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Thread: Empire Flippers Marketplace

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    I was a little bit confused at first too. It becomes clearer if the visitor clicks through on the "browse websites" button. I'd have preferred a prominent message on the homepage. Maybe even a strapline. Perhaps you need to spell out "what we do..." a bit more so new visitors know they're in a place which offers what they're looking for.
    We rebranded and redesigned our site earlier this year, but I don't think we did a great job of communicating our new path, unfortunately. This is something we'll be tackling again this year with (hopefully) a better designer.

    Our last go-round was a bit painful...months of work and around $8K - $10K likely invested...and we ended up with a child-theme that's buggy, breaks with updates, etc. Ugh...

    I've spent some time in recent weeks trying to better understand how good design is baked into companies. I've reached out to a few in the space I know and they've given me some resources to read up on. I'm not looking to become a pro designer...I just want to learn enough about it to blend layout, message, etc. in a clear and beneficial way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    People keep asking where they can buy good quality sites at the lower end of the market, so there's plenty of buyers for this. I've been trying to find the answer too but it ain't easy because of the apparent dearth of good places to buy. It'll be great if some people can find creative new solutions to solve the problem. Good luck to anyone who's attempting it.
    We run across this all the time too. I don't think our approach has mass-appeal, but it's validated and (mostly) working. I think I'd rather tweak what's working than take stabs in the dark with a completely new approach mentioned on forums, in comments, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    I thought that Peter asked a couple of valid questions which potential buyers would want answers to.

    Why does the trust only seem to work one way with your existing clients, ie people you've built up an established relationship with?

    Why should an established site be so concerned about being copied? If it's built up a good customer base or community, then it's much harder to copy.
    Trust/Relationships:

    We have a method that works for us to validate incoming buyer/sellers. There are some rules we follow (Has to have some "real" online visibility, has to be someone we'd like to work with, etc.) that we've learned in our outsourcing company. They likely turn some legitimate buyers/sellers away, but save us time/frustration in dealing with time wasters, fake identities, etc. We're taking it from the perspective that we're REALLY out there. Our names, identities, etc. Buyers/Sellers can self-select to work with us and it takes some vetting on our end to find out if we feel the same.

    After a buyer/seller is through the door the tone and approach to some of the things mentioned here changes considerably. Still...it's been an effective way to shield, sort, and sift.

    Copied Sites:

    There's quite a bit of gray area when it comes to the definition of "established sites". On the one side, you have smaller niche AdSense sites that are 6-18 months old, have very little linkbuilding, and depend heavily on keyword research and the "low-hanging fruit" in organic traffic. On the other end, you have custom-built eCommerce sites (or SaaS apps) with a uniquely manufactured product that's extremely difficult to copy. They've got years of experience in the niche, established relationships, etc.

    Those are the extremes, but consider this case:

    18 month old (let's just say) drop-shipping site selling electric fireplaces. They've got a bit of brand/name recognition, but someone (or several aspiring site builders) could get in contact with the supplier and create a ton of competition for them in the same niche. They've got a head start, but probably need another 6-18 months to build up more defensibility.

    This case probably wouldn't be good for someone that's looking for a portfolio site, but a DIYer or someone looking to buy themselves a project would appreciate keeping the site under the radar until they've had the time to build it out further. It's not that it's completely indefensible...it's just that it's still on its training wheels and it makes sense to not publicly share the site, the revenue, the top products/keywords, etc. There's a real advantage to the SELLER when we publicly share everything...those listings tend to get quite a few visits. It's the buyer that needs protection in this case.

    Keep in mind there are huge advantages for US to list everything about the sites publicly. It helps grow our brand, adds buyers/sellers who stumble across us, etc.

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  3. #12
    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    People keep asking where they can buy good quality sites at the lower end of the market, so there's plenty of buyers for this. I've been trying to find the answer too but it ain't easy because of the apparent dearth of good places to buy. It'll be great if some people can find creative new solutions to solve the problem. Good luck to anyone who's attempting it.
    The problem isn't "good places" to buy, it's a lack of supply. There's no such thing as a "good" place to buy as you have to do your due diligence anyway. There are "bad" places (where scams far outweigh legit offerings, e.g. Flippa), though. There are very few legitimate sales at that end of the market that are sold publicly. The supply has been bigged up by places like Flippa so everyone thinks they can buy a site and make a few thousand a month without doing any work. In reality, 90% of sites you'll find on Flippa at that level are junk. If someone had a legit site to sell they would still go to Flippa/a broker - there just aren't enough out there. Demand in the <$100k range FAR outweighs supply. The playing field only starts to even out when you go above $100k.

