When it comes to selling websites on our marketplace, we’ve noticed that a lot of the same questions get asked repeatedly. We try our best to be clear but sometimes there are additional questions that aren’t answered in the rest of our content and we wanted to cover some of those here.
Here are a list of our most frequently asked questions that will hopefully help you out with the process. If you haven’t already, you can also read our step-by-step process on how to sell a site on our marketplace here: How to Sell Your Site With Us
The 5 Step Process for Selling with Empire Flippers
How to Sell a Website Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ:)
What happens if my site doesn’t sell?
We ask for a 6 month exclusivity when listing your business with us to give us enough time to field deals, offers and negotiate on your behalf. If your business still is not sold at that time, you can either keep it with us and we will keep marketing it or you can de-list it to sell somewhere else.
Do online businesses ever sell for less than the listing price?
Buyers can make offers on your website or business at full list price or beneath. We’ll take the offers to you and you have the option to accept or make a counteroffer.
There may be times when you and the buyer will want to meet in the middle and create a financing plan. For example, 85% of the listing price upfront and 15% over four months. You can learn more about deal structuring and how it works by clicking here.
What do you need from me to list my website?
Our sellers find our process straightforward, but thorough. Our goal is to provide a quality listing for discerning buyers who are looking to avoid digging through a subpar directory to find something worthwhile.
Here’s a glimpse of what we’re looking for:
Seller’s personal info including name, email, Skype, social media profiles, etc.
Site details such as URL, date purchased/created, site history, backlinking efforts, etc.
Screenshots of complete monthly revenue details (gross monthly revenue, net monthly profit).
Google Analytics data/access (Clicky is an acceptable alternative).
How do I sell a website on your marketplace?
You can find more information on listing your website here. It costs $297 to list your site with us the first time and $97 for any subsequent listings after the first. The fee is fully refundable if we don’t end up listing your site for any reason. Once the site has been approved and listed, the fee is no longer refundable.
How long does it take to sell a website via the marketplace?
This varies heavily and will depend on several factors including what platform the site is built on, how much work is required, how transferable the monetization strategy is, how much documentation has been done of the processes, etc. While sites under $100K tend to go quickly, we’ve sold $200K+ sites in less than a month and have had $40K sites take a month or more. We ask for at least 6 months exclusivity to list and sell your online business. We can give you a our professional estimate after reviewing/vetting your site for sale, but remember every business is unique and our estimations are educated guesses not the actual timeline of when your business will be sold.
What is the success rate of selling sites through Empire Flippers?
We’ve successfully sold more than 95% of the online businesses we’ve listed all-time. If they don’t sell within 180 days you have the option of taking your listing elsewhere.
How much will my website sell for / how do you price your websites?
Websites are sold on a multiple of net monthly profit. We typically take an average of the net profit over the last 6-12 months and multiply by a multiple (20X to 60X+) to determine the price. In instances where the site is seasonal or has been earning for several years, we’ll take an average of at least 12 months of net monthly profit. In cases where the business has assets, we’ll add the wholesale or discounted value of the assets on top of the multiplier.
Here are a few examples:
Example 1: Content-based AdSense site that’s made $24,000 in net profit in the last 12 months. We’ll take the monthly average ($2,000) and use a multiple (Let’s say 28X) to determine the price. ($56,000) You’ll receive 85% of the final sales price or $47,600 in this case.
Example 2: Dropshipping Halloween site that earned $60,000 in gross revenue Sep/Oct/Nov and $10,000 in profit. It’s made $80,000 in all of 2013 with $12,000 in profit. They’ve got inventory value with wholesale value of $5,000. Because the site is seasonal, we’ll look at the average net monthly profit earnings from 2013 ($1,000/month) and multiply that by the multiple (Let’s say 20X) ($20,000). With $5,000 in inventory, that puts the price of the site at $25,000. The seller will receive 85% or $21,250.
Example 3: Lead generation site in the education niche that earned $42,000 over the last 12 months with $100/month in hosting costs and $500/month in paid traffic. The site has made $4,100/month in gross revenue, but we’ll subtract the $100/month and $500/month worth of costs, putting the net profit at $3,500/month. Using a multiple of 26X, we’ll list the site for $91,000 and the seller will receive 85% or $77,350.
The multiple varies from 20X to 60X+ and is dependent on a number of factors. (Site age, traffic, stability of earnings, monetization type, traffic diversity, etc.)
We offer migration services for all of our sellers. (And most take us up on it) Once payment has been received, we’ll open up a new ticket through our Zendesk system and both the buyer and seller will be cc’d throughout the entire process. We’ll collect the relevant information from the buyer and complete the migration process including all content, monetization, etc. Once we have all of the information, we’ll get started with the migration.
From sale to seller payment, expect the process to take 1-3 weeks on average.
Will I get to know who buys my site?
Yes, definitely. Once payment has been received, both you and the buyer will get an email with a new Zendesk ticket. We’ll complete the transaction through Zendesk and all parties will be able to communicate there.
Can I list my site concurrently elsewhere?
No, unfortunately. We ask that you list your site exclusively with us for at least 180 days. The reason behind this is that we spend quite a bit of time, effort, and energy in acquiring buyers for the listing and having them go through our process for purchase. It’s important that the sites they’re doing due diligence on are available for sale when they’ve completed their process.
Our buyers trust us to only list sites that have passed our internal vetting process which is quite rigorous. The listing fees are to offset the costs put into the vetting we have to do, which is why the initial fee is higher than subsequent listing fees.
After a successful sale, the seller will receive 85-92% of the final sales price. The percentage that Empire Flippers takes as a commission depends on the list price. Here’s the breakdown of our commission fees:
15% for businesses listed for up to $1M
12% for businesses listed from $1M-2M
10% for businesses listed from $2M-5M
8% for businesses listed at $5M+
Why don’t you reveal the URL’s?
We hide most of the URL’s in our listings to protect the end-buyer and to prevent copycats from popping up and competing directly with the site. We get quite a bit of traffic and there are quite a few out there that would rather piggyback off an already successful site, creating a ton of competition for the new buyer in the niche.
This is especially important when the website is in an undiscovered niche or hasn’t (yet) earned enough brand recognition to stand on its own and compete publicly in an open market. An example would be content sites monetized with AdSense (where competitors could clickbomb the site), new(ish) dropshipping sites, etc.
The more defensible the business, the less important it becomes to hide the URL in the listing because it’s more difficult to copy. Hiding the URL is done to protect the end-buyer to give them enough time to further build the site out before inviting a ton of competition to their niche, especially for sites that are just starting to take off.
Occasionally, we do have listings that reveal the URL. This is usually because the website or business are extremely defensible and years ahead of any new competition in the niche or because the business has agreed to an open case study with us. These can be found on our marketplace. These listings are typically better for the seller as they attract much more attention from buyers and tend to get more interest, deposits, and sell faster than the rest. Both the seller and the vetting team at Empire Flippers have to be in agreement for the URL to be displayed publicly.