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In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about how to buy and sell websites for profit, including:
- How to get started
- The Buying Process
- Best practices
- How much you can make
- How to scale this business
- The Selling Process
Plus, much more!
You may not have even known that buying and selling websites was a thing, before this post. Just like flipping homes, buying and selling websites for profit is called website flipping.
There’s risk and there’s reward.
As a smart buyer, the goal is to purchase an undervalued website website that can be improved upon in the least amount of time with minimal resources, then turn it over for a higher price than your investment.
This is the exact business model.
For example, you purchase a fitness website for $1,000, take 3 months to grow the website traffic and social network and then sell it for $8,000. This is website flipping and whole businesses are being made from this concept.
Keep reading while we uncover this awesome money making opportunity that has earned me over six figures since I started!
How to Get Started with Website Flipping
Flipping is the art of selling products at a higher price than you bought them at.
For example, you buy an antique flatware set at a garage sale for $5 and sell it on eBay for $50.
Another example is you buy a foreclosed home at $100,000, then renovate it and sell it for $200,000.
Flipping is an industry that has been growing fast over the past several years. You can flip a variety of different products and services, making it a lucrative business to start for yourself.
Here are some examples of products you can flip:
- Real estate
- Cars, boats, and RV’s
- Home goods
- General goods
And, examples of services that can be flipped:
- Voiceover recording
- Graphic design
- Digital marketing
- Social media management
- Virtual assistance
In fact, it has been so successful for some people, that they are now teaching others about it, like Flea Market Flipper.
This is no get rich quick scheme. While you don’t need specialized skills or education to make money website flipping, it takes real work to make this business successful.
Buying and selling websites for profit is desirable because of these awesome perks:
- Little startup costs
- No technical experience needed
- Flexible schedule
- Be your own boss
- Unlimited income potential
The Perks of Buying and Selling Websites as a Business
A business that has low startup with no technical experience or special skills needed has a low barrier to entry. Couple that with the ability to run things the way you want to, being your own boss, and the ability to make truly unlimited income, makes this an appealing home-based business to get into. Lets dive into these.
Low Startup Costs
This is an appealing facet to any new business, low startup costs. With a website flipping business, the costs are minimal:
- Paid marketing (optional)
- Website tools/resources (optional)
- Cost of purchase (optional)
The required costs are the domain and hosting expenses which can be as low as $3.95/month. Additional costs, which are optional, may extend to paid marketing, like Facebook ads, or website tools like email marketing software or a stock photo membership.
So, for essentially under $50/year (not including cost of purchase, optional) you can start your business of buying and selling websites!
No Tech Skills or Expertise Required
A deterrent to some, might be the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to start a business. If you think about buying and selling websites, on the outset, if may seem like this is a business only for the tech savvy but the truth is, technical skills are not required.
If you can operate a smartphone, you can buy and sell websites as a business.
Who is Doing This Business?
Literally anybody can do website flipping.
- Stay-at-home moms
- College students
- Business professionals
It can be done by nearly anyone, no special skills required. The tools you’ll need will be a computer or smartphone with internet access, or the ability to connect to the internet (library, internet cafe, etc.) so you can grow and maintain your website. No skills and very few tools to get started.
Imagine if you could design your dream schedule. Start working when you want, take breaks and lunch when you choose to, and make your own decision to stop work for the day.
Before I became an entrepreneur, I used to stress about the smallest schedule hangups that I now laugh at, like getting anxiety over asking for time off for a doctor’s appointment, getting off early to attend a school event for my child, vacation days to spend time with my fiance who would visit home twice a year on break from being stationed in the military overseas.
Now, I pick appointment times without stressing out about my schedule. I call the shots and take my schedule into my own hands. This is one of the many perks of being a business owner and you can enjoy a flexible schedule with a website flipping business.
Be Your Own Boss
As an entrepreneur, you’ll get to be the boss and make all the rules. You control the entire business including determining your salary, schedule, projects you’ll pursue, and more.
One of the things you will love about this business is that the income potential is truly unlimited. You can make $1,000/month or $10,000/month and more! It’s relatively easy to scale and take full control over how much income you want to make.
Here’s an example:
If you bought and sold 3 websites per month, your income might look like this:
- Purchase price $500 + Expenses $4=$504 Total monthly cost
- Selling price $1,000
- Profit $496 (Selling price less Purchase price + expenses) each
If you scaled to 10 websites monthly, your income might look like this:
- Purchase price $500 + Expenses $4=$504 Total monthly cost
- Selling price $1,000
- Profit $496 (Selling price less Purchase price + expenses) each
The above example illustrates what a part-time schedule would look like, compared to a full-time schedule, in a website flipping business.
Ready to learn more? Lets look at how to get started.
Getting started is easier than you might think.
