Buying and selling websites has become a huge industry in 2008, but it can often be a confusing and scary process, so today we are going to shed some light on the top 10 things you should do to ensure you are successful.
1 – Thou Shall Buy a Business NOT a Job
If a website requires the new owner to work on it on a regular basis, then you are buying a JOB not a business.
For it to be classed as a business, it needs to be self-sufficient, it needs to be able to run without the regular input of the owner, and it needs to make a PROFIT without your input.
In other words, could you go to the beach for 6 months, return, and have a nice chunk of profit in your bank account? If not, then you are buying a job.
Additional Reading: Buying a job vs a business
2 – Thou Shall Not Neglect a Website or Blog
Neglecting a website is the worst thing you can do to it. Traffic will drop, visitors will lose interest, and the value will suffer.
3 – Thou Shall Be Realistic With Your Valuation
We have spoken to so many website owners who would be lucky to get $50 for their site, yet demand hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Additional Reading: The Webmaster Delusion
4 – Thou Shall Check The Compatibility
You would be amazed at how many websites look great in one browser, and then look like dogs backsides in another. Always check that a website works on the major browsers before you make a bid.
Additional Reading: Browser Compatibility Tools
5 – Thou Shall Do a Financial Check-up For Large Purchases
If you are buying a large and expensive site, then you may wish to do some background research on the owner. Better safe than sorry.
Additional Reading: Background Research Tools
6 – Thou Shall Not Consult Friends or Family
We all know that making business decisions based on what friends and family think is dangerous. So avoid making this mistake when buying and selling websites.
Additional Reading: Myths of Starting a Business
7 – Thou Shall Not Focus On Pagerank
There was a time where all people were interested in was the Google Pagerank of a website. I have seen awful websites sell for huge sums of money, just because they had a pr7. Luckily it seems that this virus is slowing down, but make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
Additional Reading: How Much is My Website Worth?
8 – Thou Shall Not Buy Hosted Domains
We all know someone with a website like joeblogs.blogspot.com – but if someone cannot afford the $7 to buy a proper domain name, why are you doing business with them? Remember, you don’t legally own a hosted domain name.
Additional Reading: Buying Websites On Hosted Domains
9 – Thou Shall Beware of Scams and Fraud
Like any marketplace, buying and selling websites is filled with people who are looking to make a quick buck. Here are some tips to help you avoid them:
1) Use archive.org to see the history of the website. Avoid any adult or potentially unsafe material.
2) Go to Alexa.com to get a rough idea of the site’s traffic. Compare this to the stats the buyer has published.
3) If you are buying from a forum, look at the members previous posts or sales. Also be aware of any negative feedback he/she may have had.
4) Always use Escrow for larger payments and Paypal for all others.
5) For larger purchases, ask the MidasCode.co.uk to do the due diligence on the site for you.
10 – Thou Shall Have Fun
Buying and selling websites is a serious business, but it can also be a lot of fun. You can own websites based on your passions and hobby’s, you can turn your past time into a serious money maker. The options are endless, but remember, have fun.