EFP 149: Selling Websites In 2016

Justin Cooke Justin Cooke January 15, 2016

2015 was a massive growth year for us at Empire Flippers.

We helped broker nearly 200 websites valued more than $4M – that’s over double our previous year.

It’s not just us, though. Other brokers and marketplaces are recording some serious growth as well.

The Trends of Selling Websites in 2016 and Beyond

In this episode, we’ll get into some trends we saw in 2015 and make some predictions about what should sell and what buyers should look out for in 2016. We also share some good news about our elusive investor program that may just be fully launched in the next few months.

Check Out This Week’s Episode:

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Topics Discussed This Week:

  • Part 1: Recap of 2015 Sales
  • Part 2: Site Seller Predictions For 2016
  • Part 3: What Buyers Should Look For In 2016
  • Finally: Update On Our Investor Program

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What do you think we should look for in 2016?

 

Justin:                                   2015 was a real growth year for both the industry and for Empire Flippers. In this episode, we’re going to dig into how 2015 played out in the industry and make some predictions about what we think will happen in 2016 and beyond. You can find the show notes and all links discussed in this episode empireflippers.com/2016sales. All right, let’s do this.

Automated voice:            Sick of listening to entrepreneurial advice from guys with day jobs wants to hear about the real successes and failures that come with building an online empire. You are not alone from San Diego to Tokyo, New York to Bangkok. Join thousands of entrepreneurs and investors who are prioritizing wealth and personal freedom over the oppression of an office cubicle. Check out the empire podcast and now your host Justin and Joe.

Justin:                                   Happy new year buddy. Got a new 2016 man. It was a great year?

Joe:                                        Yeah, it was a really good year. One hell of a ride, I tell you that.

Justin:                                   Yeah, so we did really well. We had some problems. You ran into some issues and really we wanted to put out a state of the industry episode. We want to talk about what’s going on in the industry, what’s going on in website buying, selling and investing and catch our listeners up on what’s been going on. We haven’t done a podcast for a while. We haven’t done one these episodes and I think you’d be a good idea to catch everyone up on what the deal is.

Joe:                                        I love it. I think it’s a great idea and it’s also going to talk about how much money we spent.

Justin:                                   Yeah, man, that’s pretty expensive here too. The first thing we want to mention is that there’s been just amazing growth across the industry. Empire flippers grew considerably, but it wasn’t just us. It was our competitors. It was other people in the space and there have been massive gains on all companies and it’s just a sign that the pie is definitely getting bigger.

Joe:                                        Yeah. But why is the pie getting bigger? You think that’s because the economy is getting better and people have more money spent or is it because people are looking to more untraditional sort of investment vehicles because they’re not getting enough on their existing stuff? On stocks or houses or whatever.

Justin:                                   I think the economy better helps to some degree, but I’m not sure that accounts for a good portion of the growth. I think that the growth is, there’s just a turn towards online businesses, towards eCommerce businesses, towards apps, towards all different types of these businesses. People are creating a lot more of them. There’s a lot more opportunities just because they’re being created. I think investors and buyers are looking for alternative ways to earn, alternative asset classes.

                                                I think this is a really interesting one. If you look at the returns from an investor’s perspective, they’re phenomenal and now they’re not without risk. Of course, we talked quite a bit about that on the show, but the opportunity is there and so people are seeing that and waking up to that idea and you’re seeing way more buyers entering the market.

Joe:                                        I wonder also if there’s more buyers enter the market because more people are starting to understand this stuff. As my generation starts to get older and older, we’re the first generation of people that grew up computers, understand computers, don’t have the blinking VCR, that thing. I wonder if it’s those people coming of age and entering the investment sort of market.

Justin:                                   They understand a little bit better. We didn’t have, although I had him as a really young, those are rotary TVs where you have the  UHF and VHF and you’d go to the one tutor. We had one of those like a furniture. It wasn’t even a TV as like in a wooden box thing, it’s like furniture. I think people from that generation and before this stuff is-

Joe:                                        Beyond them.

Justin:                                   Yeah, different. Well not for everyone. I should be careful with labels. I was on Reddit the other day and there was an 80 year old guy helped by his grandson, but talking about trends and social media and some of the amazing things going on. This guy’s doing an AMA on Reddit. There are some 80 year olds doing AMA is on Reddit and there’s some people out there that are crushing it, but my mom is not one of those people. Your parents are not one of those people for sure.

Joe:                                        Yeah. There’s always exceptions to the rule, but in general I would the age limit tends to be about 55. Above that you don’t really see too many people getting involved in online businesses.

