Top 7 Secrets Flippa Sellers Hope You Won’t Notice (And How To Spot Them In Minutes)
There is quite a bit of gray area between ethical sellers and those that are outright scammers on Flippa. While plenty has been written about the obvious frauds, I wanted to focus on a few of the less obvious points that can help you decide whether or not to put your bid in for that next auction.
As regular sellers and potential buyers, we’re often monitoring the auctions on Flippa to get new ideas for our own auctions and looking for under-valued sites. We hope that our sharing will help you save a buck or two.
It’s important to not get sucked into thinking that any one auction is a must-buy…there were plenty that came along before and there will be plenty that come along after that would be a good fit for you. Letting go of that nagging feeling that you just HAVE to buy an auction allows you to look at the auction more critically, keeping you away from those auctions where something just doesn’t seem quite right.
- No Google Analytics – While some sellers argue they’re trying to remain under the radar by not including Analytics, it also means that you may be looking at inflated or false numbers. Flippa allows for verified Google Analytics and anyone looking to sell their site should at least install Analytics for the duration of the auction to allow potential buyers access or at least a few days worth of verified screenshots.
- Short Revenue History – Many product launches include a certain amount of hype, pre-sales, etc. Even though the last 2 weeks of revenue has been phenomenal, you don’t want to get stuck purchasing a fizzling, dwindling product with a short shelf life unless you are certain you can keep up the level of hype and buzz surrounding the launch. Don’t get caught up in with through-the-roof 2 week sales numbers.
- Traffic To Revenue Ratio Doesn’t Match Up – We’re extremely aware and monitor closely our traffic to revenue and pageview to revenue statistics. (If you’re not sure or don’t have anything to compare it to, you can get a rough idea here.) It’s common to see sellers with numbers that are slightly better than ours, (Not sure if we’re really below average or if they’re puffing up their numbers!) but when we see auctions that are doing 5, 7, even 10 times the ratios that we have in a niche and with a monetization strategy we’re familiar with, we know something’s not right.
- Didn’t Claim Paid Traffic In The Auction – A great way to find out if the seller is using paid traffic without having to ask is by checking their verified Google Analytics. Look at their top keywords and then check Google to see if the site is ranked for those keywords. If not, there’s a good chance those keywords were purchased via paid traffic. You can also check to see the top referring links and contact those sites to see if the links are paid links or not.
- Auction Numbers Don’t Match – It takes us quite a bit of time to make sure we report the exact numbers when it comes to earnings, traffic, rankings, etc. If you find discrepancies between what they’re stating in the auction and what’s showing in the screenshots or through your research you may want to question the seller about it, particularly if the error worked out in their favor. While it could be a simple mistake, if they didn’t take the time or it wasn’t important enough for them to get that right, what else might they be missing?
- Research The Seller – Sellers that are difficult to track or pin down online always raises red flags for me. If I’m not able to easily research the actual person that’s selling me the sites, I tend to think it’s intentional and that they don’t WANT me to find out who they are. You can dig a little further by Google searching the seller’s username (many people will use the same username on multiple sites including forums, social media, etc.) or digging into the site that’s being sold. Most sellers will try to promote their auction through social media and will give you a good starting point into looking at their background, their history, etc.
- Slimy Sales Tactics – Buying websites through Flippa can be an exciting process. Sellers are excited about the influx in cash and wonder how much they’ll ultimately receive while buyers are hoping they’ll find a diamond in the rough. The sellers that play to your greed using tactics like false scarcity, fear of loss, and grossly inflated projections give you some insight into the mindset of the seller. For whatever reason, they feel it’s important to hard-sell you on the site, which is not something I’m interested in.
Don’t want to worry about sellers trying to pull one on you? Our own Marketplace only lists websites that have been fully vetted by us. You’ll get exactly what you expect.
Like what we had to say? Let us know if you have any other useful tips for buyers in the comments below!