Throwing a site up on Flippa and hoping for a sale can sometimes work with minimal effort, but with minimal effort comes a minimal price. Here are some tips to help you land you the most amount of buyers and the highest selling price.
Before we dive in, be sure you know your site is indeed ready to be sold and are generally aware on current market valuations for certain web properties. If you aren’t yet confident in answering each of those questions, check out this post on how to sell your website, and then come back.
You will find a few of the suggestions are fairly similar in the two guides, with this one simply being tailored specifically for selling on Flippa.
Here’s what will be covered:
- Your account on Flippa
- Listing your site on Flippa
- Once the listing is live
- Offers outside of Flippa
- Re-listing on Flippa
This is an extremely important aspect in gaining the trust of as many buyers as possible. Even though we’ve already established Flippa’s verification methods can be easily faked – many buyers are still unaware this is the case.
If you can, verify yourself and your accounts across all the platforms available. As you browse more and more profiles, you’ll realize seeing all of the checks ticked below is extremely rare. Meaning if your account did have all the checks, buyers would near instantly believe you were a real person and a genuine seller.
It’s so rare in fact, I was unable to find an account with all of the above verifications checked after going through more than 72 profiles. I had to bloody photoshop them in!
Don’t want to verify social media accounts for privacy reasons? That’s fine, but at least get the top four ticked.
Is your account filled with glowingly positive feedback about how you are the best seller on Flippa? Awesome! You’re making the world a better place.
On the flip side, does your account play host to some negative feedback? If so and it’s false, contact Flippa and try and get it removed. If it’s deserving negative feedback from some mistakes you made years ago, I’d go ahead and make a new account. This goes against Flippa’s TOS so create another one at your own risk.
Lastly, if it’s deserving recent negative feedback, please take a look at your life and re-evaluate who you want to be remembered as.
Listing your site on Flippa
There are 8 official steps you need to complete to list your site on Flippa. However, as this is an unofficial guide, I’ve added in a few more which I believe will be extremely beneficial.
First off, you’ll need to head to Flippa.com/sell. This is the page you’ll be greeted with:
Fairly straight forward. You can try out classified listing if you want – I’ve never personally bought or sold using classified so I can’t comment, plus there already extremely rare in the marketplace.
After hitting “Get Started” you should come to this page:
Again, fairly straight forward. Make sure to select the right type of website you’re selling as people do use filters excluding certain types.
Don’t do a cheeky and extend the age of the site, there are simple methods which buyers can use during their due diligence to find out the true age. If they do, and it contradicts to what you’ve presented, they may (should) walk away.
Google Analytics – use it.
Verifying your GA’s traffic through Flippa’s authentication checks is a near necessity for buyers to feel safe. If you’re new to the game and forgot to install GA, install it, wait three months, then come back and re-list.
Yes, I know I’ve said GA traffic can be faked, and even Flippa has written an article on it, but it’s rare. If you are faking traffic, even the slightest experienced buyer will be able to detect it. It’s just not worth it.
Traffic and revenue, two of the attributes most used by buyers to sort through all the listings on Flippa. The traffic, revenue, website age, and URL are the only pertinent details buyers will see when browsing through the listings.
Be sure to answer the monetization methods question correctly.
If your site is solely using Adsense to generate its revenue, you can again use Flippa’s system to verify the earnings.
On top of that, if the site’s using any other revenue sources as well, you’ll need to input the data into the relevant fields.
Hovering over the little ‘?’ next to ‘Running costs’ reveals:
Remember to include expenses such as hosting, marketing, and any cost of goods sold.
I’d recommend not to include hosting unless the site requires a high-end solution to maintain the traffic. Just because your hosting it on a dedicated server fo $100+/month with all your other sites, doens’t mean it’s a requirement for the site. Try and be as accurate as possible regarding all other expenses.
Try and be as accurate as possible regarding all other expenses.
Here’s where your marketing instincts will come into play. You have three fields in which you can enter information regarding your site.
This is what buyers will see they first click on your listing. You only have 80 characters here, so every single letter counts. Here’s a lousy example of a tagline:
Adsense website making $1,220/month. Total traffic is 100k/uniques. 3 hours/week
Sure, it gets the point across, but there are unnecessary words being used. Compare it to this one:
Adsense – $1,220/month – 100k/uniques/month – 3 hours/week – Easy Passive Income
Both are exactly 80 characters, but one presents more information, in an easier to read format, and plays on people emotions (passive income, no work). Of course, we all know true passive income doesn’t exist.
Use your letters wisely and you’ll gain a far greater interest in your site.
They key here is to spend a bit of time brainstorming the greatest strengths of your website, and conveying them to a potential buyer in 80 characters or less.
You’re allowed 200 characters for the summary section. Whatever you enter here will appear right below your tagline on the listing.
Unfortunately, you still can’t use any post formatting so it’ll all be plain text.
Simply expand on the tagline and further explain the site’s operations and revenue-generating sources.
Description (Seller’s Notes)
The meat of the listing. Flippa encourages sellers to be as detailed as they can by not including a character or word limit. Post formatting is available – so you can make your descriptions as easy on the eyes as you can.
Nothing is worse than visiting a listing and seeing a blank description section or worse – a giant wall of text. It shows the seller doesn’t really care about the site and/or isn’t truly interested in selling.
Over the past few months, more and more descriptions have been following a generic template. And you should too.
