Buying & Selling Websites

On Sitepoint Clinton Lee wrote a 6 page high quality web site valuation guide.

The New York Times recently published a great article about flipping websites, quoting my buddy Peter Davis.

Shane Pike recently blogged about selling one of his sites to Internet Brands. The site he sold was the one that let him quit his job. I gave him some tips on how to build traffic and increase monetization during a 15 minute chat at Elite Retreat in December of 2006. He quickly took my advice to heart and is a richer man for it. Here is his revenue graph from that site

But where he really made a killing was when he found investment bankers to help him sell on a nice multiple of that

If you believe your site could sell for more than $100,000, you’re throwing money away if you don’t use an experienced broker or investment banking firm to help you sell it. Because they’re much more adept than you at running an efficient process, finding potential buyers, and maximizing the bids from those buyers, they make up their fee many times over.

For example, this whole process started when I received an unsolicited bid for the site. Before all was said and done, though, my representatives had secured not just one, but two final bids that were ten times that initial offer. I couldn’t have gotten half that on my own.

Published: August 9, 2008 by Aaron Wall in internet business domain names


August 9, 2008 - 6:16pm

What was the domain name??

August 15, 2008 - 1:56am

seems to be

August 9, 2008 - 6:35pm

I am not sure if I am can disclose it, though Shane linked to a page where the name was in a list of names Internet Brands bought.

August 9, 2008 - 8:24pm

Hope to meat sometime and have a 15 minute chat with you Aaron :D

August 10, 2008 - 10:41am

Aaron, I suspect that your inbox is inundated and that there's more chance of you reading this.

If you are still in contact with Andy Hagan his site tropicalseo is blocked by Google and others because of malware and he doesn't have any contact forms. Perhaps he could sort this out?

August 10, 2008 - 8:54pm

Thanks for the heads up Richard. I will ping him!

August 10, 2008 - 3:57pm

Aaron, I would like to know if I could place a link to this site on my blog? email me

P.S Great job!

August 10, 2008 - 8:58pm

sure you can link to my site. :0

August 10, 2008 - 9:54pm

A while ago I started one of the first blogs on the topic - . That site's content, as well as others' content, has been ripped off and turned into a chintzy ebook promoted by a 'guru' with the typical high-pressure sales letter etc.

I found out when the d-bag contacted me to buy the site, and showed me his content to prove he was legit 8-). The truth is that there's a lot of misrepresentation and bs in the space, largely fueled by folks who don't know what they're talking about.

August 10, 2008 - 11:49pm

Most "gurus" don't know what they are talking about...they (or a ghostwriter) write about a topic that is hot and appeals to the make money easy crowd. In many cases they spend more time writing their sales letter than they do on the product itself.

August 10, 2008 - 10:00pm

And to conclude - that article is excellent, one of the few worth reading on the topic.

I remember there was a NamePros thread where someone was getting their DN appraised by Moniker. Monty Cahn joined and discussed their valuation process. Pretty interesting, and detailed - kudos to him for sharing so much.

Anyways, the thread was a contest where the closest guess to Moniker's valuation won. The most accurate one took a dozen very similar domains that had sold recently and averaged the prices. The valuation was about 1500 and the guy guessed within $100-$200 as I recall.

My long-winded point: The ebizvaluations tool, if indeed based on scraping/aggregating closed-sales data, will be very accurate. I had thought of doing that but got sidetracked with other projects and it's nice to see someone else produce it free.

August 11, 2008 - 11:33am

Aaron, thanks for the mention of the article I wrote for Sitepoint on valuing websites.

You are 100% right about the fake "gurus" advocating big money opportunities in site-flipping. I've been a keen observer of the site-for-sale marketplaces over the last few years and am a buyer with a variety of innovative ways of finding sites for sale so I have a fair idea of what's out there and it's nowhere near the volume they seem to suggest. When I see these snake-oil salesmen talking up the money to be made in "flipping", it's very disappointing. It's not easy, it's not for everyone, and it's not make-a-million on day one. What surprises me even more is that these "gurus" are so good at buying and selling websites that they don't do it any more and concentrate on making money from ebooks instead ;-)

bookworm, thanks for your kind comments about the article. I'm glad you were busy and I got to do the valuation tool first :-) I would appreciate any feedback you have on the tool and its workings. You can contact me via the bug report or contact form on the site.

September 5, 2008 - 9:42am

Aron, would you care to share what it was that you told Shane to make him double his income in such a short period of time?


September 5, 2008 - 6:37pm

Sorry, but I can't say ;)

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