Have you found an awesome niche sites sale and are wondering if the sites listed are too good to be true? In this post I talk about how to tell if a site for sale is a good deal or a potential scam.
- Consider the Source. There are a number of marketplaces out there to buy and sell websites, but not all of them are reputable. The first step in determining if your potential site is a scam is to figure out where it’s listed. If it’s listed on a generic website like Flippa, you may want to think twice before purchasing, as many of these sites do not do any work to validate the listing claims. On the other hand, if the site is listed through a reputable broker, chances are the broker has taken at least some action to ensure that the site is not a fake.
- Ask for access to analytics and sales data. A screenshot of a Google AdSense or Google Analytics account is not enough, and easy for a saavy scam-artist to fake. Instead, you should ask for the seller to let you see real, live data from the account. If the seller seems hesitant, reassure him that there are plenty of view-only options that do not let you access the site or earnings in any way. If he’s still hesitant, it may be time to move on to the next listing.
- Analyze the asking price to see if it’s in the range of industry standards. This range varies by industry, but some good base cases tend to be 2-3 times the annual revenue, or 6-8 times the annual profit.
- Time is Money. Be sure to ask the seller about the amount of time he puts into the site, and whether that time is a factor in what he considers to be the site’s “profit”. If a website has a “profit” listed as a few hundred dollars a month, but the owner works 100 hours a month on developing the site, the average time spent is only worth a few dollars. Think about your goals, and how you value your time.
- Put yourself in the seller’s shoes. This goes along with last point above. Imagine you had a site earning $200 per month. Would you be willing to sell that site for $1000? Chances are, you’d rather earn that thousand by waiting 5 months, and still have a site that earns consistently.
If you’re looking for more information about how to find a niche site for sale be sure to check out my article on Affiliate Niche Websites For Sale – Where To Look.
Website owners sell sites for a huge numbers of reasons. Just because a site seems cheap doesn’t mean that the owner is trying to scam you. Maybe he has too many projects and needs to spend his time elsewhere. Maybe he needs cash upfront to invest in another project. Maybe he’s lost patience and you have extra experience that can add real value to the site. Every case is different.
But, there is a line between a good deal for an undervalued niche site and a ripoff waiting to happen. At the end of the day, if a site sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.