Flippa.com Review And Overview – What Is Flippa.com?

What is Flippa.com? Image

Flippa.com Overview And Review

Flippa.com is a marketplace for buying and selling online businesses, with two headquarters based in Melbourne and San Francisco. It serves to connect buyers and sellers of websites and other online businesses. As of the time of this writing, the company reportedly has 120,000 registered ‘buyers’ with access to over $8,200,000,000 in available funds.

 

Company Info

Founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, as the SitePoint Marketplace, Flippa was given its own separate identity in June 2009.

Flippa’s revenue is largely derived from the sale of websites, apps, and online businesses through its marketplace, along with the sale of domain names as well.

The marketplace’s most expensive sale up to date was planetrx.com which sold for US$1,200,000. 

Other notable websites and domains sold through the Flippa marketplace include Mark Zuckerberg’s former website Facemash, shipyourenemiesglitter.com, and Retweet.com.

Flippa’s platform is free for buyers and currently has a total of 120,000 buyers. Sellers pay Flippa a commission on the sale of their web properties.

According to the company’s LinkedIn: “…each month, over $41m worth of business value is listed for sale on Flippa and nearly 500,000 business owners and buyers visit Flippa to sell or buy businesses between the prices of $5,000 and $5,000,000. “

 

The statistics on the official website include the following 

  • 4 global locations – 
  • 250,000 businesses sold worldwide 
  • 120,000 registered buyers
  • $8,200,000,000 of estimated available Flippa buyer funds

 

Flippa.com Services

In addition to the basic marketplace, Flippa.com offers a variety of services to aid in the transacting of websites and other web properties.

They offer a Due Diligence Report that features a thorough examination based on over 100,000 past Flippa transactions to assess potential risks and problem areas to propose insightful recommendations. 

After an initial consultation, a dedicated expert will perform due diligence along the following eight aspects:

  • Seller Analysis
  • Financial Analysis
  • Traffic Analysis
  • Sales & Marketing Analysis
  • Operations & Legal Analysis
  • Industry & Competition Analysis
  • Pricing Analysis
  • Risk Assessment & Recommendations

 

Image: website flipping. Stock image.

 

Furthermore, a blog post detailing precautionary steps to new buyers on Flippa mentioned the partnership between SEMrush and Flippa that provides high-quality reports so buyers can avoid buying sites with low-quality traffic or misrepresented traffic stats.

 

Flippa also apparently partners with two agencies specializing in selling “turnkey” websites which are built specifically for resale and are able to start earning revenue day one. These are Human Proof Designs and Alpha Investors.

 

For a video overview of the site, here is a video explaining How Flippa Works.

 

You can also check out a case study on the Flippa blog about one client’s journey here.

The business was great. They were steadily bringing in over $2,250 in monthly profit, being operated primarily by a small team of virtual assistants, seeing a minimal 4% annual churn rate, and essentially keeping the engines running without ever thinking about advertising or SEO best practices.

The business was a dream. But, like many dreams, it was coming to an end as the owner looked to move out to the country and enjoy an off-line lifestyle.

The opportunity was there for the taking.

 

To find out how this purchase worked out for the buyer, check out the rest of the article here.

 

 

Flippa.com In The News & On The Internet 

A peek inside Flippa is offered through this interview by Justin Cooke with the company’s then Marketing Lead, Ophelie Lechat.

 

For a look at the company’s early days, you can check out this Businesswire press release on the Flippa Website Marketplace crossing the $50 million mark.

Flippa founder Mark Harbottle explains, “Website buyers and sellers have known for over 18 months that there is more to Flippa than traditional flipping of websites. Website owners know that if they list a decent site on Flippa it will attract qualified website buyers. Similarly, website buyers know that Flippa has by far the largest number of active websites for sale anywhere in the world.”

The Flippa General Manager Dave Slutzkin added that “interest in the world of buying and selling websites continues to thrive as Flippa has reported that new records are set each month across user, bidding and sale metrics”.

