Adopting a proactive mindset was one of my biggest challenges when starting an online business.
As my business grew, I started frequenting website flipping forums and marketplaces to get an idea of what I might get in return if I decided to sell it.
In addition, establishing this routine has enabled me to search for affordable websites that could help me take my business to the next level. I admit, at first, I encountered a steep learning curve.
In this guide to the best website brokers, marketplaces, and groups to follow, I’ll share everything I’ve learned about website flipping to help you sell your website as smoothly as possible.
Choosing the Right Approach to the Website Market
You must list your website at the perfect moment to maximize its value, whether you’re an investor looking to flip a website or an entrepreneur who wants to use their digital assets for a new business venture.
Also, you should understand that website flippers and business owners approach the website market differently, and they use different services to find buyers.
So, most online business owners choose to hire brokers, while investors commonly list websites from their portfolios on marketplaces.
- Website brokerage – These companies act as a middleman between businesses and buyers by taking care of all the legwork buying and selling websites involves.
- Website marketplaces – They’re best suited for digital entrepreneurs who prefer the DIY approach to the website market.
It’s worth noting that most website brokerage firms have exclusivity periods during which owners cannot list their websites on marketplaces or offer them to other brokerage companies.
Estimating Website Value
I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit in forums and groups chatting with strangers about what my website might be worth.
Prepare yourself for an army of trolls who don’t have any intention of helping you if you choose to take this route.
Occasionally, you might run into someone who can offer some valuable advice. Still, valuating websites in groups or forums isn’t the most reliable method of determining their worth.
That’s why I suggest using either an automated or manual website appraisal service.
- Automated website valuation – These online tools gather data such as the SEO rankings or daily traffic to estimate the website’s worth. The only issue is that their predictions aren’t always accurate, so you must compare results generated by several tools to estimate your website’s market price.
- Manual website valuation – Most website brokers valuate a website or a portfolio before deciding to take on a client. The valuation is labeled manual because it’s conducted by industry professionals who analyze the website’s metrics to estimate its value.
Know Your Target Audience
You won’t have to spend much time thinking about who the ideal buyer for your website is if you decide to sell it through a brokerage firm.
Website brokers have vast networks of buyers, and they understand which of their clients might be interested in buying your website.
The situation is more complex if you decide to go through the website sales process alone, which brings me back to the importance of understanding current market trends.
For example, selling a website in an oversaturated niche can take months because buyers might consider it a risky investment. In contrast, sites from trending niches don’t stay on the market long.
So, understanding what buyers are looking for will help you maximize the site’s value. Reading threads and asking questions at forums and groups for website flippers can be useful if you’re unfamiliar with market trends.
Explore Other Ways of Selling a Website
Brokerage firms and website marketplaces charge a fee for their services.
Brokers usually represent businesses that want to sell websites worth thousands of dollars and retain the right to refuse to represent a business if the valuation process shows that a website’s market value is low.
Website marketplaces have lower fees than website brokers, but you may have to pay up to 30% of the listing’s price if you manage to sell it through one of these platforms.
Selling a site to a competitor or one of your contacts is an excellent way to avoid paying a commission fee to a broker or a website marketplace platform, and it makes you less exposed to fraud.
Speaking of fraud, I don’t recommend selling online business on forums because you can’t know who is on the other end and if they intend to pay you the sum you agreed upon.
The Best Website Brokers
I suggest contacting a website broker if you want to sell a fully developed online business with an estimated value in the five to six-digit range.
Also, avoid doing business with brokers that aren’t upfront about their fees since you might end up giving up a large chunk of what you earned from the sale.
With that said, let’s look at some of the most reliable website brokers in the industry.
1. Quiet Light
You can get a free valuation of your online business before marketing it through the Quiet Light brokerage. The firm’s valuation is tailor-made for your business and includes advice regarding the right moment to sell.
In addition, ordering a valuation doesn’t compel you to sell a business through Quiet Lights.
The company assists e-commerce, content-based, membership, and SaaS businesses and guides owners through the website sales process.
Commission rates are relatively low, as the company takes 10% of all sales under million dollars, while the fees for businesses that sell for two or more million are even lower.
Pros and Cons of Quiet Light
Quiet Light is one of the best website brokers for reputable online businesses with a proven record of accomplishment. Still, you won’t be able to use its services if your website isn’t approved by the company’s experts.
Websites must meet Latona’s two requirements to be listed on this platform. Their yearly profits must be in the $20,000 to $100,000 range and have an entire year or more of positive trading.
The brokerage company provides free website valuation to determine if the business is marketable and choose the best course of action. If your business is approved, the company will offer it to buyers in its network at a previously determined price.
Your broker will coordinate the website’s transition and ensure the payment process goes smoothly. Latona’s requires all parties to sign NDAs and respect its Safe Escrow policies to prevent potential complications during the transition period.