    It's not as easy as it was 3 years ago to build a site making $2k/mo off search traffic with spammy links. Look at most of the people running MMO blogs talking about passive income and doing case studies etc. - very few of them make more than $5k a month with their portfolios. Those who do do it regularly don't tell the world about it and are paranoid about privacy - which is why you won't see these sites being listed on places like Flippa or sold to first-time buyers who will run them into the ground anyway and cause endless problems.
    Last edited by Thomas; 9 January 2014 at 9:35 am.

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  5. #13
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    Hello guys,

    Out there it's full of websites wasting good words about the Empire Flippers but none of them actually provides a review or are direct testimonials for the services they sell.
    Please have a look at my detailed experience with them. I would strongly suggest you to avoid them. It's a quite long post but I had to share all the details to explain my horrible experience with the Flippers:

    http://freetaxrefund.co.uk/empire-flippers-review/

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    dymockpoet (12 March 2014)

  7. #14
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Hello and welcome to Experienced People. Please read the forum rules as we normally don't allow new members to link to their own sites. However, this post is highly relevant to the topic so I've allowed it. (Not your others on the same theme, ie not the same thing said again.)

    Well, you've made some interesting claims about Empire Flippers and how they do business. Presumably you know that the owner, Justin Cooke, is a member here so perhaps he'll respond to you. Please be aware, though that we're not a support desk for Empire Flippers and if you have some kind of individual problem with them, then you'll need to take it up directly with them.

    So, the OP asked who's used Empire Flippers and for feedback. You've provided a lengthy report of your own experience - which wasn't positive. I'm not sure exactly what your complaint is. Is it simply that the sites they made for you didn't meet your expectations? But even you thought it was all too good to be true, didn't you?

    [Empire] Flippers were offering a package of five websites completely made from scratch by them for “only” $899! To me it was almost unbelievable, five new sites made for me by the Internet gurus of the niche websites market, oh my God, I couldn’t miss it!
    What did you expect? A magic bullet? A personal cash machine? From a handful of little "niche sites" - surely not. I'm also curious to know whether the sites you linked to in the review on your own site are the finished product, as delivered to you by Empire Flippers or if you changed them to make them look as they do now.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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    Thomas (13 March 2014)

  9. #15
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    Hi Kay,

    Thank you very much for letting me post here.
    Actually I chose to share my experience here because it looked the only place in the Internet with a decent audience not directly to connect to Empire Flippers and not under their censorship, so i didn't mean at all to use this space as a sort of Flippers' support desk, far from it.
    As I mentioned in my post, every time I put questions on their message board asking for other customer's opinions they immediately banned me so I needed to find a place to check if there were other people with the same issue and to make everybody aware of the service they actually sell behind that package.
    I'd be really happy if Justin replied here, actually I think he should have got back to me already on his message boards or contacting me during one of service requests with their customer service instead of deleting my comments and banning me.
    Regarding my expectations, they are clearly stated in my post, was it too much to expect to have some visitors at least for that price? The problem is that after three months those websites are absolutely ghosts on Google. I expected much more than five spam content sites for almost $1000.
    I didn't change at all the websites, they look like as exactly as they were delivered.
    For me it's not easy to expose myself like this: I'm wasting hours and hours of work posting and I'm fully sharing all the details in the Internet so I don't know if there could be consequences about my future "Internet life". I just want justice.

    Thanks
    Pippo

  10. #16
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    For those who perhaps don't have the time to read the whole story about this. It appears that Pippo bought this service from Empire Flippers:

    http://empireflippers.com/niche-sites-from-scratch/

    I'm not seeing anywhere in the Empire Flipper sales page that traffic is guaranteed or part of the offer. The whole deal seems to be based on buying an "opportunity". It looks like a turnkey deal to me. But at least most turnkeys look presentable. If you do have time, then take a look at Pippo's review and the five sites which he says were provided by Empire Flippers for almost $1,000.

