EFP 72: 6 Types Of Website Buyers

Justin Cooke November 29, 2013

What are the motivations behind website buyers? What makes a buyer choose one site over another? Why would someone buy a site without much revenue?

In the last few years, Joe and I have sold hundreds of sites, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’ve seen it all – from the newbie buyer who’s just wanting to see what all the fuss is about to the established investor, looking to diversify his portfolio.

The 6 Different Personalities of Online Business Buyers

Today Joe and I will profile the 6 different types of buyers we’ve come across. We’ll dig into their motivations, their fears, and ultimately explain the exact types of sites each buyer is looking to purchase.

I think this is one of our best episodes.  Our goal is to help buyers better understand the different ways you can approach site acquisitions and to explain to help sellers better understand the motivations behind the guys/gals that buy their sites.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

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Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • A new way to structure your email list – Choose Your Own Adventure, style
  • Newbie Norms – Does this shit work?
  • DIY David – How can I improve this site?
  • Portfolio Paul – What’s My ROI?
  • Lifestyle Larry – Will this pay the bills?
  • Strategic Sally – How does this fit into my business?
  • Flipper Fred – What’s my upside?



  • “Will this site pay the bills so I can live the lifestyle I want?” – Justin – Tweet This!
  • “Strategic Sally is a ‘Cash-On-Hand’ type of gal” – Justin – Tweet This!

Which type of buyer are you? How will you change your approach to selling sites based on buyer motivation? What do you think about our logo/branding and should we change it? Let us know by reaching out on Twitter, leaving us a message on SpeakPipe, or comment below – we’d love to hear from you!


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Voiceover:           Welcome to the Empire Flippers podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas but are short on substance? Worried that ebook you bought for $17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone, join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits, without the bullshit straight from your host, Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers.

Justin Cooke:                     Welcome to episode 72 of the Empire Flippers podcast. I’m your host, Justin Cooke and I’m here with Joe “Hot Money” Magnotti, my business partner extraordinaire. What is going on brother?

Joe Magnotti:                    Just tried on my hot money suit baby.

Justin Cooke:                     Hot money suit. I saw that on Facebook buddy and you’re looking pimp.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah bespoke. That’s the way to go.

Justin Cooke:                     Bespoke. Yes you got the pink shirt, you’re going to be rocking it at the Christmas party. Anyway, we’ve got a great episode lined up. We’re going to be talking about the six different types of site flippers. We’re really going to get into it. The idea of this episode is to help buyers see other ways to invest in sites and helps sellers better understand the motivation behind buyers and how they can better appeal to the different type of buyer that they’re dealing with. So we’re going to get into that. Before we do that, let’s do some updates, news, and information. First thing we’ve got is happy Thanksgiving.

Joe Magnotti:                    Happy Turkey day. I am looking forward to some Turkey tomorrow.

Justin Cooke:                     Me Too man. I’m going to get some stuffing, we’re going to tear this place up, it’s going to be fantastic. So we’re going to have a great Turkey day. I hope you have one as well. Second point I want to mention is we’ve kind of let you down and let me explain what I mean by that. We have a bit of a problem Joe.

Joe Magnotti:                    What is it? Another problem that’s what we need.

Justin Cooke:                     Yes another problem, we can fix this one though. So here’s the deal, everyone who signs up for our email list on our opt in form, they basically go through the same sequence, the same autoresponder sequence. So they sign up and they’re going to get content on how to start building out a niche site. It’s problematic if you’re a site seller and you already know this, you don’t want to build in it. So why are they getting the same sequence? Isn’t that silly? It’s pretty silly.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yes.

Justin Cooke:                     So I was on a phone call with Neil Patel, our apprentice got me on a phone call with him. We got to chat for about 30 minutes and I was telling him, “Look, I want to fix that. I want to have multiple different types of opt ins and give people the content they want.” And I was thinking eventually they all blend into the same funnel so like a long term nurture funnel, right? For our readers. We send them content that’s interesting and useful. And I asked him what he thought about that and he said, “Yes, it’s a really bad idea.”

Joe Magnotti:                    Really?

