AFP 26: How To Sell Your Websites On Flippa

Justin Cooke

July 4, 2012

26 Episodes in, we realized we’ve never actually done a podcast where we cover our best tips, tricks, and secrets for selling websites on Flippa!  Early on, selling websites on Flippa was a major part of our success.  We didn’t have an audience, didn’t have any previous sales to point to…nothing.  We had to scour the web for what we thought was the best information about how to sell sites like ours and then put together our process from scratch.

Selling Your Website on Flippa

In Episode 26 of the AdSense Flippers Podcast, we get into exactly how we got started selling our websites on Flippa.  We cover website valuation, Flippa upgrades, how to get maximum exposure for your auction, and how to use Flippa as a marketing tool for your blog and business.

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Justin:
Welcome to Episode 26 of the AdSense Flippers Podcast. I’m your host Justin Cooke and I’m here with “Hot Money” Magnotti. What’s up buddy?

Joe:
Yo! What’s up everybody?

Justin:
Got a great episode lined up for you this week. We’re going to be talking all about how to sell your websites on Flippa. So we’re going to be going over our process. It’s not the only way but it is a good way. First, let’s get into some news and updates. First thing we have to go over is we had a niche site giveaway that we now have a winner.

Joe:
Who’s the lucky winner buddy?

Justin:
It ended June 30 and we do have a winner. The winner is from the USA and his handle is Duell Design and he’s on Twitter with the same username. So he will be winning a free niche site from us and we will be transferring it to you. So go ahead and get in contact with us and we will hand over the details and get you set up.

Joe:
Congratulations buddy. You will be talking to me during the migration process and I will walk you through all the steps.

Justin:
Next thing is there’s a lot of talk now man about publishing on the Kindle, publishing ebooks. You’ve been hearing about this, right?

Joe:
A little bit, yeah.

Justin:
So we decided to give it a shot. We want to put Building a Niche Site Empire on the Kindle and Kindle Fire. So we thought it would be fun. We got someone on oDesk to do it for us and it is now up and available. I think we’ve got 20 sales or something with almost 10,000 downloads. We’ve got 20 sales on the Kindle.

Joe:
I was the first sale.

Justin:
Were you? Yeah, yeah. I mean it’s cool. I’m glad that we’re able to put this up and put it out there and it’s kind of fun, having our names. We’re publishers now on Kindle but a lot of people were doing it like our approach to niche sites, which is pretty interesting and we will get into that a bit more. But we want to let you know it’s available. Put a link if you want to check it out, link to our book on the Kindle. You can take a look and see if you want to purchase it.

Joe:
Yeah. It’s always cool to have your own book on your own Kindle. That’s kind of weird.

Justin:
So the next thing I want to talk about is for InteliTheme. We’ve got a new theme that should be coming out in a couple of months and I’m currently trying to learn the process for product launch which is pretty interesting, man. I mean there’s a whole thing to it. I mean timelines, setting up your affiliate content, making sure everything is ready to go before you launch. So we’re going to start that process now and I was thinking about documenting that a bit on the blog, just kind of giving people updates on how that’s going. I think that would be pretty interesting.

Joe:
Yeah, I think that’s a great idea because it’s definitely people from our readers and listeners I’m sure who would love to hear about that process.

Justin:
It’s kind of fun though. I mean like the old school like Frank Kern, like build the hype kind of stuff and I mean it feels a lot better when you’re doing it for an actual product rather than just fluff too. You know what I mean?

Joe:
Well, I’m glad you find it fun. I find building the product a little more fun than launching the product but yes, it’s definitely a critical part to the process and to develop that and document it and get to know it well is hugely important.

Justin:
Last point I want to make is we’re going to be launching a Flippa auction here in July. So …

Joe:
Yeah. We sold out of our sites in June. So that was pretty good. I think we will have a good deal of sites here to sell in July and we haven’t done an auction in a while and those were always fun. They get us some new people coming to the site. They’re always good boosts for AdSenseFlippers.com. So we’re going to try one out.

Justin:
New readers, new listeners, it’s good stuff. All right. So now, I want to get into the next portion of our program. We’ve got a new section of the AdSense Flippers Podcast where we’re going to be taking listener questions and comments. We’re using SpeakPipe so people can actually ask these questions and then we can answer them on the podcast. So here it is. Listener questions and comments.

Participant:
Hi Justin and Joe. This is Jimmy Lawrence from Across the Frontier in the UK. I’ve got a few questions for you both but I would just like to say that I’m loving the podcast. I’ve never missed an episode and you guys are very inspirational. I’ve got two quick questions for you. The first one is, “What blog, website or person do you find the most inspirational?” And the second is, “Do you plan on starting another podcast?” I know you mentioned it a while back but I just wondered if you’ve had any more thoughts about it. And that’s about it. Keep up the good work. Take care.

