Justin Cooke

June 11, 2012

We’ve all been there.

Looking around at other projects that seem more interesting or valuable, worrying that what we’re doing might not work, wishing we were in someone else’s shoes

I’ve come across projects in recent weeks and months that have blown me away.  Take Adam Baker from Man Vs. Debt who’s creating a documentary and interviewing interesting people about their life choices and raising 100K on Kickstarter in the process.  Or Derek Sivers, creating the ultimate resource for starting a business in Asia.  Or Dan Andrews, bringing like-minded start-up entrepreneurs together in the Philippines to achieve their dreams…and getting paid for it!

That’s awesome stuff…

Don’t get me wrong…I love what we’re doing as well.  We’re selling sites that help people earn their first dollars online, showing them how to build their own online empire, building a revolutionary WordPress Theme that will (I hope) change the niche site industry, and solving the huge problem of automatically determining profitable niches …something that’s never been effectively done before.

Still…we want to do more.

How could we get involved in these projects and with these people? Should we email them out of the blue and tell them why they should partner with us on their project?  Ask them out of nowhere if they would fund our new business idea?  Ask them to write a personalized and detailed 28-point plan to help us find success?

Of course not…sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Yet those are some of the emails that all of us receive on a regular basis.

I’ll be honest: This blog post is partially written out of the frustration felt from the volume of emails that are asking for hand-outs and provide no real value…but my real hope is that I can provide a resource to point those people to that will show them how reaching out and making real, valuable connections will take them so much further than their current approach.

I know this may sound a bit pretentious.  I understand that.  Still…if this helps even a couple of people make connections that will change their lives it’s worth it.

The process for this is really quite simple but there are nuances here…let me go over each step in some detail:

Reaching Out To OthersReaching Out The Right Way

You wouldn’t believe how many emails I get wanting something for nothing.  Aside from the flash of irritation these cause…it’s just depressing.  How do people not know that sending an unsolicited email where you ask for the moon and stars is not likely to get you very far?  It reminds me of the stories you hear about recent lottery winners and the hundreds of requests they get for money that has forced some into hiding…not a great approach.  These emails, essentially, boil down to this:

I see that you make monies.  I’d like some of those moniesCan you either give me some of those monies or do a bunch of work for me, we’ll partner on a project, and then we’ll split those monies 50/50?

Note: I’m now officially sending this link to any future “monies” emails I get, hoping it will do some good.  Also…if we’re at (admittedly) such a low-level and receiving so many emails like this I can’t even IMAGINE the types of emails people like Seth Godin or Mark Cuban receive!

Charlie Hoehn does a much better job of explaining this, but “Reaching Out” basically boils down to making quick contact, a touch of flattery, briefly explaining who you are, and saying something interesting.  That’s it.  No sales pitch, no partnership opportunities…just making contact.

Making A Meaningful Connection

Reaching out as stated above is likely to elicit a reply.  It may be short or long, depending on how much time they had…but any personalized reply at all is an opening.  If they asked you a question, answer it!  If it was just a “thank you”, you can follow up to let them know you appreciate it and to let them know you’d like to keep the door open if you come across something that might be useful or valuable to them.

That’s it…don’t try to get into a long drawn-out conversation unless they’re asking that of you.  Simply leave the door open for future contact.

Building A Solid Relationship

Get to know this person you’ve made a connection with.  Find out what their passions are, what they’re working on, etc.  When you come across something that you think would be really valuable for them, let them know!  If they’re a tech VC let them know about interesting start-ups, acquisitions, or failures in their space.  If they create documentaries about quirky people, let them know about or introduce them to people they might find interesting enough to write about or interview.

The goal here should be to prove yourself as a valuable resource to them in a space or niche they’re interested in.  Don’t inundate him or her with too much information or ask for anything in return…just be helpful.

Offering Value

Once you’ve established a relationship and received feedback that shows they’re interested in what you’ve done so far…wait for an opportunity that is a fantastic fit for you and offer to help them.  Maybe they’re writing a book about Twitter and you can provide them a valuable case study or they’re writing about travel and could use your helpful tips about your living in Turkey.  Whatever it is…find your best value proposition to them and grab it.

I’d prefer not to offer paid services here unless the work required is so intensive that you simply can’t do it for free.  If you’re making a connection with someone you truly respect, it’s unlikely they’re going to ask that you go completely out of your way for them without compensation, anyway.  Let them open the pricing conversation and, if possible, do your first work for them for free(I know this may be a bit controversial…but if the value of the connection and the learning experience on the project far outweigh any silly compensation agreement I really think it’s worth it to do it for free.)

Giving And Receiving ValueReceiving Value

If everything has gone well up to this point, the person you’ve reached out to would be CRAZY to not continue to grow the relationship with you.  You will have built a great start to your relationship and your mentor/guide would love nothing more than to help you succeed.  In fact, it’s likely that he or she would be willing to help you out using their own connections if/when there comes a time that you need it.  Plus, the great experiences and value you’ve had in working with someone you have so much respect or admiration for can be priceless.

A last point I’ll say about the value received from this is that, most likely, the person you’re reaching out to has more experience than you.  If you’re making the right connections, they may help you down a path where even though you might not see it at the time, could be an intensive and rewarding experience or lesson that you might have not attempted otherwise.

Final Thoughts

This lesson is definitely born out of experience.

I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end here and can say unequivocally that I get and give a better response with Reaching Out over asking for a Hand-Out.

I remember years ago trying to connect with those in a position to help me and, because I was so focused on my own needs instead of theirs, I was frustrated with their replies or not receiving a reply at all.  I can tell you…reaching out the right way is significantly more rewarding.

