Case Study: The $100 Startup Success

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Cindy Molchany, a web entrepreneur who started CraftBeverageJobs.com after reading the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. The site quickly exploded, and after 3 years of hard work, Cindy decided to sell her business on Flippa for $20,000.

As a first-time Flippa seller, Cindy details what the auction process was like and what it was like to work alongside our account management team here at Flippa.


Tell us about your technical background and how you started CraftBeverageJobs.com.

My background is in wine and beer marketing, and I have no technical background per-se except I had started a WordPress blog or two (but I’m not sure you can say that is a “technical background”).

When I came up with the idea to launch Craft Beverage Jobs, I actually did it as a way to grow exposure for my digital marketing services to the industry. I thought offering an industry job board with compelling content and a strong social media presence would help me stand out among the competition and drive interest for my digital marketing services.

When I discovered I could build a job board the way I wanted using WordPress and a $100 plugin, I was up and running within 30 days as a way to challenge myself after reading “The $100 Startup”.

Craft Beverage Jobs actually ended up quickly taking on a life of its own, and the more involved I got with building and growing the site, the more interested I became in Online Business in general and the less beverage marketing I did. Funny how that works.

What made you decide to sell your website?

The simple answer is that my interests have evolved, and I was neglecting it. I knew the site and concept excited people, but I didn’t feel like I had much left to contribute in order to take it to the next level. It needed fresh energy.

Tell us about your first sale went.

My first sale was a flop!

A website isn’t like a car where you can look up the Kelly Blue Book value and understand what a good market value is – even though a lot of “experts” will tell you that it’s as black and white as adding a 2-3x multiplier on your site revenue (or profit – not sure which one is used).

So when I initially launched Craft Beverage Jobs for sale on Flippa, I had zero confidence going in because how I valued the site was in such contrast to what the online calculators out there showed. And even though I got a couple of “Buy It Now” offers above the reserve price I set initially, I ended up pulling the auction only after a few days because I decided I would rather keep the site then sell for less than what I thought it was worth.

I thought that was it, but then shortly after I ended the sale, Joseph at Flippa reached out and extended the offer to do an evaluation for me and to potentially work together should I decide to relist.

He confirmed what I suspected all along. That value is in the eye of the beholder, and he expressed confidence (in his expert opinion – not a guarantee) that I would get a price I would be comfortable with.

What was it like working with our account management team?

Having access to the account management team made all the difference in the world. With the free upgrades, the featured newsletter spot, and the social media promotions, my auction got a lot of attention from many different interested buyers. In addition to the validation on value, I was able to ask for help on strategy up to the very end of the sale. This was very important to me because it gave me the confidence I didn’t have the first time around.

In all honesty, Flippa can be a little intimidating – especially for a newbie. I didn’t want to make a beginner mistake on something so important to me, and working with Joseph was like having a coach the whole way through.

What suggestions would you have for others looking to sell their website?

  1. Putting heart and soul into your website can most definitely add value.

  1. It’s about finding the right buyer, not just any buyer. Talk to people who express interest, answer all their questions (the more the better the sign), and find out their intentions with your website.

  1. And jump at the opportunity to work with the Flippa team if given the chance.

Would you like to add any closing statements?

I miss running a website like Craft Beverage Jobs, and am already starting a new transactional niche website to build, grow, nurture (and maybe sell on Flippa one day).

Enjoy reading Cindy’s story? Continue reading more Flippa case studies now.

  • Wow. that is an awesome interview. On the other hand there is a great advice to put my heart and soul into the website I am making right now.

  • these are pretty inspiring conversations…

  • Bernhard Hugo Karl

    20k for three years of hard work and heart and soul is not much. What keeps you motivated?

    • Chris Holle

      It’s not only the sale price, but the fact that it was also generating $500 in monthly revenue when the previous owner was operating it. Combine that with the fact that it took less than 2 hour of work per week to operate, I would say the business was a huge success!