How to Buy and Sell Websites In 2024 [Top 5 Platforms]

I always wondered how to buy and sell a website until I did it myself. A few years ago, I heard about the idea of “website flipping.”

As it also offered good money, it sounded interesting, and I delved deeper to know how to do it quickly and effectively. I ran through countless blog posts and YouTube tutorials to learn everything there was to it and soon realized there was nothing “quick” to it. 

Over the years, after crossing multiple hurdles, I have been able to find a profitable website that I can work on easily and sell using marketplaces. 

Let me show you how it all began and how I do it.

What’s My Background With Buying And Selling Websites? 

I built and scaled websites across varying niches, such as entertainment, education, and travel, before I started buying and selling websites. As I kept working across these diverse niches, I understood their potential under my portfolio. 

Being completely into website building, I never considered doing it myself until I saw how much people are earning from flipping a website. 

Buying and selling a website for a profit takes time, for sure. The first website I bought took almost a year for me to buy and sell, and I hardly earned anything from it. I have learned from my mistakes, and it’s okay even if you make some yourself!

Here’s a snippet of a content website that used to generate approximately $3,000 per month in 2021, which I flipped for $96,000

Background With Buying and Selling Website

Fast forward to today, I have flipped and helped flip over 30+ websites and failed at flipping 4 of them. In this guide, I will share what you should and should not do as a beginner entering the website flipping scenario. 

Learn from my mistakes and kickstart your journey to buy and sell websites better than me.

Let’s get to it!

Pro Tip: I always use Escrow to add another layer of security while making big purchases, and you can, too. 

What Is Website Flipping?

As direct as it sounds, website flipping is the practice of selling a new or old website for a profit. This is a comprehensive process of identifying a profit-yielding niche, finding the right domain and website, and developing a knack for scaling up and enhancing the existing website. 

There are two ways to go about website flipping: either you build a new website from scratch or buy an existing website and then sell it for a profit.

Both these methods demand a high level of patience and effort, but in my experience, flipping an existing website is much easier. An existing website takes much less time to gain the required traffic than a new website. Working on an existing website also costs you less, thereby increasing the profit you’d gain. 

But how much does flipping a website cost exactly?

How Much Would It Cost To Flip A Website?

Websites on marketplaces range from as low as a dollar to millions of dollars. You should scout the websites here depending on the profit margin you are aiming.

For example, on Flippa, when searching for a website to buy, you can filter them by profitability, price, time it was listed, and more!

Cost To Flip A Website

For this listing, you can clearly see the type of website, industry, monetization methods, how old the website is, and the net profit. The asking price for a website differs depending on how high these numbers are. 

On average, to buy a website that generates $100/month, you need to invest around $3,000 to $4,500. You can further expect this website to generate 30 to 45 times more revenue than it would over a period of six months.

Ways To Buy And Sell Websites?

There are two ways for you to buy a website:

  1. Buy from Marketplaces.
  2. Buy privately from owners directly.

You can follow both approaches to buying a website, but from my experience and opinion, you should ideally go to a marketplace to make your website purchase. 

I prefer using marketplaces to direct owners because they provide verified data on

  • Revenue.
  • Profit and loss.
  • App age.
  • Future Growth Potential.
  • Negotiation medium.

These factors are crucial during website building and are why expert website flippers prefer to buy from online website brokers rather than directly from the owner.

In the latter method, it is very difficult to gauge the authenticity of the data provided by the seller. I have seen many people falling into the trap of bloated metrics and overpaying for a website. Unless you know the seller well and have a way to verify the website information provided. 

Otherwise, stick to buying from expert online marketplaces. Here are the three online marketplaces that I would recommend you buy a website from.

5 Best Marketplaces To Buy & Sell Websites (2024)

Let’s check which are the top online marketplaces to buy and sell websites on. You might have heard about these names as they are quite popular, but know more about how the listings and other offerings can benefit you.

1. Flippa

First on the list is Flippa, which is termed to be the world’s largest marketplace that powers around 12,000 deals every year. The Flippa team can help you with business valuations, documentation, optimizing interests, etc., with benchmarking insights and metrics. 

In the screenshot below, you can see the listing page that includes all the key information you need about the site age, net profit, monetization methods, and more. 

Flippa

However, you need to be on a subscription plan for Flippa if you need further information about the performance overview, description, traffic details, and other financial statistics about the listing.

2. Empire Flippers

Next, Empire Flippers is one of the fastest-growing online marketplaces for buying websites. On Empire Flippers, buyers and sellers can buy and list their websites. The team has helped users to buy and sell websites of over $450 million worth of businesses. 

