How To Avoid Buying Bad Sites On Flippa

Flippa does a pretty good job of weeding out the scammers and sellers who regularly get bad ratings. They've also now introduced a “top rated seller” label for the ones who get consistently good feedback.

The problem is, if you are uneducated or new to online business, it's still easy to waste your money and buy something that's not going to earn you a dime.

Bad sites are still found on Flippa, and it's often a case of filtering through them in order to find something good.

Why Some Sites Are Bad

It's not always easy to detect the bad deals, which is part of what attracts the bad sellers to Flippa in the first place. Furthermore, there are various “tricks” or “tactics” that repeat sellers use to aid their listings and make everything look more legitimate.

I'll go into these tricks later, but first, what makes for a bad junk?

Duplicate Content

The number one issue I have with bad sites is that they do not have unique content. This rules out all possibilities of the site showing up in search engines, which means you will have to either pay for traffic via advertising, or hope that posting links in social media networks pays off (I've never seen it pay off).

No Room For New Content

The Internet moves fast and sites need to have fresh content. Static sites with one or two sales pages aren't going to earn much money in the long run. If you can't see how a site is going to have more content added to it (articles, training, tips, how-tos etc), then it might be best left alone.

No website should ever be ‘finished'

Promises Of Automation

Let me get this clear to you, automated income online is very very hard to create, requires a lot of experience, a considerable amount of testing, and is never 100% automated.

If there's a site for sale on Flippa that claims you can (or will) earn x amount of money on autopilot with no experience, ask yourself this question:

“Why is it being sold so cheap?!”

Surely if it was GUARANTEED to make you money on autopilot, they would just keep it!


Emphasis On Monthly Searches

1.) Just because people search, doesn't mean they will find your site and if they do, buy something.

2.) If the only selling point of a site is that people search for that topic, you should find a seller who knows more about online business.

Ugly Sites

A lot of sellers use simple, free themes and claim they look excellent. Some even claim they hand-created it just for this site (even though they have five other sites using that theme for sale at the same time).

A site should be visually appealing, with texture and content below the surface too.

Just as bad as an ugly site, is a highly attractive site with no substance. Just an empty shell and probably some claims of automation too.

Techno Babble

Newcomers aren't going to understand a lot of the terminology used on Flippa, and sellers know this.

Even worse, a lot of newcomers know the terms, but don't really understand the concepts.

The result is a lot of hype, buzzwords, and hot air.

Phrases like “Search engine optimized”, “adsense ready”, “hot niche” and so on get used in place of legitimate reasons to buy a site.

How To Avoid Bad Sites

Knowing what a dishonest seller and site gets you a long way towards avoiding one, but you're still goin to stumble across some unwittingly.

Here are some more tips to keep you safe:

  • Any site that looks amazing, add it to your watch-list and check again later. Often on the second or third visit, it seems less appealing.
  • Don't rely on the existence of other bids as a sign of legitimacy. Some sellers create fake accounts and bid on their own listings to make them look popular. Flippa does its best to prevent this, but it still happens sometimes.
  • Check out the seller's account. Check their feedback (as much of it as you need to). See if they are linked with other profiles, and if they are, were those ones banned? Do your due diligence.
  • Don't rely on things like PR (page-rank) and back-links as a sign of a good site. They aren't.
  • Never bid for a site you can't afford.
  • If a seller is mass producing sites, selling them all using the same “pitch” and pricing, then chances are they are junk. Prices like $197 and $227 come up a lot. Be wary.
  • Post a link to a discussion below and I'll let you know what I think of it. I'm not always right about what is great and terrible, but I can spot a bade site a mile off.
  • Practice watching sites and seeing how they ended before bidding on others. Did they sell? How many bidders? What kind of comments did it get?

Now don't get me wrong, you CAN buy some excellent sites on Flippa and there have been some incredible transactions over the years. You can also get some great value.

In the recent years, Flippa has improved it's overall seller protections and we are happy to say that we have now partnered up with them as a Flippa Sellers Partner

6 thoughts on “How To Avoid Buying Bad Sites On Flippa”

  1. I have a website selling on Flippa I am kind of a newbie but when I originally got the domain appraised I was getting an average number of 2.5-$3 just on the domain now I want to sell the website ( but I am running into such annoying issues like the fact that my website does not generate revenue but flippa insists on trying to get adsense info which it will not find I have tried to humor it but installing an adsense code onto my page but it didnt do absolutely anything and now im stuck with a site with a big DANGER flag over it and its really isnt necassary

  2. please help! I am currently the highest better as far as a listing goes on I am new at this whole buyer thing but I have literally spent every week in our reading and researching and learning as much as I can and reading other peoples experience is really really a HUGE help so I thank you for that. Can you please help me look into a site then I’m has better on the bidding closes in about 13 hours so I don’t have much time. On Flippa the name of the listing is if I do remain the highest bidder and win the auction I plan on changing a lot on it including the domain name. If I see something that makes it not seem legit, IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO TAKE back my bid before I am obligated to pay???
    Thank you!
    [email protected]

  3. Hello Bryon!
    I want to purchase a website that’s already generating income and I found one that I’m kind of interested in. I would like your opinion on whether this is junk to stay away from or if it’s a good idea. Here is the link to the listing:
    It’s very simply and does say that is mostly automated, but also mentions that the buyer does still have to dedicate some time to it’s upkeep. Please let me know what you think.
    I look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Hey Catherine,

      Personally I wouldn’t touch a site like this. Some of my issues with it are based on instincts rather than tangible flaws I could spot, but there are also zero tangible positives either. I’ve seen sites like this before and as soon as the purchase is made, you find out that a.) They’re not really automated, b.) The traffic/ads don’t really convert like the seller is saying c.) Some other issue. The site is only 2 months old which is far too soon to consider any success it has as reliable – if it even has success. Too me it smells too much like BS. I’d much rather spend money on something that I can verify.

      Incidentally, I’ll be releasing a course very soon teaching how to buy proper sites off Flippa, so let me know if you’d like to be notified when it’s released.

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