Justin:
Thanks Jimmy for the question. I would have to say the person I find really inspirational is Derek Sivers. I’ve mentioned here on the blog a lot of AdSense Flippers. I really like what he did with CD Baby. I love the fact that he’s like approaching new projects not because he needs the money or he wants to build the business. Just because he thinks it’s cool. So he wants to build these books out through the Wood Egg Project which is talking about how to set up businesses in the Philippines and Vietnam and Thailand and he’s just working on it because he thinks it’s an interesting thing to do. I love that.

Joe:
Yeah, and I think it’s “Hell, yes or no” …

Justin:
Philosophy.

Joe:
Yeah, that whole post and philosophy is absolutely something we subscribe to here. So the one that I think I find the most inspirational is definitely Dan and Ian over at the Tropical MBA. I mean before we met those guys and really listened to them and caught on to that whole part of internet marketing, I think that really opened our eyes a bit.

Justin:
Yeah. I mean I really love Dynamite Circle. I really love Lifestyle Business Podcast. Those guys are putting out gold. Now I will tell you, Dan is in a mode right now, man. He brought those guys out of Puerto Galera to start their businesses. He was loving it, you can tell.

That podcast they did for Tropical Talk Radio where he just kind of on fire going off on a rant, man. That was pretty sweet. So you can tell he’s in his element right now.

Joe:
Yeah, they’re doing a lot of stuff. They’re definitely getting a lot of content out there and getting a lot of things done. So congrats to Dan and Ian and yes, you guys are an inspiration.

Justin:
On starting another podcast, we talked about this. We were thinking about doing something in the outsourcing industry. I mean I think there’s a real lack of information from outsourcers in this format. So I mean you will hear podcasters that are talking about outsourcing but not nearly as involved in it as we are. I mean Chris Ducker with Virtual Business Lifestyle is probably your best bet but Chris Ducker is even a higher level guy. He’s not on the ground like we are, working with agents. So I mean that’s probably your best bet though for outsourcing content right now and he stopped his podcast.

So I would like to possibly pick that up, maybe later this year, but we’re not entirely sure. I think it would be fun to do like a fun podcast.

Joe:
Yeah, that’s exactly what I was going to say. I mean I think that it’s tough for me to just sit around and talk about subjects all day long but it’s better than writing blog posts. At the same time, I would like to do a fun one and I’m not sure what it would be, like sports or comedy or just random conversations but I think that would be a little more interesting than doing something on business because man, outsourcing, I can’t imagine doing 25 episodes by outsourcing.

Justin:
All right. Our next question is from Josh at WSOTesters.com.

Participant:
Hey guys. It’s Josh with WSO Testers and I just wanted to say that you guys did a really good job with this Google analysis and their traffic versus other traffic sources. I think Google is still the way to go with traffic nowadays because it just – like you said, it just has so much more traffic potential than the other stuff but anyway, I really just wanted to test this record button in the bottom corner. So I will talk to you guys later. All right. Take care.

Justin:
Cool, man. That’s great to hear, Josh. Really appreciate it. I agree with you that Google Traffic is still king especially when it comes to organic traffic. That was kind of our point and it’s not that Penguin and Panda haven’t had an effect. It’s just that you shouldn’t forget about a major traffic driver or get so frustrated with it, that you just want to give that up completely and focus all your efforts on something that’s lower yield. Do you know what I mean?

Joe:
Yeah. And Josh, thank you for helping us test out this whole SpeakPipe thing. Your question was well done and your recording came out great. But yeah, I would say Google absolutely is the way to go and I don’t know why people want to walk away from the market leader right now. They’re on top. Is it at its peak? Is it at its pinnacle? I don’t know but yes, there are a lot of changes. Perhaps it’s influx but you just can’t deny 60 to 70 percent of the market.

Justin:
Anyway Josh, love your site over there at WSOTesters.com. Love what you guys are doing. I remember reading your Warrior Forum post that got like 20 something pages and to see you guys kind of building that out and doing really well. I’m really excited to see that. So congratulations, man.

Let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

****The AdSense Flippers Podcast****

Justin:
So episode 26 is all about how to sell your website on Flippa. Now, we’re aware there are plenty of ways to skin the cat but this is going to be our way. I would say that our method particularly works well when you’re selling sites that are in the value range of $300 to maybe $20,000. That’s probably ideal and there are plenty of platforms to sell on that aren’t Flippa but here’s the thing. Flippa has the buyers. They are the number one market place. They spent millions of dollars in attracting those buyers and that’s where it is. You can check out other places like Warrior Forum, ExperiencedPeople.net, private buyers but if you’re just getting started, I think Flippa is a great place to start selling your sites.

Joe:
Yeah. If you don’t have your own personal brand and you don’t have a list to market to, I would have to say Flippa. I mean we didn’t even mention eBay in there. You could sell websites on eBay too.

Justin:
You can but yeah.

Joe:
I wouldn’t suggest it. I mean Flippa just has all the tools and has everything. It has like you said the buyers. It just makes it so much easier.

Justin:
We’ve done a bunch of stuff on Flippa. We backed off a bit and been selling a lot of sites privately but Flippa is still a great way to be or a great place to be and it helps drive traffic to our site which brings us new readers, new listeners and ultimately new buyers. I mean it’s a form of marketing our product, services and our information, right?

