First of all, congratulations on taking the first step toward owning your future. The Flippa Marketplace is surging with opportunities for both buyers and sellers of digital assets and we’re excited to have you join us.
As you’ve likely already realized, Flippa is a rather unique marketplace and getting started can feel a bit intimidating. There are typically anywhere from 3,500 to 4,500 digital assets for sale at any given time, which can make it feel like the search for that one perfect business will be a daunting task. It can feel a bit like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. Lucky for you, we’ve optimized the haystack for search.
Setting your Buyer Preferences
It all starts here. When you first begin using Flippa, you’re going to be excited to start clicking around, exploring the listings, and seeing everything that’s available. However, the very first thing that you’ll want to do is set your buyer preferences. This will immediately set you down the process towards finding your perfect match.
You can get to the Buyer Preferences panel by clicking the blue link on the top right corner of the home page as seen here.
Setting a buyer preference is ultimately creating a saved search that is customizable to exactly what you are looking to purchase. You just click a few buttons and we’ll do the rest of the work for you, day in and day out. Once you’ve set this up, we’ll send you an email once a day with any new listings that fit within your parameters. You can take a quick skim of that email and if something piques your interest, click right on through to get a few more details. If nothing intrigues you, just trash the email and go about your business. You won’t need to worry about logging in to Flippa every day just to run the same search, fearing that you might miss out on the perfect listing. We will automatically do it for you.
The process is extremely simple. When you first set your preferences, you’ll see the screen below where you can first select what sort of business model you’d like to consider. Are you only interested in eCommerce sites? Are you looking for a SaaS platform? Do you want a content based advertising site? Or are you interested in anything and everything? Click whatever works for you.
Secondly, you can pick any preferred industries. Many members of our community are industry agnostic, being more interested in traffic and revenue than what the business is actually focussed on, but plenty more are looking for businesses within a subject matter that they can expertly speak about. You can choose as many or as few industries as you like. We always suggest that our first time buyers choose topics that they are familiar with as that personal insight gives you a great advantage when working on SEO, customer targeting, product selection, and more.
Next you can choose your budget. This is of course a very important step. It can be fun to browse through the endless list of opportunities and dream big for when you have a million dollar budget, but for a tailored search, we always recommend that you stick with what you reasonably want to spend so that the results that we send you are relevant. Just be sure to click on every box that you might want to consider.
Of course it’s also important to decide if location is important to you. One of the greatest benefits of a digital asset compared to a brick and mortar business or many other investments is that location doesn’t typically matter. But, that said, it is important to consider. If you live in England and are considering a content site that is built around camping in the Australian outback, you might be at a disadvantage. More so, if you’re looking for an eCommerce site, particularly one that holds their own inventory, you’ll need to be weary of fulfillment processes and shipping costs, possibly segmenting your search to your home country or wherever you intend on doing business.
How to search for the perfect listing.
We’re continually making adjustments and improvements to our search algorithms to help you in the process of finding the perfect investment opportunities. Whether you just want to go old school “Google” on the site by typing something into the search box and seeing what pops up or if you want to use our search navigation bar and drill down into business type, price, age, or content type, our search functionality gives you a myriad of options to find what you need.
Our Favorite Searches
For our first time buyers, or just for anyone looking to see some quick search results while browsing the marketplace, one great place to start is with the “our favorite searches” feature right on the homepage. These are curated searches that our team have created for you to help get you started down the path quickly and efficiently. These are searches that we’ve found to produce meaningful results for many of our users, so we’ve turned them into one click queries.
One search, for instance, is the “built for beginners” search. This query results in some great listings for anyone looking to get started with their first asset or two. The return will be relatively low maintenance sites that can be run without any advanced engineering degrees or understanding of high level finance. Many of them will be content sites that earn income from advertising or affiliate sales. Typically they will be earning just a bit of money, enough to get you excited, and be quite well priced. These are perfect if you’re just getting into the game.
What this search page is actually showing us, as you can see from the toggles on the left hand side of the page, are websites and drop-ship sites that are making $25-$100 in profit each month that are priced between $500-$3,000, aged anywhere from 6 months onward. From here, you are able to tweak the filters to your specific needs. If you don’t want to spend more than $1,000, simply turn the dial. If you want a site with at least 2 years of domain authority, turn that dial. It’s easy!
The Listing Page
The next step after figuring out how to search for listings is to click into one of the listings and begin exploring.
One of the first major tips that we can give you when it comes to examining a listing page is to take a look at the seller.
Checking out the seller profile in the right column of the page can very quickly let you know if you should pursue the business or stop in your tracks and look elsewhere.
Check to see if the seller has completed the verification process. This will let you know right off the bat if they are trustworthy as they have confirmed their identity with Flippa. Secondly, take a look at their profile and see what they’ve done on Flippa in the past. It’s quite common to find sellers who, like you, are new to the platform and there is no need to worry about it if they don’t have a history of selling on the Flippa Marketplace, but it’s also just as common to find sellers with a history of transactions along with ratings from previous customers.
At a Glance.
We love to get started on the “at a glance” module towards the top of the listing. Here you can quickly see the site’s age, traffic, and revenue. Age is a hugely important factor as it can let you know what sort of domain authority a site has which tells you what sort of traction it might have with organic search. Secondly, age can let you know if there is credible brand equity.
Perhaps the most important piece of the “at a glance” module, however, is the traffic data. This is pulled directly from Google Analytics. It is 100% verifiable as the seller is simply connecting their account with the Google Analytics platform, drawing in the data from their secure software. Here you can see what the monthly traffic data looks like, if it’s fluctuating, and if it is growing or declining.
We also include revenue and profit data here. Here you can see what sort of margins a company has and how their profit is fluctuating in comparison with their traffic data.
Every business has a story. As a buyer, you should want to read that story. Here is a chance to get some top level insight into why the business was built in the first place. Who built the business? What might you need to know to run the business? What are some strengths and what are some opportunities? Who might the business be ideal for and why might the business be selling?
Watch the Listing and Ask Questions
Finally, after skimming through the details available on the listing page, it’s time to click the “watch listing” button and ask any questions that you may have. We never recommend placing a bid right away. It’s important to do your due diligence. If you ‘watch’ the listing, you’ll be notified any time that there are comments from the seller and the discussion module on the page allows you to interact with the seller, asking anything that you’d like to know from gaining access to a read-only version of their backend or simply getting to know a bit more about what skills might be needed to run the site as is.
We strongly recommend you read our First Time Buyer’s Guide to Due Diligence now that you’ve mastered search and are ready to look at your first listings.