Justin Cooke:                     Yes. So he said that’s a really bad idea because you’re giving them all this great content that’s very specific to what they want and then you’re going to ruin that and put it like just general content that appeals to everyone and really ultimately appeals to no one. So it’s really interesting. The idea we’re going to do now is a choose your own adventure sequence. You opt in and you put in your email, you’re redirected to a form and you get to pick the types of content that you want and you’ll get sequences that are based on that specific content longterm. The idea is too is that you can opt out of specific sequences. So if you’re no longer interested in buying sites, you can just opt out of that particular buying site information sequence. So I guess it’d be really interesting. It’s something that we’re dealing with office auto pilot that I think is going to be really good for our subscribers and be much more specific to their needs.

Joe Magnotti:                    So what will people do that are already subscribed to the list?

Justin Cooke:                     Yes, so we’ll probably send out an email in December and people can go to a page and they’ll choose their own adventure and they can choose the sequence that they want to go down. A tip at the beginning of the show, but I think it’s really interesting and I think if you have an email list, you’re building one, it might be a really interesting way for you to do it. I think we’re going to do it through lead pages. So we ended up, we broke down and we finally bought Clay Collins’ lead pages. I tell you man, it’s boss. We talked to Simon in Bangkok and he was telling us about, I got a little more information from him and I was like, “I mean we should just get it.” And I’m really digging it. So I’ve been rocking out some lead pages lately.

Joe Magnotti:                    Well, I’m glad we’re getting value for our money there.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, man. I know it’s a monthly recurring mass. It’s one those lead page piece of software they pay monthly for. That seems a little aggressive, but I gotta tell you I like it. The other update we should probably talk about is the mastermind we had this last weekend. It was fantastic. We had a here in Davao city had, you know, some other peers, mentors that we had come in basically. And we talked, you know, about our businesses and kind of what’s going on. And it was, it was really interesting. We talked a lot about, you know, what we can do in terms of our branding, right. And we kind of got beat up a little bit for this, you know, with our little Empire Flipper logo and, and that kind of thing. And we talked about maybe doing less like make money online and targeting more people that are looking for investment vehicles. And I thought that was an interesting strategy.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And I think the other thing that they said too, it’s not just less make money online, but just a higher quality branding where it comes off like BMW or Popular Mechanics. I mean-

Justin Cooke:                     And we’re Fiat right now, you know, we have the cartoony guy and so, I don’t know, we like the cartoony guy. I mean, I know that’s where we kind of got rolling. But it’s an interesting idea to target a different type of buyer and seller that we’re actually gonna go over on the show. But the kind of moving up the value chain and appealing to a different group is interesting to me. We need to talk a bit more about how we’re going to pull that off and we need to figure this out before the end of the year. But-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, and I would love to hear from our readers and our listeners. If you guys have any feedback on our branding and you would like to let us know, you know, leave us something in the comments. Perhaps we’ll even put a survey together and you guys could kind of give us some feedback what you guys think.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. What do you guys think? Does the little cartoony guy turn people off or is it cool and you’s dig it and don’t want it to see a change? So I would be interested to hear we ever think. Anyway, let’s get right into the heart of this week’s episode.

Voiceover:                           This is the Empire Flippers podcast.

Justin Cooke:                     So today we’re going to be talking about the six types of website buyers. We’re going to be going through each of them and telling you kind of giving a model for what that person’s like, where they’re coming from. I think this will definitely help sellers understand kind of who they’re selling to and it’ll show buyers that there are different types and different ways to invest in these websites. We talk to people all the time that say, you know, when I go to buy a site, I want to buy sites and hold them as long as I can. I think people are crazy to sell sites and we have other, you know, the other side of the coin where people are like, you know, oh my God, I would never like, as soon as I could sell, as soon as it’s profitable, I’m absolutely selling it and getting the cash up front and those two sides really don’t understand each other. I think you know, in terms of, you know, what types of sites they’re investing in, when you should hold, when you should sell.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. If you own a site or looking to acquire a site in the near future, I hope this episode opens your mind a little bit to the other possible types of strategies that are out there.