You can follow this simple 5 step process to begin your journey into creating a flipping business for yourself:
- Pick a Niche
- Source inventory
- Renovate (if needed)
Picking a Niche
Whether you buy a website or decide to create a site from scratch on your own, picking a niche is critical. Learn how to build sites from scratch in this easy 7-step tutorial.
When you pick your niche, you are picking your website category. This is crucial because you want to pick a winning category in order to see success with your site. Picking the right category means that you will enjoy:
- Thriving, growing website traffic
- Loyal readers
- Growing email subscribers
Pro Tip: Pick a niche with a passionate audience behind it. Examples are food, nutrition, saving money, travel.
You want to be a problem solver and your website should seek to solve problems:
- How can you help your audience lose weight?
- How can you help your audience fight depression?
- How can you help your audience make money from home?
Some examples of questions to help your audience.
With picking a passionate niche and solving a problem will come traffic and the ability to earn from your site. Keep this in mind.
Sourcing Website Inventory
Next, it’s all about sourcing inventory. When buying your site, this means that you’ll be evaluating the available options to determine what website to buy. You’ll look at various factors like website age, niche, readership, traffic, etc.
In this step you will pull the trigger and make your purchase. Here are some places where you can purchase websites:
When buying, make sure to do your due diligence and evaluate the site fully to make sure you are making a good investment. More on this, down below.
In the renovation step, you are making improvements to the site. You renovate in order to add value so you can sell at a higher price and make a profit. Here are some easy tasks you can do to improve the website value:
- Add social media channels
- Add more content
- Change the theme
- Grow backlinks
- Monetize the site
- Guest post
In renovation, it can take a few weeks or a few years. This is entirely up to you. Keep in mind that if you hold onto the website for a longer timeframe, you’ll likely be able to get a higher selling price.
At the same time, you’ll be incurring costs (monthly hosting and possible other optional fees) during that time so weigh your options to see if it makes sense.
Now, the fun part! Selling your site will be a breeze with our tips.
- Price competitively
- Look at competitors
- Get a site valuation
- Get organized
- Be a strong communicator
The Buying Process
Once you decided to start your website flipping business, the first step is to buy your website. Buying a website is like buying any other asset. You want to get great value at a good price.
Here are some things to consider:
- Website age
The age of the website is to be considered and can be the difference between taking over an established site and growing a brand new one from scratch.
As a rule of thumb, older sites tend to perform better.
Not always of course but the more aged a site is, the more opportunity it has had to be found in search engines like Google.
Being picked up in Google is every webmasters goal because the more often your site ranks for terms in Google, the more traffic you will get.
Bottom line, if you want a quick turnaround and instantly start getting traffic and income, you’ll want to invest in buying an established site.
If you don’t mind taking more time to grow a website and cultivate it on your own, a starter site is the way to go.
Traffic and Website History
This is along the same vein as website age. An older, established site with more traffic is desired for instant takeover to turn around quickly while a starter website which may have lower traffic, might take a bit longer to grow.
With traffic, you also want to look at the traffic history.
Is the traffic growing slow and steady?
Is traffic declining?
Did traffic reach a peak and is now leveling out?
You can review all this with Google Analytics. Take your time to evaluate growth trends, see where traffic is coming from, and make sure it’s a sustainable source that won’t disappear when you purchase.
The operating platform should be identified and you will want to review costs associated with it, if any, like these possible costs and things to consider:
- Monthly fees
- Cost for learning the system (paid training)
- Optimization and design
Every platform is different and just because you may not know how to operate a specific platform, that may not be a hinderance. Look at the full picture and consider the platform in your buying decision.
This is your target audience. You want to review the demographics and audience data to ensure it’s in line with the site.
For example, if you operate a fashion website sharing the latest trends in style, and the website audience is into tech gadgets, then that may not be an audience aligned with the site. Make sense?
This is a big consideration. You will want to know what marketing methods were used to grow the website.
- Paid advertising
- Social media shoutouts
- Free promotion
- Local and/or word of mouth
You want to know how easy it will be to continue the marketing plan.
The worst thing that can happen is you buy the site and traffic tanks because the marketing plan cannot be continued.
Maintenance Time and Costs
Consider how much time and what skills and possible costs are associated with a site.
It may not make sense to take over a site that costs $1,000/mo to maintain and is generating $0 income and little traffic.
Or, if you have to incur paid training to learn the platform, you will want to consider how much time it will take to learn.
Lastly, price. There is no clear rule for pricing. Most sites are priced at some multiple of net monthly income but not all sites are income-producing so this is where your judgment should come into play.
Consider all the strengths and weaknesses then, come to a fair price with the seller.
Best practices for Buying and Selling Websites
The key to being successful with website flipping is consistency. Develop a plan and get organized.