Have you found yourself trying to make contact with someone where you were more concerned about your needs than theirs?  Has someone try to contact you with that same approach?  How did it work out?



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Discussion

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  1. And you publish this article as I was just about to send you guys an email :D
    No monies for me then?

    Actually it has been really wonderful connecting with people. Building relationships and connecting with people is far more important and rewarding than just asking for hand outs.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      NO MONIES FOR U!!!

      Hehehe…of course, we’re not talking about YOUR emails! :-P

      Seriously…this isn’t based on anyone in particular and not from the majority of emails we get. We ASK for and LIKE connecting with people generally…but some of them are really poorly thought out and it can be frustrating.

      I figured I know and use a better way to connect with people and thought I’d share, hoping it would help others out.

  2. Jerry says:

    So,is there any chance that I could get you guys to…. haha just kidding. Seriously, I would like to share a promising resource that may help a lot of people.. and it’s Free! A close friend of mine is the CFO for http://www.cmenow.com/ Check it out.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Funny, Jerry!

      So I checked out CMeNow…seems like an awfully confusing pitch. It seems like they’re trying to be Facebook, Skype, Google, and LinkedIn…all wrapped into one? And…trying to do all of this on their own platform rather than integrating between those services? Either their value proposition is awfully confusing or I think they’re a bit too ambitious…

  3. Nice writeup Justin,

    It’s a general problem with people entering the IM (or make money online world more broadly) with a mindset of “want want want” what they really should be entering with is “give give give”

    I would love to form a relationship with you and Joe, so if there is anything I can do for you – just let me know.

    • Even better, they should think “win-win”. How can both parties get value our of the relationship? And is their part worth the same as your part?

      • I agree to an extent Joe, but I just don’t think there’s anything I can provide that would possibly justify you getting involved.

        So I guess the core problem for many who wants to get involved with the big guys like you and Justin is that we simply can’t offer you anything. It’s like trading a Volkswagen for a Porsche.

        Maybe when my blog hits a thousand uniques a day and I build a list of thousands you might be interested, but for now all I can do is thank you hundreds of times for your awesome content and simply offer my services.

        I know this offer might seem a little weird, because you will probably never take me up on it. But who knows, one day you might be traveling through Denmark and need a ride – who knows?

        In any case you got a brand ambassador for life :-)

        • JustinWCooke says:

          Hey, Chris!

          Really interesting comment…I’m guessing we’re not doing a very good job at communicating our weak areas or things that provide us value for you to say that!! That and, I think, people (you?) undervalue skills all the time, hehe.

          Here’s an example I sent to someone recently via email we were talking to about creating a “marketplace” for niche sites and a few others added at the end overall:

          – You have a large list of website buyers/sellers that you could add right away to the user base

          – You have access to Angel/VC money that would be required (once the model is proven) to take it to the next level

          – You’re a super-sharp programmer that has the technical know-how to build something like this out with a team of developers and are looking to us for the buyer/seller audience

          – You have a proven track record of high-profile market launches that would help quickly launch the marketplace

          – You have an eye for design and can create clean but simple logos/websites

          – A conversion expert

          • Hey Justin,

            I’m 0/6 for those you listed.

            And I think it’s only natural for people to talk about what they are good at, which is in your case building niche sites at scale, process management and outsourcing.

            I got great people skills and I write fairly well, but I cant think of anything that you need.

            I’m not trying to make it about me, I’m just putting myself on the spot as the one interested in making a connection but with no coding, no graphics, no huge lists, no invest-able resources, no clue about conversions.

            And I think honestly that goes for a lot of people, but hey – everyone starts out like this right :-)

            PS. Signed in with my Facebook for some reason, silly disques plugin :(

          • JustinWCooke says:

            Hey Chris!

            I probably shouldn’t have limited it to those six…was just trying to give an idea as to skills/things that we’d currently see as quite valuable. Honestly…making connections with sharp people is worth it by itself…it’s not always about value and skillsets you provide, you know? :-)

          • Chris Broholm says:

            Of course Justin, I could probably brainstorm the shit out of any concept you’d bring forward, and I can’t wait to help you with developing your software – I’m a rough critic though, so it better be good!

        • Chris, that’s enough in my book! Thanks for the kind words.

  4. Marcus says:

    I have the opposite problem. I’d love to e-mail some people I admire, but hesitate because I feel like I don’t have enough value to offer. They’re so busy and have overloaded inboxes, so I wouldn’t want to add to that.

    Ninja Tip: You can set canned responses in Gmail. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner. Click on “Labs” then scroll down to “Canned Responses.” Click “enable” to turn it on.

    The next time you get an “I Want Your Monies” e-mail, when you reply, there will be a drop-down menu for canned responses. You can write your message once (e.g. “Here read this”), link to this blog post, and save it for future use. So when you get those annoying message in the future, you can just click on the canned response and send.

    So far, I’ve had better luck by getting role models to respond with Twitter or to comments on their blog. You saw how surprised I was when Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit) took the time to thank me for tweeting an article about him.

    James Clear at Passive Panda had a good article called “How to E-mail Important People.” http://passivepanda.com/how-email. He even has examples of bigshots who have replied to him.

    • Hey Marcus, I have been using Canned Responses for years now, it is one of my favorite labs (next to Multiple Inboxes). I try not to over it use it though, but I think this may make a good case to come up with another template. Thanks!

