This was originally Bryan's idea and he's the PLR expect around here, but in our time working together (8 months as the dream team ) we've sold a ton of stuff in a ton of niches.
Most of us have hard-drives full of PLR. It's cheap and can be very profitable... if used correctly.
What's PLR Flipping all about?
The concept itself is pretty simple, instead of chucking together a WSO it's all yours as a FP member:
1. Buy a PLR product (you can find full-rights products for as low as $1 on places like Tradebit)
2. Register a domain name that matches the product (so for instance, if the product is "Killer Adsense Secrets" and killeradsensetsecrets.com is taken, then you would go with something like killeradsensesecretsrevealed.com (don't use .info's - that is lame).
2. Either create a unique-looking sales page or use the one that is usually included within the PLR package.
3. Load the sales page up on your newly acquired domain name.
4. List the whole thing for sale on Flippa and get anywhere between $40 and $300 for it. Flippa has got a bit harder in the last year or so with sites like this, so as ever, the true profit made by smart marketer's is in the upsell process.
Sounds like easy money? Can be - but only if you do it right.
Let me dive further by starting this in a FAQ form - addressing the two questions that are perhaps the only important ones:
Is it still possible to make money with this method?
Sure! Not only possible but pretty easy - but that's ONLY given that you're willing to think further, optimize your actions as you see fit, and don't back off when you see that your first site or two don't sell.
Is it profitable? Are the "$400 a day" claims given by some correct?
Yes, it's profitable. Period. But not if you're one of the guys who tends to do everything "by the book", i.e. you do EXACTLY as the "method" says and even use the auction listing templates provided, rather than coming up with your own.
Having said, the true question for serious marketers is HOW profitable it is. Let's look at the following example:
You buy a PLR product ($5), a domain name ($10), list the whole thing on Flippa ($19), spend around 2 hours on it and end up selling the whole thing for $197 (realistic). A simple calculation shows that your hourly rate would be $81.50 - not too shabby, is it?
But that's exactly the kind of calculation you find on a SALES PAGE of a book that describes this method. In reality, we will have to look far further and question all parts of the above claim.
1) Will it really take you only 2 hours to set up such product/listing?
Nope, there's a high likelyhood that it will take you A LOT more than that. The reason for this is simple - while the one trying to sell you the method will not only tell you, but SHOW YOU and PROVE YOU that it won't take more than 2 hours, consider the following:
- how much time will you spend on refreshing your listing to see if there are any new bids, how many watchers it has etc. etc.?
- how much time will you spend answering comments and PMs about your listing?
- how much time will you spend AFTER the sale to get everything transferred to the new owner AND to answer all of their (usually newbie-ish) questions? (Note: you HAVE TO do it if you want to keep your good reputation on Flippa)
Thinking about all of this, we will quickly see that a much more realistic figure is 4-5 hours per listing. Fair enough, this leaves you with an hourly rate of around $36. Still pretty decent for beginners or those living in cheap countries.
2) But what about costs? Is $34 really all that it takes?
You guessed it, it's not!
Sure! For $34 you can get all the necessities in place (given that you already have an unlimited hosting account but those cost next to nothing these days) and will get your listing up on Flippa, BUT --
Did you know that it's EXTREMELY HARD to get any bids on Flippa, unless your auction appears in one of the featured categories, such as the front page - (a $39 cost), the "most viewed" section (you need bids for this) or the "ending soon" section (yep, every auction is going to be in there for a while but only for a while and it still takes upgrades such as row highlighting ($5) or title in bold ($5) to stand out over there).
The conclusion is simple - if you choose to invest exactly $34 and not a penny more then a large number of your listings will be UNSOLD, which means that a whole bunch of money has to be deducted from your income calculations, including your hourly rate. On the other hand, if you choose to go with a few upgrades (such as listing featured on the front page and listing title in bold) then the cost will be $68 instead of $35, keeping your hourly rate at $28 NOT CONSIDERING that you will still have an auction every now and than that will be unsold, you're likely to get a a paypal dispute or three, and there are fees associated to converting the "virtual money" into cash as well.