    I would also be interested to see what Justin says about providing this niche site service and in particular how he thinks it's good value at $897 (for 5).
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  11. #17
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    It's interesting because, on the one hand, Empire Flippers have a good defense, i.e. 'we never guaranteed any income', but on the other, one does feel that Pippo was shortchanged here. Those 5 sites he paid close to $1k look terrible, and the content sucks.

    Ultimately, though, I think the truth is that Pippo should never have bought the sites in the first place. I imagine that most members of this forum have enough experience to know a - scam is not quite the right word - bad deal when they see one. And $897 for 5 low-quality turnkey sites is exactly that.

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    Hi Dymockpoet,

    I really appreciate your point of view and as you said, I shouldn't have bought that "offer". It was like an experiment which I took the potential risks of, and as I explained in my post, I wasn't expecting to receive something that would have made me rich but simply a good boost from a professional agency of gurus that I thought they were.
    I trusted them just because of their good reputation, actually discovering that the Flippers were just void Internet marketers was more disappointing than my money loss.
    I'm really looking forward to hearing from other customers, I'd love to see their sites.

  13. #19
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    I think you got what you paid for, pippo29. But I'm not unsympathetic to your situation. I feel that, in part at least, you are disappointed because of the expectations you had (whether based on the potential of these turnkeys, the people selling them or what you've read about earning money from websites in general).

    There is a deep malaise that EmpireFlippers have contributed to as much as anybody else has - it's the building up of this whole earning money from websites idea. For most people all this niche website nonsense just ain't going to work. 99.3% (my entirely made up stats) of such sites whether developed in-house or, as in your case, bought from elsewhere just end up abandoned. You aren't the first by any means. You're in good company. A previous marketing manager of Flippa set out to prove publicly that it can be done. He bought a turnkey site, one somewhat better than these you've just bought. He spent ages tarting it up, working on it and marketing it. I bet he discovered, like you did, that it's not what it's made out to be. He never did publish his findings and we never heard about that site again (despite my occasional reminders to him ). The whole project / experiment launched with fanfare and trumpets, but died a quiet death followed by an unceremonious burial. He must have known a thing or two about marketing - he was a marketing manager. Of Flippa. And he couldn't pull it off.

    But still the hype continues with posts in hundreds of different blogs and forums about the money to be made. They'll discuss methods and tactics and much of it will come across as quite sensible and plausible (hence even MMO cynics like you get drawn in).

    For years I've been warning against this. But as long as there's money to be made from talking up this nonsense, money will continue to be made. You are one of the victims. Not of Empire Flippers. You are a victim of the hype.
    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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  15. #20
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Clinton, I agree 100% with your comments about website flipping and its surrounding hype. I also agree to some extent that Pippo got what he paid for, ie a bunch of turnkeys with no guarantees.

    However, I do think that a customer has a reasonable right to expect a certain quality of product in return for their money. Empire Flippers talk up the trust factor a lot, and they also say they want to defend their reputation. Clearly they perceive themselves as having a good reputation (although how much of that is hype and how much is deserved, we can only guess). In which case, it seems to me that a customer would have reasonable expectations of receiving good quality sites in return for his money. I don't think Empire Flippers delivered a good quality product in this case and I sure as heck would be interested to hear Justin explain why he thinks these site are good quality.

    These niche sites are sold on the basis that they're build around expert keyword research. I've not looked at the keywords side of things yet, although I might if I get time later. Perhaps someone else can get Google Planner fired up and have a look if they're interested.

    The designs of the sites are very basic out-of-the-box MFAs. And if the buyer doesn't already have their own AdSense (AS) account, then these sites will have to pass muster with Google to get the AS application approved. I think it's rather optimistic to expect such approval, but you never know what G will do next. Anyone can see at a glance that these are "low-quality turnkeys", as Dymockpoet so aptly put it.

    The standard of writing is very poor. Look at this for example: http://strawdispenser.org/types-of-t...their-benefits and, no, I didn't dig for the worst one. They're all pretty much the same. The article clearly has been written (spun most likely) by a non-native English speaker. Sure, outsourcing content writing is a normal business practice but it's also usual to have it proofed/edited by a native English speaker. Unedited articles in Engrish cannot by anyone's definition be considered as a good quality product.

    Even though on the one hand you can say that Pippo got what he paid for, ie five turnkeys, I think it was reasonable for him to expect that those turnkeys would meet certain quality standards. After all, the seller has his reputation to maintain.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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