  5. Yes, totally agree – if you want to get on someone’s radar doing nice things for them without asking for anything in return is the way to go. And the thing that those people don’t get is that by building a relationship first, it will not only help them in the project that they are working on now, but it will most likely pay off in the future as well.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Absolutely, Thomas.

      The other thing I didn’t mention in the article is that you don’t know how that person you’re trying to contact REALLY is. We get people asking us to partner with them and they don’t really know us. What if we’re ass-hats or jerks to work with? Why get yourself tied up in something like that. Better for YOU to get a feel for the person first anyway, IMO.

  6. His work is excellent, thanks for the post!

  7. Leny Pearson says:

    It’s really hard to believe that with all that you give away for free someone would ask for more. It really demonstrates the lack of initiative that those people have. Even if you gave them more, they obviously wouldn’t work to sustain it, and in turn blame you for their impending failure. It is definitely wise for yo to keep your “monies”.
    Cheers!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Leny!

      I should be clear that quick questions, contact, etc. happens all the time. We’re talking about the worst of the worst here…the bottom 5-10%. You’re right, though…horrible initiative eh?

  8. Justin,

    I think you’re dead on here. I try to focus on providing insane value in any new relationship. I think we are sort of socially programmed to try and nickel and dime people some time or just generally take advantage. We want to get the benefit now instead of seeing it as a really valuable (both socially and professionally) investment for the future.

    I also wanted to say, you should cut back with the formatting on your posts. The overdone italics, underline, bold, etc. really draws away from how awesome the content you put out it is.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Taylor,

      I just found myself “re-introduced” to your blog and I absolutely loved this post:

      http://frontierlivin.com/there-are-no-rules/

      Like you, I followed the scripts when I was younger…and I tend to default to them now without careful consideration of the choices I make.

      Thanks for the comment…especially regarding the format. I can’t wait to get some real design done for this blog. I’ve tried to format it a bit so that it’s more readable (changing the font screwed up the site) but I’ll be glad to get away from that…

      • Justin,

        I’m glad you liked the post. I didn’t know anyone other than my sister was reading that stuff, haha. I recently got back to the U.S. after a year out of the country so I’ve seen how a lot of my friends have settled down into scripts that they aren’t happy with, but think are the only choice or something that they “have” to do.

  9. Marc Ashley says:

    I try to help as many people as I can. My whole life I’ve always been that person who helped everyone else, only at some point you feel like you’re being used by some people and sure enough I’ve been used and abused by many. For the last 4 years I just shut myself away and helped myself which was a very important step in my life because I was always good at helping others and terrible at helping myself. It hasn’t been easy but it was definitely worth it. Now that I have more time I have decided that it’s just part of my nature to help and that it’s one of my main purposes in life. Like you guys trying to help people on the lower end can be definitely frustrating especially when some people don’t want to be helped and others expect your ongoing thoughts or help forever. But it’s also rewarding when you have a customer that really makes that first dollar and they suddenly understand that all those mails with “focus and never give up” were not bull after all! As for me cold mailing others? Sure I wrote a top IM just last week explaining that I have the worlds best and next marketing phenomena and if he is interested he can meet me for $75,000. Did they say yes? Of course not! Do they think I’m crazy? Probably, but I did it on purpose simply to use it as a promotion once I get it up and running myself! I’ve also written other so called stars and yes I’ve got to know them personally but I wrote something really interesting to get their attention and not just “I have an idea will you split your money with me?”

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Marc,

      It’s definitely a balance between helping yourself and helping others, I think. We tend to put some of our best information out there for free, hoping it will reach the greatest amount of people. The 1-on-1 stuff is what I find difficult and it’s usually from an anonymous person I’ve never heard from before asking a bazillion questions, wanting a personally laid out blueprint to their success, etc.

      In general, the people that reach out to us are overwhelmingly cool, provide great ideas, ask interesting questions, etc. This post wasn’t for them. :-)

  10. Btbuzz says:

    Derek Sivers is a genius I have a lot of respect for him.
    People always want stuff for nothing and don’t want to work, nice concept it dosen’t work last time I checked. It’s amazing to me all the bs offers on you don’t have to work to make money. Earn while you sleep, right, in your dreams. Ha Ha.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Agree…Derek’s done some pretty amazing stuff.

      Yeah, it’s amazing how many people want the “easy button” to personal riches. Well…I guess I want that too…it’s just that I know it doesn’t exist a huge majority of the time.

  11. You know, at the end of the day, helping people will get you something out of it. If you are new to IM, that is a must to build relationships that you will able to bank on it later. I mean it could be a mean to an end, but it is a beneficial to both parties at the end.

    On the other hand, you can find yourself frustrated when you get used, but being forgiving and believing in a higher purpose will definitely get you past that. You learn to filter after awhile and after all, we are humans and we can’t just help each person that reaches out to you!

    You free guide must have helped a lot of people, but also built your credibility, which allows you to sell more products and websites.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey there!

      Yes, the guide definitely helped a bit with credibility. Mostly, though, I thought we were creating a resource for current readers that they could more easily share with others. Much of the information is already on the blog…just fragmented and not as clear, I think.

