If you missed my guest post on the Flippa Blog, you can check it out right here.
Selling on Flippa can seem like a big task. You have to get your website ready, prepare a big descriptive listing, make decisions about starting prices, reserves and weather or not to accept ‘most bidders’. You also have to gather the relevant information related to your listing, such as Google Analytics information and Adsense results.
I’ve sold a fair few websites on Flippa- I’ve had a few successes and many epic fails. Through the experiences I’ve gained lots of perspective and I’ve learnt plenty of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” along the way.
Here are some basic tips for helping you to have a good experience when selling your websites or domain names on Flippa.
This is the most important thing. If you have browsed Flippa for any length of time, you will have noticed that sometimes it’s hard to tell the genuine sites from the fakers. There are many, many sites claiming to have made “$800 in the first 8 days” which go on to sell for about $500.
It’s sad that alot of people might have been tricked into buying sites which were claimed to have been making hundreds per week, when in reality the site wasn’t making anything. It’s not hard to doctor a Paypal screenshot. The saddest part about a scam listing is that it causes genuine website buyers to get jaded and to avoid buying websites for fear of being scammed. These buyers may have been around to buy quality sites off honest website designers and domainers, but they have left the market because of the scammers.
Also, if you are tempted to lie in your website listing, you risk ruining your online business. Is it really worth lying just to bump up the sale price of your auction if you end up getting negative feedback over it? Totally not worth it. Be honest, it’s the right thing to do and it will benefit your business in the long run. You might think that it would be really easy to tell a fib about how much your site makes or how much traffic it gets, but you will pay a bigger price for that lie in the end.
Start gathering information early
If you are building out a site with the intention of one day selling it on Flippa, start gathering information early.
It’s very important that your listing has any analytics and adsesne information that is relevant to it. On the day you make your site, install analytics. This means you will capture the growth that your website gains over time. When you launch your listing, it’s too late to install analytics. And if you install it a week before the listing, it offers less credibility than if you had months or years of analytics data.
The longer your analytics data, the more a buyer will see the site as a steady investment.
The Lean Website
If you are building websites to flip on Flippa, don’t waste too much time on small details.
When I build websites, sometimes I fall victim to the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is when you spend 80% of your time on what ends up being only 20% of your final goal, and you spend 20% of your time on the largest portion of your project.
For example, I might build a website, a logo and some content in a pretty short amount of time- that’s the bulk of the site complete. But then I might see a little glitch- maybe the header isn’t perfectly centered. So I end up spending a long period of time trying to correct this minor issue which won’t really have much impact on the final result of the site.
So don’t waste your time trying to get little things done- outsource those for a few bucks on Fiverr. Instead, use the bulk of your time to get the “heavy lifting” done- content, logo design, marketing and other core aspects of site creation.
I personally have made sites with the sole intention of selling them on Flippa. I’ve noticed that sometimes I would have a site completed, but then I would spend double the time I’d spent up until then just to fix minor, insignificant things. Being a perfectionist is not a good thing. Your time is valuable so do the most important work first and if you have to fix up the minor things, just outsource them rather than wasting hours on it yourself.
Avoid the Over-Hype
When filling out your auction listing- hype is fine- as long as it is justified.
If you have a great website or domain name, then freely talk about why your website or domain name is so great. Don’t over hype it though. Over hyping puts a buyer off. In my opinion, it puts them off because they feel like you are being dishonest in an attempt to trick them into thinking your website has more value than it really does so that they bid more. It just feels dishonest.
So be enthusiastic, but don’t make statements that are simply not true or that are over the top.
This one has helped me alot. Don’t just list your auction on Flippa and hope that it advertises itself.
In a way, it will advertise itself. You will usually get a bid or two when you first list the site because it appears in the “New Listings” section which people check out.
Your auction will probably go into a “sleep” though from that point on. This is because it’s buried within the site and can only by found by people who are searching for words that bring your listing up.
While the auction is running, it’s your job to advertise it everywhere you can.
Here are some basic ideas for advertising your auction while the auction is running:
- Forum signatures
You can sign up to web master forums and put a link to your auction in your signature. Then you can make alot of good, quality and helpful posts. If people are interested, they will click your link and check out your auction and you might have a new bidder.
- Guest posts
You can find people who will accept a guest post to their blog in return for a link to your auction. So you will write them a quality post and at the end you are allowed to say something like “I’m selling ______.com on Flippa. Click here to check it out!”
In fact, I’ll happily accept any posts like that here on Aussie Domainer! Just make sure your guest post is quality, original and of a decent length and I’ll post it here with a link to your blog and/or Flippa auction.
- Flippa extras
The Flippa extras can help get attention to your auction. The twitter option and the front page listing are particularly valuable. You only want to do this though if you have a valuable website that you expect to get a decent amount for. If you are selling a site for only $100, there’s no point paying $40 for a front page listing when you have already paid at least $9 for a listing fee and will pay $10 for a success fee and a few dollars as a Paypal fee. That’s a pretty thin profit margin.
If at first you fail, try and try again!
Sometimes on Flippa it really comes down to who sees it on the day.
I have listed a website which was bid up to only about $120 or so. After re-listing it, it went for $500.
Other times, I have listed sites which went for nearly $200, but on re-listing didn’t even make $100. Sometimes it’s a bit of a lottery- it’s just about whoever sees it on the day and how much they feel like they want it on the day.
Buying websites can be an emotional decision. You see something you like, you get excited at the prospect of buying it and you snap it up. A week later you may not have made the same decision. So if your auction fails, don’t be afraid to try and re-list it. You might find an excited buyer this time.
Just because a site fetches a certain price during a listing, doesn’t mean the price is actually worth that much or that little. It could just mean that the certain people who would be willing to pay big for that website or domain name did not happen to see it during your listing.
You probably shouldn’t use a $1 No Reserve strategy
I have failed epicly using $1 no reserves, including selling a site for only $6. Pretty funny experience. The problem with $1 no reserve is similar to what I wrote above about Flippa auctions fetching different prices on different days. The fact is, your auction may simply not get the right attention when you list it, and you could have an epic fail and sell your website for a pittance where as if you only sold it a week later or before, it would have gotten more attention and succeeded.
$1 No Reserve auctions can work when you have a built in traffic source of interested buyers. For example, if you have a website or blog where you have regular buyers looking at your catalog, you could probably do a successful $1 NR auction as you are bound to have at least a few interested buyers to bid it up to a decent price.
The Flippa Trifecta
Over at Empire Flippers they talk about an interesting thing called the “Flippa Trifecta”. This is when you get alot of bids on your auction and you pay for a front page listing towards the end of your auction. The result of this is that your website appears under the “Ending soon”, “Most Active” and also the front page sections of Flippa.
This means your listing is recieving massive amounts of attention because it is featured in 3 of the major sections of Flippa.
Keep an eye on the blog for more Flippa tips! Put your email into the box in the upper right hand side of this site if you would like updates when I make a post.
I currently have a site for sale: HeavyHost.com – It’s a file hosting website which has had nearlly 100 files uploaded to it, so it is just getting started. The domain name is over 11 years old- in fact it turns 12 in less than a month.
I’m selling the site for $199- if you would like it, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact page on this site. Whoever is first to say they want it will get it.