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In this article, we’re covering what can be one of the most lucrative practices and niche pursuits for online or aspiring entrepreneurs: buying websites. As with any other area of business, this can be quite a successful practice, or an extremely cutthroat area of business. It all comes down to how you approach it, the research you put in, and the foresight and planning which you use.
In this article, we’re going to show you the various channels through which you can buy a website, and how you can buy a website that gives you a solid return on investment through passive income.
First, we’re showing you three examples of the best places to buy an existing website or domain name online. After that, we provide a comprehensive guide to how you should use these resources, and how you can successfully work within the industry to purchase reputable websites.
First up is Empire Flippers. Empire Flippers is a website broker whose business model specializes in selling and flipping websites with a well-established revenue stream. Website brokers, much like real estate agents, specialize in valuing an established website and marketing the offer on behalf of the seller. Therefore, by visiting Empire Flippers as a buyer, you will see a catalogue of websites that have already been vetted and appraised.
This is a good option because it takes some of the “guess work” out of buying online. You don’t need to take the time to fully vet websites yourself (although you still should do your own due diligence), and you can trust that any website listed is honestly portrayed. Website flipping also saves you the trouble of using a website builder or going through the process of domain name registration.
Empire Flippers is a trusted website broker, but you really need to have the money to spend. These are established websites, so your budget needs to be at least around $10K.
Next up is Flippa. Flippa is one of the largest online marketplaces for website purchases. With Flippa, you can certainly expect to have a lot of options to look through as a buyer. Many websites are posted here, at many different pricepoints.
Flippa does offer valuation services, but they do tend to be quite fast and hastily done. To have success on Flippa, you really need to be prepared to do the due diligence yourself on what makes a profitable website. You need to evaluate the websites to see whether they are worth the purchase price, and whether you can get a proper return on investment. There are many websites of varying degrees of quality on Flippa, and finding success requires the ability to sift through these websites and find winners.
At Motion Invest, we aim to be an alternative to many of the main competitors. We vet websites ourselves, and actually purchase some of them from the sellers before we put them up for sale, these are called our Portfolio sites. Motion Invest also presents another a great opportunity for sellers as well. We actually now offer the “Motion Invest Marketplace”. This is a great opportunity to list your site online in a place where you will get many interested buyers. This is an opportunity to receive a fair price for your website, as there is the potential for many competing offers. If you would prefer to list your website than sell, then the marketplace offers a unique, smart opportunity!
We also specialize in selling websites in the lower end of the revenue range (from around $50-$2000 a year). We offer a marketplace for potential buyers who don’t have tens of thousands to spend, as is the case with many of the bigger websites such as Empire Flippers.
For buyers, we offer a trustworthy, curated marketplace without having to spend the big bucks!
The first thing you probably have in mind as an online investor is: where do I start? The truth is, there are numerous channels through which you can find websites for sale. Here are a few places to start looking:
Online Marketplaces – There are many online marketplaces to buy and sell websites (like Flippa, mentioned above). These marketplaces are like online classifieds for anything. They are a place where you can find a bunch of websites that are listed for sale.
You can find websites that are for sale outright, or ones which you can enter an auction process for.
To find success on these online marketplaces, due diligence is a must. You must be sure of the value you are receiving for the price you pay, so that you are able to make a return on your investment and some sort of annual profit. Online marketplaces can be hit or miss, and it all depends on the amount of work you put in (and a little bit of luck.)
A Broker–A website broker is similar to a broker in any area of sales. The broker works with the seller to facilitate a sale on their behalf. The broker will value a website, create sales materials, and market the sale.
As a website buyer, brokers are often a trusted source, because they typically will only broker websites that already have a reliable source of income. Brokers wouldn’t want to stake their reputation on selling sites that are misleading or full of spam. Of course, you still want to do your own due diligence as a buyer, to see whether their valuation is accurate, or whether it’s a website where you can potentially add value.
Brokers such as Empire Flippers and FE International sell websites with proven revenue streams.
Contact Owner – If there’s a website that you really like and which you can see potential, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to contact the owner directly with an offer. Perhaps it is the case that they haven’t considered selling their website, or just haven’t received a good enough offer yet. Contacting a seller can be quite a hit-and-miss, but there is also the advantage that you don’t have to compete with the open market.
Above, we explained where you can buy websites. But what is more important to your success is how you should be buying websites. This means all of the factors that you need to consider to ensure that you buy a website that will have you seeing a return on your investment.
In this section, we are taking you through a guide to evaluating and comparing websites to purchase one properly. Of course, this is just a general guide, and not every process will be the same, but this is a good starting point for understanding all of the work that needs to go into purchasing a website.
Your first step in buying a website is to survey the market. Start your online search in one of the areas we have mentioned above, such as with an online broker or in an online marketplace. Survey the market, and see what is available.
It may be the case that you are only looking within a certain niche, because that is where you are most comfortable. Either way, the starting point is to survey the market and see what is available.
Once you have surveyed the market and found some websites that you think may be worthy of purchasing, this is where the work really begins! The key at this point is research. Your overall goal with research is to find a website that will give you a worthwhile return on investment.
Your first goal is to do research on the website itself. You need to dig deep and find all the available data to justify your purchase price. This data will be available if it is sold by a reputable seller. This means data on website traffic, trends, sales data, and anything that is relevant to the online business’s profitability. What you are looking for is whether the website is lucrative enough to justify the price.
The next step is to perform industry research. This means looking at the trends in the industry overall, to see whether this type of website shows promise for the future. Look at the market trends in that area of online business, as well as within that certain niche. Do you see this level of success as sustainable, and is there potential for growth?
Finally, consider your own specific strengths, and how you could potentially add value to this purchase. As an online entrepreneur, you likely have experience within a certain niche or area of business. This experience will become invaluable in actually running this business and driving it toward success. Consider how your individual strengths line up with the proposed direction of the website.
Many wonder just how much it’s going to cost them to get into this area of investing. Of course, the answer is that it depends. A website’s valuation is based on many factors, including future earning potential, current situation, and market trends. How much you spend is dependent on how much research you have done, how much the website is worth to you, and the selling price. And of course, you don’t spend anything if your offer isn’t accepted.
The better focus as a buyer should not be on how much you spend, but how much you will receive. Your return on investment is the most important metric in website purchasing, and it should guide your decisions.
We hope you have enjoyed our guide to website purchasing. We hope you have learned all about the different ways to purchase websites online, and also the steps that you need to follow to find success!