Justin:                                   You’re a bit of a gamer when you were younger. I think it’s the gamers getting to the point where they have cash, they have investments and they’re looking for alternative investments and things that they know or interested in and online businesses are one of those things are understood then. I think, Joe, we need to get better at Empire Flippers, you and I on this podcast about communicating some of the trends that are going on the industry, on informing our listeners and potential customers and actual customers and friends on what’s going on. I think there are a lot of opportunities that we see that they don’t, and if we can help point those out, it gives them a huge upsides, huge opportunity to take advantage of those opportunities.

Joe:                                        Yeah, I agree and I think that it’s something fun to talk about as well. I encourage us to make more of these types of episodes.

Justin:                                   It occurs to me, you are like, “Justin, if you just did that, that’d be great man.” You talk about it, that’d be awesome. You’re on the show too, buddy. You’re the co-host man. This is a partner deal. Well, one thing I should know before we even get it, is that we can’t speak for the entire industry. Of course we don’t know everyone else is doing and all of the deals that time because it is so broken and fragmented.

                                                Everyone’s secretive with their numbers and what they’re doing. Everyone likes to look at our numbers, but they want to talk about what they’re doing themselves. We don’t know what they’re up to, but I think we can speak at least to our experiences and the opportunities and I think the things that have worked and the things that haven’t worked, at least in our company and with our customers. This is coming in three parts.

                                                The first part we’re going to basically just to a recap of 2015 what happened, what went down, what worked, what didn’t, and then we’re going to look at how to sell websites in 2016. We’re going to look at some of the sites that we think have real opportunity. Some of the ones that may be waning or on their way down. Then finally we’re going to talk about what buyers should look for this year in 2016. What opportunities we think are going to present themselves and how people can capitalize on those to their own benefit. Before we get into any of that, buddy, we’ve got your featured listing of the week, what you got for us.

Joe:                                        It’s great to be back featured listing of the week. First one a 2016 talking about listing 4086. This is an AdSense website that also does some private advertising. It’s created all the way back in June of 2003. It’s in the real estate niche, specifically finding homes and real estate and retirement options for a very popular Latin American country. I think for people who want a business with some longevity, we have a lot of buyers with that stuff. This business fits that mold for people looking for something that’s relatively hands off.

                                                There is a lot of content and creative obviously and maintain, but there’s nothing to ship, there’s no inventory to keep so it does have that advantage as well. It’s making right now on average net profit of about 12,500 a month and we have it listed for $414,000. It’s got a big hefty price tag, but it’s definitely an income replacer an a well developed a business with a lot of historical data.

Justin:                                   It’s interesting. Making $12,000 a month, that’s making 14 gross so there are some costs, $2,000 but $12,000 is definitely job replacement income for most people. This is something that you could take run and it’s a full on online business.

Automated voice:            Now for the hard of this week’s episode.

Justin:                                   All right Joe, let’s kick this off with a recap of our 2015 sales. Talk a little bit about what happened in the year. First off, I want to say at around 200 sales at more than $4 million for 2015 so that’s really, really good. That’s more than double what we did the previous year and we have a, because I’ve looked into this show, we have more deals closed in 2015 than any other broker or a competitor that we have. One of our other competitors was talking about doing a 350 deals in the last five years and we’ve done 200 in one year, so that’s excellent.

Joe:                                        Yeah, I would say we definitely set up the processes for high volume, so big pat on the back for doing that, but we have a long way to go. I would like to see us double that in 2016 if we could get close to that. That would really give me the warm and fuzzy.

Justin:                                   We have to do a lot of changes I think from what we’re currently doing if we want to double again. We made some changes in 2015 where we have to continue to make changes in different types of changes to double again and basically I want to talk about those two that we don’t have our numbers finalized for the year where I had like 166 deals through October in 2015, but I think around 20 is pretty right on.

                                                The second point I want to mention is that we’ve built the largest team of full time experts in the website brokerage industry and I think that’s pretty interesting. It really shows how small a niche our industry is I think, but I think it’s pretty awesome. We’ve got you obviously CEO Joe, we’ve got me and the marketing branding, we’ve got both Mike and Corrine that are helping out with sales. I’m sure it’s still to be worked with them.

                                                We’ve got Andrew, our listings manager helps get all the listings up, some works with our team. We’ve got Kenny, who’s the account manager for our investor portfolio. We’ve got 12 support staff full time in the Philippines working and supporting our customers. I think we’ve done a really good job at team building in 2014 and 2015

Joe:                                        Yeah, I agree and we’re the only guys doing 24/7 support. I think that that’s fairly interesting, especially for those international buyers who are international sellers even who might have trouble reaching someone during an off hour period.

