Buying and Selling Basics
Believe it or not, buying and selling websites and blogs for a profit was a fairly foreign concept to me before deciding to sell Blogging Experiment. Since then however, I couldn’t help but learn a few things about the subject. Today I’m going to cover a few of the basic premises of flipping a website. Don’t worry, this won’t be too in-depth (I’ll leave that to Max, if you haven’t yet watched his video you should) but hopefully this will get the old juices flowing and maybe even give you an idea or two.
This can be easy or hard depending on the market. The internet does go through little spells of ups and downs and in the process some good websites get sold quickly at a bargain price. This would obviously be an ideal choice for the flip. You buy it, hold it for a bit, get some revenue on record, and then sell it when the market gets stronger. Unfortunately you will not find this too often. You’ll have to fight some of your base instincts and look for a bad website.
This doesn’t mean you should buy complete trash. You’re going to have to look for a website that has some horrible mistake, one that just jumps off the screen and makes you want to close it. This can be a poor design choice, an awful color scheme, an incomplete menu, etc.
If you find this then take a minute and examine the content to see if it’s any good. In general you won’t find it worthwhile to fix bad content. Adding new information to a half-decent website makes sense, so don’t be turned off if the website doesn’t have enough. Rewriting the entire website is going to be incredibly time consuming though. Unless the domain name is golden then you would be in almost the same place as if you just started from scratch. In all honesty, there isn’t an ugly site or blog out there that can’t be repaired with some tender loving care. So, if the content is decent and the domain name is workable the next step is to start working the math for it.
Doing the math will help you to figure out how much the site will actually cost. I can’t really work out a scenario that will apply to everyone. Different problems require unique fixes with unique costs and no two websites are going to present the same problems. You’ll just have to work out the estimates as best as you can. The important step is to etimate the damage the last owner has done to it and decide whether you can fix it yourself, and if not, how much the proper coder will cost. You’ll probably want to have a better design and make the menu look more stylish. The header and logo almost always need a revamp on flipped sites too. Also include the cost of any marketing you plan on doing as well as any operating costs (paid authors, hosting fees, licenses etc) and you’ll have a pretty good flip estimate.
Use your estimate to decide what you’ll bid and set a firm cutoff in your mind. While you’re at it see if there is a similar finished site for sale somewhere else and get a realistic idea of the possible sale price once you’re done with it. Flipping depends on selling the website at a good profit. This is obviously much easier if you don’t pay an arm and a leg for it in the first place. All that’s left for you to do at this point is watch and wait for the auction to wrap up. If you lose, just move on to the next opportunity. If you win, throw your plan into action and let the flip begin.
As I said, this is a VERY basic overview of site flipping and I’m far from an expert. But if this sounds like the type of thing you’d like to try, consider signing up for the course Max is offering. A small investment early on will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.