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Thread: Sending unsolicited requests to buy sites

  1. #11
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    I have sold 2 websites when someone was approaching me with an offer.
    They asked for price and I gave impossible valuation because he was approaching me and so he is interested in my website and I am almost no interest in selling it. So everything come down to discussion and I agreed to sell those sites for 1/3 of the price I mentioned in the first place. Buyer was thinking that he got an amazing deal but in reality he still overpaid for my site, at least if we look at average sales price in Flippa.

    I receive a lot such offers but most of them are auto generated and I don't even hesitate to respond to them. So if you are interested in buying website by approaching website owners directly make sure your emails doesn't like like auto generated and you have done your homework and researched your website.

    Make sure you choose the right websites that are not spammed and ranks organically and needs some tiny extra push to make good money.

  2. #12
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    On the flip side, I received unsolicited offers for a couple of AdSense sites and they were pretty lowball by comparison to what they sold for on Flippa a few months later. You have to know your website's value to be able to play that game well. But it sounds like you did well, @ledlauzis, so who am I to question that?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveR View Post
    On the flip side, I received unsolicited offers for a couple of AdSense sites and they were pretty lowball by comparison to what they sold for on Flippa a few months later. You have to know your website's value to be able to play that game well. But it sounds like you did well, @ledlauzis, so who am I to question that?
    In most cases I am looking for websites without any monetization but with a good traffic or ranking in Google. Could be some hobby website not maintained anymore and owner is just paying for domain and hosting. These are my favorite websites

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dschall View Post
    If you have a lot of sites you probably get a lot of these requests yourself. And if they look like most of the others you probably ignore it right? I know I do.

    You want to compel the person to respond. This does not mean write a 1000 word email telling them how much you love their website and how you are their biggest fan. Keep it short and sweet.

    From the seller side, looking back at requests like these that I actually responded too, the biggest factor was the potential buyer included a price that they would buy the site for in their initial request.
    I agree that long emails are useless and off-putting. "Short and sweet," is without question the best approach. It does not waste the time of either party if there is no interest, and it gets to the next level quickly if there is.

    I see so many similarities between buying and selling web sites and buying and selling real estate. I can not imagine any knowledgeable and serious buyer making an offer on the first email. My initial question (to myself) if I received such an offer is "On what is he basing this offer," and I would come back with a counter offer of some ridiculous multiple of their original one. I expect that would end the whole process at that time. If not, I make a killing.

    I used to negotiate the purchase of income producing real estate for a living, and purchased millions of dollars worth over a large number of years. In no case did I ever go into a negotiation making an offer up front. In fact, the offer was never actually made in a stand alone environment; it was always arrived at by mutual consent after all the pertinent facts regarding the property were laid out, analyzed and determined to be real and verifiable.

    A web site to buy, in my opinion, has a several things to offer on which a price may be placed. One obviously, is income. Another is page rank. The last is traffic. That is the Holy Trinity for me. Things like conversion ratio, monetization methods, stability of income, traffic generation methods, email list size, expenses and last (and least of all from a value standpoint) potential, all must be taken into consideration before any legitimate offer may be made by me; but the first three are where I make the initial cut.

    Almost everyone's response to an inquiry about selling is "how much are you willing to pay." The obvious response is I am willing to pay a fair price for your site based on its income and traffic. How much is it making now and what kind of verifiable, sustainable unique traffic is the site generating?" Short, sweet and to the point. Then if they come back with numbers you can talk about multiples of monthly "net" income (8 to 10 times is my objective), but still no set figure. If they come back with nothing of value, then I just move on. If those numbers are okay, then I ask for verification of the income and traffic BEFORE a firm offer may be made, and even then the offer may be conditioned upon the variables that come up during negotiation (like list size and type, for instance). In every negotiation in which I have participated, both parties start at an extreme (high on the sellers side, low on the buyers) and ultimately arrive in the middle somewhere. The middle does not mean right down the middle, but on one end of the scale or the other.

    The most powerful word in the English language (and I assume other languages too) is, "No." For some reason people seem to have an aversion to that word. It makes people nervous. I found the most powerful negotiation tactic is to simply say, no, to an offer, ploy, or response, and then just shut up. It seems that in every negotiation you arrive at a yes or no, take it or leave it moment. You would be surprised how much more productive the negotiations become if the other party comes back with any response to the "no" statement. Its almost like seeing a white flag come up in battle. If there is no response, then the negotiations are over and you just move on. Either way you win because on the one hand you get your property/site for a reasonable price, or you move on to one on which you will get your property/site at a reasonable price. Not every transaction makes, so those that do must be good for you as a buyer.

    Finally, I look for sites that are not necessarily abandoned, but are under monetized, under managed, and under optimized. Surprisingly there are thousands of that type of site out there, many on the first page of Google for a valuable key word, or two. The hunt is fun. The results are amazing.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul Woodall

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    Reading this thread reminded me that I did sell one of my "do nothing" domains this way. It had no traffic and no revenue and I was happy to shed it.