Once you master a formula for turning over profitable sites, it’s not hard to replicate that process to scale on more and more websites.
But, where you can fail is with organization.
Clearly define your tasks, track your growth and targets and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Outsourcing is a big time saver and a smart move to make if you are taking too much work yourself.
How Much Can You Make?
You can make a lot or a little. What’s great about website flipping is that you have full control over the process. So, you can choose to take this business part-time or full-time.
Part-time income could earn you a few hundred to a few thousand dollars monthly while full-time income can be much more. There are entrepreneurs that do website flipping full-time as their primary business.
They make their own schedule, create their plan, outsource if needed, and make money in this business.
I’ve earned over $200K flipping. I made over $80K my first year.
Whether you are interested in making a little extra every month to supplement your income or want to create a full-time business, you can accomplish both with buying and selling websites for profit.
How to Scale This Business?
Create a formula for success and then rinse and repeat on multiple sites.
Start with one website. Develop a plan for growth, whether it be:
- Mailing list
- Social media network
- A combination of the above
Sell it! Then, do it all over again with a new website. You scale by doing the same process to multiple sites at once, to grow your business and your income.
For example, you can sell a site in month 1 for a profit of $500. In month 2, you can take on 3 sites, selling for $1,500. Then, in 12 months, you could be managing 50 or more sites, profiting $25,000+ per month.
This is exactly how scaling works.
The key is to find a process that works then multiplying it across multiple web properties.
The Selling Process
When it’s time to sell, you want to be organized. Put together all the website assets in a report and have it readily available in case it’s requested. There are many ways you can sell:
- Auction marketplace
- Fixed price marketplace
- Social media
- Word of mouth
Selling A Website on Auction
Selling on an auction is one of the fastest ways to get your site sold but not necessarily for the most money.
How it works:
First, join an auction website. Then, list your site. Pay any listing fee required and watch the auction take place.
During the auction, as the seller, you will receive bids on your web property, which you’ll have the choice to accept or decline. Bids will continue coming in until (hopefully) your reserve price is met so you can sell. The reserve price is the minimum amount you’ll accept in order to agree to sell your website.
For example, you could list a food blog website with an opening bid price of $1 and a reserve of $1,500. As bids come in, you can approve them but until the bid price reaches $1,500, you are not obligated to sell your site.
You can also use a Buy it Now price which is a fixed price a bidder can agree to pay to buy the site on the spot and end the auction early.
Here are some tips to help you see success:
- Add as much detail as possible to your website listing
- Promote the listing to your network
- Set a competitive reserve price
- Be communicative and answer questions quickly
A common auction site owners turn to is Flippa. The processes described above, on reserve price and buy it now price were for Flippa.
Flippa is easy to use, affordable and has a lot of flexibility.
You can choose your auction length, write a website description as long as you want, and with built in features like reserve price and buy it now price, sellers are getting more and more creative with their website listings, encouraging fast, high paying sales. If you’re looking for a quick, seamless sale, check out Flippa.
Selling A Website in a Fixed Marketplace
A fixed marketplace is like a Buy it Now listing, as shared above. Your site will be placed on a marketplace website showing as available for sale. Interested buyers will work through that marketplace to present you with an offer on the website. You can then choose to accept, decline, or negotiate with the buyer.
Here are some fixed marketplaces where you can list your website:
A fixed marketplace sale usually takes longer but you may be able to get more for your website, compared to an auction.
Selling A Website on Social Media
Do not rule out social media as a place to sell your website. Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more, are all great places to sell your site.
Pro Tip: Facebook groups are great for seeking out buyers. Join groups.
There are specific groups on Facebook dedicated to buying and selling websites. Join a group and list your site for sale. I’ve received dozens of inquiries on the sites I have listed for sale.
Facebook groups for Selling Your Website:
You’ll post your site for sale. Make sure to include as much detail as possible. Then, interested parties will contact you, usually via Facebook private message and you can discuss the details of the sale.
Once you come to an agreement to sell, you can talk about the exchange, handing over web assets in exchange for the sales price.
Selling A Website through Word of Mouth
Lastly, a word of mouth site sale can happen. This is where you receive a referral from a prospective buyer interested in buying your website, or a lead from your network like family, friends, peers, etc. This is actually how my last website sale happened. I shared through my network that my latest website was up for sale and a few weeks later I got an offer.
The deal was negotiated and finalized within 24 hours!
Keep your network in mind. Word of mouth sales are a hidden gem.
This is how you buy and sell websites for profit. If you are looking for a profitable, rewarding way to run a home-based business, you’ll love website flipping. Technical skills aren’t required and it’s a lucrative hobby that can grow into your full-time income if you so choose.
There you go!
Have you ever sold a website before? What was your experience? Share your comments down below. We would love to hear more!