If you’ve made the decision to sell your website on Flippa it’s only natural that you’re looking to get maximum value from your auction. So how do you do that?
Today I want to share with you some of the best tips and tactics we’ve used to sell hundreds of sites and bring in just under $200K in site sales for 2012 via Flippa. A site valued at $500 isn’t going to sell for 5-figures no matter what tactics you use. Having said that, the methods below have helped us consistently outsell our competitors at prices nearly double what they’re doing.
#1 Be Descriptive
Many unsuccessful auctions on Flippa have very little information in the description. From a buyer’s perspective, if you’re not willing to go into some detail about your site it’s usually a bad sign.
You need to have a high-level summary or overview at the top of the auction copy and then use the rest of the description to dig into the details. Use headers to break up the blocks of text and point directly to the various sections in your auction copy.
#2 Attention To Detail
While most buyers will be forgiving of a misspelling or two, you’ll want to make sure that your data and statistics are tighter across the board. It’s a red flag if you’re mentioning 7,435 visits per month and then saying 9,305 visits further down the auction copy.
If English isn’t your native language, pay someone to write your copy in a way that you just plug in the numbers from the site you’re selling.
#3 Transparency As A Differentiator
People tend to buy from people they know, like, and trust. It may be hard to build rapport in your auction content but consider linking out to your social profiles and show you’re a “real person”.
Buyers find it scary bidding on auctions that are anonymous, so I always put a link to my blog, LinkedIn profile, etc. This shows buyers that I’m not hiding and it communicates confidence that I’m someone they can work with should there be any problems.
Since many sellers prefer to remain anonymous being transparent is a great way for your site to stand out.
#4 Stop Overselling
Buyers do have a “If it’s too good to be true…” philosophy, so stating that your $800 site could, “easily be earning $1,000 per month in a couple of weeks” isn’t going to help. (If it were true why don’t YOU do it and sell for more?)
It’s ok to paint a positive picture, but you’re much better off taking a matter-of-fact approach. Don’t focus on figures when it comes to explaining the site’s potential.
Over emphasizing figures might also low-ball the value that a prospective buyer sees in your site. (e.g Saying your site has the potential to earn $1,000 per month when the buyer sees an opportunity for $5,000 per month)
#5 Build History And Trust
If you want to sell sites on a regular basis it’s important to build up trust and a solid reputation. Just like auctions that have viewers/watchers , Flippa also has a “Watched Seller” feature. This feature automatically sends out emails to watchers a seller they follow lists a new site for sale.
We implement an “undersell, over deliver” policy with all of our buyers which has kept our feedback 100% positive and has led to glowing reviews. Even if you only sell larger sites once every 1-2 years, build your selling history with smaller sales to get top dollar on your next major.
#6 Pricing Strategy
It may sound crazy, but we price all our auctions at $1 with no reserve. This guarantees that the website will sell and have an excellent chance of reaching the first page of Flippa’s “Most Active” section. It also narrows our focus…now that we know the site is definitely going to sell our job becomes clearer – do everything to get as many views as possible! This strategy has been instrumental to getting top dollar for each and every auction we’ve listed.
If you can’t stomach the idea of no reserve, list your auction at $1 and place a reserve that’s the absolute minimum you expect. While it’s not as attractive, you can still get enough bids to feature in “Most Active”. By the last 24 hours you’ll hopefully have passed the reserve.
There’s nothing that says you have to give away the reserve price even when potential buyers ask. Giving it away gets may get you an early bid right at the reserve price but you will lose you all those smaller lower-end bids that are required to feature in “Most Active”.
#7 Bidding Strategy
We start with manually accepting bids at the beginning of an auction and switch to automatic during the end. The reason is simple – we want to maximize number of bids to ensure getting featured in “Most Active”.
For example, I may launch an auction and get a $500 bid. Instead of accepting that bid, I’ll sleep on it, wake up the next day, and see that I have 4 additional bids under $500. I can now accept all the bids, including the $500 one. That’s a total of 5 bids instead of 1 which helps my positioning.
Be aware of savvy buyers. They want as little people checking out your auction so they avoid a bidding war. They may offer their best bid early with the hope that you’ll accept right away. That higher price discourages other bidders and helps them keep the auction out of “Most Active”.
#8 Don’t Sell Short During “The Dip”
You’ll get an initial burst of views when your auction goes live and then things will slow down. Way down. The middle of your auction is the dark period where there won’t be nearly as many views.
Savvy buyers know this and will try to reach out and get you to short-sell your site to them directly. If they make an offer you’re happy with, feel free to take it…but we’ve found that these offers are generally much lower than the price we ultimately get by keeping the auction going.
#9 Promote Outside Of Flippa
While Flippa will do everything they can to sell your auction successfully, it doesn’t hurt to help them out! When you’re starting your auction at $1 (and with no reserve) your job is clear – get as many targeted visitors to your auction as possible.
Look at where you hang out online and see if you can use your authority in that space to drive interest to your auction. If you’re selling a site in the health niche and are a regular member in a health forum, consider linking to your auction in your signature. Search for related posts in that forum and add value to the conversation. This will naturally lead to more visits to your auction.
Don’t be spammy, a soft approach is best. Include your link as a regular part of your conversation and you’ll do just fine.
#10 Auction Comments
You’ll notice that live auctions have a visible count on the number of comments made. This is another form of social proof you can use to get more click throughs to your auction so we use comments to provide updates regarding earnings, traffic, etc. We also respond to every comment we receive on the auction, effectively doubling the amount of comments.
Again, there’s no reason to be spammy here. A few updates and responding to each comment will ensure your auction is interesting and lets prospective buyers know that you’re on the ball.
So there you have it, 10 secrets to selling your site for a premium on Flippa.com. Auctions can be daunting but with the best practices you can get maximum return for your site.
What strategies have you used to get top dollar for your site sales on Flippa? Have you found success with any of the strategies we’ve listed above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.