Recently we’ve had a few website sellers come to us saying they’d love to list on Flippa but they’re not entirely comfortable with everyone — maybe competitors or current customers — knowing their website is for sale.
Given the pivotal role of the website’s domain in our listings, this was not possible… until now.
Furthermore, a number of sellers have been requesting that buyers sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) prior to asking questions or bidding. This is a handy way to qualify buyers while preserving trade secrets… and it’s something we’ve made simpler.
As of today, a website seller can choose to make their new listing confidential. This will result in the URL being hidden from buyers until the seller has approved the buyer’s signed NDA.
How It Works
For Website Sellers
When sellers create their listing, they can select the “Confidential Listing” option.
This will hide the URL and other site-revealing information such as the WHOIS, Ranking Keywords, Hosting and Wayback Machine details from everyone apart from the seller and approved buyers. Note that sellers can only define the website for sale as being confidential when the listing is created—it cannot be turned on or off once the listing is live.
The seller manages their NDAs via the “confidentiality agreement” link on the listing page. From here, the seller can select to either use a default NDA provided by Flippa or upload their own version in PDF format prior to going live. Once the listing is active, the seller uses this page to approve or reject applicants.
Confidential Listings continue to appear for all searches and result pages such as Just Listed, Most Active, Browse, keyword searches, revenue/traffic refinements etc – but without their identifying information.
For Website Buyers
Potential website buyers can view the NDA for a Confidential Listing via the “confidentiality agreement” link on the auction details page. After the website buyer has read and agreed to the NDA from this page, the website seller is notified and can approve or reject the application.
Approved buyers can then view all the listing details and submit bids as if it were a standard listing.
While public comments are not available for Confidential Listings at this stage, buyers can still send a private message to the website seller.
Who Should Use It
It is important to note that the Confidential Listings are designed specifically for websites where a public auction may devalue the site in question. They’re not for everyone.
To begin with, Confidential Listings require increased time investment to manage the list of approved NDA signatories while still managing individual bids. Furthermore, the NDA step means the listing is likely to attract fewer bids, but the bidders themselves will be higher quality.
This upgrade costs $100 on top of your listing fee to minimize abuse and ensure the feature is only used when required. As such, it may not be an economical add-on for low-value websites.
What Happens to Due Diligence Information?
All due diligence details are provided where this does not give away the specific website. For example, the Alexa rank and related information are available, but the standard “more detail on this site” link does not appear until the user has been approved.
What Happens to Upgrades?
All Flippa upgrades remain available for Confidential Listings however some behave a little differently:
- Tweet listing to @flippa followers: This will be in the usual format however the domain will be sent as “Hidden URL”.
- Screenshot on listing row: If selected, this will display the Confidential Listing icon from the auction details page.
What Happens to Comments?
Public comments have been removed for Confidential Listings at this stage to remove any risk of the specific details of the listing being made publicly available. Concerned users can still report suspicious Confidential Listings using the standard “Report It” link if required.
What Happens When a Buyer Breaches the NDA?
The NDA is a legally binding document between the buyer and the seller. The obligation remains on the seller to enforce the NDA should any breaches be identified, though Flippa can provide information about when the agreement was formed. On the basis that a breach may constitute fraud, Flippa retains the right to suspend user accounts that are found to be actively seeking to compromise the Confidential Listing or NDA process.
Image: Sir Mo
This is arguably the biggest enhancement on Flippa so far this year – do not hesitate to let us know below if you have any comments or questions.