There are going to be some big changes around here and a scaling down and some of you may have noticed a few of the changes already. I've decided on these changes mainly because:
1. The market for buying and selling of websites has continued to deteriorate. It is now populated by vast armies of people looking to take advantage of the hordes of wannabe webmasters/entrepreneurs who've been convinced that buying a website - or a "profitable online business" - is a good investment and a good way to make money online. It's become so bad that you're more likely to get burnt than not. Today well over 95% of people who buy a site end up abandoning it and losing money. Given that over the last year or two I've been advising people that there are safer, better and more profitable ways of earning money online than by buying a website it does not make sense to continue these forums which encourage unbiased advice on how to make wise decisions with site buying. The best advice I can (and do) give people now is ... if you're looking for something new to get into, look elsewhere and not at buying a website/online business as there's too high a chance you'll get scammed ... if not by the people selling sites themselves then by the array of advice and services offered in this industry.
2. I have lost interest in this market and therefore do not see any point in continuing to help people with free advice on buying and selling websites. For those new to the market and looking to buy a site, read point #1 above. You won't get unbiased advice in the market apart from on these forums. To paraphrase Boris Johnson, there are too many jaws wrapped blissfully around the giant polymammous udder of this market to tell it like it really is. I'm not one of them. My advice is unbiased and it comes from someone who, unlike many of the "gurus" around today, has been making a living entirely online for a long time, who has bought and sold or been otherwise intimately involved with website buying/selling transactions to the tune of tens of millions of dollars and who has helped thousands of people (for free) on
various forums and the experienced-people.co.uk site. You'll get different advice from those jaws mentioned above ... and good luck to you if you choose to take their advice instead.
3. Away from becoming a web entrepreneur by buying a website there are still numerous opportunities for making money online, for online businesses, for online jobs. But I'm retiring and would like more free time. Running these forums, keeping them secure, dealing with the PMs and emails is all very time consuming even though in the more recent past I've had Kay doing the day to day running and, earlier, KenW3 lending a hand as admin.
4. There has been a big loss of public interest in site buying. I know, I know, it probably doesn't seem that way. But you'll have to trust me on this. There are people being tempted into the market, but they are being tempted by an illusion, an illusion created by merchants who have something to sell them or who make money from the gullible. This loss of interest is evidenced by the lack of intelligent debate on website buying selling across the net. Numerous blogs on the subject (one or two of them quite savvy) have closed. Other forums discussing website buying/selling, including the original one at Sitepoint, have closed. Flippa's own blog which in the past had hundred plus comments to a post is now lucky if it gets one comment. The only places where there's still discussion is on sites of people who provide
services in this industry - incestuous discussions among industry insiders. The smart money has moved elsewhere. Most of the smart investors I've known who have been investing since the late nineties have moved on. I, too, have divested myself of most of my sites and shall be updating my advice on the experienced-people.co.uk site before selling that as well.
5. A caveat to the above - there are still people who want to invest in online businesses, of course. But they are focused on businesses in the 6,7 and 8 figure range and they go mainly to brokers or investment bankers. And there's interest at the other end - from that section of the population most susceptible to jumping on to the latest bandwagon of the Next Big Money Making Opportunity, the type of people who keep buying one MMO (Make Money Online) product after the other. I'm doing the latter group a disservice by continuing the forum in its current form as they see old posts/threads on here and they think this is still a vibrant industry ripe with opportunities.
After discussing this with Kay some months ago we came to a joint decision on the best course forward. Given the scaling down of operations we won't need two admins and she offered me her resignation then to allow me a free hand to implement these changes. My thanks to her, to KenW3, the admin before her, mods/mentors over the years who've helped out and all active members.