by • January 3, 2013 • UncategorizedComments (19)1589

Learning with Flippa

Flippa is a marketplace where small websites are bought and sold, typically for $1k–10k.

If you spend some time browsing through recent purchases, you’ll see a few types of sites appearing over and over. In totally non-rigorous order from most to least common:

  1. Niche content sites (SEO + adwords/affiliate)
  2. Niche community (retention + adwords)
  3. Niche dropshipping (SEO + suppliers)
  4. Language middleman for people & services (e.g. selling eastern european programmers to english-speaking clients and taking a cut)
  5. Scammy products (“Guaranteed tool to beat the stock market!”)
  6. Real products (usually with minor recurring revenue and no scalable channel)

The first category (niche content sites) typically sell for 10x monthly revenue. So in theory, you’re out of the red within a year and then it’s pure passive income. Sounds good! But the income from a site like that is just so fragile. You’re 100% dependent on google. If (when) they change the algorithm, you’re kapoot.

I briefly thought you might mitigate the risk by building up a portfolio of several, but they all have the same failure point (the search algorithm). So if one goes down, they likely all do. Which means that even if you have a bunch of them, the safety is an illusion — your eggs are still all in one basket.

I had a bunch of interesting thoughts while flipping through, and I’d encourage you to do the same as a learning/thought exercise. Look through the list of current sales and write down what you’d pay for the ones which catch your eye. Then look through the list of past sales and take a stance on whether the buyer overpaid or got a deal.

It’s like watching a tiny private equity firm doing its thing.

Attention professors and teachers: I think there could be some powerful hands-on assignments for students of entrepreneurship & business in here somewhere (hint hint, Dave). If you’re interested in collaborating on curriculum or assignments around this general idea, drop me a bell.

Related Posts

19 Responses to Learning with Flippa

  1. Rob:

    Last year when I was “out in the wilderness” looking for ideas and opportunities I considered a portfolio of sites on Flippa. My analysis was similar to yours.

    I was more interested in the “real businesses” where a service or piece of software was being sold. I found the multiples were more around 15-30X monthly revenue. So similar risk and the only way to make it work was to have a little growth in performance to overcome churn, etc.

    In short, I felt the market was a little too efficient or I was too risk averse.


  2. Interesting exercise. Really helps to get a better feel of the numbers behind these sites. I thought some deals looked like a steal, but maybe I wasn’t able to see the problems.

    Where would a niche site differ from being fragile and reliant on Google traffic compared to an online startup?

    With good quality content/products and good relationships both should see steady growth I’d say, (if growing at all).

    I found this post on SeoMoz really interesting, about building a steady foundation of incoming traffic.

    Problem with a lot of these Flippa sites is they built their traffic using black/grey hat link building tactics. I’m not sure how to see through that.

  3. Hey Rob – Great post.

    One strategy missing from the list is the active trading of sites over the flippa platform. Essentially buying bad sites, fixing them up (add some SEO, uplift design, add some better content) and then selling them for a premium. Much like trading used cars or houses.

  4. SEO says:

    Good day! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the good
    data you have got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to
    your blog for more soon.

  5. Wonderful article! That is the kind of information that should be
    shared across the net. Shame on the search engines for no longer positioning
    this put up higher! Come on over and consult with my site .
    Thank you =)

  6. solar energy says:

    Solar energy is not used widely as a result of the costs involved but innovation and technology in the alternative
    energy industry is improving by the day.
    As a result, their utility bills decreased dramatically.
    The Solar Panel Systems in addition to the conventional
    heating procedure communicate to warmth the special domestic hot H2O.

  7. Cracked SEO Tools says:

    Just Visit to one of the best SEO and Internet Marketing VIP membership website. It’s becoming #1 membership website providing latest SEO tools and SEO coures. Hurry and check out website right now!

  8. Hiya! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the good data
    you might have here on this post. I will be coming
    back to your blog for extra soon.

  9. Quality content is the crucial to invite the visitors to pay a
    quick visit the web page, that’s what this website is providing.

  10. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger,
    and I was curious about your situation; we have developed some nice procedures and we are looking to
    trade techniques with others, be sure to shoot me
    an email if interested.

  11. site says:

    Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using?

    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my
    website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  12. Louie says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking
    about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to
    your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  13. Sb bomber says:

    Hi there to every body, it’s my first visit of this weblog; this webpage consists of amazing and really good stuff in support of readers.

  14. Robert says:

    I would suggest you to use a business broker, they can provide you better buyers quality.. I used

  15. youtu.Be says:

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the
    pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking
    issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

  16. I’m not that mjch of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, kee it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on.

  17. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after going through a
    few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  18. Thank you, I have just been searching for information approximately this subject for a while and yours
    is the greatest I’ve found out till now. However, what concerning the conclusion?

    Are you sure about the supply?

  19. says:

    I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also go to see this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from most
    up-to-date gossip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>