In the current economic climate is now the right time to buy or sell websites?
Should you be buying established websites right now? – are there any bargains, have prices come down?
Or, should you be selling your online business because so many people now are looking for a way to earn income online = more website buyers?
To get some market insights into this we went straight to the top and spoke with the founder of one of the worlds leading website brokers Justin Cooke from Empire Flippers. He shares with us:
- Insider tips and hints for anyone considering buying websites for a new income stream
- Strategies we can adopt from understanding the spending trends of website buyers in 2020
- Strategies for adapting to the new Amazon affiliate commission changes
- The importance of vetting (due diligence) on website purchases
- What types of websites are selling right now (…and selling fast!)
Empire Flippers is one of the biggest and most trusted website broker platforms in the world. They have a solid history of successful website deals ranging from $20,000 up to multi-million dollars.
So, we were excited to be able to hear first-hand from Justin what he’s seeing in the marketplace of website sales right now. He shares some really interesting insights of how website buyers and sellers are changing their expectations because of the Corona virus situation and the impacts its having on the wider economy especially as people become more interested in earning income online.
And – here’s where we want our readers to pay extra-special attention…. Justin shares how small simple passive websites (just like the ones we teach you to build) are selling so quickly, buyers are lining up and holding their cash with Empire Flippers just so they don’t miss out on website purchases. This spells a great opportunity for all of you to be out there building a portfolio of money-making websites right now.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW to hear what’s selling well on Empire Flippers right now
Buying and Selling Established Websites With Empire Flippers
Liz Raad: Hi everyone. We have a special guest with us today, Justin Cooke. Justin is one of the co-founders of Empire Flippers, one of the biggest brokers now in the world for online assets.
Justin Cooke: Thanks for having me! And what I wanted to say last time we spoke, is I’m actually a bit of a night owl. So, when I spoke with your students, I’m generally up until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, so I thought, “You know what? I’ll just stay up for the call!”.
Matt Raad: Yes, and we had a very appreciative audience the other weekend with all our private students, teaching them how to buy and sell websites at our closed-door bootcamp event. Everyone loved it, and that’s why we wanted you to come back and speak to our wider community of digital investors.
Background of Empire Flippers…
So Justin, you’re in Vietnam. Is Empire Flippers also based in Vietnam?
Justin: We’re actually a US-based company. We have an LLC out of Delaware, and both myself and my business partner (who own the company 50/50), we’re both Americans. I just happen to live in Vietnam for personal reasons. I really like it here in Ho Chi Minh City. My business partner is based out of Manila.
My wife and I travel a lot. Well…not right now, obviously with COVID-19! But generally, we’ll spend maybe seven or eight months in Vietnam, and then the rest of the year we’ll be traveling. We’ll either be in Europe, or the US, or other places in Asia. Probably through the rest of 2020 we won’t be travelling much. But typically, we’re spending a month here, back at home for a couple months, then a month somewhere else etc.
But our company is distributed around the world. We have a team of just under 70 people, and all of them are distributed all over the world. We have some people in Prague, Medellin, Columbia, Mexico City, and some of them in US. But regardless of where they are, they could live or work anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection and they can do their job.
A Review Of How Empire Flippers Works…
Matt: So, we wanted to talk with Justin about how Empire Flippers works for buying websites. You work on a bit of a different model and tend to list bigger websites for sale. I guess it’s actually more like a full website brokerage service. You really check out the sellers, and you really curate your listings.
Liz: There’s a lot more that goes on in terms of buying and selling websites with Empire Flippers. Justin, can you give us a bit of an idea of what happens when someone’s going to list with Empire Flippers? Or when someone’s going to buy a website on Empire Flippers, what they will experience with you guys?
Empire Flippers conduct a strict vetting process before listing any website for sale
Justin: Yes, we do feel like we have a curated marketplace. And what I mean by curated is, there’s a lot of people that want to list or potentially submit their business with us. And when they do that, they go through our vetting process. We have an entire team dedicated to vetting all the businesses that submit to potentially sell their business with us.
