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Thread: Best way to find a website to buy? (Not Flippa)

  1. #11
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    rogsmith,

    I learned about FlipFinder a while ago, actually, they were having a $1 sale! But I missed out. Any products or course you find including it are definitely worth while. I purchased Ryan's Lump Sum Profits course a while back and it is a goldmine. (even though it didnt include access to flipfinder ) If you have the cash, I personally would recommend it. Their customer service is excellent, risk free investment honestly.

    Let us know if you decide to go through it!

  2. #12
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Ken makes an interesting post.

    There are people who are interested in helping others succeed and there are people who are very good at giving the impression of helping others while all the time their main focus is their own greedy rush to make money for themselves at any cost.

    I find that most of the latter type aren't signed up here. If they are it seems they are better at lurking for ideas and copying stuff from here - it happens more often than you realise - than they are at posting and answering questions.
    If you're new to buying / selling websites, please read this first.

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  4. #13
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    I've successfully used the model of reaching out to sites that aren't for sale.

    Example: I bought a site for $11k, spruced it up (at a cost of $5k) and it's been earning $30k/year for the past 3-years.

    I built a tool to act as a CRM for contacting sites. It holds my research notes, pulls in data and manages communication (sending out semi-canned emails and automatically captures their responses).

    I've switched gears recently to work on other things, but it certainly does work. Unfortunately, the succes rate on these cold call emails is very low. And it's dead boring.

    My recommendation would be to outsource the operation. Break it up and train people to work on specific parts. Build tools to automate tasks - saving time, cost and reducing errors.

    Be aware that it's generally becoming harder to pull this off over time. Good sites worth having will have traffic, and maybe hosting cost, therefore the owner would probably look out for things like AdSense to make money. That pushes up the price you pay. Also, if the site is good, the webmaster could be quite savvy, and again be able to stumble upon AdSense for themselves.

    You're better focusing on sites that have potential to grow through SEO and expansion of content rather than monetising what wasn't before monetised.

    Could speak at length on this. Post any questions you have any I'll reply here.

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    Clinton (19 January 2012), hawthorn2008 (19 February 2012), rogsmith (19 January 2012)

  6. #14
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    Thats a brilliant post kmander but i wonder if you realise what you have done by saying the following, Post any questions you have any I'll reply here.

    So first off from me,if you were starting off at this now from scratch knowing what you know now how would you go about it.

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    I hate to say it, but it depends. Depends on your skill level and budget mainly. If you've got some cash (I think $5k is a good starting point) and can take a risk, you can consider buying a site. If you've no cash, then you're going to have to build. If you're lacking skills and have some time and don't feel under pressure, then I'd recommend building something from scratch that plays on a passion of yours - let it be a playground for understanding all the dynamics of the net (domains, hosting, seo) - you need not make money out of it.

    I suspect most people have a bit of money (but are scared about risking it), have some good knowledge (although still find themselves reading forums all day and possibly buying infoproducts) and have the time to execute (if they made the time). So my advice then for the majority of you is to take action. Start TODAY to formulate a plan. Nothing formal and overly detailed. But a plan on what needs to be done to achieve a set goal you have in mind. Back track that end goal into chunks/milestones. Then flesh out milestone #1 into tasks. Complete the most important three tasks TODAY. Do that EVERYDAY and you'll get places, fast. Momentum and prioritisation is key (not "being busy" or seeking perfect knowledge).

    What might be those first tasks? If you're taking the model above, then it could be grabbing a newspaper/magazine and jotting down 100 keywords you think make a good niche (a bit of long tail, not heavy competition, has some commercialism which could drive monetisation etc), then load up the results in Google. View sites in the top 10-20 and find some that satisfy a criteria (good content, lack of update, expansion possibilities, poor monetisation, bad structure, ripe for social etc) and find some gems. Then start emailing. I really doubt you anyone here needs to read or learn more to get started with this. Up until here you've spent $0 and it'll take up say 30 hours. You'll have learnt a ton - be able to refine your strategy - very likely found something worth buying - and maybe have started a promising dialogue with the owner.

