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

  1. #1
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Filtering the timewasters and tyre kickers when selling a site

    Filtering the timewasters and tyre kickers when selling a site - how do you do it?

    I've got a couple of live listings in Flippa and am discovering just how poor the quality of some of their members is. On the first listing I got over 40 responses many from people with zero buying history most of whom have obviously not even bothered to read the information provided in the listing. They think they come across as pretty smart, clued up potential buyers if they fire off a PM saying, "please provide full details and add me to Google Analytics" (even when I've disclosed there's no GA on the site! And that they need to sign an NDA first.)

    But ... how do you filter the potentially serious buyers from those just curious to get free traffic and earning stats on numerous sites so they can decide which ones to create copycat versions of?
    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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    I don't think it should surprise anyone that the quality of the buyers is the same as the quality of the sellers on Flippa. I'm not sure if they're all sophisticated enough to create copycat sites, or if they're just thinking they can buy your sites for $297, but the end result is the same, your time is wasted. Personally, over the past few years I've come to the conclusion that Flippa is only for the dregs. All of the sites I've sold in the past several years that have any real value at all have been private, non-Flippa deals. The ONLY sites I've sold on Flippa are dregs that had just enough value to make me not want to just delete the site and let the domain drop.

    You must have enough contacts, take myself as an example, that you could just go person to person with your sales and cut Flippa out of it altogether? I don't know what value Flippa can really add for you Clinton, there may be a buyer or two on there that you don't already have contact with, but you must have contact with enough buyers that you don't need them.

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Given that most experienced buyers (as far as I'm aware) don't consider Flippa to be a good place to buy, then it seems to follow that it's not a good place to sell either if that's the type of buyer you want. I had got the impression that the piles of crap had put the serious buyers off. Meanwhile Flippa seems to be keen to attract new inexperienced buyers to keep buying the junk listed by those who churn out turnkeys. After all, isn't it the volume of these listings which provide Flippa with most of their income?

    I agree with Peter about using your contacts, but I'd have said to post it on a forum (doesn't have to be this one) and then tell everyone you know about the listing. The only reason I can see to list it on Flippa is to get the 'benefit' of the volume of eyeballs on the listing. And it sounds as though you got plenty of quantity with very little quality.

    How to weed them out? I dunno. Maybe it's best just to ignore them if they can't read simple instructions which are clearly stated.
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    Flippa is full of crap, but I bet that serious buyers will still browse it. I came back here because I saw your listings on there.

    Why not try posting a list of all your sites for sale on here, as you may find some interested buyers here which means you can skip the Flippa process?

    If you really want to filter the serious buyers out, then you can only really rely on their past sales/purchase history - but you'll be missing some other people out who may well have bought the site. Even serious buyers have to have a first Flippa purchase.

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICN View Post
    Even serious buyers have to have a first Flippa purchase.
    Agreed. But, buyers without any history are less likely to be serious buyers. Many of those accounts are dupe accounts created just to shill bid. They are new, have zero trading history, but the owners of the accounts bid regularly on numerous listings. Getting into answering some of their silly questions, engaging via email, providing GA access and various info on financials and affiliate programs, replying to questions about how the new owner can improve the site's earnings etc., is not only a humungous waste of time but also damages the property you're looking to sell.

    See the attached image from an email Flippa sent. The guy's from Pakistan (Flippa considers it relevant to mention that), has zero history and his profile suggests he's linked to at least two other accounts. There's a small possibility that he could turn out to be a serious buyer. But when you combine the profile with the fact that he hasn't even read the listing fully ... I, for one, have no hesitation banning his ass from the auction.

    When you "reject" an account from bidding and they get back with verbal abuse ... you know you made the right call

    The above is a clear cut case (to me). But not every Flippa account screams so loudly that the owner is a tyre kicker. There must be a better way to find and block at least some of them.

    Peter/Kay, shall reply to your posts in a bit.
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    Hi Clinton,

    I think that's one of the main advantages of using a broker, he takes the first contacts away from the seller and (should) filter only the serious buyers.

    May I ask why you choose not to use a broker?


    Cheers

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    The first site I listed had a BIN of $5K. Not really broker territory so after starting with that I just continued.

    Peter, like you say people of our vintage have made a few contacts over the years, but I don't have all their names in a database to make for an easy mailshot. Even if I did have a database I wouldn't mail the lot of my contacts many of whom may have no current interest in buying sites.

    Despite the huge numbers of time wasters at Flippa I've found a few people I wouldn't otherwise have reached. It seems that while serious buyers of $100K+ properties don't hang out at Flippa everyday, it's not just the $500 buyers who frequent that place. There seem to be a few looking for sites in the range of four and five figure sums (poor sods!) The problem, of course, is telling which ones belong in which camp. In some cases I've disallowed someone based simply on their first PM! You know the type - "listen m8, i have $300 cash. wanna do a quick deal" and the "hello dear, i interested please send full details".

    It's not just the clueless. There are also buyers who are hoping for a steal i.e. hoping they just might get lucky. And there are those who are bidding simply to make their fake / dupe account in Flippa a bit more credible (Flippa publish how many bids an account has made and how many different auctions it bid on). These profile padding members are on the lookout for listings where the site's obviously worth a few bob but the starting price is $1. This is a "safe" kind of auction on which to place a $10 bid without getting stuck as the top bidder.

    Kay, I'm trying something new (and bold?) with my latest listing. Every interested party has to fill in a questionnaire about their previous website buying experience/budget/currently owned sites etc. I'll use that info to judge on a case by case basis whether to approve the party or not. It's not usual in Flippa, but it's quite common with the sale of higher value businesses to get extensive info on the buyer even to the extent of doing credit checks, getting proof of liquid funds etc. I'm not going that far, but there's no point in having extensive discussions with someone, answering all their questions and finding that their technical skill is next to zero and they'll need me as a full time tutor for several months to teach them how to use vBulletin or edit HTML.
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  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Clinton For This Useful Post:

    Kay (1 May 2014)

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    A great way to filter time-wasters and tire kickers?

    Charge a deposit.

    We've had a bit more explaining to do to new buyers as we expand our reach this year, but we've been doing this since we started and it's been working for us. Most get the fact that it's in their interest once we've explained it and the rest? Well - we figured all the time saved with the tire kickers is worth a few legitimate buyers that are scared off.

    For all the hatred you have for Flippa, Clinton, it's interesting you decided to give them your business - I really don't get that.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to TryBPO For This Useful Post:

    flipfilter (16 May 2014)

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    Top Contributor grynge is a Premium Member
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    When I was selling a few on DP many moons ago I would put something like "please put the word "Cabbage" in your pm title so I know you are serious" without that word I would ignore those asking for extra info.
    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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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    The deposit is one way to go, of course. I remember reading about that experiment/policy of yours in a thread here somewhere. Hope that's working out for you. I certainly am tempted.

    Quote Originally Posted by TryBPO View Post
    For all the hatred you have for Flippa, Clinton, it's interesting you decided to give them your business - I really don't get that.
    Huh? Unlike some people, I call out the BS Flippa pulls - and make no bones about the fact that they and many of their accomplices are opportunistic scam artists. That's calling it like I see it. I have no "hatred" for a website, that wouldn't be smart. I have contempt for the people who've done some of the things Flippa management has done. Which does not change the fact that, for some types of sites, it's the biggest marketplace there is. Call it a business decision ...like I would use Google if I wanted PPC traffic and that would apply whether I "love" or "hate" Google.
    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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