Joe:
Yeah. And hopefully in the future, our tools.

Justin:
So we’ve got 10 great tips for you. The first one is the valuation of earning sites is clearer. So you can sell a site that you’ve spent $15,000, $20,000 building out amazing backend, great programming done to it but if it’s not earning anything, it’s really hard to determine the value of that site.

Joe:
Yeah. You see this all the time especially from people where the site is their baby, right? They maybe personally coded it themselves. They did a lot of the work behind it. They put a lot of long hours into building it but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t have any revenue.

Justin:
Yeah, they think it should be worth $30,000, $40,000 but it’s not earning anything. They haven’t proven its viability and it’s really hard for a buyer or seller to kind of determine its worth. So when you have a site that’s earning, it’s much, much easier. There is kind of a standard unit of measurement. There’s something to compare, right? And so sites that are earning I think are in kind of a sweet spot. Then you have like that’s the upper end, right? You have like the low end stuff, the templated sites that haven’t proven they’re in a good or viable niche. They’re not earning anything and they say, “Hey, buy this site for me. It may earn later,” right? Well, people ask, “Well why don’t you just get it earning now?” Right? I mean that’s a question.

But some people do. I mean they sell well in Flippa and they just dump those sites over and over, $100, $120, $140, these templated sites. The problem with that is you’re now competing with everyone. Anyone can put together a WordPress site with a bit of content on it, get it on a hosting account and sell it. I mean anyone can do that. So you’re not separating yourself from a ton of other sellers that are out there.

So the real idea is you want to kind of separate yourself from them and move higher up the value chain by getting the site earning first.

Joe:
Yeah. I would absolutely say that’s the best way to go because you’re going to be competing with the lowest level labor if your site doesn’t make anything.

Justin:
That’s where you see like all these battles, like people sell like pre-earning sites and it used to be like 100 bucks and then 80 bucks, then 60 bucks and 40 bucks. I mean what are you getting at that level? I mean the reason they’re competing down to zero is because there’s very little actual value there and they can afford to do it.

Point number two, less is not more. You see this sometimes, even from brokers, which just kind of blows my mind. You will see a Flippa listing where there’s like very little information in the sales copy. They give you very little to go on and just hope that the screenshots will stand for themselves.

Joe:
Yeah. Who is buying these sites?

Justin:
Why would you think that’s acceptable? I think they’re just trying to like spend as little time on it as possible maybe but really if you’re planning on selling your site and you’re planning on getting anything out of it at all, it’s worth spending some time to get your copy right. Get the details in your copy. Get everything a buyer might want to know and put it into your auction listing.

Aside from the copy though, you also want to make sure you have all the screenshots. So if you were buying the site, what kind of relevant screenshots would you want, right? What kind of screenshots that if you left out, would a buyer possibly think you’re trying to hide something?

Joe:
Yeah.

Justin:
Right?

Joe:
And even better than screenshots is video too. I mean if you can do some video of earnings, especially if you have something complicated, like PayPal earnings or something like that, just to show that there’s nothing fishy going on behind the scenes, video might be worth it. Now if it’s AdSense, I would say screenshots will do quite well or obviously they have the new authorized …

Justin:
Verified AdSense earnings.

Joe:
Verified AdSense earnings, which is really the best.

Justin:
Yeah. I mean, video is cool. We actually never do videos. I think when we started, we offered to do a Skype screen share and show them the earnings that they – if it was that important to them. We never had anyone take us up on it. We didn’t offer that because we want to make sure that people didn’t question the screenshot.

Joe:
Yeah. I think at this point, we have such a good reputation that I doubt we would need to do it but new people, I could definitely see why they would need to do …

Justin:
Here’s something that’s really important. I see this a lot too in the Flippa auction where you have someone that is non-native English speaker and they try to write the copy and they will mimic like another auction but like the words that they come up with themselves is just horrible. Honestly, if you’re a non-native English speaker, it’s worth paying someone to write your auction copy. Maybe you write it out first and then have an editor or someone else go through the auction listing to really get the details down.

Joe:
Yeah. You brought this point up before, Justin, and I was thinking about it and telling myself, “Who really doesn’t have the chops to write their own auction copy?” But yeah, it makes sense if you’re a foreigner and you do have a good site to sell and the site has earnings. Yes, you don’t want to belittle your auction because your English is incorrect or sounds terrible.

Justin:
Well, the worst – and I know this sounds horrible but there will be American or Australian or whatever buyers that won’t buy from you because you don’t speak like they do or it’s not close enough and it’s horrible but it is the case or they will think you’re a scammer because you’re one of those scammer foreigners or something.

So it’s worth getting your copy edited. In fact, if you’re going to be selling regularly on Flippa and let’s say you’re Indian or Filipino or whatever, have an American look over the copy and really edit it down and then you can just adjust out some of the details over time but have them originally cover it for you so that you know your copy is good to go.