For each person wanting to sell their website with Empire Flippers, our team will run through components like:
- Is this seller a real person?
- Are they verified?
- Can we verify they’re real?
- Are their earnings real?
- Can we verify their earnings are legitimate?
- Is the traffic to their site real?
- Are they coming from legitimate sources?
- Are they in a niche that is acceptable?
- Are they a site that our buyers would be interested in? etc.
Going through this level of detailed process can take anywhere from maybe a week (on the shorter end), to up to three or four weeks even, depending. Once they pass that vetting process, then they go ahead and get listed in our marketplace.
Empire Flippers is an Inc 5000 Company and has done over $100 Million + of website business sales
We have a wide range of people looking to buy and sell profitable websites with us. We have more than 100,000 people on our email list, and we’ve done quite a lot of business. In 2019 we did just over $50 million in total sales. We’ve done a little over a $100 million all up. So, we do sell a lot of online businesses. Last year alone, we did well over 250 transactions. We ended up selling a lot of business anywhere from the lower-end $30,000 range, up to low-mid seven figures. We actually have a couple of mid-seven figure listings going on right now. And that’s where we are today.
Justin Cooke started Empire Flippers by building and selling his own adsense sites
That’s not where we started though. AdSense is actually our bread and butter. My business partner and I got started in this whole internet business by building small niche AdSense monetized websites. And they were around silly little niches like loseweightshoes.org. That was one of the examples we use. A real URL we had was catconstipation.net. I didn’t know this at the time, but apparently cat constipation is a real problem! I know there’s someone in your audience right now has a cat, and they’re nodding their heads. It’s real – cat constipation is an issue.
So, we would have these websites that were monetized by AdSense, that effectively solved the problem. It talked through what the problems with cat constipation are, and would give the reader the potential solutions. We started building these types of niche Adsense sites ourselves. But once we realized, “Wow, people are actually buying these!”, we started selling them.
And then over time, our process for previous sites wasn’t as effective, and we had a lot of people ask us, “Hey, you’ve already built up this audience of people that want to buy these small sites. Can we sell our sites with you?” And that’s really how we got into brokering other people’s sites, which is our primary business today.
Interesting Spending Trends from Buyers Of Websites in 2020
Liz: So, for our audience – when you’re ready to step up to that next level, and you’re looking at buying a digital asset that is somewhere from $20,000 up to $500,000, then Empire Flippers has a really good range of profitable websites listed for sale.
So, Justin, seeing as you’re really at the forefront of what’s happening with website sales right now (and seeing what’s happening in the marketplace), can you give us some insights in what you’ve seen happening since the COVID-19 lockdown and everyone started working from home.
Justin: Yes, it’s a weird time for everyone, but particularly for our industry. We made some projections of what we thought would happen and some of those seem to be coming true and others aren’t.
Website Buyers not spending their cash in March 2020
So let’s talk about what happened in March 2020. We noticed in March we didn’t hit our Q1 goal in terms of sales. We were at 60% of what we thought we’d do for the quarter, so that’s significantly lower. We realized at this point there were a lot of people towards the end of March who were hesitant to spend their money. They liked the businesses for sale, but were wanting to hold on to their cash for a little while. And it’s completely understandable, we were all in that situation, right? In March, people were holding onto their cash.
April 2020 saw a disconnect between website buyer and seller expectations
We felt that a bit through April as well, although it started to ease up a bit end of April and now into early May. So, in April and May we’re seeing a bit more cash flowing. But one of the problems we ran into was that, for some of the sellers, their online businesses were now worth less. We found we had to go have those hard conversations with them saying, “Look, your business is now worth less, and buyers are expecting it to sell for less.” And this is for 2 reasons:
- The website is now earning less, and
- Buyers now have less cash, so they’re looking for good deals.