Justin Cooke:                     So first one buddy, we’ve got some funny names for these, but we got Newbie Norms is up. So Newbie Norms is a guy that you know wants to make it work. He’s either brand new with Internet marketing or making money online, has never built sites before or possibly has been burned on some info products or some stuff that just didn’t work, but he knows it’s possible. Right? So his idea is that he wants a model he can build on.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I definitely see this as being the guys that we started off with with adsense flippers. You know those people that definitely did all the ebook reading, they did all the courses, the video things, and they just never made a dime. And now instead of paying for all that stuff, they can pay a reasonable amount of money and get something every month.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, they’re happy. They want to build, right? They’re looking to build sites. Potentially. But they’re looking for a site that actually makes money, something, anything like legitimately makes money so that they can say, okay, this works right. I can take this forward. And these are the people they buy from us. They’ll buy like the starter packs, they’ll buy a single site. They’re not looking to spend much cash though. So there are a little cash poor, they don’t want to buy a $15,000 site, a site, a model off of that. They want to buy up, you know, $800 site, maybe a $1,200 site or small website package.

Joe Magnotti:                    Right. But that said they’re willing to pay a higher multiple as long as it works. And it’s, you know, while there’s nothing guaranteed in the world, but as long as it definitely has this history.

Justin Cooke:                     They start getting dollars in their adsense account or Amazon account and they’re like, okay, now I see it. And here’s the funny thing is that this confused us a bit, but ROI was not their highest purpose. Actually having a site that works that they can model was their highest purpose. And these are the people that buy sites on Flippa. If the site’s not earning, they feel totally hosed on the deal.

Joe Magnotti:                    It makes sense to me now because their price range is usually lower. They’re not so concerned about the multiple or the ROI. They’re concerned more about how much cash are going to have to lay out and does it work at all?

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. I don’t want to be $10,000 in by a lemon is what they’re worried about. They want to just kind of test the waters. So we got quotes to each of them, we’ve got Newbie Norms. His quote is, does this shit work right? Just doesn’t work. Does it really work? Can I make a few bucks? Can I build sites that make a few bucks? And that that’s where they’re testing the waters are just trying to put their toes in and see, you know, see what happens. Number two, we’ve got do it yourself David. DIY David. Now David’s the kind of guy, he’s a tinkerer, right? So he cares more about the site itself than trying to like a model that you know, he’ll build out of. He actually wants to build and play with the site that he’s purchasing.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I see this guy as an engineer, computer science major. Maybe he’s a college level kid and you know, he really just wants to reverse engineer exactly what we’ve done. Maybe he’s read the Guide or he’s read some other stuff online, but he has a good amount of technical knowledge and he really wants to apply that by reverse engineering sites.

Justin Cooke:                     It’s funny you see him as more of a technical guy. I don’t see the type of guy, I see a school teacher right? No really. I see a school teacher that says, look, you know, rather than goofing around, you know, online, I might as well be goofing around with a site that makes money and I can start to build this site out. You know, someone that’s, you know, just wants to learn some of the things about the site. They’re really interested in kind of figuring it out right inside the site itself. And one of the things about the, you know, about Do It Yourself David, is this is the kind of guy that wants to pick the niche. Right? So he doesn’t want just kind of any random site that’s earning, it has to be something that’s in line with what he’s interested in, in line with what he knows or wants to learn about. Right. So he’s going to want to know the industries and want to know a little bit more about the niche before he gets into it, if there’s anything objectionable. We’ve had this, right? We’ve had people ask if there’s any kind of objectionable content and he’s not interested in that or anything that’s, you know, outside of his scope or what he wants.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Especially if he’s going to be playing around with the site a lot. It means he’s going to have to maybe write some content and maybe move some content. Maybe get some content done and that is easier if you’re, especially if you’re doing it yourself, if you’re interested in the topic,

Justin Cooke:                     This is someone that’s going to play with the plugins on the site. Right. This is someone that, that is more interested in how they can scale the site. They’re less concerned about the multiple on the site itself. They want to make sure that they’re going to be able to play with it, figure it out, and have it grow over time.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I see them wouldn’t want to change the hosting, you know, wanting to change the underlying technology.

Justin Cooke:                     If I speed up the site, does that improve rankings? Okay. And I sped up the side. It did improve rankings. Yeah. They’re playing with it. They’re tinkering the quote for Do It Yourself David, I can make this better. They want to take the site, they want to improve it, they want to add to it and make it a much better site.

