Selling a site on Flippa.com

Filed under: Business, SEO
Posted by: dugu
30
Mar
2011

A few days ago, I decided I want to sell a site of mine. While I didn’t need money right away, I still wanted to cash in the value of a web property which I purchased a few months go and flipped it rapidly to a successful business. Selling a website can be quite difficult. For starters, it is very, very hard to find a buyer that offers you a fair price. Depending on your site, a fair price could be anywhere between 8X to 36X, where X is site the monthly net profit (also read this for a better glimpse). On rare occasions, you could sell your site based other factors except revenue: traffic, domain name value, niche position, etc.

There are a few places you can try your luck:

http://flippa.com/

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/forumdisplay.php?f=52

http://business.shop.ebay.com/Businesses-Websites-for-Sale-/11759/i.html?_nkw=site&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

For newbies: Flippa is the new version of Sitepoint’s marketplace. Sitepoint was a great resource for webmasters that wanted to sell stuff (one could also sell templates, wp themes etc.). Unlike Ebay and Digitalpoint, Flippa asks for a listing fee (and also a success fee, if applicable). Cheapest listing is $19 - quite a lot if you ask me. But when it comes to selling a site in mid x,xxx or higher, $19 doesn’t seem so much. However, I listed my site 3 times before I could find a buyer. And I am very confident that the buyer I found was found still because of my hard word, since I sent the URL of the last Flippa auction to all AdWords advertisers and to some direct competitors of mine. Practically, I did their job, as I could have sent the URL of my site since the beginning, and get Flippa out of the loop. My first auction had the following stats:

Listing Views 891
Users Watching Listing 15

My second, which I reposted it (by the way, when you repost your auction, it will not reappear in the sub-categories which get most traffic: Price Rage ->High End; Mid Range; Entry Level) and which I also featured on the main page:

Listing Views 561
Users Watching Listing 12

Well, I paid in total  $19+$19+$9+40 = $87 for roughly 1300 unique views to my site. And not a single bid. May I add that my site has a great domain registered since before 2000 (with over 150k searches per month), was on the first page of Google for main targeted keywords, was developed pretty nice - it’s all passive, has great revenue, multiple increase options and I was only asking 12X for it. How about that?

I took a peak to other successful auctions (maybe I am doing something wrong). I found it hard to believe similar sites to mine are actually being sold on Flippa.com. Actually, some are. For some unknown reason, I saw sites that had a lower quality then mine, and still getting bids of 12X to 16X. Either they were very lucky, or set the start price very low. Seems like the trick is to get a lot of bids although they are well under your reserve, buy the first page upgrade and maybe even ask your friends to bid in the beginning.

Overall, I can’t recommend Flippa to guys that want to get just a few hundreds on their sites. It’s simply not worth the listing fee. Even for my site for which I wanted only $10k, it seemed a pricey option. Anyway, if you have great established site, webmaster community (including me) browses Flippa from time to time. Just a hint: try to sell it first by your own.

06
Nov
2009

I haven’t written for quite a while to MGC blog. Most of the time, I’ve been very busy with my research. Right now, I am involved in a project at Percro Laboratory which is based in Pisa and belongs to Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. My assignment is to compute the inverse kinematics for a virtual hand in XVR. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, lets move down to our business. Things are moving very fast these days in web industry, though. I always take 2-3 hours/day to manage my sites. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learn a lot in web marketing. I will now give 5 tips that I always have in my mind when optimizing my sites:

1. Be special. Don’t do the same thing that has been done by other 100 people. Maybe at the beginning it was a good idea, but at the moment you are trying it, it’s most probably just a waste of time. Instead, do something different. Try something new. Be prepared to try original things and be flexible so that you can deal with them.

2. Be fast. That means you have to put speed not only into your application, but into your marketing efforts. Otherwise, someone better will steal your idea place it on the market in front of you.

3. Work. Nothing comes out without good hard working. If you are not prepared to put time and nerves in your site, it will most probably fail.

4. Invest. Don’t be afraid to invest some of your profit back into your production tool. If you are keeping your site intact, you will be outplayed. Look at this guy. Imagine that a few years ago, he was one of the leaders in his market. Now he is resting in peace at 3-4%. He didn’t invest.

5. Be good. When you are good and you know in your soul that you are good, you gain more work power and feel much better overall. You have self-respect and you respect others. It may seem nonsense words to you, but on internet, a lot of crap is spreading from tenebrous webmasters which have no shame. Various tricks and schemes that in the end help visitors to loose their money are invented each day. But good webmasters that prove ambition and honesty will always be rewarded in long term.

I hope these advices help someone, somewhere.

