Website Flipping Market Snapshot 10-17-10

A much slower week at Flippa in terms of large sales, but there’s still a lot of interesting things to review in this week’s Website Flipping Market Snapshot.

Before we dive into things, I want to point out a few changes to the Snapshot.  For starters, you’re not going to have to scroll past the “most active auctions” to see the “top sellers” anymore. Frankly, bids don’t pay the rent.  You want to figure out how you can sell your sites for more money, so we’re giving you those listings first.

You’re also going to see a LOT more data going forward.  I’ve adjusted the “top selling websites” to include the 25 highest sales for the week, not just 5.  Both tables now show number of bids AND sale price, and I’ve added a column showing the revenue multiple for which the site sold.  I hope you like the extra data.

Starting next week, I’m also going to include some additional graphs highlighting some additional sales data / trending information.

The last change isn’t implemented yet, but it’s coming.  I’m going to start including sales results from other brokers and marketplaces.  If you’re a broker or run a marketplace, contact me and I’ll let you know about how you can submit your weekly sales data.

Now, with all the housekeeping out of the way, here’s a look at what sold this week:

Market Snapshot

week ending 10-17-10

Bids Sale Price Established Visitors / Mo Net Revenue Net Multiple

Top Sellers 1 $45,000 5/25/10 0 $0 0 13 $40,300 11/21/06 50,000 $13,800 2.9 9 $12,500 8/29/10 687 $3,216 3.9 1 $7,500 4/12/09 5,956 $2,048 3.7 12 $7,000 9/2/10 250 $325 21.5 5 $6,000 3/30/08 600 $2,040 2.9 1 $5,500 11/4/09 23,473 $146 37.7 6 $5,000 5/8/02 40,000 $500 10 15 $5,000 10/4/10 1,000 $5,500 0.9 9 $5,000 6/1/09 303,705 $302 16.6 16 $4,995 10/2/10 1,200 $0 0 31 $4,600 4/26/00 2,300 $0 0 1 $4,000 7/8/10 1,400 $0 0 24 $3,700 2/6/10 16,584 $425 8.7 31 $3,700 2/22/10 3,500 $227 16.3 15 $3,500 2/6/09 16,200 $184 19 1 $3,495 5/23/10 24,000 $0 0 13 $3,400 2/20/09 16,000 $0 0 21 $3,400 5/23/10 24,000 $695 4.9 12 $3,300 4/18/10 730 $1,100 3 22 $3,100 1/12/10 3,500 $536 5.8 6 $3,000 10/21/09 2,000 $0 0
MentalHealthRehab.Com 45 $3,000 7/9/08 17,287 $196 15.3 35 $2,700 9/25/10 3,000 $1,050 2.6 1 $2,600 12/8/05 0 $0 0

Most Actives 47 $520 4/12/10 600 $25 20.8
MentalHealthRehab.Com 45 $3,000 7/9/08 17,287 $196 15.3 40 $780 5/7/10 7,238 $144 5.4 35 $2,700 9/25/10 3,000 $1,050 2.6 33 $330 7/13/09 2,496 $25 13.2

Sites Most Watched by Buyers

Adsense – 69 watchers
Wordpress – 64 watchers
Autoblog – 56 watchers

* All stats based on Flippa activity

Top Selling Websites – 1 Bids

SOLD: $45,000
May 2010
Unique Visitors/Month: 0
Net Profit/Month: $0
Revenue Multiple: 0
Description: Domain sale

Have fun losing your $45,000 (assuming this sale actually went through).  The IOC staunchly defends its trademarks, and I’d be shocked if they let this slide.  Paying $45,000 to get yourself a guaranteed UDRP (defined here) is not good business.  If you have the cash to drop 5-figures on a domain, don’t make it one with trademark issues (or 2 hyphens for that matter).  All around fail.

