Today we sit down with the anonymous buyer of the viral site PotatoParcel.com, which sold earlier this month for $42,000 on Flippa! In this article, the buyer gives us the inside scoop on Potato Parcel, his plans for the site going forward, and his experience as a web entrepreneur. This case study is a must-read for anyone dying to know more about the viral site that sold $60,000 worth of…potatoes.
Tell us about your background as web entrepreneur
I graduated from San Francisco State University (SFSU) with a degree in finance, and have employment background in retail management and software sales. Although Potato Parcel is my first web acquisition on Flippa, I have been building and running web businesses for about 2.5 years, and I already own a successful eCommerce site. When it comes to internet based businesses, I’d say online marketing is my biggest strength, as I’m proficient in many specialties including SEO, PPC, email, and affiliate marketing.
What brought you to Flippa?
I first heard of Flippa on a podcast called eCommerce Fuel with Andrew Youderian. I’m most interested in sites with high growth potential, something out of the norm, and something that I have the skills to make much larger than it was before. Admittedly, I’m not an everyday user of the marketplace, but I do check the site every now and again to see what kind of opportunities are available. When I find something I like, I place a bid. What I love about Flippa is that it makes the entire purchase process easy and fluid. It’s simple to communicate with the Seller, and the platform makes it simple to discover quality businesses for sale.
For those who don’t already know, tell us about PotatoParcel.com, what is the site about?
Potato Parcel is a quirky site where you can send anyone an anonymous (or not anonymous) message…on a potato. We’ve also added a service that allows you to upload image that can then be placed on your potato for special occasions. The idea behind the business is to make people laugh, and I think we do a good job of that. In any situation where people can send a postcard, happy birthday, get well soon, or congratulations card, they can send a potato instead – and it will be a lot more memorable.
From a business perspective, why did you ultimately decide to place a bid?
I saw an opportunity that, to me, was worth it enough to place a bid. I found it on the featured page, and was very impressed by the sales in the short lifespan of the business, and the media coverage that it had. It fit my personality, and it had room to grow in the US and internationally. Basically, this was exactly the type of business I had been looking for.
What are your plans for PotatoParcel.com moving forward?
Moving forward, the first order of business will be to make the sales process easier for customers. One thing I have learned about eCommerce over the years is that the easier you make it for a customer to complete a transaction, the higher the conversion rate. Along with some process side changes, we’ll also be releasing new products and implementing a strong long-term marketing strategy. Finally, we really want to focus heavily on the customer experience. That is, when someone gets a potato in the mail we want it to be a unique, enjoyable, and meticulously crafted experience that they will never forget.
Any advice for other web entrepreneurs looking buy websites?
Do your homework! Know what you are getting into before you buy a business. Ask all the questions you can think of, and don’t ever feel like you’re burdening the Seller. If you need more information and documentation, get it. If the Seller truly wants to sell their business, then they should have no problems heeding your requests. However, you should also show the Seller that you are serious. Lastly, it’s always easier to get a good read on someone when you can chat with them directly as opposed to over email.