We’re seeing a big increase in websites listed on Flippa over $1,000 and to further improve Flippa’s ability to provide an effective and secure marketplace for these transactions, we’re introducing Premium Buyer Certification.

This will make it just a little harder for buyers to bid over $200, and so improve the quality of bids received at that end of the market. Most importantly, it will cause the (occasionally seen) “frivolous” buyers to think twice before placing their unrealistic bid.

How Does It Work?

When placing a $200 or higher bid, buyers will be asked to pre-authorize their credit card for $5. The funds are checked and authorized but the actual transaction does not take place – it will not alter any balance and does not appear on a statement.

Once the bidder’s credit card is authorized, they’re taken to the standard bid confirmation screen and can make their bid as usual.

This process isn’t required every time a bid is placed. Once you’ve got Premium Buyer Certification, we keep that on file for six months.

Does This Make It Harder to Bid for Websites on Flippa?

Yes – a little. That’s the point.

We’ve worked hard to make this process as smooth as possible, but there’s no avoiding the extra step the first time you bid over $2,000. However, given that a bid in this range is effectively a commitment to pay more than $2,000, maybe the previous process was a little too easy…

Another benefit is that buyers can have more faith in competing bidders once they’ve been outbid on an amount beyond $2,000.

Website buyers in this range should take this additional step into account when placing a bid – and remember that there’s no benefit to bid sniping on Flippa so its best to avoid last minute bids as a general rule.

Why Only for Bids Above $200?

We don’t feel that the friction this process creates is warranted for all bid amounts – to the point that it might otherwise dissuade legitimate bidders on lower bid auctions. We had to pick a number and we hope that $200 strikes the best balance between convenience and security.

Does It Change My Trust Rating?

Premium Buyer Certification does not alter your trust rating at this stage. We are reviewing the existing trust rating algorithm and will most likely factor Premium Buyer Certification as part of this.

Can I Get Premium Certification Without Bidding?

Given that the Premium Buyer Certification does not alter the trust rating, we haven’t yet provided a mechanism to obtain Premium Buyer Certification without engaging with a specific auction.

We always love to hear feedback on changes such as these! Is the new process too complex? Should the threshold be set higher or lower (eg $1,000? $10,000?)? Is there a need to obtain Premium Buyer Verification outside of the bid process? Should it alter a trust rating? Let us know in the comments below.

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