Joe Magnotti:                    You know, we always say that that’s upside for the buyer first. Our small insights, and I think that’s very true for in this case.

Justin Cooke:                     So the third type of buyer we want to talk about is Portfolio Paul. Now this is a guy that has a bunch of sites he’s looking to add to his portfolio, right? But here’s the thing, he doesn’t want to do a bunch of work, right? He wants to do very little work on the sites. He wants them, you know, to basically be run on their own or he wants someone else to do it. He wants a VA or something that can already, that can come along and step in and be able to run the site for him.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I see Portfolio Paul as either a part of a corporate conglomerate that already owns a whole bunch of other sites. I also see him maybe as a very successful single entrepreneur that already has a portfolio of sites. In either case, he has a library existing, he knows the drill, he knows the onboarding process, the migration process he had, maybe he has some staff available. So you know, he’s very good at finding these kinds of properties that need to run but don’t need his individual time.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. And we were running into both of these guys and there’s a third one actually is, you know, the partnership, right? So it’s two or maybe even three guys and gals that, you know, I’ve already teamed up, they’ve got their network of sites and they’re looking at building this out. Maybe it’s an alternative investment for them and maybe it’s, you know, something that they’re looking to build their, you know, web entrepreneurship, you know, mogul-ish empire. So you know, it just depends. But you know, a lot of times this will have to do with, you know, they want to diversify their portfolio. So they already run a bunch of eCommerce sites and that’s running and they’ve got a team working on that. So they are looking for adsense sites or they’re looking for a drop ship site that they can eventually turn into eCommerce or something like that. They’re looking for a little more diversification in their portfolio of sites. They’re also … generally Portfolio Paul is looking for larger sites so he doesn’t want to mess around with the $300 a month, $500 a month site. He is looking for like $1,000 a month minimum.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. In talking to these guys. Absolutely. That’s really the sweet range for them is $800 or $1,000 or more, you know, and they want to, they want to start there because anything less than that, they don’t feel is worth their time. Even getting the reports and looking at it and analyze.

Justin Cooke:                     Or they’re not making enough money to be able to put people underneath that that are working on it at it, kind of doing all the things that they want to do. And these are guys that will go up to, you know, maybe $10,000 a month. So that’s actually their range. That’s a bit outside of the buyers. Now we’re getting into territory above and beyond that. That would be outside of our kind of, you know, sphere so to speak. But yeah, those guys are looking for $100,000 sites. They want a site that makes $5,000 a month that they can add a team to. They’re looking for investment vehicles, they’re looking for engines that can drive cashflow, personal cashflow either for themselves and their partners or the companies that they work for. And that’s a pretty interesting fact. We talked to a guy that eventually he wanted to buy up enough sites to where he was paying his mortgage, which was a hefty mortgage. One to pay his mortgage with the sites that he-

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, very interesting. You know, he already has a collection of sites that take up a majority of his time, his wife’s time and like his brother-in-law or something like that. So he doesn’t really have any time. But he does want a library of sites that you know, make him $4 – $5,000 a month and are completely passive. So-

Justin Cooke:                     On the side. Yeah. ‘Cause he’s working inside of his other sites and as other businesses, these are kind of a side gig that pays his mortgage. So I thought that was pretty interesting approach. You know, that’s definitely a Portfolio Paul. Portfolio Paul’s quote, what’s my ROI baby?

Joe Magnotti:                    We’ll give it to them.

Justin Cooke:                     When am I getting paid back on this site? How long does it take? How can I improve that? How can I do it without my personal time invested in it? Like what will it take for the team? You know, how much does it cost for the person that’s all in there. The content I’m going to have to create? A lot of times they’ll be looking, they’ll make sure that they’re paying a multiple on net, right? That’s really important to them and understanding that number, so you know, and that’s critical for Portfolio Paul.