So, in March, and even into April, sellers really wanted to keep selling their websites for what they originally wanted to sell it for. And on the buyers’ side, they’re trying to find those good website deals, “The market’s crashing, where are the deals?”. So, there’s now this disconnect between buyers and sellers of websites.
May 2020 starts to show the new reality for buying and selling websites
Coming into May 2020, website sellers are starting to understand the new reality, and accept what the market’s willing to buy their online business for. New expectations are now being set, especially for those people who were listing back in February. These sellers now have different expectations than the people who were trying to get listed at the end of April. So, that’s certainly helped.
“It doesn’t matter what type of business it is, if it’s an online business we can sell it.” – Justin Cooke, Empire Flippers
Some Online Businesses Are Now Worth More!
The other interesting problem we’re running into, is that some businesses are actually worth more. This is particularly true for Amazon FBA businesses. If you have an FBA businesses in particular, because of Amazon’s huge growth; some Amazon affiliate and FBA businesses are doing better and are making more money. We find that some buyers come in looking for discounts, and the seller’s like, “What, I’m not discounting. In fact, my earnings have gone up, so I should sell for more.”. And in this scenario, the seller’s right.
Private Equity groups are still looking to spend $ Millions on buying websites
So, we are still selling some of those businesses. Most of those are high six and seven figure businesses, and they’re selling to private equity groups. These are people that have $50 million to fill out their first round of portfolio deals, and they’re picking up $1 million to $3 million deals.
We just got an agreement today on a $1.8 million Amazon FBA business that was in that position, that was growing and doing better, and we got one of the portfolio guys to pick it up. We’ve got some diligence to do on it, but it looks like that should hopefully sell.
Cashed up big website buyers are looking for deals…
Matt: Yes, so the big buyers are still out there, and that’s what we saw in the last recession, too. They’ve still got heaps of cash and they’re looking out for those good deals, and that’s interesting because the Amazon sites are actually worth more now.
Justin: Online businesses are doing better. If they’re making more money, they’re definitely worth more. So, for the buyers that are out there looking for discounts, we’ve had to come back to them and say, “You’re definitely going to find discounts, particularly from new listings we’re putting up.”
We put up new listings every Monday. Any of those new listings coming in have a new reality and they understand where they’re at. But the sellers who have been there for one, two or three months that have gone up. They’re like, “I’m not discounting. My online business is doing better!”
If your learning how to buy online businesses, look for simple online models such as Content-based websites
Liz: What are Amazon FBA businesses – Fulfilled By Amazon? They are actually E-Commerce sites. So, they’re not the sort of websites that we buy or sell, because they actually need to have stock. This is a different online money making model than what we teach here with our online learning ecourses. But it’s interesting to hear this trend in spending.
Justin: Yes, they’re not as newbie-friendly. I know the eBusiness Institute ecourses mainly teach online beginners start with the easier content sites mainly, as those are much more newbie-friendly. Whenever you deal with inventory and suppliers and quality inspections etc., there’s just more to it, right?
Liz: And the Amazon ranking system, and advertising etc.
Justin: Yeah, that’s it.
Liz: It reminds me of Google 10 years ago. It was like the Wild-Wild-West, and who knows who’s going to be at the top of the list.
Justin: That’s for sure! For content sites, no matter how you slice and dice it, you’re posting in accordance to Google, and that’s why we’re making sure that you’re not doing anything dodgy with your backlinks; making sure that you’re not only meeting the strict guidelines but the general spirit of what Google wants which is really helpful.
Similarly, if you have an FBA business, you want to be on good terms with Amazon because they could shut you down.
The impact of recent Amazon Commission changes on Affiliate Marketing Websites
Matt: Well, actually on Amazon affiliate sites, how are they selling?
Justin: We know obviously that a lot of Amazon Associates websites recently took a hit with the changes in Amazon affiliate commissions. So, in most cases we’ve already repriced Amazon Associate sites that are listed in our marketplace. Any of the listings you see in Empire Flippers will be based on the new reality and new percentages.