Pros and Cons of Latona’s
Latona’s is a boutique website brokerage that markets large and medium-sized businesses to thousands of buyers. Still, becoming one of the company’s clients can be challenging, even for experienced digital entrepreneurs.
3. The Website Flip
Besides being one of the Internet’s most trusted brokerage firms, The Website Flip is an invaluable source of information for website flippers and anyone who’d like to learn more about the website marketplace.
Its brokerage service is aimed exclusively at content websites, so you’ll have to check if its team is interested in selling your website.
The company’s brokers assess websites for free, collaborate with owners to collect essential data, and create site descriptions.
The Website Flip markets websites to investors and promotes them through its newsletter and social media channels.
Pros and Cons of The Website Flip
I understand that the 3% commission fee can appeal to some website owners. Nonetheless, I only recommend using the platform’s brokerage services if you feel comfortable negotiating the website’s price and transferring ownership.
The Best Website Marketplaces
The DIY market approach lets you save on broker fees, negotiate deals with buyers and control the ownership transfer.
However, this approach is time-consuming and requires a high level of familiarity with all aspects of website sales. Here are a few of the most popular online marketplaces.
1. Empire Flippers
Your online business must reach the $2,000 annual revenue threshold before you can list it on the Empire Flippers.
The marketplace’s vetting process can take up to a month, and it involves the analysis of the site’s traffic sources, customer demographics, and upkeep expenses.
So, even though the platform is open for all website owners, businesses that don’t meet its criteria aren’t permitted to create listings.
This marketplace features websites from all niches, and you can use it to sell sites that utilize different monetization methods.
The platform has a two-month exclusivity policy, and during this time, you won’t be able to list your website anywhere else.
Pros And cons Empire Flippers
Please don’t jump into the Empire Flippers marketplace before taking the time to prepare for it properly because you’ll have to manage all steps of the sales process. Also, listing a website on this marketplace means you cannot list it on other marketplaces for two months.
Becoming a member of Flippa‘s community will give you access to blog posts and podcasts that can help you maximize your website’s worth before listing it.
This marketplace currently offers over six thousand websites for sale that come from eCommerce, SaaS, and content categories. Flippa also helps website owners connect with brokers located in the United States, Australia, Canada, and other countries.
The free valuation tool estimates the website’s worth in less than ten minutes, but its appraisals aren’t 100% accurate. You must pay a one-time fee to create listings and use other features.
Pros and Cons of Flippa
Flippa is one of the most extensive website marketplaces, with thousands of active listings and millions of users. The platform can accommodate your needs if you’re flipping relatively affordable websites or selling a multi-million digital business.
Listing a website on a small marketplace like IndieMaker might help you reach a niche target audience faster. This platform currently has under 20,000 members but features thousands of listings.
Aside from websites, the marketplace offers SaaS businesses, mobile apps, podcasts, domains, and other types of digital goods. Listings are verified within 24 hours, and the platform doesn’t limit the number of listings you can create in a day.
IndieMaker doesn’t have an escrow service, and it is up to the sellers to ensure their payment is safe before the transfer process commences.
Pros and Cons of IndieMaker
I like IndieMarket’s close-knit community, startup spirit, and listing versatility, but this marketplace is only suitable for small business owners. If you have a developed business, you should list it on Flippa or Empire Flippers.
The Best Website Flipping Groups to Follow
Selling your first website at a reasonable price isn’t a small feat. However, you must do a lot of research to achieve this feat without a website broker.
Social media groups and online forums are full of information that can help you sell a website, and they’re an excellent entry point into the website flipping world.
Here are two of my favorite forums where you can find out what the Internet says about website sales.
1. The Fast Lane Forum
With thousands of threads covering anything from developing digital assets for sale to domain monetization, The Fast Lane Forum will help you find answers to any questions about website sales you might have.
Don’t believe everything you read here, and always double-check the information you stumble upon in a thread.
2. Digital Point
Landing on Digital Point‘s home page will take you back to the Internet’s early years if you’re old enough to remember them.
But, the site’s appearance can fool you because it’s a treasure trove of information on how to increase a website’s value before listing it on a marketplace.
Digital Point features a huge website marketplace with thousands of listings.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Website Brokers, Marketplaces, and Groups to Follow
How Long Does it Take to Prepare a Website for the Market?
Industry experts recommend valuating a website six to twelve months before listing it on a marketplace and using that time to tighten up its content, boost traffic and improve all other metrics that can increase its value.
How Much Time Does a Website Broker Need to Close the Deal?
A website broker usually needs one or two months to finalize the deal, but sometimes this process can take up to six months.
I don’t make emotional business decisions, regardless of how much I care for my company. Instead, I gather and analyze data to understand if keeping a digital asset pays off.
So, my advice is to find a broker who can gather and analyze your website’s data for you if you’re too busy.
Companies like Quiet Light or Latona’s will help you decide if now is the right moment to list your website, and their brokers will work with you to secure the best possible deal for your asset. You should think about joining Flippa or Empire Flippers marketplaces if you already have experience with website flipping.