Joe:
Yeah. I was even thinking if you’re maybe not the best writer, but you are good from the technical end and the business end and you’ve got sites that are earning money, you might want to hire a copy guy on oDesk, somebody that’s really good that has an experience in writing this kind of stuff to make a good template for you.

Justin:
Absolutely. So the third point is trust the market. List at a dollar.

Joe:
Oh my god. How long did it take us to learn this tactic?

Justin:
Not long.

Joe:
I mean it took us a couple of auctions before we really do it. I mean there was a fear there that we were going to let go of sites before their value, right? We want …

Justin:
I don’t think so, man. No, the first auction, I put a reserve on because I was a little fearful, right? But the second auction, no man, we went with the dollar and I’m pretty sure we actually went no reserve. Here’s the thing anyway. Either way, right? You want to list at a dollar because if you start off with a dollar, you’re going to get much more action. If it’s a dollar with no reserve, you’re going to get a ton of eyeballs, right?

If your sites are earning and you’ve put up the copy well, you have all the screenshots listed, you should trust that the market is going to give you the value that you’re supposed to get, right?

Joe:
Yeah, I love the dollar, no reserve, no buy-it-now. I really do because that will let the market dictate what it’s going to dictate and the buy-it-now, you might be selling yourself short. I mean if you have a good site and you’re saying, “Oh, well, if I got 15 times monthly revenue, I would be OK.” Well what happens if your site goes for 20, 22, 24X? Yeah, you can keep pushing the buy-it-now and try to make people reach for it. That’s another way to do it but really you will get a really good idea of what your sites are worth with $1, no reserve, no buy-it.

Justin:
Yeah, I remember one of our auctions we had. Someone contacted us right in the middle of the auction and our value hadn’t gone up. Maybe we were like 2X or 3X monthly revenue or whatever and someone said, “Hey, I will give you 10X right now,” and we went for it. Yeah, we went for it but we sold ourselves way short on that auction. We could have it 15 or 20.

Joe:
Yeah.

Justin:
You know, at that point.

Joe:
Yeah, absolutely. I would say that’s a big tip is remember in the middle of your auction, there’s going to be a lot of sharks out there that are going to come in and try to get you to sell your site for less than what the auction is going to go for.

Justin:
Good on them. There goes the value and they know how to play the game but like you’re going to get a few nibbles in the beginning and then you have this like dead space, right? And we normally do it for about a week, six to eight days. In the middle of those three or four days in the middle where it’s kind of dead, you’re not getting any views. There’s no real action and you get a little nervous when you get into the last 48 hours but that’s when the bids come especially if we did this dollar, no reserve to start. You’re going to get a ton of action in the end and you just have to trust that, right?

So point number four is what we like to call the Golden Trifecta of placement, right? And this is basely being in as many places, as high visible places as possible on Flippa. Here’s the thing. If you’re going to start off at a dollar with no reserve, it’s done. Your auction is going to absolutely sell. Now it’s just about getting it the eyeballs, right?

So you want to get it on Flippa to where all the activity is, where all the viewers are, where all the bidders are. You want to get it seen. The first place you will be seen is at new listings. You can’t screw that up. You’re going to be seen in the new listings if you list your site for sale.

But really toward the end, where you want to be seen are in these three sections – ending soon, most active and on the front page. Now, ending soon, you’re going to get seen there too because your auction is going to have an end time but most active and front page, here’s what you’re going to want to do. Because you’re starting off at a dollar, you want to get as many bids in there as possible. Normally, if you get more than 12 to 18 bids, you’re going to get on the first page of the most active section.

Joe:
And that’s the sweet spot.

Justin:
That’s social proof, right? So if it’s most active, I go there a lot. Personally, when I’m looking, I want to see kind of what sites are available.

Joe:
Most buyers do because they see other buyers registered in that so that’s where they want to start.

Justin:
Yeah, because there are so many auctions in there with no bids. I know that they have bids or there’s a bit of a bidding war, there’s something to that site. There’s some kind of magic going on. So if you get on the first page of the most active section, you’re going to get a lot more views.

Joe:
So how are we going to do that? We don’t want to do shill bidding or bid on our own auction. Now obviously we would never recommend that.

Justin:
No. But if you do start at a dollar, it’s great because you will get a $5 bid, a $10 bid, a $15 bid. We have actually gone to the point where we get a $5 bid and then we get a $500 bid and we don’t approve the $500 bid. So we don’t have automatic approval setup. We will hold off on approving the $500 until we get a few other lower bids under that $500 bid.

Joe:
I love this tactic and definite experienced buyers out there on Flippa take advantage of this by offering close to what they think the auction will eventually go for and offering that early on because they know it will keep it off the active especially for beginner sellers.

Justin:
Yeah.

Joe:
So that’s why you should not accept high bids and wait for a whole bunch of low bids to add up so that you can get the most out of it.

