Website Flipping Market Snapshot 10-10-10

Market Snapshot

week ending 10-10-10

Established Visitors / Mo Net Revenue

Most Actives 40 bids 6/20/09 2,811 $341 40 bids 4/30/10 1,476 $124 35 bids 5/2/10 1,729 $5,071 34 bids 10/30/09 220 $41 34 bids 10/19/09 3,786 $50

Top Sellers $75,000 4/20/04 100,000 $2,500 $60,000 2/3/01 42,951 $8,000 $30,000 5/2/10 1,729 $5,071 $22,500 7/31/03 20,000 $7,542 $20,000 2/18/09 2,500,000 $1,900

Sites Most Watched by Buyers

Adsense – 68 watchers
Wordpress – 62 watchers
Autoblog – 55 watchers

* All stats based on Flippa activity

Most Active Websites – 40 Bids

SOLD: $6,000
June 2009
Unique Visitors/Month: 2,811
Net Profit/Month: $341
Description: Collection of 7 AdSense sites.

Comments: I know what you’re thinking — who knew a site about crawl space insulation could be so desirable?  On closer inspection, we learn that it wasn’t.  This auction was actually a collection of 7 sites that were earning revenue through AdSense.

They all look to be very thin sites (little content) and they use the exact same (hideous) template, but the stats definitely show some solid revenue.  This listing is a great example of providing lots of data to potential buyers (lots of videos of stats, etc) that likely played a big role in driving up the bidding.

A quick word of caution when buying AdSense sites — sites that are very thin and have high CTRs can be a risky purchase (if you don’t plan on improving the content quality).  Google has cracked down a bit on these “made for AdSense” type sites, and the last thing you want to have happen is to shell out big bucks for a site that’s about to get banned from its only revenue source.  I can’t say with any certainty, but it looks like that may have happened with these sites, as they no longer feature the CPC ads that were the primary revenue source.  Hopefully the (possible) banning happened before the sale finalized, giving the buyer a way out. – 40 Bids
SOLD: $3,999

Established: May 2010
Unique Visitors/Month: 1,476
Net Profit/Month: $124
Description: Collection of 50 AdSense sites.

Comments: Yes, you read that correctly — FIFTY websites were sold in this package for a total of just under $4k.  That’s 32x the claimed revenue multiple… but here’s the rub: that multiple is bogus.  If you’re ever looking to buy a huge collection of sites, like this one, you MUST take into consideration the cost of domain renewals against your gross earnings when calculating your net profit.

The owner of these sites listed a total monthly cost of $10 (for website hosting), but 50 domains at around $8 each for renewal means you have a renewal cost of $400 per year.  Divided by 12 means a monthly cost of $33.33, which is better than 25% of the claimed net.  If we take that out, these sites had a real net of $90.67, meaning they sold at 44 times the monthly profit.

Hopefully the new owner took that into consideration before making the acquisition.  44x for some new AdSense sites with weak domains is quite a bit aggressive for my liking. – 35 Bids
SOLD: $30,000

Established: May 2010
Unique Visitors/Month: 1,729
Net Profit/Month: $5,071
Description: A web-based course about flipping websites.

Comments: The only actual product-based business of the top 3 most active sites sells for the lowest revenue multiple by far, at just under 6x.  Information products, such as this one, tend to do very well at their launch and then fade off over time (some more drastically than others).  As a result, it’s understandable that this site wouldn’t fetch 30x revenue, but under 6x is pretty low given its consistent sales record over the past several months.

At $197, it’s a high ticket item, but the sales page is pretty compelling and it looks like there’s still a lot of potential for growth from affiliates.  In the hands of the right owner, this site could do monster business.  Its active forum and subscriber list also represents the potential to cross-sell items.

I’ll likely try to contact the new owner and get an update on his plans for the site and possibly review the product.

Top Selling Websites – 11 Bids
SOLD: $75,000

Established: April 2004
Unique Visitors/Month: 100,000
Net Profit/Month: $2,500
Description: It does what it says on the tin — Job postings in Egypt.

Comments: It’s easy to see why this site sold for 30x monthly revenue.  It’s an established site in a niche (jobs) that’s easy to monetize and is evergreen — people are always going to be looking for jobs.  The site gets lots of traffic (100k uniques, 650k pageviews), ranks number 1 for “jobs in Egypt” and “Egypt jobs,” as well as many city-related job queries.  On top of all of that, it looks really ugly, which is easy to fix.

With a nice redesign and some additional marketing, revenue on this site could easily double or triple, at which point it looks like an amazing investment. – 1 Bid
SOLD: $60,000

Established: February 2001
Unique Visitors/Month: 42,951
Net Profit/Month: $8,000
Description: E-commerce site selling knives.

Comments: This e-commerce site has seen better days but still has quite a bit of value.  Sales have trended downward since 2007, but monthly gross has remained over $20,000 and net profit is still significant at $8,000 per month.  At just over 7x monthly net, I think the buyer of this site got a great deal (purchased immediately at BIN), provided he has the back-end resources to handle order fulfillment and customer service.

The third highest selling site of the week was also one of the most active listings: — my thoughts on this site were covered in the “Most Actives” section.

Types of Websites Most Watched by Buyers

This metric provides a lot of insight on the website flipping market. These are the types of websites that buyers are watching. In other words, these are the types of websites that buyers are interested in buying today. As a potential seller, this is great information because if your website falls into any of these categories, be sure to tag them as such when you list them. And if you’re a short-term flipper, these are the types of websites you should be building for sale.

AdSense: 68 buyers watching

WordPress: 62 buyers watching

Autoblog: 55 buyers watching

See Past Website Sales For The Most Actives
and Top Sellers For Every Month!

  • Hi Eppie,

    As always great information! I’m watching this closely right now because I’m selling off part of my online business. Of course it’s on Flippa under my name ‘3rdplanetpublish’ or here ( ) if you wanted to critic it I’d appreciate it.


  • RobMills

    Hi Eppie.

    I had the on my watchlist because of the earnings claim. Not bad for a network of adsense sites. In the comments the seller mentioned that they had removed the adsense blocks so bidders/lookers wouldn’t go click happy on the ads during the auction.

    Congrats on taking over You’ve written some solid content so far so keep up the good work.

    • Rob — good catch on the removal of AdSense by the owner of the site during bidding. Hopefully that’s the full story on this one, and not anything sinister. It does reinforce something I learned a few years ago during a “Made for AdSense” experiment… ugly sites get ad clicks.

      • RobMills

        It’s a case of the old saying “buyer beware”. I agree ugly or simple sites make the adsense ads stand out and the last time I checked ugly wasn’t mentioned in the adsense TOS.