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  1. #1
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    Web Businesses for Sale
    Hello all,

    I was wondering if you could tell me a good place to shop for existing web businesses.

    I'm sure buying one is a risky propostion. I'm just at the point now instead of developing a website/website business...I'm thinking why not go out and buy one that's already set up.

    I'm also wondering if anyone has ever done this before, and how were your experiences with this.

    I run a bunch of successful websites. I'm just tired of building them up, getting them off the ground.

    Personally, I think one day I can see the larger affiliate websites being bought out by outside investors...maybe its happening now, who knows.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Sitepoint.com has a forum, which has a lot of activity for site/business sells. They recently split it into two: one for less expensive sites, and another for premium. The premium section has some nice sites for sell.

    I also visit DNForum.com often.

    ABestweb has a "marketplace" section as well, which is worth checking on occasion.

    Finally, Sedo.com, although a marketplace for domains, has a section for selling full sites too.

    Good luck!

    edit: forgot to add that I have purchased at least a dozen or so from sitepoint, and one or two from ABW. You just need to be wary of the ripoffs and false statistics that some provide at Sitepoint.
    Last edited by MoneyBusiness; September 19th, 2007 at 11:49 AM.

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of selling one of my sites sometime in the near future, it's slid down my list of priorities and I've got these places jotted down so far:

    SitePoint.com
    WebsiteBroker.com
    eBay
    BizBuySell.com

    I've heard the best things about SitePoint if you're selling a legit site or looking for the same.

    And like Money Business said, caveat emptor.

  4. #4
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    I'm thinking of selling one of my sites sometime in the near future

    eBay

    How much do you want for this one? I might be interested.

  5. #5
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    I've sold several sites on eBay; in July, I sold a site (discussed in this ABW thread) through eBay for $50,100.

  6. #6
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    FYI, my experience with this last eBay sale was that TWO potential bidders worked really, really hard to get me to agree to negotiate with them "offline" and agree to a sale price without an auction and without any kind of multi-party negotiations.

    The actual buyer was the one who tried the hardest to do this, as they knew they wanted the site and they hoped to buy it for a low price. They specifically said that if I sold the site through an eBay auction, they would not bid (of course, they did end up bidding and won).

    I actually believed that $25,000 was a very fair price and I doubted that anyone would go above $30,000, based on the site's economics -- but it turned out that there was one bidder willing to go to $40,000, a second bidder who placed a proxy bid for $50,000, and of course the winner who placed a proxy bid at $50,100 or more.

    As I explained in the earlier discussion thread about this sale, the high bidder had used entirely fake information in their eBay account (which was created just for this transaction), and I wondered if their reason was that they could place a huge proxy bid, then after the auction ended they could decide whether to "step up" and identify themselves, or just disappear without honoring the bid. Although eBay claims that bidders above a certain dollar amount (far below $50,000) must complete a "verification" process, it appears that the process is not "genuine."

    Another FYI: I have seen two separate lists that purport to report "the largest web-site/domain sale transactions" in July 2007, and although they listed a number of transactions smaller than mine, neither one listed my transaction even though it was publicly conducted on eBay.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the replies everyone. Mark: congrats on that domain sale for $50K. You must have been excited.

    BTW: i've checked out those resources. Sitepoint looks great. I'm definitely going to do some homework. I already see some good opportunities out there.

  8. #8
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    The SitePoint Marketplace (Both established and premium sites section) are great - sometime there are some real gems there..

    Read through some listings and see what prospective buyers ask for and comment - there's a gold mine of info there before you start buying yourself.

  9. #9
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    actually, i do have one more question: I'm assuming a high traffic site with their traffic origins being organic would probably be the best type of web business to purchase. also a site with an existing user base (newsletters, blog) would probably also be ideal. revenue, ROI, potential ROI are probably the bottom line.

    but what if you guys ran across a site that posted 5 figure a month profits..but their traffic sources were almost all PPC. obviously a business like this has value, but would you say it had more, less, the same as a site making the same income, but 95% of their traffic came from the natural search?

    just curious.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    I'm a big PPC fan, but I would say, without much argument, that having a site that performs that same, but with natural traffic, would be worth more (as long as the traffic is of decent quality). The main reason I opt for that would be pretty obvious - free traffic..

    Combining both is greater than either one alone though...

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Good question cowboysfan, I've been thinking it over and I'd say that PPC would yield a slightly higher amount if the PPC keywords, ads, bids, etc were sold in their entirety along with the site. This assumes that the PPC spend (cash flow) isn't a constraining factor at all for the buyer and that the net profits (after PPC spend) yielded the same amount - here's why I think that...

    There's risk in assuming you can continue the same PPC or SEO after the sale / transfer, but from what I know of SEO, I'd say there's more risk in the SEO part of it. G will devalue inbound links when a site changes hands - I'd be fearful of buying a site that relies on SEO because the sale might itself be a serious injury to its SEO. Lots of SEO gamesmanship can be in play as well, and I see it being much harder to game AdWords these days than to manipulate SEO.

    But this is just my guess, each circumstance / site would surely have to be measured uniquely.

    And since I know PPC well and work with it every day, perhaps I view PPC with less fear than the average person - which might make me just flat wrong about the sales price you can get for a PPC'd site.

  12. #12
    Newbie HippoCart's Avatar
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    I purchased a web business awhile back on ebay. It's a great place to look for sites but you have to weed through a lot of crap and make sure you do your due diligence.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Good question cowboysfan, I've been thinking it over and I'd say that PPC would yield a slightly higher amount if the PPC keywords, ads, bids, etc were sold in their entirety along with the site. This assumes that the PPC spend (cash flow) isn't a constraining factor at all for the buyer and that the net profits (after PPC spend) yielded the same amount - here's why I think that...

    There's risk in assuming you can continue the same PPC or SEO after the sale / transfer, but from what I know of SEO, I'd say there's more risk in the SEO part of it. G will devalue inbound links when a site changes hands - I'd be fearful of buying a site that relies on SEO because the sale might itself be a serious injury to its SEO. Lots of SEO gamesmanship can be in play as well, and I see it being much harder to game AdWords these days than to manipulate SEO.

    But this is just my guess, each circumstance / site would surely have to be measured uniquely.

    And since I know PPC well and work with it every day, perhaps I view PPC with less fear than the average person - which might make me just flat wrong about the sales price you can get for a PPC'd site.
    Thanks Donuts!

    And I hear what you are saying. I figure if there's one thing we can control its our PPC spending. We all know the serps can change over night. I suppose your PPC listings can too, but if you want your spot back, all you have to do is jack up your bids (in most cases). I'm in the PPC game too, I haven't found any of the "big 3" ppc engines too hard to crack or understand.

    yeah, i'm assuming if you buy a pure PPC web business, the listings and accounts would come with it as well. I would expect that myself.

    to be honest though, i think i'd like a web business that got a little bit of both: strong ppc traffic and organic. that might be the safest bet i suppose.

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