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Thread: To buy or not to buy?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    It would be interesting to see if that would hold up in court. If Flippa are publicly saying that they have "verified" Analytics and/or Adsense and that it's not possible to be tampered with, then are they implying they are legally warranting the seller's traffic/revenue claims? They might have it somewhere in a disclaimer, but I would have thought that publicly telling people that you have verified something when you've just got an API feed is a little misleading.

    As a broker, I would *never* advise a buyer that I have verified anything 100% as it is almost impossible and my potential liability would be huge. I wonder if Flippa have opened themselves up to a potentially nasty lawsuit if someone buys a large site based on "verified" Adsense/Analytics and ends up losing a few hundred grand - dragging Flippa and probably a seller they can't track down into court. It's really not that hard to inflate GA or Adsense and I'm sure there are plenty of willing scammers who would do it for a 6 figure pay day.
    I would assume Flippa would have a full indemnity provision in their agreement with all sellers they list on the site? If this is the case, it should cover Flippa's litigation exposure. I would be quite surprised if they didn't have this, given the number of sites they are listing. I myself have walked away from more than one mandate when the prospect has refused to include my indemnity. No broker in their right mind should ever assume any third party risk.

  2. #32
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    It would be interesting to see if that would hold up in court. If Flippa are publicly saying that they have "verified" Analytics and/or Adsense and that it's not possible to be tampered with, then are they implying they are legally warranting the seller's traffic/revenue claims? They might have it somewhere in a disclaimer...
    Giving the impression of higher safety/security than is warranted is at the heart of the Great Flippa Scam on the general public. To that they've added the carefully created illusion that profit is relatively easy to come by - just purchase a site from Flippa. To top it all they've successfully passed off voodoo spells as commercially sound valuation principles.

    I've often used the word nonsense in relation to Flippa's "verifications". I'll repeat that now. It's a bunch of nonsense and BS. It's still about maintaining an illusion while covering their ass - via disclaimers/T&Cs - for the thousands of scammers they're encouraging and profiting from.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkB View Post
    I would assume Flippa would have a full indemnity provision in their agreement with all sellers they list on the site? If this is the case, it should cover Flippa's litigation exposure. I would be quite surprised if they didn't have this, given the number of sites they are listing. I myself have walked away from more than one mandate when the prospect has refused to include my indemnity. No broker in their right mind should ever assume any third party risk.
    Full indemnity?! Yeah, right. Many of those sellers are out and out crooks and Flippa know it. Thousands of those users don't actually exist - they are either dupe accounts or fake accounts. Over the years there have been many ways to beat the cursory phone verification type "checks" Flippa does. In fact, there's a regular trade in Flippa accounts and some people make a decent profit just creating Flippa accounts for resale. There is such a glut of Flippa accounts available for sale that you can now pick them up at Fiverr for, of course, $5. It really is that cheap to get a Flippa "Verified" account to scam people.

    Did I mention that Flippa's "verification" is nonsense? You want to know how many lies there are on the Flippa site? Start here.

    If you read the small print at Flippa I've no doubt you'll find that Flippa's liability is limited to giving you data on the guy who defrauded you and leaving it with you to pursue him legally yourself... if you can find him. It doesn't matter to Flippa that he's just an IP and that you've no chance in hell of tracking him down. They did their bit. They "verified" the account.

    What makes me sick is the number of sycophantic webmasters and bloggers who keep talking Flippa up because posts about making money from siteflipping attract well paying MMO ads in Adsense and attract the type of visitors who convert on MMO affiliate programs. They are complicit in the deception and in innocent people getting defrauded to the tune, sometimes, of tens of thousands of dollars. They should be ashamed of themselves!

    MMO is essentially seedy. What is Flippa about? 99% MMO and 1% businesses for sale.
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  4. #33
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    Clinton, your previous post sparked a very interesting thought. Having worked in investment banking for most of my career, I am well versed in the regulations around the solicitation of securities, put in place to protect the retail investor when selling investment in a corporate offering. These include prospectus requirements, rules around future oriented financial information, insider trading, implementation of Chinese walls, compliance procedures, etc. I know a lot of you will laugh and point to the sub-prime meltdown as an example of how this fails to adequately protect investors. As an industry veteran who has been on the inside, believe me when I tell you: While things do slip through the cracks, these regulations protect the investor from 99% of the bad stuff out there.

    From what I have seen, the internet seems to be a free for all. Products of all types are sold, with vendors making whatever claims they want, with impunity. This represents amazing opportunities to any fraudster. Based on this, would it be feasible, or possible, to put consumer safeguards in place around the selling of products online (specifically information products), similar to the investment industry? Does the global nature of the internet make this almost impossible to enforce? Does the anonymity of the internet make it impossible find the perpetrators?

    Just a thought....

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  6. #34
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    From what I have seen, the internet seems to be a free for all. Products of all types are sold, with vendors making whatever claims they want, with impunity. This represents amazing opportunities to any fraudster.
    Yep. The best we can do here on EP is to warn people about these scams - and we do quite a lot of that, as you may have noticed.

    Based on this, would it be feasible, or possible, to put consumer safeguards in place around the selling of products online (specifically information products), similar to the investment industry?
    You can put laws in place, but in what jurisdiction and who obeys the laws anyway? There was a case a while back when the European Union passed some legislation (I can't remember the details now - it might have been about cookies on websites) and the EU's own website itself didn't comply with their own laws!

    Does the global nature of the internet make this almost impossible to enforce?
    Exactly. Apart from the problem of jurisdiction, it's impossible to enforce these laws if you're trying to take legal action against someone in a country beyond your reach. If someone in, say, Vietnam or Nigeria scams you I doubt if you'd have much luck in seeking legal redress.

    Does the anonymity of the internet make it impossible find the perpetrators?
    Only if you deal with faceless characters. It's possible to find people on the Internet whom you can trust - sometimes it's a matter of reputation and how they've behaved over a period of time.
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