The grandfathered accounts however were an interesting case. So, some Amazon accounts still had a grandfathered affiliate fee rate, basically. They were still allowed the old commission rates (or whatever customer agreement they’d set up with Amazon). If you had one of those accounts, we were actually in the process of transferring those accounts to the new buyers. These buyers were buying websites based on the previous rates because the plan was for them to keep those rates.
I’ve since heard a rumour that some of those accounts were lost. At this stage I can’t confirm either way (I don’t have new information on that), but I know that that’s a strategy people were employing.
Buying higher quality Affiliate Marketing Websites gives a better prospect of long-term income success
Matt: That’s interesting, and we were talking about this earlier. We were saying that with Google over the years, you will see affiliate rates jump around. And it’s interesting that it does seem to be that Amazon is paying some people a different rate and that happens with Google adsense, of course.
Justin: Yeah, it sounds dirty, but it is what it is. They were able to keep their old affiliate commission rates. My guess is (and this is just my speculation), the majority of people in the Amazon Associates Program probably had really poor-quality spammy sites. A good portion of them had really small earners, earning less than $72 a month etc.
Amazon probably looked at that mass of sites that were spammy (or low-earners), and they just did the “80-20” rule on it. They probably said 80% of our value comes from 20% of our Amazon Associates. Let’s just lock a bunch of them off and lower their Amazon affiliate commission rates significantly. It helps our margins, it makes our shareholders happy, but also maintains all the major accounts (the bigger accounts), the ones that are really valuable to us. We keep them at the old affiliate rates and keep them happy.
That’s my guess on why they did that, but we’ll see how it plays out. If you’re part of the 20% that were kept on the better affiliate rates, you’re in a much better position than everyone else.
Liz: Yes, so to re-iterate, we don’t know if you should buy a grandfathered Amazon affiliate site (whether you get to keep it or not), and I think it’d be on a case-by-case basis.
Justin: That’s right, and we’re testing it right now. Our best guesses (and our view on it) looks like you should be able to, because you’re not buying the account. You can’t buy and sell accounts, but you can buy and sell online businesses. So, if you’re buying or selling an affiliate website and the business has an account attached to it, that should be able to transfer. That’s how we’ve done a lot of transfers in the past and that should be included, and we’re testing it out right now.
Liz: Oh, so it’d be interesting, you can fill us in on that later on!
Which Websites are selling well on Empire Flippers?
Matt: So in this market, Justin, what is selling well? Are you seeing anything that’s jumping out at you? Are there any particular niches that are holding up well in your opinion?
Local Lead Generation niches make for some of the best profitable affiliate websites to buy
Justin: One of the niches I like are lead generation sites. I wouldn’t say we sell a lot of them, but they sell well and they’re relatively easy to build. An example of industry would be the for-profit educational institutions, such as tech school or vocational school. They charge a lot of money to their students, right? They make a lot of money on their fees, and so they’re willing to pay a very high fee to get leads for potential students. For this they go through companies like Campus Explorer.
. They allow you to sign up as an affiliate to provide those leads. So, you can build content-based sites through the Campus Explorer program, have all leads go through them, and they’ll pay you $80 or $100 per lead. They then sell off those leads to the educational institution for, let’s say, $200 to $300 etc. They’re making their money that way, but those types of sites are really based on content.
A lot of times it’s local content – so I’m not looking for a national vocational school, I’m looking for a vocational school in Queensland etc. I don’t know if they do it elsewhere, but if I’m looking for one in Sacramento, right, you can get ranked for say a med-tech school in Sacramento a lot easier than you can nationwide.
Matt: Yes, that’s the other good thing. A lot of our community knows how to build good local websites for profit, So it’s a relatively easy way to monetize a lead gen because you’re ranking for local areas.
Niche strategy For Amazon FBA business owners results in unique buyers of profitable affiliate websites
Justin: Amazon FBA business owners (so fulfilled by Amazon), are now also buying Amazon Associate affiliate sites that are in or around their niche.