                                                So the fourth type of buyer we want to talk about is Lifestyle Larry. So Lifestyle Larry is a guy that you know, this is how I see it. This is how I seeL Larry. So he is working the company making a good amount of cash. He’s got some money socked away and he hates it, right? He’s sitting in a cubicle. He’s like, man, I’m just, he’s in his own office, even private office. He’s just like, I’m done with this man. I see all these guys on beaches in Thailand or Philippines or wherever. I’m out of here, baby, get me outta here. Right? So they are, they’ve saved up plenty of cash and they’re looking to buy a site, two sites, three sites that are relatively safe. So they’re looking for not that much risk. And what the, what I mean by risk is no bad SEO, you know, very little crappy SEO at all if possible.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Because you know, Larry is looking to, not supplement his income, replace his income.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. He’s doing it with a large chunk. This is a big, you know, a piece of his pie that he’s willing to invest in that.

Joe Magnotti:                    So he can’t invest and then find out in three months that it just, you know, went to crap. So that would be really, really bad for him.

Justin Cooke:                     He also wants to make sure that he’s buying properties that are scalable, that have some longterm growth opportunity. He doesn’t mind the work. He’s willing to put in the work ’cause he knows that he’ll be working on a laptop, you know, wherever. And then he can put the time in. So he’s not scared of the work, but he wants to make sure the site is scalable and it’s not just kind of capped, it’s not reached its limit.

Joe Magnotti:                    At the same time, he’s willing to work, but it’s got to match this lifestyle. Like some guys are going to be saying, hey, you know, I’m going to be living in America. I’m willing to put in 60 hours of work a week. I really want to take this to the next level, but I want to build my own business out of it. But then you have the really true lifestyle people that want to work 20 hours a week and live on a beach in Thailand. So they need less money, but they need to have a site that’s not only less time commitment, but location independent.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. So if there’s a site that goes over, I don’t know, like it looks at, you know, available condos or something in San Diego and he’s in San Diego, but he wants to live in Bali. He wants to chill on the beach in Bali. That’s not a good fit because he’s an have to have people that go around, take the pictures and you know, do all the things that are required. You’re gonna have to be in the scene to do that. And he’s off to Bali so he doesn’t want that, you know, San Diego Condo site. So yeah, definitely know meets both, you know, his locational requirements and also the hours worked, right? He doesn’t want to be putting in 70 hour work weeks in a cubicle or an office. He’s done that. He’s been down that road and he’s looking to take a nice chunk of his savings and basically bake himself up a job. Right. The quote for lifestyle, Larry, will this pay the bills, will this website pay the bills so that I can go live the life that I want? Right. And that’s the big question for Leisure Suit Larry. That’s what I keep thinking of that.

Joe Magnotti:                    I Keep thinking Leisure Suit Larry.

Justin Cooke:                     Remember that game?

Joe Magnotti:                    Because I had a suit, I guess, I don’t know.

Justin Cooke:                     I Don’t know. I mean I played game when I was a kid, I was like this is crazy. Anyway, a totally different tangent, but Lifestyle Larry wants to make sure that this site or these sites that he’s buying are going to be able to pay the bills when he quits his corporate job.

Joe Magnotti:                    You know, I think a lot of people are finding out how big of a possibility this is. It’s not out of reach. You know, you don’t need to have $1 million to buy a website that’s going to replace your income. I mean you have to be realistic about your goals and expectations. But I think the Lifestyle Larry approach is a very good one.

Justin Cooke:                     So the fifth buyer we’re going to talk about today is Strategic Sally. So Strategic Sally is in a position where she’s less concerned with the price or the multiple that she’s looking at. She’s more concerned with the added value to her business. So she is looking for a pickup that will automatically come and blend in with her other products or service offerings and she’ll be able to instantly, you know, boost the revenue and the profit that’s made on that particular site.

Joe Magnotti:                    I hate being called Sally, but this one probably fits us the best. Like we are Strategic Sally’s, we definitely look at acquiring small software companies or small software sites like WP Rank Tracker and see how they can, we can add value to them by our audience or by putting them in our library.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. In a non web environment. We’re also looking to do something in the past with outsourcing, right? We went around looking for smaller outsourcing companies here in Deval that we could pick up and purchase. We actually did get one, the other one fell through, you know, but that’s something that else that we look at is, you know, we look for strategic businesses that we can hop in on and they’re not really, you know, Strategic Sally’s not necessarily looking to improve that site as a standalone. Right. So it’s not, she’s not going to look at it as its own profit arm. Great. If it’s making money right now, it is a standalone for someone else, that’s fantastic. But she is going to blow away that 20 x multiple or whatever the multiple is. As soon as she integrates into her business, that 20 x goes to eight x or seven X.

