Justin Cooke

May 12, 2011

“If You build it, They will come.” Err…not really.

Simply listing your sites for sale on Flippa is not enough. In fact, if you don’t follow a few simple steps to setting up your auction correctly you may as well kiss your auction listing fee goodbye. There are plenty of sites that talk about what you can do to earn more and encourage bids on your auction, but we wanted to focus on the steps you can take to get viewers there in the first place.

It helps if you’re converting viewers to bidders, but if you don’t have enough viewers you’ll never get close to the auction’s true value. We’ve taken the research from hundreds of Flippa auctions and from our own listings to build the strategies we’re giving you below. There are pages and pages of unsold auctions on Flippa by owners that don’t understand where they went wrong with their auction. Don’t be one of them…

  1. Lots and lots of content – Many Flippa buyers liberally use the search functions to narrow down the listings to sift through the sites they want to buy. If you aren’t using the added functions or content areas on Flippa, how do you expect those buyers to find you? Additionally, if your description contains very few descriptive words, the use of keywords in the filter will not be able to find your content either. Make sure you provide plenty of descriptive terms in your auction to take full advantage of the site’s search traffic.
  2. Comment on your auction regularly – People want to look at auctions that are considered “hot”. Usually that would include the number of bids, but if you’re struggling to receive bids early, add comments to further explain further about your auction. The number of comments an auction has received are visible on the search results and they’ll check out your auction if it seems to be getting lots of comments or “buzz”. You don’t have to wait to respond to comments…so comment away!
  3. Lots of auctions – Ever wonder why sellers with multiple auctions going at the same time seem to get a lot of action? By having multiple auctions running at the same time you’re cross-promoting your auctions as potential buyers check you out. If one auction seems to be getting more traffic than another you can siphon traffic from one to another through comments and views to your profile.
  4. Featured Listings in the last 24 hours – Yeah, we know…$40 for a featured listing on Flippa is a bit steep, especially if your site is not high priced, but for any sites that are expected to sell for $500 or more, you’ll make up the $40 easily by being on the first page. Additionally, listing within the last 24 hours draws buyers on the first page to your auction, listing the auction in hours and minutes and increasing the urgency. You’re going to get most of your views in the last 24 hours anyway, but the featured listing can heavily increase your views during this time.
  5. Feature one listing and add others – In a combination of #3 and #4, you should add new listings at the same time you’re featuring another. This gives added value to your featured listing and more bang for your buck through cross-promotion. While auctions get most of their views in the last 24 hours, the second best time for views is in the first 24 hours while on the “New Listings” page.

Interested in finding out more ways to get views and traffic to your auctions? Want to know how to make more money from website sales?

Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!


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  1. Joseph says:

    Sorry for the cliche’d comment, but I really do mean it – cool tips and thanks for sharing Justin! I’ll be checking out your other company too – TryBPO.com – good that you mentioned it in your bio!

    Joseph

  2. Alexander says:

    Good info Justin. I never thought about buying Featured listing in the last 24 hours.
    BTW, what do you advise regarding listing/selling new websites with no revenue and traffic on Flippa?

    Thanks,
    Alexander

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks Alexander!

      Selling sites without revenue/traffic is a different animal entirely and it would be hard for me to give you any ideas there as it’s outside the scope of what we do.

      I would say that selling sites without traffic/revenue is pretty downmarket…there are a TON of people who provide this service and the prices are pretty cutthroat. The more you can separate yourself from what others are able to do, the more of a premium you can attach to your site sales. If it’s something anyone can do, the profit margins will be extremely slim…

      • Aleshia Green says:

        I sent you an email about starting selling websites with no proven results…guess this would answer my question..

  3. Israel chima says:

    Hello Justine,
    I have been online for some years now but have not make a dime online but i took a decision to make money from january 2012.

    I developed a website about 3 month ago, it is having the following:

    alexa ranking of 1,339,803
    google page rank 0
    Daily Unique Visitors: 1,071
    Daily Pageviews: 4,200
    Alexa Backlinks: 17
    Daily Ad Earnings: $10.28

    I got this info from 123worth.com

    I didn’t include adsense because i have not learnt how to do it.

    I will sincerely appreciate a useful advice from you

    • JustinWCooke says:

      That’s quite a bit of traffic, but I’m not quite sure how I can help you. I’m not exactly sure whether you’re looking for help or just trying to drop a link…either I need more information or you’re a sneaky link dropper! :-) You can email me the site and I’d look at it briefly if you like.

      • Israel chima says:

        Hello Justin,

        All i try to do online is to the best of my sincerity, i never wanted to just drop a link. i sincerely need your guidance when it come to making money through developing and flipping websites.

        I have all the time and little resources to work myself out of financial problems, all i need is some one to guide me.

        I will email you the site now.

        Thanks

  4. Nick Mead says:

    Great info Justin.

    I have my very first flippa auction running currently.

    I’m wondering if you have any advice on:

    The best day and time to start auctions (please include time zone as I’m from Australia).

    The best day and time to end auctions.

    The ideal length of time for auctions.