Here’s how a website listing looks on Empire Flippers:

Empire Flippers

You can see the listing price, monthly multiple, pricing periods, and SKUs pretty clearly. Also, the most important thing is the average monthly profit and revenue with the profit margin to give you a clear picture of the potential of the website for free. 

That’s not all; below every listing, you can see the website description with revenue sources, website links, earnings over a period, website traffic, ahrefs analytical data, sellers Q&As, reasons for sale, opportunities, and risks, too!

3. Motion Invest

Similar to the above two marketplaces, Motion Invest offers insights into a listing in grave detail with the website niche, monthly income, asking price, monetization method, visitors per month, and also the multiple, as seen below.

Motion Invest

Motion Invest also helps you sell your website with its free website evaluation tool. Hence, this can be a good option for both buyers and sellers. 

4. FE International

This is an award-winning M&A advisor for technology businesses that has carried over 1,500 transactions and generated over $50 Billion in revenue since inception. 

FE International

FE International has expertise in buying and selling different types of businesses, such as – SaaS, E-commerce, Content, and Technology. Have a look at the client testimonials who used FE International to buy and sell their businesses.

5. Investors Club

The last online marketplace on my list is Investors Club which is known to offer one of the lowest commission fees at 7%. This seasoned online marketplace launched in 2013 and is now part of the 3WAG group.

Investors Club

With free escrow and asset migration, this is a solid option for buying or selling your website.

Things To Do While Buying And Selling A Website

With marketplaces ticked off our learnings list, let me give you the points that I will be explaining further to buy and sell a website. 

  • Define buying goals, budget, long-term or short-term, and your level of experience.
  • Market Analysis.
  • Selecting a profitable niche.
  • Finding a website.
  • Conducting a website audit – to check history, backlinks, rankings, structure, time, and money required.
  • SEO – on-page, off-page, website design.
  • Display ads, affiliate programs, and overall improvement.
  • Ensure proper documentation. 
  • Maintain traffic and other reports (for selling).

Things To Avoid While Buying And Selling Websites

While learning the ways to buy and sell a website, you should also learn the things that you should not do and steer clear of frauds and scams. 

  • Not using a third-party tool to analyze and verify the website traffic data.
  • Trusting the profit and loss data provided by the sellers blindly.
  • Overlooking the website backlinks data. 

These are some of the things that expert website buyers and sellers have on their minds, and never ignore them.

A pro tip for you would be to use a third-party SEO tool such as – Ahrefs SEMrush or request guest access to Google Search Console from the buyer to verify the information provided. 

Tech Tips Tea: You can use the SEMrush SEO tool for 14 days for free! Read my guide to claim your SEMrush free trial now!

9 Steps To Website Buying And Selling – Breakdown

Enough with the dos and don’ts, and let’s quickly get started with the actual ways that you should follow to buy and sell a website in 2024. 

Let’s get started!

1. Research

Before getting into buying a website or a business, you need to do research on two things:

  1. Your needs
  2. Market offerings

Depending on your level of experience and expertise in buying and selling a website, you need to analyze your goals, budget, the duration you are interested in holding a website, etc. 

Comparing these goals against the market and narrowing down your options can be a good start before buying and selling any website. 

When you do that, you will have a much clearer picture of the steps you need to take further. But the question is – how much can you earn?

Can You Make Money Selling Websites?

Buying and selling a website is a lucrative way to make money online. However, know that it is definitely not easy and also not for everyone. 

But, if done right, you can definitely make money by selling websites 20 to 50 times the amount you’ve invested while buying. If you’re new to this, you need to spend hours studying how things work, and if you’re slightly as experienced as I am, it can be a smoother process. 

I earned $120,000+ on a recent project I was working on for an investment of $96,000! (more on this further)

Interesting right?

However, you will still need to make a substantial investment to buy, transfer, enhance, maintain, and finally sell a website. All these costs go into account while buying and selling a website. The time and effort you put in is worth it in the end!

2. Analyze The Market

Next, to analyze the options you have while buying, check what the current market trends are to know what types of websites, monetization methods, and domain ages are ideal to buy.

To do this effectively, use the above-suggested tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs, which I use personally. Now, let’s cover the things that need to be on your list before buying a website. 

Factors Determining A Website’s Value

Before you start buying or selling the website, knowing how to identify the value and potential of a website is critical. 

Similar to making any investment, you need to know all about the factors that affect the pricing of the website to negotiate better and forecast the cost, efforts, and the final profit value that can be obtained from investing in the project. 