Joe Magnotti:                    Just thinking about Empire Flippers, we have the starter packs. Right. And that is a great possibility for us to add extra value there by acquiring other pieces of software or something that we can offer to people.

Justin Cooke:                     Oh yeah, I can see what you’re saying. I wasn’t following you at first. So you’re saying, yeah, like buy up other pieces of software, bake it into the starter packs for people that are just starting off, make sure it’s a needed thing and then you know, throw that in, we could raise our prices or do whatever.

Joe Magnotti:                    Exactly.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. As a strategic person that would make our starter packs more valuable and we can charge a higher price for that.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Justin Cooke:                     And the product sells on its own, right. So you’re making money on that too, but now you’re baking that into your business and making more money with other product suites that you have.

Joe Magnotti:                    So if you’re out there and you own one of these small pieces of software, I need, your sales are suffering. This is the kind of buyer that you should look for. Somebody that’s just, that may overpay in terms of multiple because you don’t have a lot of revenue, but they have the audience and they have the products available that they can blend it in very well with.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. A lot of you run into people that, you know, we’re trying to build web apps or a startup that they just kind of never really got rolling in their or took it somewhere else and you know, a great pickup for that web app or whatever it would be. A strategic buyer, a Strategic Sally. So it’s a great idea to reach out to others in your space and let them know that you know, you’re looking to be acquired, that you’re looking to have the site picked up and then they may see value that you don’t. So they may pick it up at a much higher multiple knowing that as soon as they buy you out, they’re going to make a killing with your web app or your website or whatever. So yeah, I think I really like the Strategic Sally approach. I think it’s great. The problem with Strategic Sally’s position, right, is that she struggles to find just the right strategic purchases.

                                                It’s not like there’s somewhere you can go and find a list of sites that are good strategic value to you. You’re henpecking here, you’re really digging for the right site that’s going to add value to your business. And that I think is a struggle for Strategic Sally.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. Especially because some of the properties may be distressed, like the software you may buy may be broken in some manner and may take a little bit of investment to fix up. So you know, it’s never like the ultimate right fix. You know, WP Rank Tracker happened to be a very good fit for us, but I think that that’s-

Justin Cooke:                     That’s a great low level example, too. People do some very high level of the strategic purchases too, right? We’re talking about WP Rank Tracker, you know, $1,000 or whatever. Not a big deal, but that goes all the way up the scale, right? You can do it very low level, very high level. The cool thing about Strategic Sally though is that she doesn’t know. Well, the bad thing is that it’s hard for her to find the sites. You know, that arc of good strategic value. The good thing though is Strategic Sally knows that and so she keeps a lot of cash on hand. So Strategic Sally is a cash on hand gal, right? She’s got the money ’cause she’s basically doing a … running her business, doing her thing and when those opportunities come along she can then snap them up and integrate into her business.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. And this is not the type of seller that’s going to have a huge review, you know, due diligence process. She just wants something that works for her and she’s willing to to pull the trigger.

Justin Cooke:                     Sally’s quote, how does this fit into my business? Right? She’s looking for something that can absolutely integrate, boost the rest of her business, which will give her a crazy, you know, drop her multiple on that purchase. Significantly.