 

As noted above, high-profile sales made on Flippa include Mark Zuckerberg’s Facemash as well as ReTweet.com, MacTalk.com.au, and Twaud.io. Other big-ticket sales including Debate.org, s9.com, and BlogTopSites.com. In addition, these have been joined by a growing number of confidential website sales not reported publicly.

 

In an article by SmartCompany explaining How Flippa hit $100 million in turnover in its first four years, the General Manager, Slutzkin said:

About 100,000 sites have been sold. At the entry-level of the market, there are a lot of sites selling for $300 to $500. There is a good group of sellers there but the buyers are quite disparate.

And then at the other end, when you’re looking at sites worth $50,000 to $300,000, you have sellers who drop in once, because not many people have that many valuable sites to sell, but buyers hang around. A lot of the buyers are investors and entrepreneurs looking to make money off valuable sites.

On pricing, we leave it up to the market because people out there are a lot better at that kind of thing. Safety is the most important thing, so we do a lot of vetting.

Once in a while we are proven wrong in value; people see things they really value that we don’t. So it’s best left to the market.

If you put a lot of work into something, you value that work fairly highly. A year of your time is worth a lot of money.

Around 50% of the market is at the entry level, and then the more elaborate sites are priced at anything from $1,000 to $500,000.

 

For more background on Flippa, here is a behind the scenes article introducing the two founders of Flippa, Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz.

As per the article, Harbottle was named Entrepreneur of the Year (2012) by BRW Magazine, a prestigious Australian business publication, and Mickiewicz has been included on several “Top 30 Under 30” lists, including ones from Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and Smart Company

Harbottle also helped create notable online businesses such as 99designs.com and SitePoint.

 

Flippa.com And The Future Of Website Investing

Flippa is well-known as a marketplace in which “affiliate marketers” and “website flippers” attempt to buy and sell online businesses for short to medium term profit, but it’s relevance within the world of online business appears to be expanding beyond these specific applications.

Indeed, in an interview for the Australian Business Review, Flippa co-founder Mark Harbottle argued that many aspiring entrepreneurs and “founders” might be better off acquiring an existing online business on Flippa which they could then expand, rather than taking the conventional route of “starting from scratch”.

As he stated:

Some of the best growth stories I’ve seen have come through acquisitions, yet so many start-up founders still fall back to the “build it from scratch” mentality.

They have been brainwashed into thinking the only path to a successful start-up — or the only “real” way — is to come up with an idea, ideally one that solves a big painful problem for lots of potential customers, and then build it themselves from the ground up….

…So why do so many founders still patiently play the “build it from scratch” game? Why isn’t the start-up community talking about a more efficient, more predictable and, in many cases, less risky way to get a business off the ground?

Why aren’t more founders considering acquiring an existing business with traction — not only as a growth strategy but as a go-to-market strategy for their start-up?

Why not acquire a business with existing products, customers and cash flow — something they can leverage as a foundation to grow their empire?

Buy your way to growth

Acquisition as a growth strategy is no secret. Large companies, particularly public companies, use this strategy all the time. It’s the same concept but one that most start-up founders rarely, if ever, consider. Especially in the early stages of starting their business.

Instead of spending the first two years building a product and scrambling for product-market fit, they could be innovating until their heart’s content: testing new ideas on real customers, adding new products, optimising for greater efficiency, ramping up sales and marketing, and delivering “customer happiness”.

 

In addition, Flippa’s inventory of interviews and podcasts contain a great deal of discussion on the growing institutionalization of website investing, as serious investors build portfolios of websites, and as private equity firms harness the power of online commerce to increase yield.

 

Flippa Reviews And Overview

The website has an average of 3.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot reviews.

Screenshot of Flippa.com review.

Here is an August 2020 review of Flippa.com on the Trustpilot website. 

 

 

One of Flippa’s main competitors- Empire Flippers– wrote an in-depth review of what they felt are both the strengths and weaknesses of Flippa that can be found here.

 

 

There are also many reviews of Flippa on YouTube.