If they can find an associate website that is of interest, maybe it’s not directly selling their product but it’s in the same general broad niche; they’ll buy that site, based on the multiple of what that site earns.
Increase the value of your Amazon site by buying affiliate websites to generate leads outside of Amazon FBA and Ebay
But the extra value (the thing that makes it really worthwhile to them), is the fact that they can add content, add pages and add links to their own products on their associate site. So, they get extra sales on Amazon by simply linking their product to it.
So that’s value above and beyond what a normal website buyer would buy it for. So for a normal buyer, if the website makes $1000 a month, they buy it for say $30,000, and that’s what it’s worth. But for an FBA business owner, they buy it for $30,000, and they make the $1,000 PLUS they’ll make an additional $1,500 a month through their own product sales on Amazon etc.
Liz: Yes, and that’s certainly something that if any of you have got any Amazon FBA sites, it’s definitely worth having your own affiliate site in that niche as well. So you might as well buy it, build one or have one.
Matt: We’ve advised this for many years. The same goes for those of you that have eBay sites. The first thing I always say to my clients is build up an affiliate site to drive extra leads to your own products.
Don’t just rely on Amazon or Ebay for your buying traffic – get from traffic outside too
Liz: Get some traffic that’s not on eBay as well.
Matt: Get the traffic out of eBay, get the traffic out of Amazon, same sort of thing. Always be spreading your risks, because at the very least you can sell the sites off.
Use Affiliate websites first to test profitable niches before investing in setting up an e-commerce site
Justin: Here’s another tip for your students out there. If you have a good sense of what products people are purchasing on Amazon, then this will give you some guidance you might want to test if you’re wanting to dip your toes into starting an eCommerce website, and physically putting products on Amazon. This is because you already know what the audience for that site is already interested in.
I would suggest you wouldn’t bother monetizing until you’re at least 3,000 visitors a month, ideally 10,000 visitors a month. Again, this is an even higher level until you have a certain level of earnings and you get enough sales to see where it’s viable.
You wouldn’t want to employ this method until you’ve got a good profitable affiliate site, it’s humming along, and you’ve got relatively consistent purchases. But once you see there’s a lot of purchases in or around this particular product, that might be a good time for you to say, “It’s time for me to create that product, and put it on Amazon and make money there too.”
Matt: Good point. And it’s the same with information products as well. That’s one of the things we teach. Don’t go out there and go through all the effort of building up an information product (like a membership site etc.). Just be an affiliate, drive the traffic, build it up, get it humming along. Only once you’ve got that working, then you’re putting your own product through and start selling online. So, you can’t really lose with that sort of a strategy.
When Monetizing your Website, don’t let low value ad clicks send your leads to your competitors
Justin: You guys mentioned this before, but you would never put AdSense, for example, on your own business’ site, right? It seems crazy to me when people do this, but here at Empire Flippers, we have a couple of podcasts, right? There’s no way I’d let someone else come on and advertise on our podcast, effectively promoting their business. There’s zero chance that I would do that. In fact, the advertising we do use on our Empire Flipper podcasts is we discuss one of the listings.
Like I said, we do a listing of the week and we do that in detail. So, that’s like an ad for our own listing for a sale. But there’s no way that someone else is advertising here, right? It’s crazy, and I actually see people doing this all the time. And I’m thinking, “Wow, if I was your competitor, I would specifically target my ads on your site. I would just suck up all of your customers.”
However, just say I did a comedy podcast, or a podcast about contemporary literature etc., and it wasn’t a business, then that’s a great opportunity to advertise, right? I’d have advertisement for that.
Check out Empire Flipper podcasts for more great tips on buying and selling websites for profit
Matt: I would highly recommend if you haven’t checked out Empire Flippers’ podcasts, to have a listen. I’ve been on there and they’re awesome. And you should definitely be checking out Justin’s blog on Empire Flippers. They have a whole team of 60 people working for them, and you can learn a lot on there too about buying and selling websites.