  12. semir says:

    semir
    hey nice post….i am guilty of it. i have sent spencer and someothers this kind of emails….may be accidentally they all were good people because they replied me with a great email….yes , they gave no money. To be honest i dont blame my self. Because i am trying so hard to make money online despite the hardships to get internet connection, and other major set backs like hunger…etc.. yes u might not beilive me, i am from africa and i am a middle class. offcourse i am not sooo poor. but life is very hard for me. Do u know how hard it is just to carry big old laptop ,walk 1 kilometer each day and take crowded bus …just to get free wifi connection which is 90-120kb/sec ….. i have been reading how to make money online since 2009? still i tried and failed, couldnt change my situation.
    if building niche sites was one big company….the CEOs justin and joe definetely would have given some opportunity for the poor kid who begged for a domain and hosting account on thier way to enter the headquarter.. hope u get it eventhough my poor english!!
    and sorry for the last comment i did …”i want ur money”
    i am sure this one will not get deleted.
    have a very nice time in here and the hereafter.
    bye

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Semir,

      I definitely understand what you’re saying and no problem about the English!

      Joe and I both live in the Philippines…where even OWNING a laptop is a luxury that most cannot afford. Instead of crowded buses, they have crowded “Jeepneys” here…and the internet is quite slow as well.

      I would argue with you on one point, though, and that is your approach. No matter what your personal finances, there’s an effective and ineffective way to approach people and make contact. Of course…you can always email people and ask if they’ll buy a domain or hosting package for you. If you email enough people, you’ll probably get someone to buy them for you, even. My point, though, is that there’s a better way.

      I could have not responded to this comment or not have published it. Instead, I’m hoping I can give you an example of something you can use in the future to be more effective.

      What if you approached an email like this:

      Hey there!

      Love what you’re doing, especially your post about ____…I thought that was very helpful. In fact, I wanted to email you to let you know about this other blogger I found named _____. He’s done some amazing stuff with this…you should specificaly check out these posts here:

      Post 1
      Post 2

      Anyway, very glad to connect with you so I’ll keep this short. I’ve started my new website here: _____ and if you had any thoughts, I’d be very glad to hear them!

      An email like that shows me that you’ve read our posts, points me to an interesting resource I’d want to check out, and is likely to get a response from me (or anyone else) about your site…even if it’s brief. It’s a MUCH better way to reach out and make contact.

      I hope that helps?

  13. […] Income Report May 2012 Best SEO Resources For Niche Sites In Defense Of Google Traffic I Want Your Monies […]

  14. Karthic says:

    whatever you guys write, it always has a personal touch. Something i have to learn. Thanks for the mailing tips :)

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Karthic!

      I’ve really had some success with the methods listed above. I’d particularly mention it’s worth checking out the Charlie Hoehn link above…there’s gold there!

  15. Claire Smith says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post, it was very timely.

    It illustrates why some people succeed and some fail online. The failures are those who expect or hope someone else will do the lions share of the work. Those who succeed are the ones who are self reliant, work hard, give before they take, give others the benefit of the doubt and realize their success is due to their own hard work and not some chance meeting with a fairy godmother IM who has already spent the time and effort doing that work themselves.
    With just starting to have some insane success online with Amazon this summer, I have started a blog and have been posting a monthly earnings article online since I first earned $2.50 last August and do have a few friends who follow me. I have been overwhelmed by the kind emails and offers of help and support I have had, and consider myself fortunate.
    But I have already had a couple of help me emails too and that little lurch in the stomach that this person is not going to do well online under their own steam. And I find it sad because I know no one can help them but themselves. I love that your post today is a kind way of telling them that and to look to yourself to succeed.
    I love helping people, that’s why I have set up a blog, so I can post what I have learned and not have to email everyone separately as I am a horribly slow typer ;-) but there are only so many hours in a day too, specially as a crappy typer.
    I have known for some time that is not about the money, if my bills are paid that’s nice. Now, what is more fun than checking Adsense or Amazon earnings stats are the emails, contact, connections and shared experience that comes from connecting with like minded others working online, so I am glad people reach out.
    So I have nothing to offer you guys but a big thanks and if you ever want any tips on Squidoo or keywords, I’d love to help. Claire

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Claire!

      I was a little worried writing this in that I didn’t want to discourage people from reaching out. We love the contacts we’ve made through AF and really want that to continue. Still…if we could point people towards a better way to make contact we thought that might be helpful.

      I watched a video the other day with Gary Vaynerchuk talking about how from 2006-2009 he would answer EVERY email, respond to every tweet, etc. I didn’t know this when we started, but we’ve taken a similar approach and it’s done wonders for our growth and has really helped us to connect with people.

      So…can you share a link to your blog where you talk about Amazon? I found a site from you but it hasn’t had a post for quite a few months…I’m guessing you started something new! Would love to check it out!

      • Claire Smith says:

        Hi Justin,
        Sorry for the delay, I never got a notification of your kind reply. Yes I always try to reply, to blog comments too!

        This is the site, the logo is WIP right now, I just wanted to get it up and start sharing, rather than have it picture perfect with nothing going on
        http://skefflingsmakemoneyonline.com/

        The Amazon success is mostly though Squidoo, it’s pretty insane and getting better too over time. I have just started some Amazon niche sites that have actually got one or two sales as well. I enjoyed your Building a Niche Site Empire report and it helped with the Amazon set ups a bit too, and I hope to diversify into Adsense too! Thanks for making it available!
        Cheers Claire

  16. I was working on an article for someone to feature their fundraising project on a local site. Aside from all the work I’m doing to feature them I *THEN* got a follow up email asking if we’d (TMBA) be willing to sponsor the event as well. And all the ways we could turn our audience on to support it. Them them them. Obviously I am on board with the charity (I promoted them!) and want to help out as much as I can, but really?!

    And, of course, I’m the asshole cause “I don’t want to help out a charity.”

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Shame on you, Elisa…you wouldn’t support a charity? :-)

      I think this is especially useful if you’re working on something as critical as a charity or fundraiser that has the opportunity for direct impact and to change lives. How much are you costing people with your “selfish” approach, right?