Justin:                                   Here’s something that’s not so amazing. If you look at those numbers, we’re averaging just over $20,000 per sale. There’s nothing wrong with that, but some of our competitors, were probably averaging closer to 50, 80, 150, $200,000 per sale. What that means is we basically just do a lot of small deals. A lot of deals that either don’t make sense for them or they don’t want to bother with. We found like a real market for that, a real niche for that. I think we’ve taken some of those deals from Flipper. We’ve taken some of those deals that would’ve went to Flipper, are now going to us, but that’s really helped us.

                                                One good thing I’d say is, that we’ve more than doubled our average size deal from Q1 2015 to Q4 2015. That’s a great trajectory, I think to track as we do larger deals, and there are more larger deals on our marketplace. It’s an easy way for us to bump our revenue, is simply to do the same amount of deals and have them be twice the average deal size. For example, if in 2015 we did an average, let’s just say $20,000 per deal, and we want to double our revenue, we do the same amount of deals and just try to average $40,000 per deal.

Joe:                                        Yeah, but I think if you charted that trajectory, you would see that the average deal size is moving up consistently. I’m happy there and I’m confident that we’ll continue to do that.

Justin:                                   Our barges sale in 2015 was right around $300,000 and the smallest right around $2,000. I think a little less than 2000 I think maybe like 1.4 or something. It was like really, really small deal. One that we would normally do is like for a buddy or something. Deals that size are really, if it’s less than $2,000 we generally won’t touch it.

Joe:                                        Small deals, look, they used to be our bread and butter, but unfortunately and as we’re moving up, I think it gets tougher and tougher to do those really small deals. There’s a lower limit at which we’ll never go below, I think, and it’s somewhere in that range, two to $5,000 but I love doing the small deals cause I think they’re fairly easy. Our audience as well set up to buy them and the processes as well set up to make it pretty automatic.

Justin:                                   The process I think really makes it helpful. Some people wish they got more personal attention, but it’s hard to do that and have like a successful machine that’s able to sell like sub $10,000 if we’re giving a lot of love, care and attention to on a four or $5,000 deal. It run into a little bit of an issue there, but I think the way it’s running now, at least in terms of getting those deals done quickly, it happens all the time.

                                                I love how in 2015 we made five figures site sales the norm for our business. Five figures sites basically move like clockwork and we broke into the low six figure sales, so $150,000 deals, $250,000 deals. We were doing those in 2015 so I really like to see us do the mid, maybe even high six figure deals break into that in 2016 and maybe even a low seven figure deal one or two this year would be great.

Joe:                                        Yeah, I think so too. I love that.

Justin:                                   Some of the sites is sold easily in 2015 easily, quickly and there are plenty of buyers for our Amazon affiliate sites. We did a ton of Amazon affiliate sites, lead generation sites. We’ve talked about this before, the Quinn Street type sites or a campus explorer sites and then any most sites that had two plus years of history did really well. Buyers in 2015 we’re looking for sites with a bit more history. They didn’t want to run the risk of a panda or penguin taking them out, especially if it’s an AdSense or Amazon site. They were looking to avoid that. They were looking for a bit more history in those sites sold really well.

                                                Sites that didn’t sell so well in 2015 I’d say are the low profit heavy work required site.An eCommerce site that pumping out 1500 bucks a month in profit, but it’s taking up 20 hours a week or the owner’s time or even if they’re not saying they’re putting in 20 hours a week and the buyer looked at it and said, “I think I probably would, and that’s not worth my time.” I think localized sites, Joe, we had a problem with those where it’s like you have to be in eastern Australia, in southeast. You just have to be there on the gold coast or something to do the business. It’s just a smaller buyer pool. We struggled selling, I know a few sites that were Australian based in particular.

Joe:                                        All those make sense to me. I have difficulty trying to sell those on the phone to buyers, even buyers who are in the right budget range. The other one you have listed here is tech sites with specific esoteric knowledge required. That’s another one where it’s just finding the right buyer. I’m sure they exist, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of patient, and you have to explain the same thing over and over to hundreds of people before someone jumps on it, so-

Justin:                                   Sometimes we luck out. The buyer just happens to be there, has the exact skillset and it’s amazing when that happens. Sometimes the deal goes through because it just was the right timing. The right person came along, other times they may be, we finally find the person with the right skillset, the right specific knowledge required and they’re not really in their budget or there’s other reasons they don’t like it or it’s too close to what they currently do and we’re like, “God, you were the perfect buyer, why don’t you buy this?”

Joe:                                        I would still say the worst one is the low profit high work required, especially on smaller sites. You were saying, it only makes 1000 bucks a month or 1500 bucks a month, but it requires 20 or 30 40 hours a week. That’s the thing. It’s just almost impossible to move because the buyers that have that money they don’t want to necessarily pin themselves in with a job for that little amount of profit.

