I know that not everybody who comes here is going to end up buying one of my sites and that's fine. However, I'd like to share my thoughts on how to buy a website anyway, so that I'm sending you off to make a purchase the right way.
There's a lot of junk out there, but if you wade through it correctly, you could end up with something special. The following are my top tips on buying something that is quality, not just something that looks shiny.
Want To Know How To Buy A Website? What's Your Plan?
Tip One: Don't Get Distracted
It's all too easy to get distracted by websites claiming “guaranteed autopilot income” with “no work or experience necessary” that “just cost $100!”..but let's be realistic here, if these sites seem too good to be true, they are.
Why would they only cost $100 (or similar) if they would generate money on autopilot? Why bother selling them in the first place?
If you write down a clear plan of what you want a website for, and research whether or not it is possible, or how to go about it, then you will be much more likely to buy a real site with a real business plan.
No websites work on “autopilot”. Any website that doesn't update its content and “keep things fresh” is going to go stale quickly and the search engines will lose interest fast. More important..people will lose interest fast too.
Make a plan for a sustainable business that involves working for a few months.
The manuals that are included with our sites go into details about many strategies and long-term plans just like this.
Tip Two: Choose An Interest
There's no point buying a site in something that you are not interested in. Ideally you'll already have some knowledge in it too.
You're definitely going to want to write content for it yourself, at least in the initial stages, and even if/when you do start outsourcing the writing work to others (a very cool stage to reach), you'll want to be an expert in your topic.
I can't see you making money from a website on a topic you have no interest in.
Tip Three: Don't Overpay or Underpay
On a lot of website auction sites, you can expect to pay 10 x monthly earnings as a minimum. If a site claims that it is earning $1000 a month and wants less than $10,000 for the sale, there is definitely something amiss. Either you have found the best deal EVER, or you should walk away.
(If it's your first time buying a site, no way do you want to be dealing with that amount of money anyway).
Similarly, if a site is only earning a few hundred dollars a month, don't pay more than a few thousand for it. It makes sense.
Never pay for a site that PROMISES earnings. If it isn't yet earning anything, but it has a solid plan and a large amount of room for growth, and is honest about it, then it is a worthy investment.
Scammers typically produce the same site over and over again and claim guaranteed earnings. Don't fall for it.
Tip Four: Know What You Are Getting Into
This tip should be applied to everything in life but sadly rarely is. If you don't quite understand how a website works, what its model is and so on, don't buy it.
If a site says “here is a basic overview of how it works” and has a good rundown and structure, and is honest and upfront about the model, then chances are it is a good site.
Tip Five: Check The Seller's Reputation
If you have had good feedback from the very first sale like us, it's easy to demonstrate trustworthiness, but too many sellers are “new” or unverified or just seem shady. Usually that's because they are.
Always do your research. There are actually some very good sellers out there doing some very cool things for this industry, and it shouldn't take you long to learn to recognize them.
Also, beware of sellers who create multiple accounts.
A lot of the time you are able to spot that they are “linked” and eventually Flippa will suspend them.
They're all the same person, and all their listings are identical. This is the sort of crap I'm talking about.
Where To Buy A Website
There are various auction sites out there. Flippa.com is the most famous and the biggest, but it also has the most junk. I wouldn't say its saturated, but its the main reason HPD decided to start producing quality sites to give to beginners looking for a REAL site to buy.
We grew tired of Flippa quite early on though, unfortunately most people want promises of income overnight, so now we just handle sales ourselves. We'd rather sell our sites to people looking for sustainable business.
If you DO head over to Flippa though, heed the advice from above, and bid with caution. Remember your budget.