You need to consider the following factors while buying a website: 

  • Net profits and net margins.
  • Type and Niche of the website.
  • Website traffic source. 
  • Age of the domain.
  • Domain rating.
  • Website transferability.
  • Overall Website potential.

While these pointers would help you buy a website, you will also need to go through them when you prepare to sell it and determine the selling price of your project. 

Flippa, for example, covers all of the pointers and verifies the stated statistics provided by the seller by the Flippa vetting team. Owing to the verification and the available data at your fingertips, the research time you need is reduced, and the expertise that goes into researching is further increased.

3. Select A Profitable Niche

Selecting the correct niche is the backbone to deciding the profitability of the website when you sell it.  Just as it is important to find your blog’s niche, finding the correct niche for your website is essential to determine its price for buying and selling. 

Some of the most popular niches to make money are “make money online,” “Finance,” and “Travel.” 

4. Find A Website – Marketplaces Or Private Selling?

Once you have identified the most profitable niche for you as per the resources, the next step would be to get started with scouting for the website to buy. 

We now know about the two ways that you can buy a website. Flippa will help you with all the information that you need to buy a website that suits your needs.

While buying a website privately, the commission charges that a seller has to pay are eliminated, and hence, the website is priced less. But the authenticity of the provided metrics is always the question, and the responsibility of checking this is upon you.

Buying directly is also known to be prone to scams with bloated revenue and profit info for a better price. Using an expert online marketplace, on the other hand, eliminates all of these worries. 

How To Find A Website On Flippa?

Flippa allows you to choose a website from trending industries like – SaaS, blogging, Shopify, AdSense, and Amazon for a quick search. 

Find A Website On Flippa

Alternatively, you can use the search bar to find the website as per your niche. To demonstrate, I searched for “Food” websites and got around 4495 search results for on-market websites.

The search feature also allows you to filter your results by – Keyword, listing status, revenue-generating, asset type, website type, monthly users, page views, downloads, revenue, domain age, multiple, authority score, location, and most importantly, the monthly profits that a website earns. 

Take this search result for an example: 

Shop With Me Mama

This 15-year-old website is into Fishkeeping which is earning a net profit of $2,605 per month. Upon viewing the listing further, you can clearly see the views that the website has, the number of watchers the overall revenue, and page performance over the past year.

15-year-old Website is into Fishkeeping

In the website description, the seller had also brokendown the user interests. 

Website Description

The listing also included further primary expenses that could be tracked over a period of time, Google Analytics Data, engagement statistics, products and services used, and important files and attachments.

Here’s the link for the listing; check it out this Flippa Listing (used for demonstration) 

Bonus: If you are a Flippa Premium member, you can get access to comparison and benchmarking, performance data, SEMrush traffic insights, and more as part of the package.  

With data available at this scale, it will further be easier for you to conduct an audit and make the right choice. 

5. Conduct A Website Audit

Now that you have access to the website, the first thing that you are supposed to do is conduct an SEO website audit to identify the issues with the website. 

If you don’t know how to audit a website, an SEO audit should cost you anywhere between $700 to $33,000, depending on the work needed. I would suggest you always go with a professional to conduct an audit, as it has always helped me in the past.

6. Buy On Or Off-Market

The website audit should give you an upper hand, and it would give you a clear idea of the actual worth of the website and buy it for the price. 

Another way to buy a website can be from the “off-market.” Use this option if you want the marketplace to reach out to a website owner directly. This option can also give you an opportunity to negotiate the price. 

Flippa, for example, can reach out to the website owner and work for you for a certain percentage. This is a substitute for the option of buying a website from the seller privately with the security and analysis from an online marketplace if you don’t like any of the listed options.

For any method, you are advised to have proper documentation done. 

Verify documentation and complete formalities.

Buying the website simply will not cut the deal for you. At the same time, you may have bought the website at a fair price. Ensure that you take a proper handover of the website with all the necessary passwords, SOPs, and Google Analytics ownership, and have a proper contract prepared.

Pro Tip: If you don’t get this information from the seller, you should make a separate file that includes all this necessary information to leverage the price of your website when you tune it up and sell it further. 

7. SEO & Organic Growth – To Rank Up

The SEO audit will show you the way to go forward and the areas that you need to work on your website, to improve its performance and, eventually, the traffic on it to improve the revenue. 

The common works required to enhance a website are:

  • Quality and the quantity of the content. 
  • Optimizing the website as per the market niche trends.
  • Building a good quality backlinks network.
  • Checking the site history, its on-page and off-page structure, website design etc. 

Focusing on these factors will work both ways for you. It will add up to the deal that you can get from affiliate partners, eventually increasing the selling value of the website. 