Justin:
It seems pretty counterintuitive and honestly, it seems a little odd at first and we’ve had to tell people that as we actually contact them and told them why we didn’t accept their bid, but it feels a little counterintuitive. They’re like, “Oh, shouldn’t I be accepting this money? They want to pay me this. It’s a good thing, right?” Well not really because your ultimate goal is to get in the most active section because it’s hot.

The other thing you want to do is get on the front page. I mean you can do that through a featured listing. Sometimes we will feature at the very beginning but most often, we will feature inside of 48 hours left and then right towards the very end of the auction especially if we’re like inside of like six hours or so. We will feature again. I would like to actually end the auction where I’m in all three spots – ending soon, most active, and the front page. Even if we paid for that, we’re still on the front page, we don’t get any more bids, I know I got maximum value out of that auction.

Joe:
Yeah, I think we featured like three times one time within the last 24 hours so it really depends on how the auction is going, how many watchers you have, how many views you have. If you need to keep featuring, that’s something that you should do. Obviously if your site is only a $300 site, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money up on featuring but that’s why probably going for low end sites on Flippa may not be the best policy.

Justin:
Yeah. The fifth point is that’s all about the eyeballs. So one of the things we will do is we will post on the Warrior Forum. We will mention on our site. We will tell our email lists. So wherever it is else that you’re active, if you’re on BlackHatWorld, or wherever it is that you’re active and you can mention that you have an auction going, that people might be interested in, make sure to let them know, right? Because now, it’s a dollar. It’s no reserve. You know it’s going to sell. It’s just about making sure enough people see it to make sure you get your value.

Joe:
Yeah. You want to be talking to somebody somewhere about your auctions and about your business. So I’m sure you’re on some sort of forum that you can announce that you have something going on.

Justin:
So the sixth point is the skinny on Flippa upgrades. Which ones are valuable? Which ones are not?

Joe:
This is always tough and I wouldn’t say that we’ve scientifically tested this, Justin, but we have a pretty good idea on which ones work and which ones don’t.

Justin:
I’m going to put a link to Flippa’s fees so you guys can check out the page but I’m looking at it right now. The listing fee right now is 29 bucks. If you want to list a site, you got to pay 29 bucks. They’ve recently bumped that. Success fee is five percent. So whatever the final value is, you’re going to pay five percent of the sale. They cap that at $2000 but your site will go quite a bit in that cap. You’re probably not going to have that happen unless you’re selling a seriously massive site, $40,000 site. There’s also a success fee minimum of 10 bucks so at least you’re going to pay a $10 success fee even if it goes for $3, which it’s not going to happen.

Joe:
Yeah. And this is important to remember if you’re doing like templated sites or really, really basic sites which honestly, I don’t think you should be doing it anyway.

Justin:
So let’s talk about listing features on the front page. It’s $50 upgrade but the thing is, a lot of times, when you get above $1000, your bids are going to come in $50, $100 increments anyway. So if you’re over $1000 already getting on the first page, that’s just one more bid. If you get one more bid by being on the first page, it paid for itself.

Joe:
Yeah. And if you get two, you got your money back and more, right? You made money on that.

Justin:
Yeah. We will do at least one feature listing. Quite often, we will do two. First one is right inside the 48 hours or like 36 hours and the next one is maybe less than 12 hours left in the auction and we typically do two. We’ve even done three a couple of times but mostly two. Hide listing from public view.

Now, that’s really not critical for us. If you have a major site that – or a forum where you don’t want people to know you’re selling, you want to keep it private, that’s something you can do. Not really applicable for us.

Joe:
Yeah, and you’re going to have to have a big list and you’re going to have to wait to promote eyeballs on it. So I don’t know why you would do that if you were doing a model like we have.

Justin:
Now listing title in bold is five bucks and listing row highlight is 10 bucks. Honestly, it’s one of those things. I don’t know. We’ve done it. We’ve gone both ways on that. Ultimately, if you look at the front page, I consider this when we’re going to feature, if a bunch of them are bold, I might wait a little while so that mine will stand out a bit more on the front page or if they’re highlighted and ours is highlighted, we might wait a little while so I can kind of make them stand out. But I think so many people select those like low end options, the $5 and the $10 options that sometimes you stand out by not having it.

Joe:
Yeah, exactly. Like the highlighted row thing. I mean I used to think that absolutely I want my row to be highlighted. That’s going to stand out so much better as a visual presence but the highlight is so like dim and you’re right. So many people select it because it’s only 10 bucks that you wind up actually being brighter than the other highlights because everyone else is highlighted around you.

Justin:
Yeah. Also mention the screenshot on the listing row. Now here’s the thing. When people are scrolling through the listings, if you have the screenshot, it makes your listing a bit wider, a bit taller. So it actually makes it stand out a bit more. It’s 20 bucks but I think that’s something we normally pick up because we think it’s worthwhile.

Joe:
Yeah, I definitely think the screenshot is absolutely worth it because once they don’t have a screenshot, it’s easy to miss those in the listing from an eyeball point of view.

