EF Staff

March 17, 2016

We’ve previously discussed the six types of website sellers on our podcast which you can listen to here. We haven’t yet written about the 6 Seller Profiles.

Let’s remedy that…

We’ll go through 6 Seller Profiles and offer tips for potential buyers. We’ll discuss important questions you must ask before you commit to purchase, sellers that new buyers should avoid, and how to make your offer stand out from the crowd.

The 6 Types of Website Sellers

Loser Lawrence

Lawrence has done a lot of trial and error when it comes to buying and selling sites. He knows what works and what doesn’t. He’s developed a system that is replicable and provides the highest ROI, but most of his sites are cookie-cutter versions of the sites before. He avoids sites that require a lot of his time. For example, Lawrence would definitely stay away from source e-commerce sites.

Lawrence will stick with what he knows and this can sometimes lead him to acquire and sell sites in the same or parallel niche, which sometimes creates competition with his old sites.

Tips for Buyers

If you are considering buying from Lawrence, there is one important question you need to ask him: “Do you have other sites in this same niche?” It could be that Lawrence is selling off his #6 site in the same niche that his #1 site is in. This is definitely something you would want disclosed ahead of time.

Scaling Sarah

Sarah is all about efficiency and leveraging the sale of her sites. She needs cash upfront to build more sites. She’s all about building quickly and selling fast. She has a wide range of sites but none that are service-based or too time intensive.

Similar to Lawrence, Sarah is all about systems to make things work more efficiently. She has minimal expenses as she doesn’t have sites that require her to use virtual assistants or outsource any work.

If she has to sit on a site for more than a year, she’s losing money. With the time she’s spending waiting for the site to sell, she could be building another site. If she can sell a site in less than six months, that’s a huge win for Sarah.

Tips for Buyers

What can you expect from Sarah? First, don’t expect Sarah to have sites in her inventory that are over 3 years old. She’s more interested in building and selling than the actual process of having to run and maintain them. Second, do expect to get a good deal. Third, Sarah’s sites have little to nothing to do with personal interests. You will find the only thing her sites have in common is that they are hot and trending.

If you buy several sites at once or become a regular buyer, you could get a lower multiple. Sarah needs to get these sites off her lot. The longer these sites sit, the more potential income, from constructing and selling higher ROI sites, she loses out on. Become a recurring buyer and score some pretty good deals.

Consolidating Clinton

The California Gold Rush of 1848 began when someone struck gold at Sutter’s Mill and the news spread like wildfire. Over 300,000 men left their lives behind to chase after this huge opportunity. There could only be so much gold before it ran out and they wanted in on it!

A big opportunity is the reason Clinton wants to sell. There is news of a gold rush and Clinton wants in on it! Eliminating side projects allows him to focus on what’s ahead—something bigger and better. He’s had enough of the single and doubles market and wants more.

Clinton doesn’t have sites that are time intensive. He wants a quick sale. When he makes up his mind about something, that’s it and that’s all. A quick sale allows him to focus on ‘the gold’ instead of having to try to stay interested in old business. The problem with him losing focus on old business is that as his attention wanes so does the site’s value.

Clinton needs to find a buyer that isn’t a newbie. A newbie requires a bit of hand-holding and will demand more of his time than someone experienced. He may have a contract in place stating the ‘x’ amount of time you would be willing to provide after the sale. He will likely detach himself from this site after the sale as his attention is needed elsewhere.

Tips for Buyers

One word will give you high marks in the eyes of a Clinton: “Time”. If you are experienced and knowledgeable in the particular site’s niche and are able to immediately take the reigns without needing any of Clinton’s time, make that known right away. Time is money, and saving time is everything to a Clinton.

Scheming Stuart

If Scheming Stuart had a profile shot included here, it would be a picture of Uncle Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Cousin Eddie

Stuart is someone who enjoys couch surfing and making a quick buck here and there. He gets involved in scams. The sites he tries to sell he’s owned for no more than a couple months.

When we find ourselves occasionally dealing with a Stuart, we are dealing with someone who doesn’t care what feedback we give him regarding his site. He’s not even remotely interested in his site. All he wants is cold hard cash in his grimy little hands.

Stuart likes to think he’s an entrepreneur but he’s definitely not. People like Stuart are often called hustlers or swindlers. Occasionally Stuarts try and sneak past our vetting process with a site that shows high traffic and decent earnings. Unfortunately for Stuart, his site won’t get past our team of sleuths. Our team quickly finds he has provided us with a fake earnings report and used a traffic-bot to fake traffic to his site. The same can’t always be said of other sites (we aren’t sure what their process is!) and independent sale transactions.

Here’s a question for all the Stuarts out there (hopefully there’s not too many of you in our audience), “Why don’t you build something that provides value?” Instead of thinking about making a quick buck, think about asset building. If you took the high road you could potentially make some decent, earnest money.

In case it wasn’t obvious, we aren’t big fans of Stuarts.

Tips for Buyers

The best and safest advice would be to avoid Stuart like the plague. There is a huge risk involved in dealing with these guys. There may be a product opportunity or a site that has legit traffic and earning potential but that’s a big maybe.

If you’re a risk-taker and are determined to buy a site from Stuart, do NOT rely on any documentation or stats that Stuart gives you. Do your own due diligence.

Cash Out Carlos

Carlos needs a cash injection for personal reasons. Maybe Carlos wants to put a substantial down-payment on a house or take a trip around the world. He likely has a deadline that he needs to meet in order to use the money for whatever life-changing event is coming up.

Carlos sells sites that are generally over the $50,000 range. They are large scale ecommerce sites or other larger transactions. In the U.S., generally speaking, a larger payday is over $50,000, anything less than that isn’t really useful in facilitating a life-changing event. We do get sellers from outside the U.S. and selling a site for $20,000 is definitely a life-changing sum to them.

Tips for Buyers

What is Carlos’ deadline to sell this site? Has he booked his airline tickets for that around-the-world trip—when is he leaving? The closer you get to his deadline the better deal you might be able to get.

Also, if you begin with the seller financing the offer, you can make your offer sweeter by using a full cash-out offer.

Flipper Fred

Flipper Fred sticks to acquiring and selling sites that need improvements in areas he excels at. The majority of his sites don’t need daily maintenance. They’re passive sites that provide consistent revenue. For the sites that do require daily maintenance, Fred outsources the work. He doesn’t want to use his time as his time is better spent acquiring more sites to sell. Most likely Fred will sell some sites at a slight loss or just break even.

First-time Flipper Freds often have problems with spending too much time on sites. They aren’t quick to flip and haven’t mastered their turnaround time yet. They slowly come to realize that they’re essentially making $3/hour!

If you’re dealing a First-time Flipper Fred, it’s uber-important to understand the time vs. money they’ve invested in the site!

Buyer Tips

Most Freds have a lot of experience with buying and selling. All of their ducks should be in a row and they should be able to provide every document and report you need to make your decision.

When purchasing a site from Fred, find out if there is still room for expansion. Is all the content to this niche added? Where are the gaps that need to be filled—can you provide the content to the site to fill those gaps?

In the End, It’s All About Seller Identification

Identifying the type of seller you are dealing with will help you uncover the all important question that everyone wants to know before purchasing a site—if the site is so great, why are they selling?

You could be dealing with a seller who is simply bored to death with their site and is ready to move on to greener pastures or maybe you have a 30-something who is ready to cash in and move out of his parents basement?

Learning what the seller is all about will hopefully guide you towards making the right decision. You can either proceed with the purchase agreement or run the other way because you’ve just had a close encounter with Stuart!


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