Add in bullet points and all that jazz wherever possible.
I’d stick with the auction sale type with a length of 8-13 days. Any shorter and you may miss out on some buyers who check the listings more infrequently. Any longer and anyone interested buyers watching the listing may lose interest or simply forget about it.
The reserve is the price you’d be happy to accept for the website. I’d be extremely cautious listing sites with no reserve just to get the ball rolling, you never know what could happen. Once a bid is above the reserve, you’re unable to raise it again bring the current bid below the reserve.
Stick to the price you’ve pre-determined and be extremely grateful if bidding starts to rise over it.
If you’ve read a few of the other posts on the site, you’ll know my recommendations already. Escrow, escrow, and escrow only.
Whatever you do, check one, check twice, and then check one more time for good luck to make sure you haven’t checked the Paypal method.
Unless you’re listing a high-value site, stick with the standard listing of $29. Personally, I view all listings the same no matter if it has a tiny screenshot, if it’s bolded, or has a different color background.
And Flippa probably hates me for it.
But hey, other people may be different and will indeed take more notice of listing with the “Show Off” or “Premium” listings. It’s simply up to you to decide what you believe is best.
If you’ve added your site to Google Search Console, you’re likely familiar with these two types of methods to verify ownership of the site.
Download a file and upload it to your site, or add in a meta tag to the header or footer templates.
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement, is a legal contract between two parties where the party receiving the information is restricted to whom they share the information with.
These are more common than you think as they protect trade secrets and other valuable private information when dealing with third parties whom you don’t completely know.
With websites on Flippa, though, there’s almost no chance you’ll be able to enforce one if they do breach the agreement. How would you even know it’s the same person?
Not only that, the cheeky buggers over at Flippa even have the audacity to charge you another $100 for using one, even if it’s not theirs. You can find free templates here, here, here, and here if you’re curious.
Unless you’re in an extremely competitive industry or have vital insider knowledge which the site is taking advantage of, I wouldn’t worry about adding an NDA.
Joseph Carroll, Flippa’s Director of Websites, wrote a great article one effectively using the BIN tool to a seller’s benefit.
You can check it out here. It’s got some seriously good strategies in it.
Once the listing is live
For some silly reason, you can only add attachments to your listing once it’s already live. Before you publish your listing, I’d suggest having them all ready to upload beforehand so you can add them in straight away.
What kind of attachments should you add? Everything. Except for Google Analytics as it’s been verified. Remember to block out all the sensitive information in the other ones – e.g. supplier information, AdWords campaigns, and keywords.
You can add Adsense if you like, but block out non-important information like below:
You’ll be wasting your effort if you add a video walkthrough as an attachment. Any buyers requesting a video walkthrough will want it live.
If you do have one, add in a Profit & Loss statement. If you don’t have one, try and start keeping one for all your next sites. It’s beneficial for both you running the site, and for a potential buyer to easily understand the business’ operations.
One of the most underutilized tools available on Flippa – the comment section. Most sellers are completely unaware of the fact that any new comments placed on their listing, will email all interested buyers currently watching the site.
You should comment on your own listing at least once every two days, updating the watchers with daily revenues and traffic. Be careful not to spam them, though.
Everyone hates spam. Including you.
As well, try not to delete any comments, even if the user commenting is talking nonsense or plain insulting you. Reply as politely as you can, and report them to Flippa instead.
Deleting comments, or getting into arguments, is a sure fire way to turn off a large majority of those visiting your listing.
On the rare occasion, someone may contact you outside of Flippa either through Skype, email, or one of your social accounts. And they may try and entice you to accept a private offer cutting out Flippa.
Why would they do this? Because they know you’ll be saving at the minimum 12% of the total selling price from Flippa fees. The interested buyer will then offer a 50/50 split of the savings – meaning the buyer will pay less for the website, and you get to keep more from the sale funds. Win-win for both parties.
Of course, there are risks involved with these types of situations. Firstly, it’s inherently shady if someone contacts you out of the blue instead of on Flippa first. I’d ignore anyone who you can’t confirm has a Flippa account as well.
So what about those who you can link to a Flippa account? Then it’s up to you. You may potentially save thousands of dollars cutting out the middle man and using a simple service like Escrow.com. You will be going at is alone, though.
Keep your Flippa account as far away as possible if you do choose this route. On the rare occasion, if Flippa’s prying eyes do make a connection, they’ll drop the ban hammer in an instance.
All in all, I’d suggest sticking with Flippa if it’s your first time until you get a bit more experience to operate confidently on your own.
It happens sometimes, unfortunately. You’ve listed your site and for whatever reason, it doesn’t reach the price you were after. There are a few options you can take here.
- Contact a few of the bidders directly and see if they’re still interested/want to make a private offer
- Wait a few weeks then re-list the site – maybe a few new buyers will be browsing then
- Re-list the site immediately on a different marketplace/with a broker, or
- Decide against selling the site now and take it off the market until a future date
This is one of the decisions you’ll have to make on your own. Each site and the set of circumstances under which it failed to sell at your desired price will influence the correct decision to be made.
After following the guidelines above, there’s are 89% chance you’ll have a successful sale, I didn’t do the math. If not, follow the advice in the re-listing section and try again if that’s your choice.
Otherwise, congratulations! You’ve just sold your website. Here’s to plenty more in the near future.
If there’s anything you think I’ve missed – talk to me in the comments below!