  7. #16
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Woodall
    Finally, I look for sites that are not necessarily abandoned, but are under monetized, under managed, and under optimized. Surprisingly there are thousands of that type of site out there, many on the first page of Google for a valuable key word, or two. The hunt is fun. The results are amazing.
    I'm still trying to figure out the extent of the opportunity in the market. Some people would have you believe that the streets are lined with gold, especially on Flippa. Others, like Paul, see the opportunity elsewhere, eg direct contact. And yet others say it's a shrinking market and demand for good quality sites far exceeds supply.

    Without real evidence it's difficult to know what to believe. I suppose it must be a case of making educated guesses about what's going on. Would anyone care to add their two cents?
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  8. #17
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    I am sure there are all types of buyers but I can only speak based on my own personal experience, both as an attorney representing buyers and sellers of websites and as a seller of a website myself.

    My observation is that in almost every transaction I have been involved with, the buyer approached the seller. I can only think of one instance where the seller sought out the buyer.

    In every transaction, the buyer had a strategic reason for the purchase. Either the buyer was in the same business or a related business or viewed the purchased website as a strategic add-on to an existing business. In some cases the buyers were already experienced website owners but in other cases the web-based business was an extension of a more traditional business. I think there will always be buyers who have strategic reasons to buy a website.

    I am certainly not claiming that my experience is typical. None of these were $500 or $5,000 transactions since no one in their right mind would pay a lawyer to get involved in a small deal. However, I do think it is pretty typical for larger deals. I don't think a typical buyer is going to invest $200,000 in a web-based business that he or she finds on Flippa or listed for sale in a forum, particularly if they have no strategic reason for the purchase. Sure, there are a few people like that in the world, but finding the few people that would make a significant investment in a website based purely on the financial return without any sort of connection would be very difficult.

    Does that mean that a website owner needs to wait around for a buyer to approach him or her first? Absolutely not. There is no reason that a seller can't attempt to identify potential strategic buyers and initiate the contact. I just think, again based on my own experience, that trying to sell a valuable website through methods like Flippa or forums is likely doomed to fail. Most potential strategic buyers are not looking for websites in those places.

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  10. #18
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Thanks, David. Very interesting. I'm mostly looking at the lower end of the market.

    If you measure the size of the market in monetary terms, then the high end blows away anything else. However, if you measure size by the number of interested parties, then I think the low end is larger. (?) As a writer, I have to look at the potential demand for what I write. It's probably better for me to aim my writing projects at the segment of market where there are thousands of potential customers. One would hope that at the high end people would either know what they're doing or take financial and investment advice from qualified professionals (such as yourself).

    Given that my potential customer is at the lower end, I'm also reading a lot of the advice that already exists in that market to see how it matches up with my other research. Inevitably, those who stand to make money out of talking up the size of the market are shouting loudest about the great opportunities. Equally inevitably, you get the old cynics on EP saying the glory days are over. Demand exceeds supply for decent little sites. I generally "believe" what I learn from trusted members on EP. Yet there are sane, well-educated people without any vested interests saying that there's still a big opportunity because there is still a big supply of suitable sites (assuming you have the knowledge and expertise to find them). I'm finding myself in this middle ground.

    Yet with more and more books, courses, etc, being published telling all the "secrets", I imagine that even the lesser known ways to find the golden nuggets will be common knowledge soon anyway, if they aren't already. It's all a bit more complex than that but that's the gist of it and I like to discuss issues such as this with others. Unfortunately, an exchange of views with a wide audience can sometimes be difficult because a lot of people just visit EP, read everything, and go away without saying anything. I think that this is a great pity because it spoils the opportunities for discussion and also makes some people (me too!) reluctant to say much because of all the Peeping Toms. (There's more going on in the Premium Lounge away from the "suck it all up and say nothing" types.) One expects this from the drive-by search engine traffic, but there are long-term regulars here some of whom read almost every word, and then slink back into their corners without ever contributing a word.

    I guess I'm trying to figure out how much opportunity there is. It will be impossible to quantify it, but if I could just get some input from industry experts I think it would help.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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  11. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out the extent of the opportunity in the market. Some people would have you believe that the streets are lined with gold, especially on Flippa. Others, like Paul, see the opportunity elsewhere, eg direct contact. And yet others say it's a shrinking market and demand for good quality sites far exceeds supply.

    Without real evidence it's difficult to know what to believe. I suppose it must be a case of making educated guesses about what's going on. Would anyone care to add their two cents?
    Hi Kay,

    I think the opportunities are proportional with the added value that a buyer can provide to an online business.
    For example, an SEO expert (if has ever existed one) can see an opportunity where other types of buyers see only an unreasonable asking price.

    I believe that having a team of experts is the best way to operate in buying and improving online businesses, as a solopreneur I'm facing too many limits.

    I had what I consider good deals on Flippa as well as direct contact, but it took lots of time to find them!

  12. #20
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    I had what I consider good deals on Flippa as well as direct contact, but it took lots of time to find them!
    It's a good point, thanks. This "takes time to find them" problem is something that everyone recognises. Most of the people who make money by teaching people how to make money address this by selling some kind of tool to make the job easier. I'm sure you've seen plenty of these around - basically they're saying that Flippa is full of gems but it takes time to find them. If you buy their tool, then it's easy to find loads of good sites. I'm sceptical that there are loads of good sites to find regardless of how good any filtering tool is. Any views on that aspect of it?

    BTW, thanks for joining in. It's nice to have a conversation with someone instead of being followed around by the creepy ones.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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