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Thread: Filtering the timewasters and tyre kickers when selling a site

  1. #21
    Top Contributor grynge is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McM View Post
    LOL! I can see how that would filter out buffoons who can't even read a listing closely enough to follow simple instructions. But did it work for timewasters who don't have the common decency to stay out of discussions of sites they've no intention of buying?
    Yeah it did, time wasters don't seem to read properly anyway, they get fixated on one point and try and hit you with that one point.

    The people interested would read the whole post. The good thing was if there was few messages you could always read them even if they didn't have the code word.
    And they thought me broken, that my tongue was coated lead, but I just couldn't make my words make sense to them, if you only listen with your ears ... I can't get in
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  2. #22
    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by grynge View Post
    Yeah it did, time wasters don't seem to read properly anyway, they get fixated on one point and try and hit you with that one point.

    The people interested would read the whole post. The good thing was if there was few messages you could always read them even if they didn't have the code word.
    I'm sure this would help keep some time-wasters out, but there are also a LOT of time-wasters who have all the time in the world to read everything properly, say the password (or whatever) to get access to your information with a very small chance of ever actually bidding. The industry has a lot of people "browsing" but not necessarily motivated to buy.

    One issue with using trickery in your copy (e.g. asking for a password) is you're going to discount a LOT of very serious buyers. The serious buyers I deal with look at lots of listings every day, skim read and request more information if it fits their initial criteria. If a sale is <$100k, they are not going to want to be jumping through hoops just to get access to basic information (and I would be 99% sure if you asked them for the code word they would reply WTF). On larger sales, serious buyers would expect to qualify themselves (proof of funds, for example) but not answer trick questions. From a buyer perspective, if the seller is going to be really awkward before even giving you access to information (bearing in mind, serious buyers know they are serious buyers and don't have time to mess around) then they probably aren't a seller you are going to want to deal with.

    This is one of the issues with marketplaces such as Flippa - it is littered with unqualified buyers/time-wasters so sellers are forced to implement harsh measures, which may, in fact, be counter-productive with regards to a sale.

    In my experience, all this strategy will do is:

    Keep out:

    - morons
    - high end buyers
    - buyers who have been messed around by awkward sellers before

    Get in:

    - people with too much time on their hands
    - buyers who like the "exclusive" element
    - some regulars

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    Clinton (29 May 2014), dymockpoet (30 May 2014), grynge (29 May 2014), Kay (29 May 2014)

  4. #23
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    A lot of questions seem to be on matters already covered in the listing description such as "Why are you selling?" Anyone with questions like that didn't even get a reply (if there's a genuine buyer who missed that bit in the listing I still don't want to deal with him as I don't enjoy communicating with people who read only half of what I say)

    Then there are the dumb questions like "What's your reserve?" (It's undisclosed, dummy. It wouldn't be undisclosed if I disclosed it!)

    Then there are the comments/questions from those who post for no reason I can discern except to build their post count. Typical: "Please add me to GA".

    One issue with using trickery in your copy (e.g. asking for a password) is you're going to discount a LOT of very serious buyers. The serious buyers I deal with look at lots of listings every day, skim read and request more information if it fits their initial criteria. If a sale is <$100k, they are not going to want to be jumping through hoops just to get access to basic information (and I would be 99% sure if you asked them for the code word they would reply WTF).
    I would disagree about the mindset of the serious buyer. Yes, he's skimming listings every day, yes he sees a lot of junk, but when he finds a site he likes he doesn't request more information till he's read the listing properly and maybe even done a couple of quick checks on the site - Google, WHOIS etc.

    The important point to bear in mind is this: The serious buyer is looking for reasons to exclude a site, not to include it. He skips past most listings sometimes just after seeing the title, sometimes after reading the first para or the headline stats. When he finds one that's worth investigating (a rare occurance in Flippa) he reads the listing more thoroughly than the average $100 spender. He's looking for contradictions, obvious errors, clues to why the seller is a liar, giveaways as to why the site is not really getting the traffic it claims or why the earnings are fake etc. His urge is to find a reason to skip the listing and go to the next one. His ability to exclude as early as possible is what keeps him sane.

    You want to avoid getting into discussions with sellers and asking for information till you've reached a point where you're unable to find any reasons to exclude the site from your consideration.

    Of course I don't speak for all buyers, but buyers who ask for information at the early stage you suggest, after just skimming the listing, aren't working optimally, IMO.
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  6. #24
    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    A lot of questions seem to be on matters already covered in the listing description such as "Why are you selling?" Anyone with questions like that didn't even get a reply (if there's a genuine buyer who missed that bit in the listing I still don't want to deal with him as I don't enjoy communicating with people who read only half of what I say)

    Then there are the dumb questions like "What's your reserve?" (It's undisclosed, dummy. It wouldn't be undisclosed if I disclosed it!)

    Then there are the comments/questions from those who post for no reason I can discern except to build their post count. Typical: "Please add me to GA".


    I would disagree about the mindset of the serious buyer. Yes, he's skimming listings every day, yes he sees a lot of junk, but when he finds a site he likes he doesn't request more information till he's read the listing properly and maybe even done a couple of quick checks on the site - Google, WHOIS etc.

    The important point to bear in mind is this: The serious buyer is looking for reasons to exclude a site, not to include it. He skips past most listings sometimes just after seeing the title, sometimes after reading the first para or the headline stats. When he finds one that's worth investigating (a rare occurance in Flippa) he reads the listing more thoroughly than the average $100 spender. He's looking for contradictions, obvious errors, clues to why the seller is a liar, giveaways as to why the site is not really getting the traffic it claims or why the earnings are fake etc. His urge is to find a reason to skip the listing and go to the next one. His ability to exclude as early as possible is what keeps him sane.