Justin:                                   That’s something we actually talked about toward the end of 2015 and we said, look, should we even be listening to the site since we made a few changes in terms of the vetting process where we’ll look more closely and critically at let’s say eCommerce site that has source goods, but that is under $20,000. We’ll take a closer look at that, especially the work required to see if it’s even worth listing on the marketplace and we’ll reject more that aren’t because we just know that our bars aren’t really in that intuit.

                                                All right man, let’s move on to part two sites sales projections in 2016. Where do you sit on this man? What do you think is going to crush it? What do you think is not going to crush it?

Joe:                                        Well, I definitely think Amazon sites are going to continue to crush it. The Amazon associates program, If anything, I could see Amazon giving away a larger share than they already give away. As more stuff moves online and more purchases are made online, I think more items are going to be ordered and it’s going to be easier to hit those tears. If you don’t already have an Amazon site, get one, And if you have one, the greatest thing about Amazon is once your account is at a certain level, every additional site that you add in, simply builds upon and keeps you at that same level or moves you past that same level.

                                                It’s all gravy after that. It’s just a very interesting program and very well run because they’re the leader in online sales. They know how to get people to buy more products. It’s like you’re working with the New York Yankees.

Justin:                                   If you’re trying to split test or eCommerce business and you’re trying to send them followup emails on abandoned carts and stuff, Amazon’s got that down, that good at that. You’re not getting nearly as much margin on it, but Jesus, you’re working with an amazing company who splits tests. Every single thing on their site, has everything down to a T and they are crushing it and Amazon sites in terms of selling with Empire Flippers, I’m sure we’ll continue to crush it in 2016. One of the things we’re starting to see is the Amazon FBA sites come onto the market.

                                                We’ve got a couple of Amazon FBA sites coming up right here, first month of 2016 and I see that trend continuing. There’s been a whole lot of talk about Amazon FBA. People been getting into that business in 2014 and 2015 and those businesses are coming to a maturity level where some of the owners are looking to exit. They’re looking to get a cash out of those businesses. I think we’re going to see a lot more of those in the market in 2016.

Joe:                                        I think we see a lot more than the market. I intend to definitely hopeful that we can make the transition from just having people build these FBA businesses to actually selling them and flipping them. I’m hopeful that we can do it and hope that when we do a recap of 2016. We have a lot of these successful under our belt.

Justin:                                   One of the things I’m noticing in 2000 … to the end of 2015 and I think heading into 2016 is that, multichannel eCommerce sites are in and a one horse eCommerce sites and drop shipping sites maybe out. Here’s what I’m saying here is that most of the eCommerce businesses that are successful and that sell successfully, have more than one channel of sales. They’re not like a one or two trick pony. They don’t have just a couple of products and an email list and they’re an eCommerce company.

                                                No, they’re selling via FBA. They’re selling via Ebay. There’s selling via other channels and they’ve gotten multiple channels that they’re selling on it. I think a much more mature business. I think it’s diversified in terms of sales channels and it’s much more attractive to buyers. I think that the one horse drop shipping sites in eCommerce sites are just not as attractive and just don’t sell as well as the ones that are blended.

Joe:                                        Yeah, if you look at a forum like eCommerce fuel, definitely that’s what they talk about all the time, is not having all your eggs in one basket in terms of sales. I think it’s going to be continue to get harder and harder to sell businesses, especially eCommerce or drop ship businesses that rely on one source for their sales or like you said, have one product, one product line only.

Justin:                                   I’m interested to see what happens with niche apps. We’ve had a few conversations recently with a couple of different sellers where they have some apps that they’re looking to sell. One of them in particular has some sports apps and they’re many businesses in their own right. He’s built quite a few of them and they’re all profitable and growing on their own and so he’s looking to sell them off. I think there’s a big opportunity there.

                                                I know some of the marketplaces Topia and the like are selling apps now. I think particularly iOS apps and Android Apps, but also web apps. I think that’s something that we can get into and start selling. I expect on Empire Flippers, start seeing application type businesses selling in our marketplace.

Joe:                                        Look apps have a whole section on Flipper, so obviously it does work and people sell them. My concern has always been in vetting these types of businesses and getting the statistics correct, but I think a lot of the dashboards and analytics have improved and matured to a certain level now where we can start to do that like we do with the other businesses.

Justin:                                   What we will be selling and we will not work with when it comes to apps are the almost a product launch formula type apps where they get a whole bunch of action and then just slowly decline into obscurity. Those are not the types of apps are businesses were looking to sell. We’re looking for steady Freddy low to high growth, been around for a while apps. Those are the businesses that we’re looking for.