Justin:
They also have an option and I really don’t understand why they – I want to ask Flippa this. What the heck is going on with this? Tweet listing to Flippa followers, $80. I’ve seen Flippa’s followers. They’re not that responsive and it’s not that interesting. That’s a pretty horrible option to me. I think maybe they just threw that in there and said, “We have to actually have someone go write it up or automate or something. This is at 80 bucks.”

Joe:
Yeah.

Justin:
I don’t know. It’s crazy. We’ve never done it. I don’t recommend it unless you’re selling a seriously expensive site. You may want to just add that for the hell of it but even then, I don’t think I would.

Joe:
Yeah. I can’t see. There are other ways, sponsored tweets, which is a great service if you really want to do something like that but I wouldn’t recommend that particular way.

Justin:
They also have a premium listing. You can put it for a premium domain listings, 500 bucks; premium website listings, 250 bucks. We’ve never done that so I can’t really speak to that but yeah, for – and that gives you an idea at least on the Flippa upgrades and kind of where we stand on those.

Our seventh point is to get a few purchases or sales under your belt before you commit to trying out a larger auction.

Joe:
Yeah, this is one that I recommend to people all the time. Because why? They have one big site in their portfolio and they go on there and they try to offer this site for $13,000 and they don’t understand why nobody is interested in them.

Justin:
Yeah, here’s the thing. If you plan on selling Flippa at some point in the future, go ahead and sign up for an account. Get all your stuff verified. Have that account. Age the account a bit. Buy a site or two. Sell a smaller site or two. Get just a little bit of experience to the process.

Joe:
Yeah, especially like know how to communicate with buyers and sellers by using the messaging system which by the way Flippa I think is pretty awful. But yeah, just get a little bit of history under your belt and a little bit of money because nobody likes to have the new flag next to a seller they’re buying from.

Justin:
Yeah. It’s totally worth aging your account a bit, buying a couple of sites, selling a couple of smaller sites. For example, if you’re building sites now that you plan on selling in six to nine months, think about this now. Sign up for your account now. Buy a couple of sites now. Sell some of your smaller sites now so that when it gets up to like you selling your $400 a month earner, you’re not going to end up with no bids and no real action, no one trusting you because trust is a big one on Flippa. There’s a lot of concern with buyers on like which sellers are going to screw them or not. So if you have aged and you have some experience in your belt, it’s just a better sign that you’re going to be more trustworthy.

Joe:
Yeah, and then your post sale support is also going to be well worked out. You’re going to have that process. You’re going to know how to do migrations. You’re going to know how to handle customers, how to handle the money part of the transfer, if people ever do escrow or PayPal or PayPal problems. You’re going to know how to deal with that and that’s going to just add to trust and give you good feedback profile Flippa.

Justin:
This kind of leads into point number eight too, which is understanding auction and user watchers. So here’s the thing. We have an auction up. That auction starts to get people watching it, right? So you see, “Oh, there are watchers.” What’s going to happen is if they’re watching your auction, they’re going to get emails periodically throughout the auction. Oh, it broke the reserve or it’s getting close to ending or that type of thing. They’re getting emails that let them know what’s going on with the auction.

So the more watchers you have, when you get to that middle period where it’s kind of dead but if you have a good amount of watchers, you know there’s going to be some action toward the end. People are checking it out. They’re not bidding yet but they’re checking it out and it’s going to get some action.

The other way that you can get watchers is watching your username. So that’s – we recommend selling a couple of sites or buying a couple of sites. The good thing about that is you’re going to get a few people that said, “Oh, I really like that site. I didn’t win it but I want to know the next time this user has an auction up for sale.” So they will sign up to watch you as a user and anytime you list another auction, they will get an email saying, “Hey, this user has a new auction available.”

Joe:
Yeah, these are very key in kind of making sure that other people know that you’re out there and available on Flippa. You don’t want to just be the new kid on the block.

Justin:
Here’s another thing we’ve done for quite a while is we thank the bidders, right? So someone will bid and we’ll say, “Hey, really appreciate your bid. If you want to know more about us, here’s this, this and this.” We’ve had a template that we’ve sent out to people and we just change like the first sentence or so to kind of like personalize it. But yeah, I mean just kind of like thanking them, giving them more information about you will help make them feel more comfortable and our thought was – and we didn’t know this going in. We just kind of – we thought it would be a good idea. We figured if we welcomed them especially early in the auction, they might – and they check us out, they might be a bit more comfortable bidding higher amounts, right? So I was only going to go to 2500 but these guys are good, man. They’re on top of it. I will go to 2800.

Joe:
Yeah, I really love the email one because – well message one, whatever you want to call it because we send them our LinkedIn profiles. We send them to AdSense Flippers. They know that we’re real people, like there actually is a Justin Cooke and a Joe Magnotti. We’re not just made up and we’re not just this nameless company Try BPO trying to push websites.

Justin:
We should have mentioned that too in the copy. We put our names. We’re out there. We’re not like this nameless, faceless, being that’s just chugging out sites. I mean it’s us, right? And people like to buy from other people, not just some machine. So putting yourself out there a bit. I know some people are less comfortable being so present online but if you’re willing to do that, it will give you an edge.