    You want to avoid getting into discussions with sellers and asking for information till you've reached a point where you're unable to find any reasons to exclude the site from your consideration.

    Of course I don't speak for all buyers, but buyers who ask for information at the early stage you suggest, after just skimming the listing, aren't working optimally, IMO.
    I guess this is one of the problems if you're referring to an open marketplace like Flippa. Buyers automatically have the mindset of "it's a scam unless proven otherwise" (and rightly so)

    If they were going through brokered listings (assuming they had a good relationship) or from someone they had bought from before, the mindset would be different (obviously, regular buyers are always skeptical by default, but they would have an expectation surrounding *average* quality from that source). A good broker (IMO) should know what is a good/bad fit for a buyer and be able to explain how a site may be suitable for their portfolio. This is one advantage of using a broker vs. selling yourself - a lot of the trust issues are already overcome due to the volume of listings a broker will have vs. an individual, so you're far less likely to exclude serious buyers who may otherwise slip through the net with a restrictive discovery process.

    I don't have the perfect solution to qualifying buyers, but I certainly do not envy 1 or 2 times a year sellers (who sell themselves, not with a broker) who have to qualify buyers every time. Brokers have the luxury of building a buyer list over time as they qualify people. Some of the things we do depending on a number of things to qualify buyers: NDAs, proof of funds, references, proof of ID, a phone call, responsiveness to emails etc. Definitely not something that is practical if you're selling a $10k site by yourself

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  8. #25
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    The quality of a broker's list does depend on how long he's been around, how much of attention his listings attract and how he collects, filters and updates the details of buyers who contact him over time. I'm sure the quality varies from broker to broker. You sold a couple of sites for me through your list and I was very happy with the entire process and the result.

    The advantage of a broker's list is that it's more likely to have people with a few thousand dollars and above rather than the average Flippa buyer who's probably looking to "invest" $500. The downside is that for most of the people on his list there's no evidence of intention to buy. Only a small fraction of them would have spent any money with him. Whereas in Flippa there's a tally sheet ... of sorts. Also, there's no evidence, as you seem to suggest, of proof of funds (brokers don't normally demand proof of funds before they add the buyer to the list. Proof of funds, if requested, comes at a much later stage and is not something you'd have for every buyer in your list. When you do get it it's for a specific purpose of the purchase of a particular site and the figure is only valid at that point in time).

    I'm not looking to buy sites any more and the large majority of those who used to be serious buyers have stopped buying sites. Broker lists don't know that and I'm sure we're all on many lists. My email client automatically deletes most of their mail based on settings I've made. So there's the issue of freshness of the list as well.

    We should have a more detailed discussion about broker lists sometime but, as you've pointed out, this weeding out of Flippa timewasters is a very "open marketplace" problem. When one sells through a broker it's the broker who does a lot of the filtering. I completely agree that buyers tend to have a lot less suspicion when evaluating a broker listed site as opposed to a Flippa listed one.

    [[Further discussion about brokers was split to here: http://experienced-people.net/forums...unting-methods Kay]]
    Last edited by Kay; 30 May 2014 at 5:29 pm. Reason: split 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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  10. #26
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    Don't forget that many of the "tire kickers" are people like me, who go through gathering my own information, signing the NDA, study the information provided, then watch to see how the auction does before bidding, or bid towards the end of the auction if it is still within their budget. One of your recent auctions went above my set budget for the auction, so I didn't bid. Before it did, I signed the NDA and requested the information. It was on my watch list and an auction I checked a few times a day. I just didn't want to pay what it ended up selling for (it went for $1k more than I wanted to pay).

    Btw, I assume you are not bunching all of us into the same group (timewasters), but I wanted you to know that you are not necessarily wasting your time on some of us. Just because we don't happen to bid on an auction we inquire about, doesn't mean we weren't planning to bid at all.

    Eric

  11. #27
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Whether someone bids or not isn't an indication of tyre kicker status. On a site that's going to attract five figure bids the bidders who bid frantically all the way to $500 and then retire are tyre kickers and time spent answering their questions and engaging with them will turn out to be time wasted.

    So, unfortunately, life isn't that easy and you can't decide someone's tyre kicker status simply by whether they bid or not. However, it's often the case I've been finding that you can exclude them in your early discussions based on the type of questions they raise, the comments they post in your listing, by the fact that they aren't willing to sign the NDA/disclose their email address/disclose their real name and location etc.

    Someone's worth spending time and effort on cultivating only if they have the funds to bid over your disclosed/undisclosed reserve price. You never know for sure. I engaged with you even though it now turns out your max bid was below the reserve I had set. But that's fine. At least you were close . With many bidders ... they got banned from bidding based on my evaluation about their ability to bid above my reserve (or because I didn't like them/was suspicious of them/ thought they were too much trouble e.g. people who would need so much hand holding and support post sale that I would end up losing on the deal).

    If they have zero history it's fair to ask more questions of them to establish how serious they are. Those with zero history and who haven't even read the listing properly before raising questions can be safely discarded, IMO. The chances of losing a potentially serious buyer by doing so are so slim in comparison to the time and effort saved that it's well worth doing. Again, IMO. Based on the type of sites I sell. And on the type of buyers I want. YMMV. Etc.
    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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