How Buying and Selling Websites for Profit Works

Buying and selling websites is similar to investing in real estate in more ways than one. Firstly, the objective is the same, i.e. making a profit. You are buying a piece of “property” that is undervalued and expecting to sell it for a higher price.

This practice is commonly known among webmasters and domainers as “flipping” websites. You buy the website, improve and add value to it, and finally sell it off to the highest bidder. As with any real estate investor, you have to look for websites that are undervalued and buy them.

You then work toward improving their value so you can get the price you want for them, or close to it. Of course, this is easier said than done. However, having a clear idea of how the process goes can make the endeavor less complicated for you.

So, read on and discover everything there is to buying and selling websites for profit.

Level of Investment

Before you can start looking for websites to buy, you need to figure out exactly how much money you want to invest. The start-up capital you require can be as low as a couple of hundred bucks, or a couple of thousand bucks for more serious projects.

The level of investment should depend on how much money you can afford to lose. Even if you purchase the most attractive website with a high potential of selling it for a profit, there are no guarantees that you will be able to do so.

There is always an element of risk involved, so a little caution is necessary and you must be prepared for the possibility of a loss with any purchase you make.

Niche Performance

The niche a website is in will have some bearing on its profitability. For instance, there are some niches that have been growing over the years and a profit is all but guaranteed.

Technology products and services, self-improvement, real estate and travel are prominent examples of such niches. On the other hand, buying a website based purely on a temporary fad can make it difficult for you to sell it once the fad fizzes out. So, try and stick to the so-called “evergreen” niches to stay on the safe side.

Finding Websites

There are numerous online resources and platforms where you can find websites to purchase. You can check out:

  • Website brokers
  • Forum marketplaces
  • Website marketplaces

When browsing through the websites on offer, it is important that you ascertain the reason why a certain website is being sold. If the website is as good as the seller claims it to be, it may not make sense for him/her to sell it. So, exercise some due diligence and make sure that the website is profitable and relevant. You can even, actually you must demand proof of traffic and revenue from the seller. Also, you always have the option of getting a professional appraiser to check it out for you.

Bidding for a Website

In most cases, the seller will put an asking price on the table and you can make your bid accordingly. Going very low can be to your own detriment. If a website is delivering a $5,000 monthly profit, you cannot expect to acquire it for $10,000!

The lowest you should go is around 70% of the asking price. Of course, you have the chance to explain to the website owner why your bid is low. If you can highlight the negatives clearly, you might be able to get the website at the price you want.

Improving the Website

Once you have the website in hand, you can look at ways to improve it and make it more profitable. Here are some ways you can do so:

  • Increasing traffic through SEO and content marketing.
  • Improving existing content and adding more relevant content on a regular basis.
  • Enhancing user experience (UX) of the website.

You can also hire a professional to help you out with one or all of these if you don’t have the time or expertise yourself.

Selling the Website

The best place to sell a website can often be where you bought it from. The reason is that your target audience is likely to be found there.

On your end, a little preparation is a good idea. Have detailed accounts of the website’s income, its search engine rankings, traffic statistics, and anything that proves its value to interested buyers. Also, be prepared to answer their questions as well.

Unless you are willing to wait for your “dream buyer”, you are unlikely to get the asking price you wish for. So, find a price at which you make a decent profit and be prepared to make multiple offers/counteroffers.

This is basically how the process of buying and selling websites for profit works. Obviously, not every sale results in a profit, but knowing the steps listed above does improve your chances considerably.

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About the Author: simonc