      • Couldn’t agree more. And I see it so often. They are so happy to have someone who is willing to help out/volunteer that their spidey-sense goes in to overdrive and they start thinking about ALL the different things the person could do for them. Then the volunteer is overwhelmed and put off and goes away, and the organization is back to where it started. Sad really.

  17. Frank says:

    Hey Guys, I’ve been so close to sending one of those emails out so many times. My gut told me to refrain. I can only imagine how many emails successful people get all the time. I think our intentions are good when we say that we’d pay 50/50 but I can see the flip side. I just put together a blog with about 40 pieces of content on it and now i’m trying to promote it via Social Media while the search engines catch up to it. I’d like to run something past both of you guys to see what your thoughts are. I just signed up for the mailing list of a well know blogger. After I signed up he mailed me a survey and I filled it out. He mentions that he does meetups throughout the world for free and that I should provide my info for future events. I live in Tokyo currently and I don’t anticipate any meetups anytime soon. I flat out told him that I would pay for his ticket, show him around and board him. I may have crossed the line but like you said he reached out to me via the survey. I figured here’s my shot. Overall I think you guys make yourselves more available than you would think. I’m sure it’s tough managing/finding the balance between trying to grow your business and grow your audience and keeping them happy. What put’s money in your pocket us or your business? It seems that your business puts more money in your pocket than we (your audience) does therefore you need to focus on it than us. You also have a hire us page. Time is money and the fact that your offer paid consulting is nice alternative as well. As a fan/customer I feel you provide enough value already. I read this great article on Internet Business Mastery that may help my fellow readers.

    http://internetbusinessmastery.com/join-the-a-list

    Thanks

    Frank

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Frank!

      Wow…it’s been a while since I wrote this post…thank you for reminding me about it, hehe.

      So you signed up for someone’s email list, filled out a survey, and then offered to bring them out to visit (on your dime) and network with them? That’s a pretty cool offer. If it were me, I’d want to get to know you a bit first, of course! I know someone else that has reached out like this to people he’s wanted to work with:

      http://sebastianmarshall.com/

      Yeah, we try to put on a rougher exterior…but that’s only because we really do keep ourselves open to connections…it’s just easier to weed out those that aren’t serious this way. (Shhh…don’t tell anyone!)

      Oh…and EXCELLENT link share there, btw. I love the IBM guys and that post from them is STELLAR!

  18. […] a scam. Consider it a complex Western version of the 419 scams out of Nigeria. It’s another “I Want Your Monies” email, but it’s more insidious – they want your money AND a bunch of your time […]

  19. […] a scam. Consider it a complex Western version of the 419 scams out of Nigeria. It’s another “I Want Your Monies” email, but it’s more insidious – they want your money AND a bunch of your time […]

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This is our Seller’s Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) and it contains important provisions regarding your use of this website, including provisions regarding your sale of a website, app, or other online business (“Asset”). You should review this Agreement carefully before deciding whether to list an Asset for sale through Empire Flippers. If you do not agree to the terms contained within this Agreement, you should not sell an Asset through Empire Flippers.

This Agreement is being entered by and between you, the user, and Empire Flippers, LLC (“Broker”). Broker is the owner of an online marketplace for buying and selling websites (“Services”), which are provided subject to the terms of this Agreement. You are referred to as “You”, “Your”, or “Seller”. The person or entity buying the Asset is referred to as Buyer. Buyer and Seller are collectively referred to as the Parties.

The person or entity buying your Asset is referred to as the Buyer. Buyers must agree to the Buyer’s Terms of Use Agreement available here, and incorporated into this Agreement.

BY AGREEING TO THIS AGREEMENT YOU ARE MAKING A FORMAL OFFER TO SELL AN ASSET “AS IS” AND WITHOUT ANY CONTINGENCIES EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED. ONLY AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS IF YOU ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO COMPLETE THE SALE.

THIS AGREEMENT IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT AND YOU HAVE A DUTY TO READ THIS AGREEMENT BEFORE USING THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. WHEN YOU LIST YOUR ASSET FOR SALE, YOU MANIFEST YOUR ASSENT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CEASE YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. BROKER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, AMEND, REPLACE, SUSPEND, OR TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND WITHIN ITS SOLE DISCRETION. IN THE EVENT BROKER MODIFIES, AMENDS, OR REPLACES THIS AGREEMENT, THE EFFECTIVE DATE, LOCATED ABOVE, WILL CHANGE. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES AFTER A CHANGE IN THE EFFECTIVE DATE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACQUIESCENCE TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY MODIFICATION, AMENDMENT, OR REPLACEMENT.

A. Offer to Sell and Purchase Price. You have made an offer to sell an Asset through your decision to list the Asset for sale though Broker’s Services.

The first step to listing an Asset for sale is paying a non-refundable listing fee (“Listing Fee”) to Broker. Upon your payment of the Listing Fee and submission of your Asset details, Broker will perform its review of your Asset. Broker, in its sole discretion, will approve or reject your Asset for listing on the Broker’s website and participation in the Services. Broker reserves the right to reject any Asset submission for any reason or no reason at all.

You are also agreeing to provide any ancillary services, including training, as detailed on the listing page of your Asset on Broker’s marketplace.