    In short: pick a strategy, plan it a little, take bold action immediately.

  8. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to kmander For This Useful Post:

    Clinton (19 January 2012), flipfilter (24 January 2012), KenW3 (24 January 2012), Makeit (6 February 2012), rogsmith (19 January 2012), sitemaster (19 January 2012), tke71709 (19 January 2012)

  9. #16
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    Oh... and I appreciate the above is contrary to my previous mantra on outsourcing. But you must always first understand what it is that you're outsourcing before you get others to do it. Then you don't get screwed on time/cost/quality as much, can train up the person to do the task based on your requirements and so on. Initially only outsource what you can't do, later what you don't want to do, and later still things that people do better than you.

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    From experience I find the hardest part being knowing which niche / keywords to look in.

    Keith's suggestion about grabbing a newspaper is, I guess, a great suggestion as it removes the natural bias we have towards searching only for the things we know.

    I have my own tool called Deal Trojan which does a similar thing to the two tools mentioned here but has some extra functionality (if anyone would like to test / try it, drop me a pm).

    I'm currently in the middle of split testing the type of email I send out as the initial contact to the site owner. It's a case of
    1) A slightly amateur email from a private address (Hey, I came across your site and was thinking of building something in this niche - would you be interested in selling ... etc) versus

    2) A more professional email from a google apps account address (a company email - e.g We acquire sites in this niche and would like to know if you would be open to conversation around selling)

    So far, here's what I've found
    - The amateur emails have the highest open rates and reply, possibly because people think it's less likely to be a scam ( - this is a guess). I always include my mobile number (for UK sites) and found including my city in there also helps. It could also be that the subject of the more professional email causes it to be spammed more(?)

    - If I did a straight line valuation of the sites in question (i.e. valued it at 14* net profit for example), then the amateur method seems to be producing more dreamers. People's asking prices via this method are ridiculously high versus method 2) where people are more happy to be led by my (always) lower valuation. The days of stumbling upon sites where people have no idea of the value and value it lower are becoming rarer.

    - There are more timewasters with method 2), but I don't have anything statistical to back this up, just a hunch. It seems people are interested in finding out what they COULD get for their site if they decided to sell and pretty much want a free valuation.

    - Even if you don't buy the site, method 2 is good for list building (if you have a web site and ask for their permission to check in a few months down the line). You can guarantee if they've never been contacted before and they receive a six month check in from you, your details will be remembered if they ever hit hard times or decide to move on.

    In truth, I think this was a bad experiment as the results can vary with too many factors that are outside of my control. For example, in hobbyist niches method 1) produces better results, but the same approach with sites run by businesses didn't really work as well.


    This seems to be a long game, and like any other direct sales operation it's about building a relationship and positioning yourself as a credible buyer then waiting, but maintaining frequent, low key contact.

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  12. #18
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    Nice flipfilter I've always wanted to really split test and use data to optimise the outgoing email. I usually go for the route of using a formal email. Savvy sellers will do homework on me and figure out my company at some stage, so I like to be honest and cut to the chase.

    I started working a little on a company website - lunatude.com - I want to show off my cool sites with testimonials from the old owners and stats on user retention growth - so that people are comfortable that there site is in good hands and make it clear that you're not an evil corporate doer, but someone with a skill set and humble intentions. I've got this wrong before and it's backfired badly.

  13. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmander View Post
    I started working a little on a company website - lunatude.com - I want to show off my cool sites with testimonials from the old owners and stats on user retention growth - so that people are comfortable that there site is in good hands and make it clear that you're not an evil corporate doer, but someone with a skill set and humble intentions. I've got this wrong before and it's backfired badly.
    Makes sense. The site I used in my 'corporate' test was pretty generic and didnt have any social proof so this could be an area for improvement.

    The question is, what if you're an evil doer with a skill set ... (as are many of the people in this industry)

  14. #20
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    Then you're in trouble!

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