The tenth point is to update the auction and the comments. Let people know what’s going on. Now, I don’t tell how many watchers or bidders there are because I don’t want to scare off people like oh, there’s too many watchers or oh, too many bidders there. But definitely like kind of update. So if you still have AdSense on the site, give updates on the earnings, right? Thank people for the bids and let people know what’s going on with the sites or any changes or adjustments, right? Make sure they know and that way, you’re putting more comments.

I put a comment right away. Right after we listed, I put one comment because you see that when you’re on Flippa too. You see how many comments it has and if it at least has one comment, that’s a bit more social proof. So I might go check it out if it has a comment as opposed to one right next to it that doesn’t.

Joe:
And make sure you take the time to answer comments right away and that’s really important because if comments go unanswered, people are going to think you’re neglecting the auction for whatever reason and then you’re going to be hard to deal with post-auction.

Justin:
The good and the bad of it is the way Flippa works is right when you’re getting toward the end of the auction, once you’re inside four hours and someone makes a bid, that extends it out another four hours. So if you don’t put a Buy It Now at the very end of the auction, you may see your auction extend another four, six, eight, fifteen hours, right? Where you have to keep checking up on it. Sucks when you’re trying to go to sleep, man. That’s pretty miserable. We’re like handing off back and forth. OK, you take over, men.

But yeah, know that and if you just need to shut it down, you can always put a Buy It Now a little bit higher than the current bids and someone might take you up on it but definitely try to be involved toward the end when all that action is happening. If someone leaves a comment and it’s a negative comment that’s not really answered well, you want to be there to answer it right away so that you don’t discourage other bidders.

Joe:
Yeah, I would say these also plays goes hand in hand when you want the auction to end. Think about that and what your schedule is like and what times you’re going to need to be available.

Justin:
Well that’s it for the heart of this week’s episode. Let’s get right into the ninja marketing tips, tricks and our plans for the future.

****The AdSense Flippers Podcast continues****

Justin:
So we’ve only got one ninja marketing tip or trick for you today. It’s specifically talking about Kindle publishing. I’ve been watching this kind of in the blogosphere and it’s getting hot right now. I mean Joseph Archibald is talking about it. A bunch of other people are talking about it on Twitter and their blog post and how you can publish these ebooks and make a good amount of money. Sell them for 99 cents, 2.99 and sell 15, 20, 50 a month and just kind of knock them out. They’re almost like niche sites on their own, right?

Joe:
Yeah, I like this idea and I think there’s definitely some merit to it as long as the content is pretty good. I mean I was on the Kindle store the other day just looking for like a basic sci-fi book and I think that even fiction now is getting to this level of – they’re just out there cranking out content about any old subject and very similar kind of sci-fi books with the hope that you will pick one up for 2.99.

Justin:
So do you think it’s already saturated, like there are too many of them?

Joe:
No, no, but there’s a lot of low quality writing for sure. So if you could stand out by making a little bit better content especially in the fiction arena, I imagine you could make some good money.

Justin:
Someone mentioned this and I can’t give them credit because I don’t remember who they were but they talked about building it around kind of an idea, so Tim Ferriss in his 4-Hour Workweek, 4-Hour Body, 4-Hour Chef. Do something similar to that where you have like a whole network of books that are around like a four-hour or something else, something like the four-hour. You know what I mean?

Joe:
Yeah. I would say you need to be a good writer or at least have a good network of writers in order to make this successful.

Justin:
Well, most of the people I’ve been reading and talking to about it, they outsource the writing and they might do a little bit of editing themselves but it’s kind of an automated process and that’s why I kind of like – I pricked my ears up and I was like, well, that’s stuff we do well.

A couple of resources I think you should check out is ShuckABuck.com and that’s S-H-U-C-K-A-B-U-C-K dot com. I will put a link to it but he has an ebook about it. I haven’t purchased it full disclosure. I haven’t checked it out but I think I’m going to. I know one of those ebooks is for 19.95 but I think I’m going to take a look. It’s like 30 bucks and see what he has to say about it. I think he’s making $1500 a month or something with his little ebooks that are for sale.

It’s kind of interesting and then Mark Thompson over at MJThompson.net, he has a membership site WPGoldmine.com. We’re members there and I check in every once in a while, right? And kind of say hi or make a couple of comments on things that I think are interesting but there’s a particular thread or a particular section of their message board now. It’s about Kindle and self-publishing that has over 1400 posts.

Joe:
Wow.

Justin:
And they’re doing like a whole kind of network on like review my books and I will check your books out. They have like a buying club where like they will go and they will buy from each other’s books to kind of check them out and like see if they can learn from each other. It’s an interesting little group. So if you’re all interested in that, I would make sure to check out ShuckABuck.com and then WPGoldmine.com as well. It’s interesting, man. It’s a good idea. I don’t think we’re going to be getting into it but I kind of like it. It’s kind of one of those hot topics that is interesting.