B. Eligibility. By using the Empire Flippers’ website or Services, you warrant and agree that you are either above the age of majority in your nation, state, province, territory, or city, or the age of eighteen (18), whichever is greater. You warrant that you are of sound mind, have the capacity to contract, and agree to the terms and conditions contained within this Agreement. If you are using the Services on behalf of a business entity or third party, you warrant that you have actual authority to act as an agent of that business entity and third party and have the right and ability to agree to the terms of this Agreement on behalf of that third party or business entity.

C. Seller Warranties. Seller warrants that:

  • Seller has the full power and legal authority to execute this Agreement;
  • Seller has clear and unencumbered title to the Asset and all related assets to be sold through the Broker’ Marketplace, including all intellectual property rights;
  • Seller has not placed the Asset to be sold subject to a mortgage, pledge, lien, or encumbrance, except for those taxes which shall be prorated as of the date of the Completed Migration;
  • There are no bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings currently filed against Seller that would impede its ability to complete this Agreement;
  • To the best of Your knowledge, there is no lawsuit or pending charge against your Asset; and,
  • Seller makes no other express or implied warranties with respect to Seller.


D. Exclusive Listing. Once your Asset is listed on the Broker’ Marketplace, you agree this is an exclusive listing for a period of six months (“Listing Term”). Specifically, you agree that Broker is the exclusive permissible method to sell your Asset during the Listing Term. You may not, directly or indirectly, list, solicit offers, or attempt to sell your Asset using any other service, person, or agent for the duration of the Listing Term. If you violate this provision, you agree to pay Broker a commission of fifteen percent (15%) of the total sale price of your Asset to Broker, plus any costs and attorney fees Broker incurs in connection with enforcing this Agreement.

E. Maintenance of the Business During the Listing Period. During the Listing Period, you agree to maintain your Asset as it was prior to the Listing Period, to the best of your ability. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining third-party links on the Asset to be sold and other websites and any marketing, advertising, or other referral source, if applicable. During the Listing Period, you also agree to maintain accurate and up-to-date business records and to provide the same to Broker upon request.

F. Sale Terms. If Broker, in its sole and absolute discretion, approves your Asset for listing in the Broker’s marketplace, Broker will suggest a listing price. Once you agree to that listing price, as evidenced by the listing of your Asset at that price on Broker’s marketplace, you are obligated to accept full listing price offers from Buyers. To be clear, by agreeing to this Agreement, you are deemed to have accepted any full listing price offers on your Asset. Any written confirmation of your acceptance of the listing price, while not required, is incorporated into this Agreement.

G. Migration Process & Inspection Period.
  • Subsequent to Buyer’s acceptance of Buyer’s Terms of Use Agreement, which is incorporated into this Agreement in whole, and payment of the Purchase Price to Broker, the process to transfer the Asset to the Buyer begins (“Migration Process”). The Parties understand and agree that the Migration Process typically takes 2 - 4 weeks to complete, but could take substantially longer. The Parties acknowledge and agree that Broker cannot guarantee a specific timeframe for the Migration Process.
  • The Migration Process is completed when the Buyer confirms sole control and ownership of the Asset or when Broker has confirmed, in its sole and absolute discretion, that Buyer is in control and has ownership of the Asset (“Completed Migration”).
  • Buyer shall have a period of fourteen (14) days from the Date of the Completed Migration to fully inspect the operation of the Asset (“Inspection Period”) upon the following terms and conditions:
    • During the Inspection Period, Buyer shall have the opportunity to confirm the Asset’s Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is consistent with the Asset’s Average Monthly Net Revenue.
    • Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is defined as the Assets’ monthly gross revenue after the Completed Migration less normal and customary expenses associated with the historical operation of the Asset as provided in the Average Monthly Net Revenue.
    • Average Monthly Net Revenue is defined as the most current information regarding the Asset’s average monthly net revenue made available on the Broker’s website.
    • Buyer shall have the right to request termination of this Agreement to cancel the sale and obtain a refund of the Purchase Price if the Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the Average Monthly Net Revenue during the Inspection Period (“Substantive Deviation”). If the Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the Average Monthly Net Revenue, Buyer shall have no right to request to terminate or cancel this Agreement.
    • To enforce his ability to request termination of this Agreement based on a Substantial Deviation, Buyer must 1) notify Broker in writing of his request to terminate this Agreement within the Inspection Period at support@empireflippers.com or the Zendesk ticket already being used and 2) provide evidence of the Substantial Deviation and Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue through screenshots or providing Broker access to the Asset.
    • If Buyer requests termination of this Agreement consistent with the provisions above, Broker will conduct an investigation into the matter. The Parties agree and understand this investigation could take 2-4 weeks to complete or longer depending on the circumstances (“Broker’s Investigation Period”). Broker may require additional information from the Parties to conduct its investigation and the Parties agree to reasonably comply with such requests.
    • If Broker confirms the presence of a Substantial Deviation, Broker will cancel the sale, the Asset will be returned to Seller and the Purchase Price will be returned to Buyer. The Parties agree to cooperate to complete these actions.
    • If Broker confirms no Substantive Deviation exists, the sale will close as contemplated consistent with paragraph 7, iv.
    • Broker retains full and sole authority to determine the presence or absence of a Substantial Deviation.
    • If Buyer fails to provide written notification of his request to terminate this Agreement within the Inspection Period, Buyer is deemed to have freely and voluntarily waived any and all contingences in connection with his purchase of the Asset, including any discrepancies, fluctuations, or changes in the performance of the Asset and specifically its gross revenue, net revenue, expenses, traffic, and other metrics of performance, including any discrepancies, fluctuations, or changes in the performance of the Asset during the Migration Process or during the Inspection Period.
    • The Parties are free to waive the Inspection Period and close the sale consistent with paragraph 7, iv at any time.
  • Upon expiration of the Inspection Period, or if applicable the Broker’s determination regarding a Substantial Deviation, Broker will release eighty-five percent (85%) of the Purchase Price to Seller, which constitutes the Purchase Price minus Broker’s Commission (“Net Purchase Price”). Broker will retain the Commission.
  • The Parties agree to provide Broker all necessary information upon request to facilitate the Migration Process.


