A growing number of businesses approach social media marketing recklessly and have unrealistic expectations in terms of how quickly their subscriber count should grow.
The most common mistake they make is that they want their Instagram or Facebook accounts to start turning a profit quickly.
Buying and selling followers have become standard practice, even though its effect on the business’s revenue is usually marginal.
I believe obtaining an entire social media account is a much better way for an online business to establish a social media presence.
In this guide, I’ll show you some of the best marketplaces to buy and sell social media accounts to help you grow your company’s social media presence the right way.
Are All Types of Social Media Accounts Equally Valuable?
The first question you must ask is how a particular social media account can add value to your business.
An Instagram account with more than 100K followers is useless to a blogger who covers the cryptocurrency niche.
Hence, an account you’d like to sell or buy will only be valuable to entrepreneurs working in the same niche.
You must also consider that some accounts are built on personal brands. These accounts can easily lose their fan base if the person who created the brand is replaced.
As a result, purchasing a niche account is less risky and is a more reliable way of promoting a blog or any other online business.
You’ll have the following options if you decide to buy or sell a social media account.
- Acquiring/selling social media accounts with the rest of the business’s digital assets
- Direct sales of one or more social media accounts
- Offering/buying accounts at social media account marketplaces
As a result, the marketplace you’ll use will depend on how you want to sell a social media account.
Website marketplaces allow you to include social media accounts, email lists, and other assets in the offer. In contrast, social media marketplaces will enable you to sell TikTok or YouTube accounts.
Determining the Account’s Value
Unlike website valuation, social media account valuation isn’t a mapped process with clearly outlined steps you can follow.
A myriad of factors can affect the account’s worth at any given moment. So, a YouTube account might be worth more than a Facebook account, just because of Facebook’s loss of popularity in recent years.
Here are a few more factors that determine how much a social media account is worth.
- The number of followers
- Account’s gross revenue
- Content quality
- Subscriber engagement rate
The account’s fan base size won’t matter much if subscribers don’t comment or share posts.
I think the subscriber engagement rate is the critical metric that can demonstrate the account’s value to potential buyers.
I want to stress that the market is unregulated, so you may face difficulty getting what you’re asking for despite your account’s excellent content and a high number of engaged followers.
Prices of social media accounts fluctuate depending on how much a buyer is prepared to offer, and account valuation can only help you prepare for the negotiation process.
Navigating the Legal Side of Buying and Selling Social Media Accounts
Buying and selling social media accounts isn’t illegal, but it violates the terms and conditions of most social networks.
Facebook, Twitch, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram have policies against selling accounts. Still, thousands of accounts change hands on these platforms daily without repercussions.
These companies don’t take legal action against users who sell or buy accounts. Instagram and Facebook occasionally ban users who purchase likes or followers.
Penalties for selling accounts are less common because these transactions are not easily detectable. So, you’re unlikely to experience issues while taking over a social media account unless you start acquiring subscribers unnaturally.
YouTube is the only major social network that doesn’t prohibit its users from buying and selling accounts.
However, finding ways to incorporate a YouTube account and its host into your business is challenging.
Setting Up an Escrow Service
Social media account marketplaces are still developing, mainly due to the fact that they exist in the murky space between legal regulations and rules set by social media platforms.
Most marketplaces provide escrow services, so chances are you won’t have to search for a third-party escrow service before listing an account to ensure the transaction goes smoothly.
Is it necessary to use the marketplace’s escrow service? It’s not, but it will give you a piece of mind.
Transferring a social media account to a new owner is straightforward, as you just have to give the login data to the buyer once you receive the full payment. Hence, the room for fraud is marginal.
Requesting an escrow will add another layer of security and help establish trust with a buyer.
Social Media Account Prices
Frequenting social media account marketplaces can help you get a better idea of what the account you’re selling might be worth.
Instagram accounts with 25,000 followers are priced under $500, while accounts with more than a million followers cost around $10,000.
On the other hand, you can buy a monetized YouTube fishing channel with 55,000 followers for $450.
Some industry insiders claim that the average cost of 1,000 subscribers should be between $10 and $20. So, you shouldn’t expect to make a killing by selling a social media account with a modest following.
I think it’s more profitable to sell all your social media accounts with the rest of your business than to sell each digital asset individually.
The Best Marketplaces to Buy and Sell Social Media Accounts
Becoming a member of the Swapd community is free, but you must go through a quick screening process before creating an account.
The marketplace lets you buy, sell or swap domain names, websites, Instagram or Twitter handles, social media accounts, and other virtual properties.
Most assets are sold through direct negotiations between buyers and sellers. Once the two parties reach an agreement, they must raise the checkout ticket.
The platform then ensures they fulfill their obligations by providing the escrow service and inspecting the social account or any other property.
Swapd has a fixed fee structure for social media account sales, and you’ll have to cover a 9% fee if you sell a social media account on this marketplace.
Pros & Cons of Swapd
You might be disappointed if you expect to sell an account you listed on Swapd in a couple of days. You’ll have to spend weeks or months negotiating with buyers before striking a deal on the asset you’re selling.
2. Viral Accounts
Different rules apply to buyers and sellers on the Viral Accounts marketplace. Sellers must go through a thorough screening process that involves:
- Seller’s identity verification
- Asset’s history check
- Spam detection
In addition, the platform buys digital properties from sellers and doesn’t accept Instagram accounts with fewer than 40,000 followers or YouTube channels with fewer than 30,000 subscribers.