Joe:                                        Or recurring subscription apps, that thing.

Justin:                                   Another one that’s interesting, Joe and I said that this might come around in 2015 the beginning of the year and it didn’t, but I’m thinking man, 2016 might be the year. We know a ton of people that have built these like product ties service sites and they’ve now had a few years to grow them out to figure them out and to get customers get profit. I’m thinking man, 2016 might be the year. What do you think?

Joe:                                        I don’t know. The only thing I worry about the product I service, not to be the negative Nancy, but the productized service thing is that they haven’t found a way to replace themselves in the business and so it’s a productized service, but it still relies heavily. It’s suffers from one of the first things we were talking about, which is low profit, high work load thing. Those kinds of businesses are tough to move.

Justin:                                   Yeah, but I’m not talking about a thousand $2,000 a month eCommerce business with a ton of work. I’m talking big more WP curve Joe. I think we’re going to start to see businesses like that start to sell. I think there’s an opportunity, I think if you’re early in that it’s not interesting because it’s normally based on, it’s the Justin and Joe show or it’s all about you leveraging personal relationships to get it built. At this point, WP curve isn’t the Dan Norris show. It’s not just his business. He’s built everything in place where it is a company, has its own brand and it’s a standalone.

                                                I think businesses like that are ripe to sell and I think it’d be interesting if 2016 maybe it’ll push 2017 but I think we’re started seeing more of those businesses for sale. Not a lot, but it’s one of those things where I don’t think our businesses and be based on it. I don’t think we’re going to make a whole lot of money on a job, but I’m hoping we get some of those businesses for sale because I think they’re interesting.

Joe:                                        I think they’re the most interesting businesses to sell. I love vetting those kinds of businesses. I love digging into them because they’re fun. You could see that somebody set up a little process. They have a consultant over here, maybe a VA over here. Then they’re doing a little bit of this and they have a buy button, you click the buy button and you think everything’s automated behind the scenes, but really it’s a bunch of ducks paddling under water, then boom, it pops out on the other side. It’s pretty neat.

Justin:                                   Yeah. From a buying perspective, that’s something I would want to buy and play with. That’s my DIY David type side. I want to get in there and tinker with that. Those are the sites I’d be looking to buy. Anyway, that’s my dark horse for 2016 I’m hoping we can get some of those squeaking in and get us to double our revenue for the year. Let’s talk a little bit about what buyers should look for in 2016. I think the first thing I mentioned is that they should look to pay a premium for Amazon and AdSense sites. With us, we’ve been creeping up our multiples and I would expect that to continue, especially as these low work high profit margin businesses continue. I think we’re to see even more of those sales in 2016 and I expect to pay more for them.

Joe:                                        Especially for sites that come onto the market that have more than two years of history, expect them to get snapped up quickly, even if they’re high value and definitely a premium on the multiple.

Justin:                                   One thing I think buyers can look for is discounts on eCommerce sites and eCommerce sites through the panda penguin days, 2013 2014 and even 2015 eCommerce sites held strong in terms of multiples. They were doing quite well, but we’re starting to see them not be phased out, but there are less interesting and less diversified than those multichannel eCommerce companies that are selling in multiple places. If they just have a site and they just sell their, and they’re sourcing from China, there’s not that much to them.

                                                I think the buyers may look to get a discount on those in 2016 and they might get an excellent deal if they’re good at channel sales. They’ve got experience with FBA and they see an opportunity with an eCommerce company to bring that online and start selling on Amazon. They can improve their sales, improve their sales for the eCommerce business overall and they’re able to pick up that one trick pony for a discount.

Joe:                                        Yeah, no I agree. Definitely in general, those very simple eCommerce Shopify stores have become commonplace now and probably look to steady off in 2016

Justin:                                   I think in 2016 we’re also going to start to see more pooled money. We’ll start to see the family mom and pop investment shops. I think that we’ll see partners teaming up to pool their money together. We’re going to see the managing partner and the silent partner models for people looking to buy sites, they’re buying diversified portfolios of sites. I think we’re going to see more of that as we head into the new year.

Joe:                                        I just talked to one of these guys on the phone, him and his partner, his partner is an old wall street guy, a 60 year old ex-trader, rich Guy who wants to get involved in the online world and the kid is a Harvard business grad, 25 years old thing. I’m seeing more and more of these on the sales side of these guys coming to us. They’re looking to build a portfolio, they’ve got $2 million or something like that and they’re looking to buy small businesses that we fit in. What very well for.

