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Owning a portfolio of websites (flippa/empireflippers/etc)

InstantNoodles

Contributor
Nov 1, 2014
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Hey everyone.

I was thinking about acquiring several websites for exchanges like flippa/empireflippers.

I tried this when I graduated from college many years ago. Basically I dropped 30k+, unfortunately most got hit pretty bad with the big google updates many moons ago. Nothing is left standing.

Why do I want to try again? Well, the multiple is now much higher (used to be 12x) and there are more quality sites available. Also brokers and advisors have emerged, it just used to be flippa (which used to be called sitepoint). The market basically is less wild wild west and more sophisticated.

One thing I want to do is not just be a passive investor. The first time I did this I just bought AdSense sites that were SEOed well. Unless the site has quality backlinks and content I'd say these sites are on shaky ground. So I'm looking to pick up a "skillset".

I"ve tried coding in the past and hated it. I'm thinking maybe drop shipping? Pick up FB/Adwords experience.

What do you think?
 

Pesh

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 9, 2018
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That Place
Hey everyone.

I was thinking about acquiring several websites for exchanges like flippa/empireflippers.

I tried this when I graduated from college many years ago. Basically I dropped 30k+, unfortunately most got hit pretty bad with the big google updates many moons ago. Nothing is left standing.

Why do I want to try again? Well, the multiple is now much higher (used to be 12x) and there are more quality sites available. Also brokers and advisors have emerged, it just used to be flippa (which used to be called sitepoint). The market basically is less wild wild west and more sophisticated.

One thing I want to do is not just be a passive investor. The first time I did this I just bought AdSense sites that were SEOed well. Unless the site has quality backlinks and content I'd say these sites are on shaky ground. So I'm looking to pick up a "skillset".

I"ve tried coding in the past and hated it. I'm thinking maybe drop shipping? Pick up FB/Adwords experience.

What do you think?
You said it yourself, owning a website and buying/holding/trading websites is not the wild wild west anymore. It is not only the brokers that improved, the competition improved big time as well.

The mantra about passive income from owning websites does not exist. Yes, it might work for a couple of months or a year, but I can guarantee you that if you are not improving/developing/expanding your online business you will get crushed into pieces by the competition. No matter if you are talking about digital products/affiliate/e-commerce - devoted people with skills/teams/money are the ones that currently rule and succeed in the long term when we talk about digital businesses.

Not to mention that the good buys on any marketplace are holding very big multipliers (25-35x). This means these sites were well maintained and if you just buy and hold they will loose all the advantages that they currently have over the competition and in 95% of the cases you will not be able to recoup your investments by just holding. If you just hold and hope for the best, waiting for 2 years means you will end up with obsolete products/information compared to your competitors.

If you plan to actually keep investing time AND money into the sites though - the ROI can be exponential if you know what you are doing or willing to invest into people that know what to do.

Good luck :)

P.S. First post after couple months of lurking - YAY!
 

ay47

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 29, 2018
54
91
115
Hey everyone.

I was thinking about acquiring several websites for exchanges like flippa/empireflippers.

I tried this when I graduated from college many years ago. Basically I dropped 30k+, unfortunately most got hit pretty bad with the big google updates many moons ago. Nothing is left standing.

Why do I want to try again? Well, the multiple is now much higher (used to be 12x) and there are more quality sites available. Also brokers and advisors have emerged, it just used to be flippa (which used to be called sitepoint). The market basically is less wild wild west and more sophisticated.

One thing I want to do is not just be a passive investor. The first time I did this I just bought AdSense sites that were SEOed well. Unless the site has quality backlinks and content I'd say these sites are on shaky ground. So I'm looking to pick up a "skillset".

I"ve tried coding in the past and hated it. I'm thinking maybe drop shipping? Pick up FB/Adwords experience.

What do you think?
I've been subscribed to Empire Flippers for a while. They certainly seem to know what they are doing.

I would pick up skills as you need them. Just in time knowledge instead of just in case knowledhe.

End of the day, online business is like any business. There's top line and bottom line.

Growing Revenue
- Increasing Channels
- More targeted customer traffic
- Better / more products

Cutting costs
- Lower costs per new customer
- Better product sourcing

I wouldn't buy unless I can work out a game plan to improve the top line or bottom line of the business in the next 6-12 months. The only thing u can do is buy and try!

Start a progress thread: would love to see how it goes :)
 
Last edited:

PRO2018

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Dec 20, 2017
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If you are not going forward in business, it means you are going backwards. There is no holding ground or whatever other phrase exists to imply doing sweet f* all. If the service or offering is not constantly improved, the competition is going to savage you. Of course there may be a few months or a year or so if you are lucky.

So, you are on the right track if you pick up a site and have a skillset that can add value to the site. What skillset depends on the site you want to work on. Lets say you come across a site that is doing ok, but could do better with more ad exposure. Having Adwords/FB knowledge perhaps could come in handy in this scenario. So you purchase this site and take it to the next level with Adwords/FB marketing. So the skill set you need will be dependent on the site you acquire.

Once you reach the next level, then what? Would you have the skill set to reach the next level after? Not to worry, this can be figured out later. Like MJ Demarco says in Unscripted, what weapons are required in the jungle against unseen adversaries can be understood only after entering the jungle. The market will tell you what it needs.

In a nutshell, I would pick the kind of webiste I see myself running and what skill would be needed to improve such a site. Learn the skill, get to it and work it from there. Good luck!
 
Last edited:

PRO2018

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 20, 2017
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@ay47 Have you bought on Empire Flippers or any such site and made it work?
Or anyone else for that matter. Would be interesting to hear everyones thoughts on this.
 