Check out this video by the YouTuber Darrel Wilson for a website review and more information on how to buy and sell websites using Flippa.com:

 

Here is a video on Flippa by the team at Ahrefs:

 

And here is another video review of Flippa by the YouTube channel Surfside PPC:

 

 

Selling On Flippa.com 

Selling on Flippa.com is pretty straightforward. All the seller has to do is prove that they own the site, which they can do by adding a meta tag front tag, or by sending an email from the domain address. 

Then, the seller has to write a pitch themselves to say what the site is, why it’s good, and why they are selling. Flippa.com encourages people to offer as much information as possible, although the quality of these descriptions seems to vary wildly from seller to seller.

While it’s free to enroll as a buyer on the marketplace, sellers pay Flippa a commission to list website or other online business for sale on.

 

Buying On Flippa

Potential buyers can browse Flippa’s listing using a number of different filters.

Once they create a free Flippa account, they will be able to see the full seller descriptions when looking at each listing.

They will see the seller’s description, basic profit/loss numbers, and basic traffic numbers.

They will also be able to post comments asking the seller questions, and will usually be able to ask for ‘read-only’ access to the seller’s Google Analytics account associated with the property in question.

They can also exchange direct messages with sellers.

Once they make an offer and have it accepted, the sale enters escrow, and their money is kept safe by Flippa until all agreed upon metrics of the sale and transfer are complete, at which time their money is released to the seller (and the seller’s commission given to Flippa).

 

Types Of Web Properties Sold On Flippa

There are a wide-range of online businesses sold on Flippa. These include…

‘Review Websites’ monetized through the Amazon affiliate program, such as review sites about barbecues, couches, treadmills, or any other type of product sold on Amazon.

‘Content Websites’ monetized through affiliate networks like Clickbank, such as blogs about weight-loss, diabetes, prepping, and similar focuses.

‘Content Websites’ and News Websites monetized through advertising, such as Google Adsense or a native ad network like MGID.

Dropshipping companies and ecommerce stores generally.

Amazon FBA Businesses.

Agencies that provide services in fields such as SEO, web design, etc.

SaaS companies.

YouTube channels and Instagram accounts (though these appear to be rare on the platform as standalone properties).

Apps.

Domain names.

 

Here is a screenshot of Flippa’s marketplace showing listings of web properties for sale:

Flippa marketplace screenshot

 

 

Flippa And Security

Flippa has very specific rules on security, fraud-prevention, and identity verification.

They don’t seem to require public disclosure of identity to other marketplace users, but do require the verification of identity on the backend, before one can buy or sell a web property.

They also discuss in detail on their site their compliance with various banking and privacy regulations, and how this relates to buying and selling through their marketplace.

For a full breakdown of this information, visit the Flippa Policies area by clicking here.

 

Example Of How A Flippa Transaction Might Work In Practice

As a hypothetical example, let’s take a made-up woman named “Daisy”, who has been managing a content blog on flower arrangements that she started several years earlier.

She has a number of dedicated readers, she knows that her site ranks in Google Search for various terms related to flower arranging, and she has made a moderate income from the site through several affiliate networks.

She has moved onto other passions however, and would like to sell her website as a result.

To this effect, she researches various avenues through which to list her website for sale, and ultimately settles upon Flippa.

With help from the Flippa team, she crafts a detailed description of her site, including it’s traffic numbers and profit/loss numbers, and lists it for sale.

She takes comments and direct messages from a number of interested parties, answering their questions and concerns, and eventually accepts an offer from “Matt”, who wishes to buy the site with the goal of expanding it and increasing its revenue through additional monetization streams.

Matt’s money is kept in escrow while the sale is finalized and all parts of the website and the overall business are transferred to him.

Once the transfer is complete, the funds are released to Daisy, apart from the commission Flippa keeps for helping her sell the site.

 

Conclusion

Flippa.com has clearly at this time become the dominant name within the world of online business marketplaces, and their trajectory looks set to continue on an upward ascendance. For more information on selling or buying from Flippa, you can visit their website here.