Justin:                                   We talked, I think it was one of our better podcasts. We talked quite a bit about diversification of portfolios for a lifestyle. Someone that wants to live on the money they’re making and build a nice portfolio of sites for themselves. For anyone that’s in that partnership situation where they have partners or they’re getting their family in or they’ve got their cousin, they’re going to go in on with or there the managing partner and they’ve got an investor. I’m going to link to that episode in the show notes. I really highly recommend you go and listen to it and talk about ways to diversify your portfolio.

                                                Another thing I think is a shame is that, when we started in this industry, Joe, investment opportunities for buying online businesses, we’re not amazing. They weren’t great. They were pretty miserable, pretty slow. They just weren’t good and I think that’s opening up. We saw some of that in 2015 I think we’ll continue to see that in 2016. I wouldn’t talk about SBA loans and companies … I know you talked to them. We’re going to have on a future show, but a company called Lenovo. There are companies that are happy to lend money for people looking to buy or expand online businesses.

Joe:                                        Yeah, the Lenovo thing is going to be very interesting. I’m looking forward to that interview and the SBA thing, when we close a deal with SBA, I’ll get on here and say, “SBA is ready to go in the online world.” I’ve heard it. I know they’re doing it, but until I see it with my own eyes, I’ve got to find out.

Justin:                                   Yeah. I think one of the ways we could help with that, just probably do a blog post or a podcast where we step people through how to get an SBA alone, the process so that, if our audience doesn’t know how to do that, then why would we expect them to be doing it. Maybe that’s something we can help out.

Joe:                                        That’s a good idea because it’s definitely in Linkedin process and there’s a lot of people involved.

Justin:                                   Lastly want to comment on, we started our investor program and we hit the market in 2015 and it’s running strong. This is something I think we originally were talking about way back in 2014 toward the end and it took us a while to bring it around but we launched a Beta test in 2015 and we want to see how I was going to work out. We said, Look, we don’t know how this is going to go, we’re going to run the sites, we’re going to pull this basically pool this investor money and buy a portfolio sites and see how it goes and we’ll get keep you updated.”

                                                We’ve mentioned the podcasts, but things are looking really good to the point where we plan on expanding this heavily in 2016. I think we’re really early with this Joe. I think that we’re ahead of the market curve and I think there’s a huge opportunity. I think if you start looking at websites as investments, if you start thinking about them as portfolios and start looking at them as asset classes, I think this is gonna be really, really big, not just in 2016 but over the next three, five, 10 years.

Joe:                                        Yeah, I agree. I think our investment program that he’s doing quite well and should continue to do well in 2016 and future pools. I think I have my head around it now and we can do it well.

Justin:                                   One of these is we really cobbled this together in 2015. We just put this together and said, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do, send us the money, we’re going to test it out and see what you think.” It wasn’t built out for longterm sustainability. It was like, “Look, let’s test through this, let’s see if it works, if it works, then we’ll do something about it.” We’re starting to do something about it and we know there are other people that have done this privately.

                                                They’re doing some behind the scenes pooling, which is interesting. That’s how we did it in 2015 but we’ve been putting in the leg work to really launch this publicly and really launched this loudly. I think that, that’s something we’re looking to do in 2016. We’re still ironing out all the details, getting all the ducks in a row and the chess pieces in place, but expect more to come on this and February and March. As it stands right now, we’re looking to open this up in March, April.

Automated voice:            You’ve been listening to the empire podcast. Now some news and updates.

Justin:                                   All right buddy. Let’s do some news and updates. First thing is we’re working on a season two of the web equity show. That’s the podcast I do with Ace Chapman. We talk about online businesses, we talk about buying and selling them, investing in them, very similar to this show, but it comes from me a neat perspective. Ace is a buyer’s agent and work specifically with buyers. He doesn’t have any listings. He works with sellers agents all over the place including us. It’s a fun show but we stopped it for season one and we’re working on season two and it should restart in mid to late February. I’ll be excited to get that podcast back out.

Joe:                                        Season two. You sound like you’re the profit or something here.

Justin:                                   Yeah, but it season two. Well, I think what’s really cool with the next season, is season two and then season three we’re going to do, it’s one season we’ll be all buying websites, so we’re going to go from thinking about buying a site to having purchased it and expanding it and all the stuff in between to diligence and how to negotiate the deal. We’re going to go step by step, so we’ll have like a body of work we can point to if you’re a buyer, listen to season two of this podcast. If you’re a seller listen to season three and this podcast. I think that’ll be really, really interesting.

Joe:                                        Cool. It does sound very interesting.

Justin:                                   Yeah, but it’d be fun. Another point I want to make is that if you want to contribute content on the Empire Flippers blog, we are looking for you. We’d love to talk to you. We’re looking for interesting, honest and I think helpful content for our readers. If you’d like to find out more about how you can write for us, go to empireflippers.com/write-for-us and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. You can check that out as well.