This leads me to another point — I hate to gang up on Flippa, since I just took them to task for allowing misleading listings on their site, but they should really step in on obvious trademark infringing auctions like this. – 13 Bids

SOLD: $40,300
November 2006
Unique Visitors/Month: 50000
Net Profit/Month: $13,800
Revenue Multiple: 2.9
Description: A site allowing people to locate old classmates

This auction is the perfect example for how NOT to run a listing.  A site that claims 300,000 pageviews and nearly $16,000 per month in revenue sells for under 3 months net profit?  Why?

Simple.  The auction owner provided no data to verify earnings claims and the site raised more questions than he answered.  For a site of this purported magnitude, it shows an incredibly low link count (see Open Site Explorer data), and the owner did very little to limit the concerns others offered.  The Quantcast stats provided verify the amount of traffic, but don’t give much indication as to its quality.

The bottom line is this: if you want to sell your site for a high multiple, you absolutely must provide proof of the viability of your business. – 9 Bids

SOLD: $12,500
August 2010
Unique Visitors/Month: 687
Net Profit/Month: $3,216
Revenue Multiple: 3.9
Description: Site selling Facebook fan acquisition services.

Continuing the trend of social media fan purchasing sites in the “Top Sellers,” we close out the top 3 with Getty Fans.  This is clearly becoming a crowded market, so if you’re looking to buy one of these sites, you better be willing to continue working on the SEO or your revenue stream will dry up quickly.

This site has a nice design and good stats, so it seems like a decent investment provided they maintain traffic.  I’m always surprised when I see sites like this (selling a service or product that’s paid for online) not using conversion tracking.  As the new owner of this site, I’d love to step in knowing what marketing works and what doesn’t.

Most Active Websites – 47 Bids

SOLD: $520
April 2010
Unique Visitors/Month: 600
Net Profit/Month: $25
Revenue Multiple: 20.8
Description: AdSense site

Decent little AdSense site with a very limited earnings history.  More than a few things make me nervous about it.  Laying out 21 months net for a site with only 4 months of history (only 1 month over $25) is a bit risky.  It certainly doesn’t help build buyer confidence that there appeared to be some blatant shill bidding in this auction either, plus the owner didn’t supply verified Google Analytics data.

Still, the exact-match term shows 2,400 exact searches per month via GAKT with a $1.83 average CPC, so there’s potential for this to turn out favorably for the new owner.

MentalHealthRehab.Com – 45 Bids

SOLD: $3,000
July 2008
Unique Visitors/Month: 17287
Net Profit/Month: $196
Revenue Multiple: 15.3
Description: AdSense site

Interesting that in one of the comments, a potential buyer states, “With 87% bounce rate and average visit time of 28 seconds, you cannot earn 200 bucks per month.”  Quite to the contrary.  The purpose of a well-optimized made-for-AdSense site is to get people to leave the site… via ads.  You could reasonably have an insanely high bounce rate because everyone who comes to the site clicks on your ads.

The problem is that Google could now, or eventually will, leverage analytics and toolbar data to penalize sites that have such a high bounce rate (as that could indicate a bad user experience with the site).  It’s a risk you take when you buy MFA sites at high multiples. – 40 Bids

SOLD: $780
May 2010
Unique Visitors/Month: 7238
Net Profit/Month: $144
Revenue Multiple: 5.4
Description: 8 Halloween costume affiliate sites

I should have made a prediction in last week’s Snapshot that we’d start seeing costume-related sites showing up, and that they wouldn’t have more than 2 months of data coming with them.  Despite what I have listed above, this site did NOT sell for a 5.4 multiple.  This site will do 95% of its sales between August and mid-October.  So, the new owner probably paid a 15-20x multiple.

I’m not saying that’s bad — for each of the next few years, the site might do the same volume of business, meaning it’s a nice little investment.  Just be careful when you’re bidding on seasonal listings that you don’t base your max bid on a short portion of data.

  • I can almost guarantee you that the olympic domain WAS NOT SOLD. I really do not think someone with that amount of money would waste it on that kind of domain.

  • Rob

    If it was that easy to make money flipping Olympic domains I’d register domains for every Olympic year from now until eternity. The auction you described isn’t the only one on Flippa. There’s a 2014 Olympic domain with a starting price of $10,000. Yikes.