Joe:
Yeah. We produce enough content right now for the niche sites. I can’t imagine doing it for Kindle books as well.

Justin:
Sweet lord. I know. Right, man? It’s – oh my god. Well that’s it for Episode 26 of the AdSense Flippers Podcast. Thanks for hanging with us. Make sure to check us out on Twitter, @AdSense Flippers. We would love to chat with you. Talk to you next time.

Joe:
Bye-bye everybody.

 

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • iTunes GiveawayCongratulations to the winner of the free niche site giveaway!
  • Kindle publishing, a new “Listener Questions/Comments” section on the podcast, and people and sites that inspire us
  • Website valuation and our ideal sale price on Flippa Trusting the market and how less is NOT more when it comes to details
  • The Golden Trifecta of visibility on Flippa It’s all about the eyeballs…getting seen on Flippa through non-Flippa sources
  • The real deal on Flippa listing upgrades

Mentions:

Hot Tip – Make sure to check out ShuckaBuck and what he’s doing with Kindle books.  You can also Check out the forum WPGoldmine (paid) and their section on Kindle publishing…interesting stuff there.

Now it’s your turn!  Any good tips you can share about selling your sites on Flippa?  Let us know in the comments below or feel free to *give us a shout on Twitter!  Or…you can leave us a message below and have a chance to be featured in the next podcast!

 


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Discussion
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  1. Ammad says:

    I come into your website from Google search. I like your article. I will sell my website latter on some time. I just want to know, does Flippa.com and empireflippers.com are the same comapny or diffrent.
    Thanks.

    • Greg Elfrink says:

      Hey Ammad!

      We are a different company than FLippa :-)

      We are a full service brokerage and M&A advisory firm for online businesses specifically. Look forward to seeing your website on our marketplace!

  2. […] planned on posting one of my older sites on Flippa, but never got around to it. I did watch a great podcast from Empire Flippers with their tips for selling on Flippa.  It’s worth a listen if you plan on selling on […]

  3. […] as well as another one or two. I have never sold a website on Flippa, so it was interesting to hear their take on the subject as they delved into the pros and cons of that […]

  4. andrew says:

    Just a General Comment. I love that you guys are consistent with your podcasts. There are so few in this industry that are worth listening to or that you can count on for reliable podcasts. In addition keep giving out real practical information. It’s what continues to separate your brand from the others.

  5. Dave Starr says:

    Really good actionable info in this podcast, thanks again for providing an online university ;-)

    The one point you made about being “real” is so, so important, not only in auctions but in all your online activities. Business, whether it’s one ‘little guy’ selling one small site to another ‘little guy’ or some huge multi-million dollar corporate aquisition _always_ boils down at the end to two people trusting each other.

    I can’t tell you how many Flippa auctions I have looked at and decided not to bid, or how many other emails or sales pages I have ignored because they seem to be from some faceless weirdo.

    You want to succeed online? Be real!

    • Glad you like the podcast Dave! I could agree with you more, being real is the best way to do business online. People wonder why no one wants to do business with them when they hide behind the curtain of anonymity.

  6. […] We didn’t have any Flippa auctions again in June, but we’re excited to try out their new “Verified Earnings” feature with a new auction in the next couple of weeks. We’ve talked to a few of you that are looking to run your first auction on Flippa here soon and we really recommend listing to our latest podcast episode 26 covering how to sell your websites on Flippa. […]

  7. stevewyman says:

    Hi

    You make a great point about “brand” yes with a lack of branding selling through brokers or flippa makes sense to me.

    $1 no reserve – yep get it – it a hold the faith moment or two i expect..

    The flippa fees are amazing.. I dont understand how or why people sell stuff for <$50 their loosing money surely? Even on a $300 site the listing fee on its own is 10% of sale value let alone the rest of the fee's and paypal.

    What time do you typically end auctions, day of the week and hour? In ebay a few years ago 8pm on sunday was the hot spot…

    I love Dan & Ian's podcasts as well they are awesome. Tons of Passion.

    • We usually try to end them on a weekday in the morning, PST. This allows for the most people in the world to actually be awake, while accounting for a possible extension from last minute bidding.

      • stevewyman says:

        Auction duration, do you think the best timescale is 3 or 7 days?

        I see benefits in both

        Have 4th by the way even if a little late!

        • JustinWCooke says:

          Hey Steve,

          We always do around 7-8 days. I think 3-4 days could work, but we always like our auctions to go through at least one weekend.

          • stevewyman says:

            thanks for that Justin. makes sense to me. should launch my first one next week.

            regards

  8. Dan says:

    Wow guys what a pleasant surprise to hear a big shout while out walking around the town today. Thank you!!! You guys are always inspiring me and keeping me motivated as well, and I hope that we can get together this summer very shortly! WIll email you of course :) Also, this speak pipe thing is the bomb!…

  9. Dean Saliba says:

    I am a new visitor to your site, have you ever published a post about how to buy a site from Flippa? I’ve looked into this before and would love some tips on when to bid. :)

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