                                                All right, man. We got a question from some listeners. They’re like, what are you guys up too? What’s your personal situation at? Where are you at? What are you doing? I’m actually, we’re in the same city but we’re on Skype right now. I’m looking at you in your office in Fort Bonifacio which an upscale neighborhood of Manila. I’m on the other side of the tracks. I’m over here in a place called Ortigas. It’s in Manila as well. Not nearly as posh as your spot though.

Joe:                                        Yeah, I mean it’s not like you live in the downtrodden life over there in Ortigas. Just have to be-

Justin:                                   I am, man. I’m on the other side of the tracks. It’s nice. Yeah.

Joe:                                        It might just be more call centers and office space over there, but I think Ortigas is a nice part of town too. I tell you though, man, I’m loving the Fort. I could see myself living here 10 years really. It’s a nice place to live. I definitely think I got to get out of here every now and again and go do something like go to Cambodia or go somewhere else in the world and take a little vacation. But it’s really nice broad streets. It’s like any big western city in the United States, like a Denver or San Diego beautiful, clean, not living in the Philippines at all.

Justin:                                   Well you are … you’ve got to lease man. You are in Manila. You’re a Manila guy now. You were doing the travel thing in 2015 but toward the end of 2015 you got to place you settled in, in the Fort and you’re going to be here. Now I know just a lot over new years you went to see him reap to go check out Cambodia for a bed and I know every month or two months or so you’ll probably be doing a trip, but you’ve got a home base need not so much. I’m visiting Manila, I was here for the holidays, my girlfriend’s Filipino. We hung out with her family and we’re working on some visa stuff. I bet to go to Europe this next year and we’re trying to get some pieces of stuff done for her.

                                                I’m in Manila temporarily and I’ll be all over. I’m still bouncing around. I live in Airbnb is, so that’s, I’m homeless. That’s, I tell people. I go from Airbnb to service department and that’s my life. Our teams all over the place too. We’ve got our Filipino staff is down mostly all in Devou, which is where we used to live years ago. We’ve got Mike one of our sales guys in Columbia right now. Another sales guy, [Corn 00:33:46] is up in Chiang Mai.

                                                We’ve got Andrew in Saigon, our listings manager, and then we’ve got Kenny in Bangkok, which is his home base. We’re all over the place every three or four months, we get our team together, our management team and we’ll go to a place, I think it will be either Vietnam or Thailand, probably March or April of this year, but for now we’re all doing our own thing.

                                                All right man. Let’s move into the listeners shout section, also known as the indulgent ego boosting social proof segment. First that we’ve got two five star reviews buddy.

Joe:                                        Hit me up, man.

Justin:                                   I’m at first one is from Ben K9999, said love it five stars, great content and great guys. Ben, appreciate it man. Thank you.

Joe:                                        Thank you so much.

Justin:                                   Another five stars from [Gun 00:34:28] Hudson, said Justin, Joe and fellow podcasters I personally highly respect and thoroughly enjoy listening to their show. Keep up the top work Gun Hudson over it freedom business guide.com. Thanks Gun appreciate it. On Twitter man, [Soltapoint 00:34:41] said, what are the options of receiving payment once there is a buyer? I’m going to leave that to you Joe. How are you going to pay me man, I sell a site with you. You got my money, how are you going to get it to me?

Joe:                                        Basically we’ll pay you pretty much any way you want to be paid. If you’re in the US, we could pay you by paper check, we can pay you by wire. We can’t pay you by cash, we won’t pay by cash. We could pay you buy bitcoin. If you’re international, we can pay you buy bitcoin, we can pay you by international wire, we can pay you by a number of different services like transfer wires that has pretty good exchange rates and whatnot. I’m very flexible on the sort of payout arrangements that we can make and if you have an exchange rate issue or something like that, I want to work with you to make sure that you get the best rate possible with the lowest amount of fees.

Justin:                                   If you’re a jerk, dump truck a pennies man. Dump truck a pennies, that’s what you’re getting. You got paid man, that is.

Joe:                                        Always wanted to do that to somebody always wanted to do that.

Justin:                                   Most of the time we pay I’d say via a wire. That’s most common.

Joe:                                        Yeah, 90% of the time it’s definitely be a wire. We’ve done a couple of bitcoin payouts. We’ve done PayPal payouts. I would think that PayPal is a very expensive way to get paid out. I wouldn’t suggest that, but some people do ask for that.

