how to sell your website: SBI Advice

By | April 22, 2010

As a regular on this forum, I am putting together some suggestions on selling your site and how to make it seem like a good thing. The original posting by Jim is pretty helpful. But it is a locked thread, so I thought I would add my own experience here.

First, and foremost: think like a buyer.

If you are buying a site, what would you want to know? What would you need to know if the site you are looking at is for sale? Of course: content (what content do you have?), traffic (how much? what kind?), links (where? how many?), monetization included (if any? how much? what kind?), what else is INCLUDED in the sale. What is excluded, if anything.

Examples, make sure that the site you are selling has the rights to transfer photographs, esp. royalty free photos may not be transferable (it depends).

Also, if you are using specific accounts with the sale, such as a merchant’s account, advertising account (adwords), etc.

Second, is it a viable niche?

I do think sellers need to go a little further than just these basics, to make a successful sale you need to show that you have a viable niche. Why? Because you want to make the case that your site has a lot of interest in its niche, if you are to be able to sell the domain.

share with us, your potential buyers, exactly what value your site has to your audience, or an audience, at any rate. It’s easy for us to check out the niche values (remember your brainstormit tools, …) to determine whether a niche is winnable or not (AG day #2).

Third, answer your email/contacts.

So many threads feature the same problem: contacts that are never answered; emails that go missing. People frustrated because they want to contact you but can’t reach you.

Using email: set up a filter (in Google) to stop email going to the wrong place. Use a keyword from your original ad to help your filter work properly.

Using contact forms: check the forms database to make sure your replies are all received. I think that not all contacts made via SBI contact forms get through for whatever reason. So check your DB.

Fourth, site valuation

No, it’s not a science. Unfortunately. But nor is it a mystical art either. It may not be objectively possible to value what your site is worth. Be aware that, when you sell your site, buyers may have price points in mind, such as multiples of monthly earnings, traffic levels, amount of content, domain name valuation, etc..

You should really try to explain to your possible purchasers why you think your site is not just worth the asking price, but actually represents a good deal for them: suggestions – you could say you’ve developed a target mailing list, you’ve got a great domain name, you’ve got a unique E-Book, great list of keywords in the BrainstormIt Tool, … .whatever.
Also, there is no theoretical maximum to the price a site is worth. BUT there is an actual minimum price: the value of a site subscription * (x months)/12 where x = the number of full months to site renewal date. This minimum price is also affected by the pricing of the full subscriptions (typically $299 pa).

Don’t make your buyer work TOO hard!

Remember the harder you make your buyer work to buy the site, the less likely you will be able to sell the site because they may find it not worth it or too difficult to pursue. Worse, by the time you do get in touch with them to answer their question, they’ve already purchased another site.
Over the past few months, I’ve participated on the "Have you heard forums…" and regretted not purchasing TWO sites in particular during that time because I didn’t understand what I was looking at or was too late to see the posts… these sales can go F-A-S-T.

But more often I’ve noted sites that were being sold here that didn’t include basic information, or didn’t follow guidelines, or were blatantly copied, or were blank sites (on two occasions), or that didn’t include decent contact information, or were selling SBI accounts (and weren’t permitted to)… or didn’t answer questions quickly (or at all)…

On some occasions, I’ve tried to help by asking pertinent questions from the OP to explain what they thought they were selling, etc, this being a discussion forum and all that… Unfortunately, when I ask or point out these flaws one by one, I seem to get called out on asking them. Whatever. In at least one or two cases, where I’ve seen a wonderful site for sale, I’ve actually written to ask the person to reconsider selling what was a great money making and fulfilling site.

I hope this post helps people to sell their sites more effectively, that buyers will get better disclosure upfront, and that people won’t have to repeatedly ask for the basics.

Caveat emptor, Caveat venditor.

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