8. Add To The Website Value – Display ads, Affiliate programs, Content Improvement

Now, the ways to crank up the website’s price and valuation are:

  1. Using display ads

You will realize that getting display ads partners for your website is very easy once you have improved the website’s performance. You may have to try a little, but most often, you can easily find related partners wanting to display advertisements as your content.

The best part about the display ads is that they can generate a side income for you till the time you find the appropriate buyer while also adding up to the website value. 

  1. Affiliate partnerships

The content on your website, once improved, can be used to partner with affiliate partners that can pay you on a commission basis. The easiest way to earn a commission is to write quality content and to drive the reader to take action.

This brings me to the ways you should write your content to improve your conversions.

  1. Compelling ways to write content

Some of the well-known ways to get more conversions on your article are to use comparison tables and call-to-action buttons and to answer the user queries and difficulties best. 

  1. Creating a Sales Prospectus

A well-prepared sales prospectus can make or break a website sale. It’s essential for providing potential buyers with valuable information about the website and establishing credibility.

Here are some critical sections you should include in your sales prospectus:

  1. Executive Summary: This section should provide a brief overview of your website, including its purpose, target audience, and history.
  2. Revenue Breakdown: You need to be transparent about the website’s financials. This should include:
    • A clear breakdown of revenues and expenses
    • Historical revenue trends
    • Comparison of my website’s performance to industry benchmarks (if available)
  3. Market Analysis: Demonstrating a thorough understanding of the market is essential. In this section, you should outline:
    • Potential growth opportunities for my website
    • Market size and characteristics
    • Competitor analysis
  4. Website Performance Metrics: To prove the success of my website, you’ll need to provide concrete data about its performance. Metrics to include are:
    • Traffic stats: Monthly unique visitors, page views, and other relevant traffic sources.
    • Audience demographics: Information about the website’s typical audience, such as age, gender, and interests.
    • Google Analytics: Charts and graphs showcasing website performance, like bounce rate and average session duration.
  5. Operations and Management: You should tell potential buyers how the website is run and managed. This includes information about:
    • Day-to-day operations
    • Current teams or staff, if any
    • Any existing contracts with vendors or freelancers.

By ensuring a strategically timed sale and an informative sales prospectus, you can now begin setting yourself up for a successful website sale and attracting qualified potential buyers.

ProTip: Boost your website traffic by setting up a social media handle. Here are 11 social media marketing tips that you can focus on.

9. Prepare For Sale

The final step to selling a website is to think in reverse. The way you approached while buying the website, you should follow the same direction but now with an intention to sell. 

Get into the buyer’s shoes and tick off all the boxes you checked while buying. Before preparing to sell a website, create a sales prospectus/portfolio that can fetch you a higher price.

The more necessary information you give the potential buyer, the more leverage you have on the asking price. Online marketplaces like Flippa and Empire Flippers also help you

By answering quick questions about you and your business, you can get a valuation of your website in a snap.

Still, avoid overpricing your website as well as underpricing. Find the ideal price that you think you would like to pay for the quality of the website you’ve built. 

Provided you’ve analyzed your market well, chosen a marketplace, implemented necessary tweaks to the website, and added to its value, selling the website should not be a hassle. 

Pro Tip:  Just as you should trust a private seller completely, know that other buyers also won’t. Hence, it is always best to sell the website on a marketplace and leave the worries to them.

Pros And Cons Of Buying And Selling A Website

Website Flipping is not as easy as it looks. It has its own pros and cons. Buying and selling a website for profit is not for everyone. Though it has more pros than cons, the cons are quite crucial and need consideration, too.

Pros

  • Low-risk and high-reward
  • Earn a side income (for experts)
  • Can be outsourced partially
  • Higher profit margins

Cons

  • Needs extensive research.
  • Needs patience.
  • Scams and frauds are common and need high-level vigilance.

Final Take – How To Buy And Sell A Website

In summary, buying and selling a website is not everybody’s piece of cake. For a beginner, they needs to spend hours studying, researching, and forming the right strategies. For experts, they have to ensure they are updated with the latest trends and adapt to them.

Once you are through with your first one or two website sales, you will know better what works for you and what doesn’t with the ideal marketplace for you to sell. 

Treat these initial experiences as learning curves, and don’t expect immediate profits. Nurture and polish your website research and build knowledge to improve the profits you make with each sale, and make sure to stick to the basics! 

When you do all the things mentioned with a bag full of patience, results shall soon follow!

That was all of the tea and tips from tech! Let me know in the comments below about your experience of buying and selling websites.

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