                                                Sixth person we’ve got is Flipper Fred and his cousins Optimizing Oliver and Content Carol. So we’re going to go over this really quick. Flipper Fred is a guy that loves to optimize sites. He is looking for the quick wins, right? Fred is looking for the, he’s looking at apply the 80/20 rule to sites that are not well monetize, don’t have intella theme on them, right? Things that you know where they could, the ad placement could be much better. He wants to buy those up, quickly switch them around and earn more out of them.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I mean I think both Optimizing Oliver and Content Carol, these are the two people that have made the most money on our marketplace. I think because in terms volume they can sell the most amount of sites. They can find properties that fit into their process on places like Flippa or privately. They can apply their process, expanding earnings quickly over, you know, six months or less and then put it on our higher end market place and get a better return on their money.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, Optimizing Oliver is looking at the 80/20 rule. He wants to put more ad placement on there. He wants to use things like intella theme, right, to improve earnings. Content Carol is the girl that’s going to put content on the site. So she’s going to add a bunch of content to try to get, you know, take advantage of the long tail traffic to boost earnings and in six months, nine months, 12 bucks, flip that sight for you know, three, four x what she bought it for by simply adding in the content. So those are two great ways to go about it. The thing about these people, Fred, Oliver, Carol, they tend to be formulaic, so they have a particular process that they know exactly the type of sites they’re looking for. And these are generally under-monetized sites. They have high traffic, low earnings.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, it’s definitely not something that a Newbie is going to step into and get working. And it’s probably not something that a tinkerer is going to be able to just figure out. It’s going to have to be someone who’s stumbled along and found a really good process over time that work.

Justin Cooke:                     And perfected, right? So they’re very process driven as well. So they’ve got their process. Maybe they have a VA or two VA’s or a whole team of people that once, you know, Fred or Oliver or Carol, they acquire that site, they quickly send it over to their team, they’re going to optimize. They’re going to add content and within six months they’re going to be flipping it for big profits. So you know, Flipper Fred, his big question or his quote would be what is my upside? Right? How can I flip this? How can I make a buck? Where is the opportunity? Where is the hole in this site that I can fill and knock it out of the park? So I think that’s a really good kind of overview of the six different types of website buyers we see. And these are all born out of actually talking to these people, you know, selling sites to these people and like starting to get to know, you know, where they’re coming from and like what types of sites they’re looking for.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah. I almost guarantee if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably fit into one of these categories and it can be a buyer or sellers.

Justin Cooke:                     And the funny thing too is, Joe, you might be at one point, you know, I’m a Strategic Sally and then the next time you know with the next I’m a Do It Yourself David. So we do bounce in and out of these different categories. But it’s important I think as a seller to know what the motivation is. And I think it’s interesting for buyers to hear that there’s not necessarily just one way of doing it. You may be starting off as Newbie Norms, but pretty soon you know, you figure out I like tinkering with sites. I want to be a Do It Yourself David. I mean I think we’ve killed the names. Let’s get right into our tips, tricks and plans for the future.

Voiceover:                           You’re listening to the Empire Flippers podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cooke:                     So talking about buying and selling sites Joe, our first tip is a company called Centurica. You can check them out at centurica.com and basically what they do is they do due diligence for buyers that are looking to pick up a site. They’ll also give you a due diligence report if you’re a seller that’s looking to sell your site and they can help you, you know, give you that report so you can publish it or give it to potential buyers.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, we actually use them on the backend for our sites and I give those reports to sellers on an as needed basis. Something I might expand in the future, but it’s nice if you could white label them, we can put our logo on them and everything like that. And yeah, it’s nice to have an independent third party that, you know, a buyer can look at that due diligence report and say, yeah, this is a good thing to know.

Justin Cooke:                     Well, what I like about it too is that they’re trying to set a standard. Right. And I don’t know, I mean our market’s so early that I don’t know. I don’t know if they’ll be the guys, but you know, they’re trying to be the Experian of website buying. Right? So you know, if it has a seal of approval or you know, grade from them, you’re going to know how it stacks up against other sites or other sites you’ve purchased or own.

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, I think the negative is here that they are a little overly cautious on some of the elements, but you know, that’s a good thing to be, especially if they’re trying to be independent and a third party onlooker.

Justin Cooke:                     I think the thing that’s great about it too is that Justin Gilchrist from Flip Filter is involved, it’s, he’s partnered up with someone else on this and that guy for our industry is definitely a thought leader. He definitely comes out with some really great content. So I’d check out his site to flipfilter.com

                                                Second point we want to mention is we have a 20,000 plus site for sale on the vetted sites area. We’re talking about this before the show and basically it’s kind of a, it’s a, it’s a lower insight for a Portfolio, Paul, right?