Liz: How many podcasts do you have Justin?
Justin: We have 3 podcasts. We do an Empire Flippers podcast. That one’s not a weekly podcast. It’s me and my business partner, and so it’s broad. We’ll talk about entrepreneurship or topics like working with teams etc. It’s not just buying and selling websites, just because we have broader interests, and I want to do something that’s fun.
We also have a show called Web Equity Show with a guy called Ace Chapman. For this show, Season 2 and Season 3 are specifically tailored to buying and selling websites. These are start-to-finish, full-on evergreen content that’s super helpful. Season 4 is around scaling-up, for example if you want to do a multimillion-dollar deal or build a fund etc. Then Season 5 is just us having fun and talking topical stuff.
And then we’ve got another podcast called Real Money Real Business, which was done by our team. They do interviews with our sellers, and so they get all the details about the business, talk about how they started off etc. So it’s kind of inspirational, but it also gives you some sense of detail about how they pick their niche, why they think their business has done well, some of the tactics they’ve employed etc. Those podcasts go out several times a week.
Get inspired by other people successfully buying websites to replace their income or earn side income
Liz: That’s, awesome. It’s always great to hear stories and to hear people’s success and what they’ve done because it’s really relevant for our website buying community.
That’s probably the main hurdle that we see for most people in this marketplace is just getting out there, taking action and being consistent. A big part of that is keeping yourself updated, keeping yourself moving forward, inspiring yourself and realizing yes, this definitely works. We’ve just got to keep going and keep building. – Liz Raad, eBusiness Institute
The biggest hurdle to getting started buying websites for income…
Justin: You know what’s funny? Liz and Matt Raad are the front-liners in education about buying and selling websites. And a lot of what you do (especially in the early stages), is just convincing people that it’s real. Just letting people know that these are real websites that can really make money. Showing people that they can do it buy websites and earn income online! A lot of people could actually go out there and do this. The money really goes in your bank account, and it’s not a big scam. That’s a lot of the initial hurdles to overcome for most people, just their beliefs around “does this really work?”
Justin: The funny thing is I never deal with that because think about our website brokerage business, right? We only deal with the online businesses that are profitable, that are making money. We’re selling to the people that already know that that’s true, who are spending a bunch of money to buying ready made profitable websites. So I really appreciate you guys doing the front-end work, we deal with the ones that are already making money online.
Literally when I hear this (because I’m not around those people that say it’s not real or that no money is made on the internet), I rarely hear that. When I do, I’m like, “What are you talking about?” because all I see are lots of online businesses that are profitable.
Now, I’m probably biased in that I think more people have highly profitable, successful online businesses than maybe is the case for people who attempt to build a money making website from scratch; so I have the rose-coloured glasses in that all the online businesses we deal with make a bunch of money and do well. But that’s important, that’s what you’ve got to focus on.
Justin: It’s just funny because that problem, I don’t see that at all. Whenever I get it, I’m like, “What are you talking about is it real? Yes! I have thousands of examples I could give you.”
14-year-old learns how to build a money making website from scratch in less than an hour
Matt: There’s something I want to bring up with you Justin, because its particularly relevant for you and for our audience. We have a wonderful community of very talented website builders, and we were recently showcasing a whole bunch of websites that some of our beginner students have built.
Liz: Justin, this website here was built by Liam (a student of ours) who is 14 years old, and he broke our record. We have a 10-day challenge to build an Amazon affiliate website. You’ve got to build a website, and he built this in 43 minutes.
Matt: For this challenge, we had over 70-odd submissions. But Justin, we think this is relevant to day because we are talking to you about insights into selling affiliate websites.
Our students are learning to build money making affiliate websites like this when they first start out with us because they’re complete beginners, right? They get these sites making money from affiliate commissions, and over the years they’ll build these sites out into much bigger sites.
Do you want to share with our audience what you said to us the other night? What happens when you get your website to earning good passive profits and its valued around $20,000 to $40,000 for a website sale? How well do they go at Empire Flippers?
