When To Sell a Site: A Brief Guide to Site Flipping

When To Sell a Site: A Brief Guide to Site Flipping

More and more web publishers these days are actively engaging in “site flipping,” which is the business of creating niche web sites only to turn around and sell them for a nice profit.

My business partners and I have created one niche site, Treo Express, which covers news, rumors, and product information for the Palm Treo smartphone. We also put together a 130-page Treo Help Ebook which we have sold on the site for $4.95 a piece. To date, TreoExpress sold around 30 ebooks and made several affiliate sales.

The only problem with creating niche minisites is that they often require quite a bit of work to maintain and build traffic for. We have not updated Treo Express in a few months, and the traffic has dropped off significantly. At this point, I am thinking the best thing to do would be update it a few more times, and simply sell it.

The great thing about Treo Express is that since it is easy to find great affiliate deals and Adsense ads are targeted really well for it. Not only that, but even though it has not been updated in a while, it received a PageRank 4 at the last update.

When To Sell a Site

Clearly, if a site is no longer being actively maintained and you do not enjoy working on it, it is probably best to put a little more work into it and put it up for sale. At first, we were enjoying writing for Treo Express and selling the Treo Help Ebook on it. However, between our other three businesses, we were just too busy to maintain it.

I was considering putting it up for sale a month ago, but I wanted to wait until the PageRank was updated. When selling a site, it is much more valuable if it already has an established PageRank.

One of my good e-friends, Matt, from Take More Risks.com, has had a good amount success flipping web sites. He recently sold emohairstyles.info several months ago for $1000. Time to create the site? A few hours. At that time, the site was making about $12 a day from Adsense, but had no PageRank. When selling a site, the price is often calculated by monthly earnings times 10-14.

I asked Matt how he decides when to flip a site. His response was:

The best time to flip a site is when you feel like you’ve taken the site as far as it can go, no less than 3 months after you’ve acquired it. You must have traffic and revenue stats for that time period as it will guide people towards a price. Also, you should consider how you could potentially use the money you get from the sale. It’s easy enough to acquire 5 good blogs without revenue which have no seo work done to them and convert them into earnings.

Where To Sell a Site

The best places to buy and sell established web sites are Digital Point Forums and SitePoint Auctions. Matt recommends using SitePoint for technical, SEO, and entrepreneur blogs.

Another e-friend of mine, Nomar, recently picked up an established forum on Digital Point for $150 and sold it almost overnight on SitePoint for $950.

Clearly, there is a lot of potential in flipping sites. Matt says, “There are some serious opportunities out there for people with the enterprise to implement multiple revenue streams, add some content and sell it on for crazy markups.” The key is to know what sites to buy and when to sell. In a future article, I will talk about how to pick sites to buy. In the meantime, check out the blogs of Matt and Nomar – they have some great information about site flipping.

20 thoughts on “When To Sell a Site: A Brief Guide to Site Flipping”

  1. Flipping sites, I had heard of “flipping houses” but never flipping sites. I read somewhere is was better to maintain ownership of a site for at least a year to ensure paying only 15% as opposed to 35% in taxes. But I guess that can be evaluated deal to deal.

    Thanks for the info, I will be in the market to flip some sites in the near future.

  2. The only problem with creating niche minisites is that they often require quite a bit of work to maintain and build traffic for

    That was my impression as well.

    It’s a tough market to crack with continued success – unless you’re able to devote the necessary hours of research.

    Luck doesn’t hurt either 😎

  3. Very nice article nate 😀
    I’ve had the pleasure of some fairly nice flips in my e-time. It’s great fun! I’m also undergoing a potential 6 figure flip soon.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. I think that your mention of not selling a dormant site is extremely important. If you want to sell a site that has become stale, spend some time invigorating it and adding fresh content – this will increase its value. People will rarely want to buy ‘dead’ sites.

    – Martin Reed

  5. everything is related … if you wanna ask for better price, you’ve to make sure the site is not dead (agreed with martin reed) … it’ll take a genius to build a site and at the same time attracts great trafic plus good pagerank (i’m not one though) ,,,

  6. Nomar,
    No problem. Congrats on your recently successful flips.

    Adam,
    Thanks for stopping by. Let me know how your flips go.

    The Paper,
    You are absolutely correct – the right events coming together (i.e., solid content, nice design, rankings, and of course, traffc) definitely contribute to the overall factor of a successful web site ready to be sold.

    Josh,
    Congrats on your awesome site man. Taking that site from practically nothing to a six-figure profit in 4 months is absolutely amazing! You will do it again, I am sure.

    Martin,
    I am glad you pointed that out – selling an active and flourishing site is DEFINITELY going to bring in more money than a dormant one.

    StockTube,
    All of that genius-ness comes from experience. I am no expert in site flipping, but I know that the hardwork and dedication Nomar and Matt has put into it has made them better flippers.

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

  7. Flipping is good and bad. Good in the way that it brings in money quickly with relatively little invested work. It is bad though, because you throw away the potential for additional profit. If it is possible to simply manage it as others work on it, there is the possibility for more income. It’s a delicate balance though.

    1. I totally agree with you that short term gain may not really pay off. Although there is a side of me that finds site flipping very attractive, I also find it hard to part with sites that I have on the backburner because I can always imagine their future potential. If I didn’t think they could be great sites then I wouldn’t have registered them in the first place. But having said that, if they’re dormant and raising them up would divert my focus from other more profitable areas then I guess they should be let go.

  8. You think anyone would buy CR for what it’s worth? Not that it’s forsale, but I came across a value of $64K. For some reason I don’t see someone pay that although we are making nice change off of it.

  9. I have a problem .. I cannot sell my sites 😀

    I have been offered money twice already for some of my sites and I didn’t sell. And I could buy myself a car with the money offered and still I couldn’t part ways. My sites are too dear to me, I cannot sell them.

    It makes me not suited for this business I am afraid 🙁

    The tips given here are very good though.

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