Justin:                                   Another mentioned on Twitter, [Guests10 00:36:03] said, spending another Monday pushing the refresh button on Empire Flippers waiting on new sites seems a little inefficient. Empire Flippers is con us out, man is con us out. Yeah, I totally agree with you. We’ve gotten better about this in that as soon as we list the sites when they are available, we send the email out like right away. Within 30 minutes of publishing the new listings on Monday morning US time, we send an email out to let everyone know those new listings out.

                                                That happens at the same time. What doesn’t happen at the same time right now is when they’re published. Sometimes they’re published, let’s say 10:00 AM east coast time. Sometimes they’re published at 3:00 AM east coast time and that really depends on our listing manager and hustling to get them already and up and live so we can get the email out. Mondays, I’ll tell you Monday nights for us in Asia, Monday mornings in the US are stressful and busy and rushed.

Joe:                                        Yeah and not to make excuses for him, but I tell you that the reason why we do that is because the only way to a hundred percent verify that the listing is looking and acting as it should, is to publish it live on the website. If you don’t do that, you can never actually guarantee that the listing is the way you think it’s going to look. That’s why we do that and once we have them all out there, that’s when we published send the email.

Justin:                                   Any way, if you want the email from us you can get our email list. What we’ll link to that in the show notes specifically on the buyer’s interest email and you can click on that and submit your email and you’ll get those Monday emails. I’m going a couple of mentions on blogs. Jackie, the Canadian ex pat living in Korea is wondering what’s do with $80,000. She was talking about different investment routes you could take and one of the ones who was looking at was buying an established profitable website. She got some commentors over there.

                                                I thought that was interesting. she was talking about the upside. She has some experience and running sites and thinks that might be a good opportunity. I just want to give her a shout and let her know, hey, we’d love to help you, Jackie and especially in other ex pat living abroad. If you have any questions, just reach out to us and we’ll see we can do to help. One of the things, I was a guest over on the Abroaders podcast, I’m actually a fan of their show, listen to quite a few episodes and there those travel hackers that talk about points and credit cards and how you can get this travel and traveling the world, that thing.

                                                Anyway, we talked to him a little bit about sites that are great for earning points and travel specifically drop ship type sites where there’s $20,000 in spend, it makes $3,000 a month profit. You could buy that cipher 60 70 $80,000 and you have $20,000 a month in credit card spend. It’s interesting, so the low margin, it doesn’t have to be low margin, it can be high margin. I’m saying this because Joe’s laughing, he’s laughing behind the scenes.

Joe:                                        It’s hilarious. Buying a business so I get miles and points on my credit card. I’ve definitely heard it all now.

Justin:                                   What are you talking about? Here’s what I’m talking about, Joe, you’re a dog. All right dude. I want to buy a drop shipping business. I buy a drop shipping business that I can buy the products from and ship and I’m buying it with my credit cards so I’m going to get points. I’m not doing it just for the points asshole. I’m by it because I want the actual website and business and I want the profit that comes from it, but the points are nice little extra. I’m getting a business class one way round the world flight every three months from the business. That’s cool.

Joe:                                        It’s interesting for sure. It’s a funny ad on sell. I would have never thought that one of the pros you could put in the pro column is passive income run from anywhere. Passive income oh you get enough passive income-

Justin:                                   I spend lots of money.

Joe:                                        Business trip traveling around the world once a year.

Justin:                                   You laugh with his travel hacking stuff and the points you say, “Oh, what a fake economy.” You can laugh your ass in the back of the counter class, man. Good luck with that. I’m sitting in the front with the ballers.

                                                All right, buddy. That’s it for episode 149 of the Empire podcast. Thanks for sticking with us. We’ll be back next week with another show. You can find the show notes for this episode or more empireflippers.com/2016sales and make sure to follow us on Twitter at EmpireFlippers and see you next week.

Joe:                                        Bye, Bye everybody.

Automated voice:            Hope you enjoyed this episode of the Empire podcast with Justin and Joe. Hit Up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empireflippers.com. Thanks for listening.

 

Discussion
Leave a comment
  1. Marcus says:

    Useful pod. Thinking of selling a site from here.

  2. Jamon Hill says:

    Where’s the write for us link? :)

  3. Hey guys, thanks for the mention at the end of your podcast. (I’m the Canadian expat with $80,000 to invest in something). I’ve been looking at the marketplace and have put down a deposit on one. It’s looking like buying a website will be the way to go for me. Squeezing out a few hundred here and there from a rental property and dealing with all that hassle isn’t really my style.

    • Awesome, Jackie!

      Hoping you find something that fits your skillsets/interests. Feel free to take your time to find a good fit. We have new sites listed every Monday and are regularly showcasing new websites/businesses for sale. I’m sure you’ll find something great!

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