I do now is get the price early on and long before I go spending time examining his business model, his backlinks, his SE rankings or pretty much anything else.
When do you ask for a price? How do you do it?
(The Power Negotation Part I blog post that I just made may also be of interest)