Realisticly speaking - with this method, you can perhaps count with an average hourly rate of approximately $15. For some, this could be exactly what they're looking for (and probably a FANTASTIC starting point for beginners) but personally I wouldn't bother to do anything for this kind of money.
Which brings us to:
The automation, outsourcing and scale-up options
Now THIS is where the money is. If you can find a solid bunch of outsourcers who can do all of the above for you on an hourly rate of, say, $5, and at the same time won't run away with your idea/money, then you've done it! But remember that the outsourcer needs to be someone who you can trust (so that they wouldn't steal the method from you), as well as someone who is qualified enough to answer all of the questions, etc.! If you think you can find people like this then go ahead and star NOW!
As for the scale-up possibilities, unfortunately they're not exactly great. The reason for this is simple - while Flippa has A LOT of traffic and A LOT of buyers, you will find that the numbers are still way too small to sell two similar sites at the same time without having the auctions interfere each other, meaning that, realisticly, you could get away will doing one site a day, but not more.
Finally, let's talk about saturation.
Those who know me and or Bryan from other forums or articles we have written know that saturation is a word that pretty much doesn't exist in my vocabulary. Instead, I use the word "improvement" a lot.
But anticipating that at least 50% of the readers of this thread ask me "Is it or is it going to be saturated?" as their very first question, here's an answer for you:
Looking around on Flippa, it's safe to say that NO, it's not saturated yet. You can still make a penny or two if you follow the steps outlined in the beginning of this post to the point - but penny or two it is, and not more. Is it going to be saturated? Probably. I can already see a whole bunch of PLR products listed daily on Flippa and soon it will reach the limit where there's simply way too much on offer, compared to the demand.
Your job here is to identify the OPPORTUNITIES and come up with IMPROVEMENTS to the method. Let's look at a few simple ones:
1) Change the name of the product (and the sales letter graphics) so that it would look more unique - surely this will attract more buyers.
2) Get a unique design and a unique sales copy - a great thing to do, especially with Flippa's "X Copies Found" alert, but it costs either time or money so your profit might decrease considerably.
3) List the product on a few "easy" market places, get some sales, and sell it as a profitable business - great idea and done by many. (Un)fortunately, Flippa hates listings like this and is constantly trying to fight against them - shown by their recent update after which it's not allowed to claim any profit if your site is less than a month old.
The bottom line is - come up with YOUR OWN improvements, and you'll make a whole lot more money than with copying what others are doing!
In conclusion, I do think this model is still a good thing to experiment with, and learn from, as it shows you not only the world of site flipping but also the world of marketing in general, but if you invest no creativity into this then it's most definitely not a long-time money earner.
What I suggest every newbie who is looking to get started is to give it a try, make some initial money, fail a few times, improve, fail again but not as badly as before, and keep on going through the same loop until you find your own way which will provide you with a sustainable income and is something you also truly enjoy.
Top 2011 Tips
Bryan used to DOMINATE the PLR market in 2009/early 2010 - since then it has changed. Whilst a lot from the above post is still applicable today, you'll get the most out of this if you DON'T follow what I've written.
The smart marketer's will switch the word "Flippa" for a different marketplace of their choice. The best people to target with such sites are the non-tech savvy.
Think Ebay, Craigslist, Gumtree, Local Classifieds, Offline Marketing.
These people are also the best to upsell to. This is literally the single most important thing you can do to go from un-profitable to profitable and add a lot to your bottom line.
Sell them hosting. Sell them Clickbank products. Get them on your list. Sell them site moving services. Sell them design services. Sell them SEO. Sell them more websites! Send them to FP Sell them your body (okay, I'm joking about that one).
These people are ripe for upselling. If you get a good sales funnel in place you should EASILY be able to make $100-200 more PER SALE and have a customer for life. Never under-estimate the power of upselling. Why do you think advertisers happily pay $1-2 CPA on affiliate networks to send them free email submits?