Joe Magnotti:                    Yeah, definitely would be on just the entrance level for Portfolio Paul, cause it it, you know, it’s making about $1,000 a month, so it’s probably something that he would just barely be interested in. But I think it’s, you know, one of several for Lifestyle Larry and it probably would fit in well with him because besides adding content, there’s really not much that needs to be done to this site.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. Lifestyle Larry, he wants to make five grand a month. This is one of five or six sites that he purchases that gets him there. He goes to Thailand and chills on the beach and sips on fruity drinks. That’s his … Lifestyle Larry is done, man. I’m out of this office. I’m breaking out.

Joe Magnotti:                    I just pictured a little, you know, Leisure Suit Larry.

Justin Cooke:                     You can still be a Leisure Suit Larry, man, you can’t get over it.

Joe Magnotti:                    He’s on the beach, he’s hanging out, he’s drinking and he’s checking his laptop. So we got, we need some graphics in here and do some of that.

Justin Cooke:                     All right man. That’s it for episode 72 of the Empire Flippers podcast. Thanks for hanging with us. Make sure to check us out on Twitter @empireflippers and we’ll see you next week. Happy Thanksgiving.

Joe Magnotti:                    Happy thanksgiving, everybody

Voiceover:                           You’ve been listening to the Empire Flippers broadcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empireflippers.com. Thanks for listening.



  • David says:

    A cousin of “Portfolio Paul” would be “Hands Off Hank” … Hank has the financial resources of Paul, but the website experience of Newbie Norm. He wants passive cashflow, and is willing to pay for it, but doesn’t already have the team in place or the knowledge to run a website. He might be an older entrepreneur in a non technical field and some cash on the sidelines in his Solo-401k that he’d like to put to work, but even if he knew or wanted to learn how to run a website (which he doesn’t), working directly on the web businesses he purchases would be a prohibitted transaction. Empire Flippers should seriously consider a business model for servicing Hank’s needs (maybe they are already working on it), they’d get a ton more business from me and the other Hank’s out there, and I’d imagine that Hank is a large and attractive demographic (i.e. millions of wealthy Baby Bommers).

  • Joseph says:

    I can identify with “Lifestyle Larry” I am just so sick of working for other people. At the end of the day, I just want the bills paid!

  • Josh Kelly says:

    I’d be stoked to see you guys go deeper into these customer avatars at some point, as I’m always thinking about how I can provide the most value to site buyers. Which avatars do you think are most likely to buy in the 200-600 price range?

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Josh!

      We go into a bit more detail in our emails and explain good sites to purchase, sites to stay away from, etc. – all depending on your buyer profile.

      The price range you’ve mentioned is probably reasonable for DIY David, Flipper Fred, and a low-end earner for Lifestyle Larry.

  • Nick Donahue says:

    Great article, keep up the good work!

  • Troy Swezey says:

    Loved Leisure Suit Larry. Still have all the games.

  • Justin Cooke says:

    Definitely not going corporate! 🙂

    We’ve been down that route and it’s not gonna happen again anytime soon. Even with a brand/site change, we wouldn’t change the way we deliver – too much “us” in it and we’re just not “those guys”, know what I mean?

    Thanks and best to you!

  • Derek Conjar says:

    This was incredibly useful.

    I’m starting a blog targeting website investors. Still figuring out my content strategy.

    These personas helped a lot. Thanks!

  • JakubHanke says:

    I’m combination of all of them except Newbie Norms. Although my ultimate goal is to be the Lifestyle Larry 🙂

    • Justin Cooke says:


      I think we all bounce in and out of the different personas, depending on where we’re at…although I don’t think I’ve ever been the Lifestyle Larry. We know others who are, though, for sure!

  • Tristan Boyd says:

    Great discussion on site buyers, but just quickly on the logo. I found it innocent and trustworthy, (if slightly childish). I think you guys have a point of difference and that is that you are hands on genuine, nuts and bolts type guys. I would not recommend going for a complete redesign. Don’t go trying to look like the rest of the crowd. Maybe update it a little and by all means go to town on redesigning the website, but keep the cartoon guy.

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks for the feedback!

      I like the innocent look too, but I’m worried the cartoon might be too childish for serious investors that are new to our brand. Once they listen to some podcasts, read some posts, etc. I don’t care as much – they either dig where we’re coming from or they don’t…I just don’t want them to be turned away in the first 30 seconds because of the cartoon, you know?

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