Web during holidays

Filed under: Business
Posted by: dugu
17
Dec
2008

The big players on web are experiencing during these days their best profit days of the year. The travel industry represented by sites like Booking, Venere or Planigo  are selling a lot of tours, people buy a lot of gifts on ebay, gifts.com or other big webstores, product review sites like consumersearch.com are also eating a big piece of pie and forums and other communities are as crowded as ever.

Many webmasters find worthwhile to big sites having in mind only this period of year. This so called season sites are grouped around specific holidays like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Women’s day, Lover’s day and many others.  Webmasters invest during the year for a chuck of profit split on 2-3 days of selling. Of course, like all good businesses, it all dependes on the volume, but it is trivial that businesses with good history will do better each year goes by.

Personally, I find this type of practice risky for newbies, including me. Especially if you are targeting strong keywords. It is kind of hard to invest a hole year in a site that will see the light of incomefor such a short time, but I am confident that a hand of people are making good money on this. Well, for those of you, my respect guys. For me and the rest, we are waiting for January. A lot.

Happy holidays!

31
Jan
2008

Notebook computers are on their way to exponential growth world wide. Owing to its customized configuration, handling conveniences, and enhanced mobility advantages, it is going to change the present scenario very soon. Market experts have projected that this exponential growth in the production and sale of notebook computers will definitely cross the number of desktop computers in the year 2009.

We are observing oncoming of the ultra-thin, ultra-low cost system options that are being introduced by various manufacturers including the major players like Apple, Sony, HP, Dell, Fujitsu, Acer,  just to name a few. Some of the market analysts however are a little skeptical about this horizon of acceleration in the growth with its probable undercutting of the profit margins.

According to the projected estimations, the notebook shipments are expected to touch a figure of 136 million notebook computer units in the year 2008 itself. This would be a jump of almost 25.6% from the last year’s numbers. On the other hand, this increase in the number of notebook computers will make negative impacts on the sale of desktop computers. The effect has started showing with declining numbers now. Alex Yang, an analyst at the ‘Lehman Brothers’ says, “Desktop shipments will decline about 1.3 percent from 2007 to reach 143 million units”.

The growth rate graph for both of these products has been showing drastically different trends. Worldwide desktop unit sale demonstrates a single-digit growth while the notebook computers unit sale is enjoying a healthy growth rate of more than 20% per year and this is for several years now. Market specialists also believe that the notebook manufacturing companies will be enjoying the year 2008 as one of the most prosperous year ever in their history. On the contrary the desktop manufacturers will have to shift their attention to a “corporate replacement cycle”. Many of the speculators say that it will begin sometime in the last quarter of this year.”We expect rapid notebook PC price erosion to continue generating new demand, and the narrowing price gap between notebooks and desktop PCs should also help increase the pace at which notebooks replace desktops,” expects Alex Yang.

Low cost notebooks will now have a new phase in the markets. Its growing demand has compelled many of the manufacturers to concentrate their efforts on designing the technologically advanced and affordable notebooks. One of the big unknowns of the notebook market in 2008 is going to be the beginning of a new era with notebooks that will cost below $400. Taiwan’s “Asustek Computer” is now almost ready to be on the shelf with its first such notebook, the “EeePC”. The systems are expected to begin with the “shipping by midyear and be broadly available from a variety of companies by the end of 2008″, according to the company.

This new low cost notebook sub-sector has strong possibilities to change the market standards. This sub-sector is also expected to expand as the demand is abnormally high .This demand will be a pushing factor for the growth engine to meet with the required penetration rate in the markets. Once the sub-sector is entered in to the markets and is established, it will change the face of the existing notebook market also. Alex Yang says, “The latter would be bad for the entire notebook industry but we believe that it is more likely that this new sub-sector will expand the notebook market”.

Latest technological inventions and new development in the hardware technology will bring in new types of machines in near future. The year 2008 will also be witnessing the introducing of new operating systems and processors that will help in boosting the notebook productions .New nano-technology based dual-core notebook processors and the quad-core chips from Intel would be completely changing the notebook outlooks. This is expected to happen by the end of this year only. Similarly, a timely updating of the Microsoft’s ‘Vista’ would certainly indicate the onset of a new era of “corporate replacement cycle” by the time this year will approach an end.

Notebook manufacturers are facing an uncertainty over the supply and pricing of ‘LCD Panels’. This could however, be one of the big risks that the manufacturers would have to face at the same time. Another concern for the non-Chinese manufacturers is the production costs in china. These costs are affecting the world-markets in many ways and new markets are also coming up very fast. Such vitality of these emerging markets is also among the big causes of concern.

Chinese labor laws have recently been amended and this would make an impact on many manufacturers including hardware companies with hike of almost 25% in the labor costs. This rising factor in costs would in turn be an undercutting factor for the point off gross profits. Overall impacts of the slowing down of economy in the United States would also have related reflection in major developing economies like Brazil, India, China, and Russia. These countries are major computer market contributors and therefore could face such tremors.

