Flippa.com continues to be the largest and most popular public marketplace for people to buy and sell websites. As a seller there, your goal is to not only sell your site but to get as much money as you can for it.
The best way to do that is to get your site on the Most Actives page on Flippa. This is where the majority of the buyers are looking. The only way to get on that page is to get a lot of bids on your auction as the auctions with the most bids get bumped into this “jackpot” page automatically.
So how do you go about getting a lot of bids? For starters, an established website with growing or consistent traffic and revenue will always fetch a lot of bids. Still, though, that sometimes isn’t enough to attract a lot of bids. Today I’m going to show you a gray hat strategy on how to get lots of bids on your Flippa auctions. It’s “gray hat” because some people object to it because they say it’s gaming the system. After learning the strategy, you can make up your own mind.
The Gray Hat Strategy To Get Lots of Bids
What you do is list the website for sale for 7 days or less. Five days is ideal. By keeping the auction duration shorter, you create a sense of urgency in buyers. You start the auction at $1 with or without a reserve. Not having a reserve price will make this strategy even more effective but not having one isn’t necessary for it to work.
Now so far everything has been white hat and above board, right? Well here is where the gray hat stuff comes into play. Assuming you have an established website for sale with traffic and revenue and you’ve implemented the tips I’ve just outlined, you’ll get a flood of bids right off the bat – especially if you don’t have a reserve price.
Most sellers will accept the initial flood of bids immediately after they are placed. (A note for Flippa newbies:when bids are placed on auctions, sellers must approve each initial bid before it becomes binding and made public). For this gray hat strategy, you don’t want to do that.
Instead what you’ll want to do is accept the lowest bid of all the bids that come in initially. Then after you accept the one bid, sit tight for the next 12 hours. During this period, don’t respond to any private messages and don’t make any comments on your listing. Ignore the auction entirely and let the bids pile up.
When you return to your auction 12 hours later, you should have several bids piled up that you need to review and accept. At that point, accept all of the bids and proceed with the auction as usual. Respond to your messages and leave any comments that are required and accept all bids as they come in.
How Does This Strategy Work?
What this strategy does is it gives your auction the appearance that it is really hot and popular – which will attract more buyers and bids. Buyers want websites that “everyone else wants” and when they see an auction with 15+ bids within the first 24 hours of it going live, they’ll be instantly drawn to it.
If you were to accept every bid as they came in, you likely wouldn’t get that kind of activity as some of the initial bids could be very aggressive (i.e. $1,000). When someone places a bid that high so quickly, it discourages other bidders. By accepting the lowest bid only and letting the rest of the bids “pile up,” you encourage more bidders right out of the gate because buyers only see the one low bid. They think they can still get a good deal so they place a bid.
Show Me Proof – Does This Really Work?
Yes! I employed this strategy on one of my auctions earlier this year. I listed the site late at night and I got a quick bid for $10 – which I accepted. I then signed off and went to bed. When I got up the next morning, I had 10 bids piled up. After I accepted them all, I had 11 bids in less than 12 hours. My auction eventually ended up being number one on the Most Actives page and I got top dollar for my site.
Still don’t believe me? Take a look at this screenshot of an auction that went live as I was writing this post:
(click the image to see the full-size of the screenshot)
Notice how the seller accepted the first bid and the 19 bids that are pending? The seller of this auction goes by the Flippa username of, “abisko.” He’s a regular website seller on Flippa. He employs this strategy on every auction he launches. His auctions consistently hit the top of the Most Actives page. Here is a link to the actual auction. By the time you see it, it will likely be in the top ten on the Most Actives page.
If you’re still not convinced, here is a link to abisko’s profile page on Flippa (you need to be logged into Flippa to view it). Notice all the bids his auctions get – including the one for 82 bids? He uses this strategy on every auction.
No matter how you feel about this strategy there is no doubt it works. The next time you launch an established website for sale, you might want to consider using it!