    For premium sites do you recommend getting a featured listing early in the auction to build bids and activity as well as again in the last 24 hours.

    Any thoughts on the added bold, highlighted and image upgrades available. What price point would you want your website to be selling at to make these worth while.

    Thanks heaps.

    Nick.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Nick…congratulations on getting your first auction up! If you haven’t read this post yet, I’d highly recommend checking it out. It really does have our BEST tips for getting maximum value on Flippa:

      http://adsenseflippers.com/flipping-websites/site-flipping-secrets-selling-websites-at-a-premium-on-flippa

      To answer your questions:

      1. We like to start/end in the morning US time. (6-9 PST) If your auction is getting quite a bit of action, this allows the bidding to extend throughout the day in the US and continue when Australia wakes up. Our preference here…not sure it makes THAT much of a difference.

      2. We like our auctions to run for about a week and prefer to start/end on a Mon/Tues/Wed. Our thought is that we want people to have the weekend to check it out…but Thurs/Fri for an end date is too close to the upcoming weekend. Make sure to keep the auction less than 10 days…more than that and your early bidders may not remember to come back and bid at the end.

      3. Do the best you can to get on the “Most Active” section as quickly as possible. Our best auctions were towards the top of that page. Featuring on the first page is usually worth it. We sometimes feature when we first list, but will definitely feature once or twice in the last 24 hours.

      4. We’ve done bold/highlight, but would recommend against the Tweet option as it doesn’t seem like it would be good value. Try to keep your total listing spend (including bold/highlight/featured) under 10% of what you think the final price will be.

  5. JDan says:

    Hey guys, this is the best info I’ve found anywhere re: flippa!

    I have a couple of quotes from you that I have a question about. What do you mean by ‘feature’? Is that the upgrade?

    “Do the best you can to get on the “Most Active” section as quickly as possible. Our best auctions were towards the top of that page. Featuring on the first page is usually worth it. We sometimes feature when we first list, but will definitely feature once or twice in the last 24 hours.”

    How do you cross promote? Add a link in the comments? Or something else?

    “Ever wonder why sellers with multiple auctions going at the same time seem to get a lot of action? By having multiple auctions running at the same time you’re cross-promoting your auctions as potential buyers check you out. If one auction seems to be getting more traffic than another you can siphon traffic from one to another through comments and views to your profile.”

  6. katherine says:

    I didn’t realize that you making comments affected the auction. That is one thing I have neglected to do mostly because I thought someone had to ask me a question in order for me to answer – that point alone is invaluable.

    I am also wondering about the flippa interface. It seems does not seem too intuitive with some functions and one in particular is a real hassle.

    I spent days creating auctions for many properties that I own. I have staggered them to begin at different times. There is nowhere in my dashboard to review upcoming auctions.

    I should be able to click on a link and see all the auctions holding and times when they are scheduled to begin. To me this seems like a necessity, but apparently it is not there or I cannot find the link

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Katherine!

      Yes, the fact that you have comments is visible on any of the search pages on Flippa, so it’s helpful to have an active or “busy” auction. I wouldn’t comment like crazy, but a few initial comments with updates about the auction is helpful I think. Our auctions have SO much information that we often don’t get comments, so adding a few ourselves helps.

  7. Chris says:

    Definitely some great tips here! I’ve been incorporating your advice sonce listing my website and since have gotten a few bids! Thank you! Take a look -> https://flippa.com/2817873-established-social-media-graphic-design-business-profitable-w-tons-of-extras

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Chris,

      I took a look at both your auction and site. First, I’ll say that i like the design on the site…it looks great. I did notice a couple of problems, though, as a potential buyer. I thought I’d mention them here to let you and others know:

      1. PayPal earnings…how do I know they’re all from THIS site? – It’s a common scam on Flippa to have a bunch (2-50) of sites all selling similar packages. (FB likes, Twitter followers, etc.) They can then show screenshots of payments on ALL the sites and claim them as if they come from the one they’re selling! I’m not saying you’re doing this, but it would be a concern and, as a new Flippa user, I’d be concerned about buying from you. (Not sure a way around this?)

      2. On YOUR FB page I see that you have quite a few likes on both the page and your posts, but I don’t see much engagement other than that. Not many shares, comments, etc. That leads me to believe that they might be from a network of fake accounts, potentially. Ditto from your Twitter account (and lack of engagement there) I’ve changed my thoughts on social media in this regard…it’s MUCH more about connections than boosted #’s. That might be personal preference but, as a potential buyer, I’d take that into account.

      3. More subscribers than views on your YouTube account. This probably goes along with #2, but it seems like sizzle without the steak! I know that improving your subscribers/followers/likes is fashionable right now and these types of sites are selling like hotcakes, but what do bot account likes/followers/subscribers really get you in the long run?

      Anyway, hope that’s helpful. I’m not really sure about the best answer to #1 and I think it’s critically important…but if I were selling these types of sites I would do anything/everything I can to make sure that question’s answered. Video proof, screensharing, etc…

  8. Ajay says:

    Hey Jusin!!!