Taiwan’s other major notebook manufacturers including ‘Wistron’ and ‘Compal’ would be among the top beneficiaries from this market growth, according to several market analysts .Shipments growth rate of both these manufacturing companies is rising at the rate of 60% and 30% respectively. ‘Quanta’ and ‘Compal’ were the big winners in 2007 with unit shipments up 62 and 56 percent, respectively.

Beginning with the “corporate replacement cycle” the notebook computer market will be witnessing sea changes and would also require adapting to new production and marketing strategies for all the manufacturers in near future.

30
Jan
2008

Google is planning for the addition of a new technology to its top popular ‘AdSense Program’ sometime during the month of February this year. This technology will facilitate detecting “Domain Kitting”, a common practice among many of the domain marketers and domain registrants. Internet experts across the world have expressed their concern over the practice that is causing problems in many ways.

Numerous Internet marketers and domain registrants are making huge profits in the domain registration space business presently. This tremendous potential of this business has attracted many of the miss-users who find it as a good ‘get rich quick’ idea.

‘Domain kiting’ is extremely common and popular among the domain registrants across the globe. It is a practice to play with the standard five-day grace period at the beginning of the registration of an ICANN-regulated domain. This five-day grace period actually helps the registrants who mistyped domain names they acquired from being stuck with the wrong domain. Basic intention of this facility is to protect the interests of the genuine domain registrants.

The miss-utilization of the beneficial ‘Domain Kitting’ facility is growing at a much faster speed among the people who want to earn money by playing below the margin lines. Registrants repeatedly delete a domain name during the grace period and re-register it without ever paying for it. They perform this registration-deletion-registration  operations many times during the grace period of five days. Repeating this again and again in order to make profits and generate good money from the number of advertisement hits the successful domains get, has now become an epidemic almost. It is becoming an irritant for all those who have genuine business interests and want to have a fair website for conducting their business operations.

Such types of successful domains become capable of generating considerable amount of online advertising revenue. The reason behind this revenue generation is simple. All such type of successful domains actually remains active in all the search engines, such as Google for a period of five days at least. This  five-day life of a particular domain helps the registrants to makes millions from partners that taste domains with ‘AdSense for Domains’. Expert domainers and registrants who have sufficient expertise in all these popular techniques know the nuts and bolts of this game.

This game of ‘Domain Kitting” spoils the chances of fair deal and transparency for the genuine business owners. The honest registrants who intend to make use of a particular domain name for the legitimate business reasons do not get the desired domain names because these are already tied up with the ‘kitting’. Such a situation not only affects the genuine business interests of many of the business owners but also affects the concurrent business interests of the advertisers, search engines, and lastly the viewers. Imagine the millions of dollars that goes as shear waste as it does not serve the basic purpose of advertising. It never serves the reader or the viewer because it never reaches to them. All advertisements are lost in between on such types of ‘five-dayer- domains’ and the add-revenue drops in wrong pockets. This type of “Kitting” is therefore completely unethical from the fair business point of view.

According to an announcement made by Google, on February 11 this year, the company will install a system for preventing registrants from making ad-revenue from kitted domains using ‘AdSense’ for Domains. Google however, will not disclose the details of this new addition. The exact reasons of not disclosing the details are however not available but it seems that Google intends to maintain a definite level of secrecy in the interests of itself and the domain registrants across the world. This secrecy would perhaps save the system from cyber criminals including hackers.

Google claims that it has always discouraged the practice of ‘Domain Kitting’. “If we determine that a domain is being kited, we will not allow Google ads to appear on the site”, said the official spokesperson of Google. The company anticipates that such a policy in place would make positive impacts both on the users as well as the domain purchasers around the globe. It is clear from this stand of Google that it is taking care of the business interests of its advertisers also.

Quashing the ‘kitting’ business has some business interests of Google involved. There might be some lawsuits filed in near future against the vendors who enable the ‘Domain Kitting’. The company’s objectives regarding this infringement of genuine domain registrant’s interests, if obstructed by any person or vendor by the means of breaching the code of conduct would land up in legal battle.

One should not misunderstand the two related concepts here. Domain Kitting  as a matter of fact is quite different from the ‘Domain Tasting’, though seems to be similar. “Tasting” is actually a facility given to a prospective purchaser to ‘taste’ the domain for five days and then buy the domain, according to Danny Sullivan.

Google has clarified that it is not targeting the “Domain Tasting.” But the industry specialists observe that the new system from Google will definitely affect the ‘tasting’ also. The tasters who are earning huge profits and think that this is a perfectly legitimate business process will also create a backlash for Google, many experts feel.

It is going to be the beginning of a new phase in domain business sector. It will also be worthwhile to watch the turns and rounds that the Google and the ill-motive domain game players would be going through in times to come.

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