Pesh

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 9, 2018
16
49
28
That Place
@ay47 Have you bought on Empire Flippers or any such site and made it work?
Or anyone else for that matter. Would be interesting to hear everyones thoughts on this.
They have a great marketplace. I know a lot of people that bought sites from there and made it work. I am also on their list and checking out some of the listings when they release them.

I was interested in buying some sites, but the thing with EF is that the good deals (or at least the ones I like) in certain price ranges ($30-100k) go out fast. Sometimes within the same day. They even coined a term for that "the wire race". But if your question is whether they are legit broker, yes they are and a very successful one as well. Just make sure you are doing your own due diligence on the site that you plan to invest in - they are making a basic background check when it comes to traffic, revenues etc, but just like any broker they can't offer you guarantees or make the business decision for you.

I believe I saw an AMA from one of the founders Justin on this forum, he appears to be also a forum member. You might go and check the thread I believe you will find plenty of valuable information there.
 

PRO2018

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 20, 2017
40
60
115
They have a great marketplace. I know a lot of people that bought sites from there and made it work. I am also on their list and checking out some of the listings when they release them.

I was interested in buying some sites, but the thing with EF is that the good deals (or at least the ones I like) in certain price ranges ($30-100k) go out fast. Sometimes within the same day. They even coined a term for that "the wire race". But if your question is whether they are legit broker, yes they are and a very successful one as well. Just make sure you are doing your own due diligence on the site that you plan to invest in - they are making a basic background check when it comes to traffic, revenues etc, but just like any broker they can't offer you guarantees or make the business decision for you.

I believe I saw an AMA from one of the founders Justin on this forum, he appears to be also a forum member. You might go and check the thread I believe you will find plenty of valuable information there.
Thanks @Pesh

Do you look for a particular sort of business, like FBA or Dropshipping or Saas? For instance if its a Dropshipping business that uses mostly paid advertising, it would probably be less valuable in my eyes as the advertising will need to be kept up to keep consistent sales. The price you pay is for the basic setup and the supplier contacts etc.
SaaS businesses would probably have less dependency on direct paid advertising like Facebook Ads/Adwords, or even if they do it won't be as high as some Dropshipping businesses. However SaaS businesses can go downhill very quickly if the service is not kept relevant to the constantly changing marketplace. Another aspect to consider would be that Dropshipping businesses would need say Adwords/SEO knowledge whereas SaaS businesses may need Affiliate marketing knowledge and perhaps also either coding skills or a programmer in your team.
What are your thoughts?
 

Pesh

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 9, 2018
16
49
28
That Place
Thanks @Pesh

Do you look for a particular sort of business, like FBA or Dropshipping or Saas? For instance if its a Dropshipping business that uses mostly paid advertising, it would probably be less valuable in my eyes as the advertising will need to be kept up to keep consistent sales. The price you pay is for the basic setup and the supplier contacts etc.
SaaS businesses would probably have less dependency on direct paid advertising like Facebook Ads/Adwords, or even if they do it won't be as high as some Dropshipping businesses. However SaaS businesses can go downhill very quickly if the service is not kept relevant to the constantly changing marketplace. Another aspect to consider would be that Dropshipping businesses would need say Adwords/SEO knowledge whereas SaaS businesses may need Affiliate marketing knowledge and perhaps also either coding skills or a programmer in your team.
What are your thoughts?
Well most of the business sold on Flippa/EmpireFlippers/FEI rely on one of the following:

- Organic traffic (SEO, Direct)
- Paid traffic (FB/Google/Insta/Etc)
- The traffic of Amazon.com (FBA)

I am not including Apps, because I literally have 0 experience with Apps.

All of the traffic sources above (excluding direct/word of mouth) can go against you in just one day. Be it a new algorithm (SEO), new advertising policies/rules or a competitor with bigger budget willing to pay more than you do, new competitor in the Amazon marketplace and so on. Not to mention all the unethical ways to bring you down (or at least try to) that exist nowadays.

It's hard to say which is the most "risky" as it is very business depended (on a case by case basis, not type of business basis). The examples you mentioned can be mixed the other way around as well: i.e I know dropshipping businesses that relies primarily on SEO, I know SaaS buisinesses build entirely on the FB Advertising platform, affiliate marketing businesses based only on Instagram influencers and so on..

What people usually recommend is to buy a business that does not rely on a single traffic source. This is a great advice except the fact that multiple traffic business increase the price multiplier even further (and for a good reason, multiple traffic sources is the holy mantra for internet entrepreneurs).

If you have a certain set of skills (or a network of people that you can leverage) and know that you can buy a business that relies on a certain type of traffic and you add a new source of income - congrats you just made at least 20% on your initial investment back :) Can be much more than that depending on the amount of money that the traffic earns of course.

So yea this is it. If you are brand new into this whole thing I would advise you to buy a business that has at least $1000 profit per month. Profit, not earnings. And a business that has at least 1 year of earnings before the date you bought it. Then once you buy it, study it, do not rush on changing things, adding stuff etc. Trying to "revolutionize" your newly acquired internet business is a double edged sword especially if it is in an area that you have no experience with. Just observe what is happening in the next couple months. Talks with the team/VAs if they came with the business, talk with the previous owner as much as you can. After a while you will get the grasp on how things are running and you might have an idea or two for some improvements. Again start small, observe what happens and continue with the new data that you have.

Just a quick note - if you are after a SaaS business, you might want to take a look at FEInternational, another well respected and good broker that also sells all type of sites but SaaS is where they are shining (in my humble opinion, I hope no one gets offended or something). For dropship/e-commerce/FBA/advertising business all of the good brokers/marketplaces have plenty to offer.

Edit - DISCLAIMER: Buying an internet business is a VERY risky investment. You have to keep in mind that while you can multiply your investment in a year you can also loose most if not all of it in the same amount of time. Be reasonable :)
 

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