An UGLY $33 Million Website…

written by BlogEx on April 16, 2008 in Make Money Online and Selling Websites and Buying Websites with 14 comments

Every once in a while I come across a complete surprise when I hear about a website that was sold.

I like to pay close attention to which websites are selling and how much they are selling for. It helps me pick potential niche markets and business ideas, and helps me determine what types of websites we should be focusing on.

While doing some research this morning, I found a press release that said this website was sold on May 7, 2007 for $33 million in CASH! Here’s the article from the New York Times that explains the details.

Usually when you think of a website worth $33 million, you think of something that is cutting edge. Something that would be extremely difficult to compete with. Something “unique”.

That’s why I was so surprised when I checked out ConsumerSearch.com to see why it sold for $33 million.

Just by going to the homepage, it looks like a home made type website you or I could have made using Frontpage. It has big obnoxious Google Ads on the right hand side of the page and just a bunch of categories listed on the left.

To me, it looks like a simple “made for adsense” type content site anyone could make. If you click on a category, you can read reviews about various products. These reviews are basically just re-written reviews posted by other people and companies. Click on a link that says “Where To Buy” and you get taken to a page with 30+ affiliate links to other websites selling those products.

Scroll down and you’ll see Chitika Mini Mall ads. Hover your mouse over a “compare prices” link and an annoying Shopping.com ad box shoots out at you.

If I saw this website listed for sale somewhere without knowing their income figures, I would have put a price on it of about $50,000 max based on what I see. Obviously I have no idea how much money they make, but it must be pretty high to sell for 8 figures.

According to compete.com, this site is getting about 1.7 million visitors to it per month, which is pretty impressive given the lack of real content on this site.

It just goes to show you that even a basic website can be worth A LOT of money. ConsumerSearch.com was launched on May 19th, 2000 and was sold on May 7, 2007. So, by compiling reviews of products in their own words, this website was able to write content for about 7 years, then cash out for $33 million in cash. Who knows how much they made during the 7 years of running the site itself.

Does it look like a huge task to build a site like this? Not enough hours in the day to write all those reviews? No problem, just do what they did, hire people to write reviews for you. As seen on their jobs page, they pay writers about $350 to review a category of products.

I see about 330 total categories on their site, so paying $350 per category x 330 categories will set you back about $115,500 in content costs. Sell the site for $33 million, and I think you’ll come out a little bit ahead : -)

Not a bad gig if you ask me.