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Is Buying a Website on Flippa Worth It?

Last Updated on July 2, 2022 by tim

Flippa is a popular domain marketplace that allows anyone to buy and sell websites, apps, and domains. Their homepage states that Flippa allows anyone to “buy an online business, become an acquisition entrepreneur, and invest in digital real estate”. On paper, buying a site on Flippa seems like an easy way to make money–just buy a site that has good monthly income and relax as the money comes in. Many people are interested in building up streams of passive income, and buying a successful website looks like a cheap and easy way to start getting passive income. However, here are some things to consider before committing to a website purchase on Flippa.

  • Amount of Work Needed

Before buying a site, you should carefully consider the amount of work needed to maintain the site. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses, and realize that in the beginning you will be mostly responsible for content, site design, and upkeep. For example, if your strength is in cooking you should look to purchase a cooking blog, as it will be easier for you to create content. Don’t purchase a real estate site! Flippa divides websites into 2 main categories: Ecommerce and Content. Ecommerce includes Shopify, Dropship, Amazon FBA sites and Content sites include Blog, Directory, Review, Forum sites. Look to purchase sites that match your strengths, as it will reduce the amount of work you need to put into the site learning the new industry and will make maintaining the site more fun. If you are great at selling things, try looking for a good Ecommerce site to purchase that is already established in your target market. Above all else, do not believe the hype about getting rich quick purchasing websites–it takes a lot of work to get started.

  • Price of Site

Flippa has 2 models for purchasing sites: auction and buy now (make offer). Sites on Flippa can get expensive fast, often reaching into 5 or 6 figures. I would advise against purchasing sites that are extremely cheap (below $1000) as these sites are often scams. No reputable site owner would willingly give up a stable source of passive income for pennies on the dollar. Along with the price of the site, you should also budget for any site upkeep, refreshes, or maintenance that is likely to be needed. If you do not have any technical expertise in site design you will most likely need to find a trusted contractor that can redesign the site and help you maintain it. Payscale reports that the hourly rate of Web Developers tends to be in the range of $13/hour – $50/hour. If your budget allows it, I would recommend engaging with a reputable professional web design firm that can help you design and maintain your website.

  • Look for Scams

Before purchasing a website on Flippa, make sure that all the data that the seller presents is legitimate. Look for any altered website traffic screenshots, and pay close attention to the other websites that the seller is selling. Many times, a scammer will use templates to quickly clone and deploy websites that look very realistic. Pay close attention to the site age and monthly profit. Does the profit make sense for a site that has been around for X years? Lookup the domain on ICANN, was the domain newly registered–a red flag? Lookup the site on Web Archive and see if there is a history of the site. If the site has been around for X years, you should see snapshots of the site going back to around that time period. Pay careful attention to any sudden changes in the website snapshots, as that indicates that the website likely changed hands.

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