Justin: First of all I’ll say; I think for a teenager of 14-years-old to be able to be playing with, testing, building websites and seeing what works in terms of making money; that’s so far ahead of where I was at. I’m just deeply impressed! Because I was 30-ish when we started dealing with online business.
I’d done some business before, but the online stuff, I was 30-ish when I started learning this stuff, so to start it at 14 or even earlier is… I mean, that kid is going to be well set up for success in terms of entrepreneurship. I really wish more people did this, more parents or schools talked about entrepreneurship and hustle and how to do these online businesses.
Small websites earning $1,000 a month are selling quickly on Empire Flippers!
Anyway, beyond that, yes. The smaller businesses we list are typically earning $1,000 a month over a minimum period of time (usually 4-6 months). We also list sites making $500 a month for AdSense or Amazon Associates, because they’re relatively easy and straightforward, and less work for our team.
So generally, the minimum price to buy a website you’ll see at Empire Flippers is high-teens, maybe $16-$18,000, up to say $30,000. They’re the smallest type of sites that we list, and typically those sites sell awfully quick. If you go to our marketplace, you’ll see very few for sale. The truth is, it’s not that we don’t sell them, we sell a tonne of them. It’s just we sell them ridiculously quick. For example, they’ll get listed on a Monday in the morning (US Eastern time) and be sold by the afternoon.
Website sales on Empire Flippers are so quick, it’s first-come-first-served based on how quickly cash is transferred!
So, here’s our requirement to buy those sites, we actually require the money to be wired. Normally, it’s hard to get a wire that quickly, so what a lot of people do is they hold cash on file, so they’ll hold funds on file with us. Then as soon as they want to buy the site, they’ll basically send an email saying, “Look, I’m applying my cash on file for this listing.” For us, that’s as good as receiving a wire, so we’ll take the listing down and apply their cash on file.
You might ask, “Well, why do people hold cash with us?” Well the problem is because they got burned before. They were looking for a listing, tried to send us a wire, and realized they lost the listing because someone else sent that the wire first. In some cases, we’ll get three or four wires for the same website listing. If we have a $30,000 listing, we’ll likely have $90-$120,000 in the bank because we got a whole bunch of wires.
So what we generally do, we’ll obviously start migrating the site to the buyer. But for the other two or three who missed out, we’ll contact them and say, “Hey look, unfortunately you didn’t get the listing, here’s why. We can either keep the cash on file for you for your next site purchase. You’ll be able to get it quickly and it’ll count same as wire received. Or we can just wire your money back.” Some of them are just like, “Hey, give me my money back then. That’s fine, I’ll look for another one.” And others are like, “I don’t want to go through that again. Keep the cash file and I’ll apply it to the next deal.”
Creating your profitable website portfolio starts with small $1,000 sites
Matt: That’s just amazing, isn’t it? So for all our audience – you get a site to earning $1,000 a month (or even just $500 a month). If you want to raise a quick $20,000, you could sell this on a Monday morning (US time) and it will be sold by the afternoon.
So, all these sites that we showed you today and all these little sites that you guys are learning on, buying and building up; once you get them to earning around that $500 or $1000 profit, I would recommend if you want to play big, go and speak to Empire Flippers. Sell the websites for profit and roll the money into a bigger deal and build it up.
This is great news for those of you who are building the smaller niche sites to know that you can sell this thing pretty much as soon as you list it with Empire Flippers.
Justin: Keep in mind, sometimes it can be a week or two for us to go through the vetting process. But once we get it listed, I could comfortably say four out of five, maybe nine out of ten listed websites will sell in the first week; and this is particularly for deals under $100,000.
Matt: That’s fantastic news for our community of beginners who are starting out building and buying smaller sites.
There’s a lot of cash in this online website buying marketplace right now
Justin: There’s so many buyers in that, there’s so many people that have the cash that are looking to make those quick purchases of profitable websites. The vast majority of these deals on smaller websites are all cash.