Buyers can compete for assets at auctions or purchase them at fixed prices. However, finding an influential social media account in this marketplace is difficult due to the high demand.
Pros & Cons of Viral Accounts
I believe that approaching Viral Accounts is a waste of time if you don’t have an account with a sizeable following. This marketplace is the right solution for marketers, influencers, and businesses who want to sell established accounts hustle-free.
You won’t gain much by joining the UseViral marketplace if you want to sell a social media account. The platform only allows users to buy phone-verified accounts, likes, followers, comments, or video views.
UseViral allows its users to purchase up to 150 Instagram, LinkedIn or TikTok accounts at affordable prices, as a single account costs $2.
However, these accounts don’t have followers or revenue streams, so you’ll have to build them from scratch.
The platform provides social media marketing services to ensure the accounts you purchase are appropriately managed.
Pros & Cons of UseViral
Influencers and businesses that want to improve their visibility on social media can benefit from the services UseViral provides. I think this marketplace can be useful for podcasters who want to extend their presence to Spotify.
A niche marketplace like TooFame is ideal for entrepreneurs and marketers that want to sell or buy an Instagram account.
The platform only considers purchasing accounts with more than 1,000 followers.
Moreover, TooFame doesn’t accept accounts with fake followers, low-quality content, and a history of penalties.
This marketplace currently offers over 13,000 Instagram accounts. Each listing contains key metrics such as the number of followers or average likes per post.
The payment process can go through Coinbase, PayPal, or directly through a debit/credit card.
Pros & Cons of TooFame
My experience tells me that focusing social media marketing efforts on a single account isn’t practical. Even so, TooFame can help you find an Instagram account that will have an immediate impact on your company’s profits.
You’ll have complete control over the sales process if you list a YouTube channel, an Instagram account, or a TikTok account on the FameSwap marketplace.
All account data must be verified before the listing becomes public. Also, you should remember that sellers can use FameSwap’s services for free for a limited time.
You must upgrade to the Premium monthly subscription to gain access to audience reports, advanced search tools, and other features.
I want to add that buyers and sellers can split the platform’s escrow service fee or cover the cost individually. The minimum escrow fee is $50 or 5% of the account’s sales price.
Pros & Cons of FameSwap
The FameSwap’s most significant disadvantage is that it doesn’t offer Facebook or Twitter accounts. Still, it is one of the best marketplaces for marketers looking for an account on social networks that prioritize video content.
6. Social Tradia
Like TooFame, Social Tradia features almost exclusively Instagram accounts, but unlike its competitor, it offers a modest selection of TikTok accounts.
Listing an account on this marketplace is free and requires filling in a simple questionnaire that collects information about the account’s age, like averages and the seller’s contact information.
The marketplace then evaluates the account and offers it to its network of verified buyers, so you can just review the offers and pick the best one.
Buyers must sign a contract with Social Tradia to complete the acquisition and get the account’s password.
Pros & Cons of Social Tradia
Even though the marketplace allows sellers to list YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter accounts, I only recommend using it if you’re buying or selling an Instagram account. Don’t expect to sell an account quickly since finding the right buyer might take a while.
7. ACCS Market
I like how descriptive listings at ACCS Market are because they give buyers insight into the account’s performance metrics.
The platform lets sellers choose which information they want to include in the listing, so it’s up to you if you wish to reveal the account’s monthly income or monetization method.
Sellers and buyers can trade YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, Telegram, or Discord accounts, among others.
All transactions go through the ACCS Market’s escrow service, which ensures both parties must fulfill their part of the deal. The buyer is responsible for covering the 7% escrow fee.
Pros & Cons of ACCS Market
ACCS Market is a vast platform with thousands of listings. So, I advise gathering as much information as possible when buying social media accounts on this marketplace because some accounts might have fake followers or contain spam.
Building a successful blog, podcast, or e-Store without social media presence is becoming increasingly complex, which is why most digital businesses have an Instagram or Facebook account.
These promotional channels are more valuable when bundled with other digital assets and can help you negotiate a better deal with a website broker.
Website marketplaces don’t permit users to create listings for social media accounts. However, you can still include them in a broader package that contains your company’s mailing list and website.
Handing the entire company to a single buyer is a safer and quicker way to exit a business than selling its assets individually. Here are a few of my favorite website marketplaces:
Frequently Asked Questions about Social Media Account Marketplaces
Do Social Media Account Marketplaces Allow Buyers to Test Accounts?
Most marketplaces allow buyers to test the account for one day before completing the transfer.
What to Do if the Account I Purchased Get Banned?
Marketplaces and sellers don’t assist buyers whose accounts got banned. The best you can do in this scenario is to work with the social network’s customer support team to retrieve the account.
In my experience, marketing and shortcuts don’t mix well. That’s why I prefer growing a social media presence slowly and organically.
My biggest concern about buying a social media account is how to prevent the almost inevitable hemorrhaging of subscribers. Even the slightest changes in the content strategy can result in a massive loss of followers and ruin the account’s engagement rates.
Despite all these concerns, finding a buyer for a social media account isn’t difficult, although in some cases, it takes several months. I suggest checking out Viral Accounts and FameSwap marketplaces if you want to sell an account with thousands of followers that meets the social network’s monetization requirements.