H. Default and Termination. Broker reserves the right to terminate the Migration Process at any point for any reason or no reason at all. If Broker terminates the sale, it agrees to return the Purchase Price to Buyer and the Asset to Seller.

I. Remedies for Material Breach. The Parties, including the Broker, understand and agree that monetary damages would not be a sufficient remedy for any breach of this Agreement and that, in addition to monetary damages and all other rights and remedies available at law or according to the terms of this Agreement, the non-breaching Party, including the Broker, shall be entitled to equitable relief, including injunctive relief, specific performance and/or the granting of an immediate restraining order or preliminary injunction (without posting bond) enjoining any such breach or reasonably anticipated breach as a remedy. Such equitable remedies shall not be the exclusive remedies available to the Parties, including the Broker, for breach of this Agreement, but shall be in addition to all other remedies available at law, equity or according to the terms of this Agreement. At all times, Broker retains complete discretion to cancel any sale and/or Migration Process.

J. Non-Compete Agreement. Seller agrees not to create or operate an Asset that would directly compete with the Asset for at least three years.

K. Indemnification of Buyer.
  • Seller agrees to indemnify Buyer from all liabilities arising out of Seller’s operation of the Asset prior to the Completed Migration;
  • Buyer has agreed to indemnify Seller from all liabilities arising out of Buyer’s operation of the Asset after the Completed Migration; and
  • The Parties agree to indemnify Broker from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, costs, and fees, including attorneys' fees, arising out of or related to this Agreement. The Parties’ obligation to defend Broker will not provide the Parties with the ability or right to control Broker’s defense, and Broker reserves the right to control its defense, including, but not limited to, the choice to litigate or settle and the choice of counsel.


L. Limitation of Liability

YOU AGREE THAT THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN AS-IS BASIS AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF QUALITY, ACCURACY, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, SECURITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, AND TITLE. YOU AGREE THAT BROKER WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIMS, DAMAGES, JUDGMENTS, CHARGES, OR FEES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COMPENSATORY DAMAGES, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SPECIAL DAMAGES, INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, PUNITIVE DAMAGES, EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, COSTS AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES, DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ERRORS OR OMISSIONS, AND DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE UNAVAILABILITY OF THE EMPIRE FLIPPERS’ WEBSITE OR SERVICES OR OTHER DOWNTIME. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THAT BROKER’S LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT THAT YOU PAID TO USE THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES OR $1,000, WHICHEVER IS LESS.

M. Indemnification of Broker.

You agree to hold harmless, defend, and indemnify Broker from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, costs, and fees, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of or related to: (1) the use of the Empire Flippers’ Website; (2) the use of any Service; (3) the review and listing of your website for sale; (4) the violation of any term or condition of this Agreement; (5) the violation of the rights of third parties, including rights of privacy or publicity or intellectual property rights; and (6) the violation of any law, statute, regulation, ordinance, or treaty, whether local, state, provincial, national, or international. Your obligation to defend and indemnify Broker will not provide you with the ability or right to control Broker’s defense, and Broker reserves the right to control its defense, including, but not limited to, the choice to litigate or settle and the choice of counsel.

N. General Provisions.
  • Fair Market Value. The Parties each acknowledge the Purchase Price represents fair market value.
  • Costs. The Parties agree to pay their own costs and expenses incurred with respect to this Agreement.
  • Valid and Binding Agreement. This Agreement represents a binding legal obligation and is enforceable in accordance with its terms and is binding and shall inure to the benefit of each Parties’ respective heirs, legal representatives, successors, and assigns.
  • Confidentiality. The Parties agree to maintain complete confidentiality regarding this Agreement.
  • Waivers. A waiver by either Party to any provision of this Agreement does not constitute a waiver of any other provision of this Agreement.
  • Notices. Any notice to Broker required under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed properly given when emailed to XXX.
  • No Third-Party Beneficiaries. Except as otherwise provided, nothing in this Agreement will provide any benefit to any third party or entitle any third party to any claim, cause of action, remedy, or right of any kind. This Agreement is not a third-party beneficiary contract.
  • Sections and Headings. The sections and headings in this Agreement are for organization and clarification purposes only and should not be interpreted as part of this Agreement.
  • Choice of Laws and Venue. Parties and Broker agree that any and all claims arising out of or related to this Agreement brought by or against Broker, including its validity, interpretation, breach, violation, or termination, shall be brought in the exclusive forum of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and pursuant to Michigan law. The Parties expressly consent to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this forum. The prevailing party is entitled to payment of its costs, expenses, and attorney fees by the non-prevailing party for actions, disputes, or litigation arising out of or related to this Agreement.
  • Entire Agreement. Except as otherwise provided, this Agreement is the entire agreement between the Parties. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  • Severability. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions will continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision will be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
  • Amendments. This Agreement may be amended in writing if both Parties sign and date in writing.
  • Effective Date. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date it is agreed to by Buyer.

Depositor Terms Of Use Agreement

Effective Date: April 1st, 2016

Introduction

Welcome to Empire Flippers. We take the friction out of buying and selling websites.

