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Thread: Buying Your First Site? What NOT to buy at Flippa

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Buying Your First Site? What NOT to buy at Flippa

    OK, a lot of personal opinion here but if you're new to the market and looking to buy your first low-cost site, here's what you need to avoid at Flippa (or maybe just avoid Flippa ).

    Sites being sold by career sellers / siteflippers

    Don't get me wrong, this presents a nice, cheap way to get a complete and working site, but that's all these are - shells - and you have to build a business out of it.

    These sellers are long on talk and short on site quality. Avoid them. Click on the seller's name in the listing to see how many sites he's got listed and/or how many he has already sold. If he looks like he does this for a living, the chances are it's a template site which will require a lot more effort than you think.

    Zero profit sites and site with < 12 months profit history

    It's easy to artificially increase profits for a few weeks/months. I won't go into the details but the longer the profit history the less likely figures have been fiddled.

    Zombie Domains

    Sites that have been built on domains that recently expired. These may show PR and show age but you can't rely on those signals. Have a look at archive.org and see what the site used to look like. Did it used to belong to a company or organisation and is now not showing that company's name? Has the look and feel changed substantially? Has the subject matter and content changed? Then it's likely a zombie. The seller is counting on you being stupid enough to not realise the scam.

    Sites with large changes made recently

    Recently revamped sites, sites which the seller claims he has done a lot of work on recently etc., are suspicious because you don't know what he's covered up. And why would someone put a lot of effort into a low value site if he's looking to sell it?

    Sites from sellers who own a lot of other sites

    Unless you can work out the connection between this site and his other properties a lot of the current traffic (even SE traffic) could be as a result of the clout wielded by the seller's other properties - influence that he could withdraw at any time

    Sites with extensive custom coding

    Sellers try to present this as a plus but unless you're willing to get dug into the code to fix bugs ... avoid these.

    Quick fire sales

    If the seller's in a hurry, claims he has someone else interested in the site, or is otherwise putting pressure on you to take a quick decision ... avoid.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Any I've missed?
    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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    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    - Sites in short term "trending" niches (e.g. Steve Jobs)

    - Sites using trademarked domains

    - Borderline legal sites not picked up on by Flippa (e.g. movie sites).

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    Clinton (15 October 2011), KenW3 (15 October 2011), Makeit (7 November 2011), TheodoreK (15 October 2011)

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Sites that come with guarantees

    In theory, sellers are in violation of Flippa rules if they provide guarantees on SE rankings. But they do provide lots of other guarantees which, to me, are worthless as you can't enforce the guarantee and it's not worth the cost of going to court.

    Sites that come with free SEO or other services after sale

    Same as with the guarantees above - you can't rely on someone's promises of "best efforts" and you can't rely on any longer term promises or assurances they make.
    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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    aka "meathead1234" Thomas is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    Sites that come with free SEO or other services after sale

    Same as with the guarantees above - you can't rely on someone's promises of "best efforts" and you can't rely on any longer term promises or assurances they make.
    I disagree on this. It wouldn't stop be buying a site, but I would NOT price in the "value" of their added services to what I'm willing to pay. Just discount it completely and assume that it won't be done (and if it is, it's an added bonus).

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    Another one I like to add is where...

    Sites where the current owner is the face of the site. It would be hard to replicate that brand loyalty associated with that one individual w.r.t writing style, experiences, personality etc.

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