    Great Post, specially for newbies like me. I have
    posted a listing and having 8 watches & 102 views. But bids are too
    low. This is my first try to flip sites. Do you expect the bids to get
    high in last hours?? here is the link
    https://flippa.com/2878992-google-page-1-site-2500-proven-unique-visitors-a-month-massive-potential

    Secondly can you please guide the hot niches to sell on flippa. Once again, thanks a lot for great post.

  9. Candace Prevost says:

    I’m selling a website starting Wednesday 22, 2013; I’m really nervous I have never sold website before and because it’s a pet site I’m not sure if I should even think of selling; I selected the domain name because per Google the name receive ‘s 673,000 hits a month however the site has only been operating for approximately 2 months so I obviously don’t receive any where that amount of traffic. I receive approximately 800 unique visitor’s a day some time more rarely less;

    Thank you

    candace prevost

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Candace,

      Well…are you SURE the keyword for the domain name is getting 673K exact match searches per month? It sounds a little hard to believe…maybe you’re looking at broad match and not exact match with the google keyword tool?

      If the site’s only been up for two months and getting 800 uniques a day right now I definitely don’ think you should sell it. You mentioned traffic but not revenue…I’m guessing it’s not making any money right now?

  10. dhaval says:

    amazing tips, I have applied some of these and searching for more –
    also dont forget to reach your competitors ;) –
    https://flippa.com/2791320-most-premium-astrology-domain-on-sale-ever-includes-site-too

  11. Miro Nomadic says:

    Thanks Justin for info,,,,regarding the featured listing, when selling domain, would you advise for the featured listing at the beginning of the auction? or just the last 24 hour of the listing? One more very important tip when selling a website on flippa is the technique sellers use to extend the auction, you might want to elaborate on that so to make complete your great post. Thanks

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Miro!

      If you had to pick one, I’d say feature it within the last 24 hours to get maximum value…once more at the very end of the listing to squeak out a couple of extra bids. You CAN feature it at the beginning to get it some extra action, but only if you’re expecting a reasonable price on the site in the end. If you keep featuring and it doesn’t get you any additional bids it’s not worth it of course. For a site that was only going to sell for under $1K, I probably wouldn’t feature more than once.

      You can find all of our content regarding selling sites here…and we definitely get into end-auction strategies:

      http://empireflippers.com/tag/selling-sites/

  12. Jessica Erickson says:

    Hi Justin, after reading these tips, I went and cross promoted my listings and made a few comments. In my listings, I commented a link to another one of my listings. I promptly received an email from Flippa support saying this:

    This is a first and final warning regarding promoting your other listings in your active listings. If we see it again we will suspend your account. Please remove your comments form your other listings as soon as possible.

    I felt so bad after receiving that email, it’s not like I was trying to do something wrong. I’ve read their terms and conditions over, and don’t see anything about it. Maybe I’m overlooking something. Anyway, it seems like Flippa overreacted a ton, considering the money I shell out to them for featuring each of my listings. But, they’re the boss, I s’pose! What do you think?

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Jessica,

      That’s really odd – must be a recent development, eh? I can’t see why they would have a problem with promoting other Flippa listings you have running. Hell – I think that’s a feature they should add…where it automatically shows the other auctions/listings you currently have on offer.

      • Jessica Erickson says:

        I agree completely, and in all honestly I think if I paid $50 for a featured listing, I should be able to comment how I want to (within reason)!

        • Justin Cooke says:

          I just checked in with Ophelie over there to see why that may be. I’m guessing that (for some reason) it does have the potential for abuse, someone’s abused it, and they’ve been recently shutting it down? We’ll see what she says, though…

    • Hi Jessica,

      Ophelie from Flippa here. I had to ask our support guys about that particular ticket, sorry about the delay.

      Every time a comment is left on a Flippa listing, an email is sent to all bidders and watchers. When a seller adds several comments to their listing, that raises a spam flag for us.

      There’s absolutely no problem with adding a link to either your seller profile or to a few other Flippa listings within the listing description.

      • Justin Cooke says:

        Thanks for the update, Ophelie!

        Got it – linking to another listing is ok…too many comments on your own listing (over-commenting) is not.

  13. abhiram says:

    Hi Justin,
    Hope you are doing good. First of all thanks for the wonderful tips. I have recently stepped into this domain flipping business and i have started my first promotion on Flippa recently. i have seen some of the domains are getting sold for higher price which are way similar to mine, but no bids when it comes to my listings. what do you think is that i am lagging when compared to others.
    Thanks

  14. Lorcan O'Connor says:

    Thanks for the tips! I am completely new to flipping, and have only bought one domain. In your opinion, what would be a reasonable price for the domain: ‘ultimatememes.com’?

  15. Dinesh Kumar says:

    That’s a great information, Justin.
    But, I have a question. Can we share our Flippa listing on social sharing websites like Facebook, so that we can get more views, and then more bidders?

    • Greg Elfrink says:

      I don’t see why you couldn’t.

      Or if your website is big enough, you could submit it for sale on our marketplace. We’ve successfully migrated from selling our client’s businesses on FLippa to our own vetted marketplace and have been seeing great success from it.

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