If you are planning to buy or sell a website, you probably already heard about Flippa. It is the largest online marketplace for websites. Most people who list a website for sale there, however, end up selling it for peanuts (e.g., $100), or not selling at all.
How come? Most of the times the seller didn’t do his homework. If you want to maximize your chances of selling (and your profit), the 10 tips below will help you.
1. Make Sure Your Website Is Making MoneyThis is the most important factor. If you want to sell a website successfully, it must be making money. Even if your site has a huge traffic, listing it before monetizing that traffic would be a bad decision. You would be able to sell it, but the money you would get would be far below the real value of the site.
If your website is making $50 or less per month, forget about selling it now. Try to improve your traffic, increase your revenues to at least $300 per month, make the revenues stable, and then list it. If the $300 are coming from Google AdSense, for example, you could sell the site for as much as $8,000. Obviously, the more you can grow your revenue before selling, the better. The $300 is just a ball park figure.
Remember that you’ll need to show proof of revenue, and that most buyers will calculate the revenues as the average of the past four or six months.
2. Make Sure You Have Google Analytics DataMost serious buyers will want to see your Google Analytics data before making an official offer. They will use this to verify your traffic levels, and to make sure the pattern is compatible with the revenues you are claiming.
Again, people will want to see data going back to six months at least. If you are planning to sell your website, therefore, it would be wise to install Google Analytics on it at least six months before the sale.
3. Work On Your Trust RatingEach member on Flippa has a trust rating, and most buyers will check it before placing their bids. In other words, the higher your trust rating, the higher the chances of selling your website.
As a result you should take all the actions that will improve your trust rating (e.g., connect your Flippa account with Facebook and LinkedIn, verify your phone number and so on).
4. Set The Auction Length for 7 DaysIn my opinion seven days is the optimal length for an auction on Flippa. With that length of time you are sure that most buyers will see your auction (e.g., those who log during the week and those who log during weekends), yet you’ll create a sense of urgency on those who are interested.
Many people set the auction length for 30 days, and their auctions become dead as a consequence. Many interested buyers will refrain from bidding because there is plenty of time to go, others yet will see the auction once and then completely forget about it, for the same reason.
5. Set A Low Reserve / High Minimum BidIf you set a low reserve price your auction will display the following message: “Bidding open and reserve has been met!” bright green color. This is a big encouragement for potential buyers, and it stimulates them to bid.
And don’t worry about the site selling for less than what you think it is worth. You can always set a high minimum bid. Apart from protecting you from low bids this strategy will also filter the non-serious buyers out.
6. Set A Reasonable BIN PriceThe “Buy It Now” price is there for a reason. It should allow a buyer who is very interested in your website to avoid a bidding war and to buy the website paying what you think it is worth.
The problem is that most sellers have an unrealistic idea about the value of their websites, and hence they set crazy BIN prices. This is a put off for potential buyers, because it signals you have no idea about what you are doing.
Ask some friends what they think your website is worth, and then set a reasonable BIN price for it.
7. Don’t Hype Your DescriptionThe more hype you put in your description, the more people will think you are desperate to sell and that your website is not a solid one. Examples of remarks you should avoid include: “Huge potential!”, “A lifetime opportunity!”, “My loss is your gain!”.
Secondly, don’t hypothesize what the website could be earning. Some people list websites that are making $10 per month currently, and they go on saying: “This website has the potential to make $4,000 per month easily!”. If you knew this for sure you wouldn’t be selling the site for such a low price….
8. Answer to Every CommentEven if you write a crystal clear description people will still have questions, and they’ll ask them through the comment section. It is important to answer to every single comment, as this will not only encourage these commenters to place a bid, but it will also improve the overall credibility of your auction.
Second, do not delete a comment unless you have a very good reason to do so. Deleted comments are red flags on Flippa, because usually they come from sellers trying to hide something on their websites.
9. Have A Plausible Reason for SellingOne of the first things people will ask you is why you are selling. If there is no plausible reason, they’ll rightly assume that the website is going down hill, and that you want to get rid of it before it becomes worthless.
In fact it would be a good idea to include the reason for selling the description of the auction itself.
10. Invite Qualified BuyersIf you want to get more bids on your auction, you can invite qualified buyers directly. First of all browse through the marketplace looking for websites that are similar to yours (either open or won auctions).
Once you find one, browse through the comments, and try to find users with a high trust rating that were asking questions about the auction. These are qualified buyers, and you can send them a message inviting them to view your own auction.
Bonus Tip: Keep Your Auction On The HomepageWhen creating your listing, the most important upgrade you can get is the “Listing Featured on the Front Page” one. It costs $29, but it will give your auction a lot of visibility, because most buyers browse the Flippa front page first.
You can purchase this upgrade a second time, too, once your auction slipped to the second page. This would be a good idea if after the first two or three days you have still not received some qualified bids.