This is our Depositor’s Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) and it contains important provisions regarding your use of this website, including provisions regarding your deposit of money in connection with a potential purchase of a website, app, or other online business (“Asset”). You should review this Agreement carefully before deciding whether to deposit money with Empire Flippers. If you do not agree to the terms contained within this Agreement, you should not deposit money or purchase an Asset through Empire Flippers.

This Agreement is being entered by and between you, the user, and Empire Flippers, LLC (“Broker”). Broker is the owner of an online marketplace for buying and selling websites (“Services”), which are provided subject to the terms of this Agreement. You are referred to as “You”, “Your”, or “Depositor”. Collectively, Depositor and Broker are referred to as the Parties.

THIS AGREEMENT IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT AND YOU HAVE A DUTY TO READ THIS AGREEMENT BEFORE USING THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. WHEN YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS, YOU MANIFEST YOUR ASSENT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CEASE YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. EMPIRE FLIPPERS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, AMEND, REPLACE, SUSPEND, OR TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND WITHIN IT SOLE DISCRETION. IN THE EVENT EMPIRE FLIPPERS MODIFIES, AMENDS, OR REPLACES THIS AGREEMENT, THE EFFECTIVE DATE, LOCATED ABOVE, WILL CHANGE. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES AFTER A CHANGE IN THE EFFECTIVE DATE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACQUIESCENCE TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY MODIFICATION, AMENDMENT, OR REPLACEMENT.

  1. Deposit Amount. You are agreeing to place on deposit with Broker the amount stated for the applicable listing (“Deposit”).
  2. Information. By making the Deposit with Broker, You will be given confidential information regarding the Asset, including but not limited to access to the URL (if applicable), detailed proof of earnings, and access to seller for questions.
  3. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure.
    1. Depositor will be provided Confidential Information after making the Deposit. “Confidential Information” shall mean nonpublic proprietary information revealed by the providing party (whether in writing, orally or by any other means) to the Depositor including (a) information expressly marked or disclosed as confidential, (b) all forms and types of financial and/or business information, (c) any and all details relating to the Asset, including its URL, detailed sales and revenue details, and any other information related to the Asset.
    2. Confidential Information shall remain the property of the providing party and all applicable rights in patents, copyrights, trade secrets and similar intellectual property rights embodied in the Confidential Information shall remain in the providing party. The Depositor party agrees to treat all such Confidential Information as confidential and shall not disclose such Confidential Information to any third party; provided that the Depositor may disclose the Confidential Information to its Representatives (as defined below) who have a need to know such information in connection with the evaluation of the purchase of the Asset. The Depositor shall use at least the same degree of care to avoid disclosure of such Confidential Information as the Depositor uses with respect to its own confidential information of like importance.
    3. The Depositor shall not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than evaluation of the Asset for purchase and shall prohibit its agents, financial advisors, employees, officers and directors (collectively, “Representatives”) from using the Confidential Information for any purpose other than as specifically agreed upon by the parties hereto.
    4. This Agreement shall not apply to information that on the effective date of this Agreement has been or thereafter is: (a) developed by the receiving party independently of the providing party and not based upon or derived from information provided or delivered by the providing party to the receiving party; (b) rightfully obtained by the receiving party from a third party without restriction; or (c) publicly available other than through the receiving party in violation of the terms of this Agreement.
    5. In the event that the Depositor is required to disclose any Confidential Information, the Depositor will cooperate with the providing party and, when possible pursuant to statutory or regulatory authority, provide the providing party with prompt written notice so that the providing party may seek a protective order or waive compliance by the Depositor with the provisions of this Agreement.
    6. The Depositor acknowledges that the unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Information may cause irreparable injury to the providing party and that, in the event of a violation of any of the Depositor’s obligations hereunder, the providing party shall have no adequate remedy at law and shall therefore be entitled to seek enforcement of each such obligation by temporary or permanent injunctive relief without proving damages, and without prejudice to any other rights and remedies which may be available to the providing party at law or in equity.
  4. Right of First Refusal. If, at any time while Depositor’s Deposit is on account with Broker, the Seller associated with the listing connected to your Deposit receives a bona fide offer below list price from any party to purchase the Asset, Broker shall notify Depositor of the offer. If Depositor does not elect to match the offer in writing within twenty-four (24) hours, Seller may then sell the Asset to the first offeror, provided the sale is on the conditions specified in the offer sent to Depositor.
  5. Refund of Deposit. Depositor may request a refund of the Deposit at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. Broker will refund the Deposit as soon as commercially possible.
  6. Deposit Not Used for Purchase. Should you choose to make a purchase of an Asset, your Deposit will be returned to you and will not be used as a potion of the Payment Price of the Asset.
  7. Wire Fees and Other Expenses. Broker does not charge Depositor any wire or transfer fees, however, certain fees and expenses may be charged by your financial institution and are solely your responsibility.
  8. Notices. All notices required under this Agreement shall be made to Broker at support@empireflippers.com.
  9. Choice of Laws and Venue. Parties and Depositor agree that any and all claims arising out of or related to this Agreement brought by or against Broker, including its validity, interpretation, breach, violation, or termination, shall be brought in the exclusive forum of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and pursuant to Michigan law. The Parties expressly consent to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this forum. The prevailing party is entitled to payment of its costs, expenses, and attorney fees by the non-prevailing party for actions, disputes, or litigation arising out of or related to this Agreement.
  10. Entire Agreement. Except as otherwise provided, this Agreement is the entire agreement between the Parties. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  11. Effective Date. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date Depositor consents to the same.