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How to Make Money Buying and Selling Websites

Updated on February 14, 2010

What is the Value of a Website?

One interesting way to make money on the internet is the relatively new field of buying and selling websites. But there are important questions. How much is a website worth? How do you determine the value of a website?

This is an easy online business to get into. It is possible to purchase a website for a relatively small amount of money. Where else is it possible to buy an existing business for under $100? Many websites point to advertising revenue that will pay back their entire investment in under a year.

How to Value a Website

Before you are able to successfully buy and sell websites, you will have a lot of questions, such as:

  • What is a website worth?
  • What is a reasonable price for a website?
  • How can I evaluate the website's future income potential?
  • Where do people buy and sell websites?
  • What sort of escrow services are available to protect both parties?

Three Ways to Value a Web Site

There are three ways to find the value of an existing web site:

  1. You can use a computer program to find the value of a website. These results are not dependable, and few people use them. Beware of a seller who claims value for his website based only a computer program's values.
  2. Comparison with a similar website. This is similar to what is done in real estate. What have comparable sites sold for?
  3. Intrinsic value. This is the least understood method. If you broke a website down into core components, how much value are the parts worth? What are the site's key traits?

Valuing a Web Site By Comparison With a Similar Site

Buying a website has many parallels with buying a piece of real estate.

If someone has a piece of property to sell, the appraiser would look at other properties of similar size, in similar locations, and with similar improvements. Websites can be valued using a similar method.

Great Video on Valuing a Domain Name

Using Flippa.com to Buy and Sell a Web Site

A great way to find out what websites are actually selling for is to look at Flippa.com (formerly called Sitepoint). Flippa.com is the number one place on the web to buy and sell a web site.

You can look at what sites people are offering for sale, but you can also look at what sites have already sold.

This is tremendous information and it's all free.

Go to the main Flippa page. Then you can browse through the tabs called:

  • Featured Listings
  • Latest Listings
  • Ending Soon
  • Just Sold
  • Ended Unsold

How Does Flippa.com Work?

Flippa.com operates like the auction site eBay - people bid on websites that are listed for sale during a set time period. There are also buy it now prices on some sites. If no one bids then the auction ends unsold.

How to See What Websites Sold For

When you click the "Just Sold" tab, you can see the websites that people have actually paid good money for. You can see the website's price, its age, the number of monthly visitors, and other features.

See how sites listed 'for sale' are described. Keep a file that shows what similar sites are selling for. You may find some great sites that will sell for less just because they have a poor write-up.

Valuing a Website by Its Intrinsic Value

When you are buying a website, you are buying an asset.

If you broke the website down into core components, how much value are the parts worth?

People don’t value many of the key traits that determine a website's value. Here is one key trait of a website - the unique visitors that are looking for certain keywords.

Say, for example, that you look up a keyword like Mesothelioma in the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool and you see that advertisers will pay $27 for every person that clicks their Google AdSense ad that they put on a site that has this keyword discussed in it.

Now, say you find a site for sale that gets 100 visitors a day and this site is valued highly for the keyword Mesothelioma. Do you think there is some value in this site?

This is just one of the key traits that Ed Dale teaches you to consider when determining the value of a website to buy or sell.

Ed Dale - An Expert in Buying and Selling Websites

Ed Dale is well known for his 30 Day Challenge, a free class that teaches beginners how to make $1 within 30 days by buying and setting up a website.

Ed Dale's 30 Day Challenge attracts thousands of fans every August, and his 30 Day Challenge Training Videos are available free all year long.

But people may not realize that Ed Dale is also an expert in the relatively new field of buying and selling websites. Once, Ed even sold a site for $5 million!

Great Valuing Websites Course

It is essential if you are going to buy a web site, that you understand what is a good deal. What is a website worth? Which websites are bargains?

To answer these questions, Ed has just created a course on buying and selling websites, called Valuing Websites.

In this 7 module course, Ed Dale shows you step-by-step what to look for when you want to buy a web site. After each module, there are action points, so you can actually work on exercises to test your knowledge.

Valuing WebSites - The Ed Dale Course

In Ed's course, he covers the complete range of elements you need to examine when buying or selling a website.

Ed shows you what to look for in your due diligence - the research and analysis of a website done in preparation for a purchase.

Ed will show you how to spot the pitfalls as well as the bargains.

Valuing WebSites - Watch Ed's Video Free

If you would like to learn more about how to value a website, click Ed Dale's Valuing Websites Edu-cation Online to see part of Ed's first class - free.

Ed Dale's classes are available on your computer, or you can download the files into iTunes and use them on your iPhone or iPod.

Personally, I love his Australian accent - Ed sounds like the Geico gecko lizard.

So check out Ed Dale's video, and see if you might be interested in his class. Soon, you may be buying and selling websites!

Watch Out for Banned Websites

Are you considering making some extra money buying and selling websites? As with any new business, there are a lot of things to learn. So, you can either try it yourself and learn the hard way, or you can learn from people who are actually doing it.

One thing experts will caution you to do is see if the website you are considering buying has been banned by Google. A website banned by Google will get no search traffic from that site. You can check the website with iwebtools.com to ensure that the website is not banned by Google.

Are You Interested in How Web Sites Are Valued? Any Comments?

    0 of 8192 characters used
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    • profile image

      InstinctIS 

      9 years ago

      Hey, if you're seriously thinking of selling a site, first just make sure you're asking the right amount of money or that the site is indeed ready for sale... and for this, first do a search on http://domof.com to get an estimated value for the domain, so you'll have an idea of what to expect for it.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very helpful article. I am retiring some of the website names that I have used - revamping and renewing my focus. Any other places to sell a website - Craigslist, eBay?

      This is new territory for me - I was so proud that I learned how to buy but selling is a mystery and another learning curve for me.

    • profile image

      larry morse 

      9 years ago

      Hello, hey thanks for the great advice on buying websites. I finally got to read: www.buyingawebsite.blogspot.com

    • profile image

      Johnuno11 

      10 years ago

      I don't like to use flippa I usually make a ton of money selling my website on flipurr.com

      http://www.flipurr.com

    • profile image

      Hermes Birkin 

      10 years ago

      Money can`t buy Happiness?Whoever said that doesn`t know where to buy.

      Buyhermesbirkin offers the high quality Hermes bags and services.

      No matter it is the classic Birkin bag, or the Kelly and Lindy bag,

      or the latest new designs, you can find them here. Just selecting one,

      you will be the next Victoria in the street.Comes from Shuna Sun

      http://www.buyhermesbirkin.com/

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      11 years ago from Georgia

      Wow. who knew? Wish I was more computer savvy!

    • Carol the Writer profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolyn Blacknall 

      11 years ago from Houston, Texas

      @Tattoo Guy - Thanks. Maybe you can find a tattoo or pirate site.

      @DavidParks - There are many things to consider. Look at the sources of the traffic. Does the site come with an Ebook? Is it SEO optimized? Like real estate, some people want an income producer and some want a fixer-upper.

    • DavidParkes profile image

      DavidParkes 

      11 years ago from Tenerife

      I'm surprised that at no point in this article do you mention checking the profit/turnover figures of an on-line business. This surely is the most sensible and reliable way of valuing a going concern.

      Another sensible method is take a look at figures relating to the customer list and order history. You are then in a position to determine, customer loyalty level or if up-sell opportunities being missed in the current business model,

      Traffic is a notoriously difficult commodity to monetise and direct comparison with other similar web sites is also a weak valuation method if you don't consider other factors.

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 

      11 years ago

      Like this one a lot, have bookmarked it to check it out at home !

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