If you’ve pondered hard before making that ultimate decision to sell, then you’ll be spoilt for choice on places that you can sell your website. There are literary hundreds of websites on which you can make that sale – but their effectiveness, efficiency, credibility and service delivery varies widely. The best places to transact this kind of business are those that get you the maximum value possible and also make the handover easy for both you and the client. Let’s jump straight into the options available.
Marketplaces and Auction Sites
There are plenty of auction sites out there, but only a few can deliver when it comes to selling your website. If you’re looking for a quick sale, then EBay and Flippa are widely recognized as the go-to platforms. However, EBay is where the less serious domain shoppers like to hang out so you should be aware that you’re not likely to get top dollar there. Flippa.com is a site that deals exclusively with website auctions, so the audience there is a little more specific.
There are more website marketplaces, but websitebroker.com, sedo.com and websiteproperties.com are the most popular. On websitebroker.com, you pay $9.95 to list your website for 90 days, or $14.95 for a premiere listing. Sedo.com works on an escrow basis to connect website buyers and sellers. The site makes money by taking a percentage of every sale, and they do make an effort to market your site to potential buyers. WebsiteProperties.com is concerned mostly with the sale of Internet businesses – businesses that have products for sale, such as health supplements, fitness guides and other ecommerce websites.
Example – BrokerCorp.com
When selling your website, brokers aim to give you the complete package of services. From website valuation, optimization and marketing, to price negotiations and completing the takeover by the buyer – the whole process is taken care of just as is the case with offline business brokers. But do you need a broker? There are a few reasons why you might need one:
Marketing – You can get market exposure to a number of interested buyers who have some ready money to spend. You will therefore have very little to worry about the marketing part.
Price – brokers will do their best to come up with a high valuation of your website. This is by applying the relevant methodology of valuation that ensures you get the best justifiable price.
Time – by taking care of the marketing and negotiating on your behalf, website brokers save you some precious time.
Confidentiality – the whole process is confidential and therefore trustworthy.
The standard commission rate of brokers is usually 10%, with small variations depending on the size of the website being sold. Smaller sites may attract a 15% commission fee while the rate for large sites is set as negotiable. You do not pay any upfront fees – the brokers only get paid after your website is sold.
Finalizing a website transaction with brokers may take anything from two weeks to four months. The main factor for this is the complexity of the website in question.
Considering that some buyers spend more time negotiating and analyzing the financials, finalizing the handover can be a longer process than you’d expect so a little patience on your side will come in handy here.
Some classified ad sites do not charge a dime for listings while others charge upwards of $100 per listing for a limited time period. Highly trafficked classified sites can be good for attracting potential buyers to your site though the audience is largely general, so you should expect only a few qualified leads.
People like to visit forums to seek advice on many issues. Other than the advice, marketing, buying and selling of products (websites included) is not anything new there. Forums that deal with selling sites include forums.digitalpoint.com, dnforum.com, experienced-peple.net, and webmaster-talk.com
Preparing Your Website for Sale
Now that you are familiar with the key platforms to sell your website, it would be a wise thing to take some time to prepare the site for sale. Here are a few tips to get you going:
Organize the stats – interested buyers will want to see your web stats for the past 12 or more months, plus a profit and loss statement since you began operations. You can easily prepare this with an excel spreadsheet.
Determine valuation – with detailed statistics, as well as the income statement, you (or your broker) can easily do an accurate valuation of your web business. A website is typically valued at 12-36 times its monthly income, so your asking price will likely fall within this range.
Fix website errors – examine the code and content and do the necessary clean ups to avoid any potential embarrassments.
Prepare a selling document – this is an information memorandum outlining the revenue model, earnings, bank statements, stats, and general website info. In this document, the buyer also needs to know what it takes to run the website and any growth opportunities that might be available.
Online transactions can be risky. You’d be better of using an online escrow service to take care of the payments. Escrow services are generally safer for both of the parties involved since you as the seller would not want to lose your domain without getting paid first while the buyer wouldn’t risk transferring funds without first getting the business in his custody.
You’ve probably heard of offline escrow services (lawyers, realtors). The same service is available online at smaller fees for buyers and sellers and should be a safe bet for successfully finalizing the sale of your site.
Selling your website should not be so much of a hustle with all the marketplaces mentioned above. You can make a quick buck selling it off on auction sites but it is likely that you’ll do so at a fraction of your site’s true valuation. It’s a nice idea to engage a broker if you’d like the site to sell at the highest possible price, though this may not be a guarantee. Before selling, ensure that you take the few crucial steps as noted above to fully understand your website’s value so you can pitch it to buyers in the most effective manner.
SB writes for www.valuator.com.au – click here to find out more about what your website may be worth and what it may fetch when selling.