It wouldn’t sell if it wasn’t all cash. If someone had an $800,000 site for sale, I’d say you’re not likely to get all cash. It does happen, but not as likely. Whereas for say a $50,000 site, if someone comes in and says “Look, I’ll give you $40,000 today and I’ll give you $10,000 over the next 12 months.” Then someone else comes in 20 minutes later and says, “I’ll give you “the full amount right now.” Then the first buyer’s got nothing! There’s too much competition for anyone to do the slow play, do the financing options. There’s none of that at the lower end of website sales.
Liz: Yes. It just moves so quickly. One of the questions we have from our students is – have you done Bitcoin for payments?
Can you buy established websites with Bitcoin on Empire Flippers?
Justin: Yes, we’ll take not just Bitcoin, but Monero too We’ll take most forms of crypto for payment. I think it’s anything that finance does, we’ll take most legit forms of crypto in payment and we’ll also pay out in most legitimate forms of crypto as well.
It’s rare that we have it on both sides. So normally it’s like someone buying the crypto and then we pay out the other person in USD etc. I can think of at least one case I know of, where we both received Bitcoin and then paid out a seller in Bitcoin, and that was fine.
How To Buy A Profitable Website From Empire Flippers
Liz: Another student was asking in terms of doing due diligence, how they do it in a few hours. When a site gets listed on Empire Flippers, it has gone through quite a process with them already.
Matt: Yes, it’s a little bit different than other brokers.
Liz: It is a bit different than an auction on Flippa. A lot more vetting goes on by the actual brokers at Empire Flippers. So Justin, if someone did buy a site and the income wasn’t showing after handover (the income just wasn’t there), you would obviously follow up with that?
Completing your Website Due Diligence with Empire Flippers
Justin: Correct, if that happens, we reverse the deal.
How do we do our website purchase due diligence? So, that’s a good question. I mean, in two hours we really don’t get much time to work through our website due diligence checklist. So you need to do a little bit yourself, right? Most people who are shopping for deals in that range that have the cash available; they already know what they’re looking for. So, it either meets the criteria or it doesn’t. They throw it in ahrefs, and do their own checks. Maybe the backlink profile doesn’t work for me here…Or it does, do your other checks and then make the decision. So, they’re going to make a decision pretty quickly.
Buyer Protection is Offered with Empire Flippers
We also offer buyer protection on the backend. There’s a two-week inspection period where we make sure that the earnings of the website are up to scratch. It’s not just claimed earnings but actual earnings. It’s minimal but it’s like 50% of their previous earnings.
If they’re not earning at least 50% of the sites claimed earnings, there’s a couple of things we could do. We can renegotiate the deal. Renegotiate it where the website buyer and seller both agree. Or we reverse the deal completely. I think we’ve had less than 1 in 20 of the deals that we do end up having problems in the inspection period. And for those that have problems, some percentage are renegotiated, and some percentage are reversed completely.
The recent Amazon affiliate changes is a good example. We just had that where we had to renegotiate one or two deals, and we had a couple that we got rid of completely. That’s because it just significantly changed, and the earnings obviously weren’t up to what they used to be. So, if the website buyer and seller weren’t both willing to renegotiate, then we just reverse the deal.
Liz: So yes, you do have a lot of security there when buying websites on Empire Flippers and a whole team who have vetted the websites as part of the listing process.
Alright, well there were some really good insights there, Justin. I hope everyone’s very excited about building your own sites and getting up some digital assets that you could potentially list sell on the Empire Flippers platform at some point. And for those of you who are more experienced, we definitely recommend you start making connections with Empire Flippers, and start looking in their marketplace. There’s going to be some interesting deals coming up over the next year or two. I can say that Matt and I are looking forward to seeing what comes along in the marketplace.
So, thank you very much, Justin. We really appreciate you taking the time out and sharing some of those insights with us. A big round of applause from everyone!!
Justin: Thanks guys, appreciate it. Thanks for having me.
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