Update: Since writing this article, Flippa has come back to me and the CEO of Flippa, Blake had a comment:
‘Flippa has seen over $250m in website sales and we have a Net Promoter Score of 80. It’s not perfect but this is exceptionally high for a marketplace and platform of our size. We acknowledge that like all marketplaces we have a responsibility to ensure the community is safe and we will continue to work on this; however it should be stated that it is very rare that there is a scam on the marketplace and should our community members suspect a scam to be playing out, we ask that they contact support at Support@Flippa.com immediately. We will investigate within 24 hours.’
Like any other internet marketers, I am into buying and selling websites. That’s an equivalent of drugs for most marketers online and I am no different.
Now here’s the thing.
If you are trying to buy a website online, Flippa is one of the worst places that you can visit and yes, I am talking to you, new buyers.
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My Flippa review today is geared towards those of you who are interest in buying a website from Flippa. If you want to sell a website, maybe Flippa is still a good place as they carry a big pool of buyers and traffic.
However, I would recommend that you don’t waste your time on Flippa, if you are interested in buying a website.
Flippa Review: Scams & Shady Websites With Fake Promises
So one of my past time hobby is to go to website broker marketplaces and see their latest listings. I was doing the same one fine morning when I came across this website listing on Flippa:
This guy was selling a Dropshipping website (a dropshipping website is when you are the middle man and once an order is placed on your site, you go ahead and do the same order on a Chinese site like Ali-express for a cheaper amount and keep the middle portion as your profit) about Gauntlet.
In case if you don’t know what a Gauntlet is, it is a popular object from a Marvel movie which looks like this:
Nothing wrong with it being the Dropshipping site as it is a popular business model. Then I started to look at the numbers.
According to the seller, the website age is 5 months and he made $81, 667/month on average in those 5 months.
Alright, good for him.
I then looked at his profile (it is there in the screenshot above) and you can see that he already had a transaction of $5250 so he sold something on Flippa, not a new guy who’ll scam me, right?
Well, keep reading.
Now you might be wondering, why would someone sell something for $15,000 USD if it is making a profit of $81,667/month, right?
One answer might be that the product is super seasonal, but even then, keeping it a month longer will give him 5X the profit of asking price.
Doesn’t make sense, right?
To see where I can go with this, I sent him a message on Flippa and asked if he would do a deal for $5000.
Here’s the total conversation (read from the bottom)
He very quickly agreed to the $5000 fee for a site that according to him makes $80k+ month. I am sure he would have agreed to $500 too.
That’s what is essentially wrong with Flippa.
I then dug deep with his website and it was a fresh site, created on that same month, had no traffic from Google, the FB page had no ads running, the FB page had 3 likes and that’s it.
And that’s not an isolated case. Flippa has turned into this scam marketplace where somewhat experienced con-men are trying to sell you fake promise based websites and web-properties.
That’s why I would recommend that you stay away from Flippa , specially if you are new to the world of internet marketing.
If you are someone like me, you will never end up buying a shitty site on Flippa as you know how to look at the back-end, how to do your own due-diligence but if it is a regular person trying to buy a website to get into the game, Flippa will be a nightmare.
Flippa is one of the world’s biggest marketplaces when it comes to buying and selling websites. They are the oldest one in the game too which simply means that they get more visitors/month than any other website brokers online.
One of the major monetization methods that Flippa use to make money is charging the seller a one time fee + a percentage of the sale.
When you are a seller, trying to sell a site on Flippa, you will be paying them a $27 listing fee to list the site and then a 10% on the agreed sold amount if the site gets sold.
It is in Flippa’s best interest to allow everyone to sell there as they are getting a one off $27 listing fee which is bread and butter for that business.
I personally, haven’t heard of anyone who tried to list a website on Flippa and got rejected.
It just never happens.
When I was writing this article, I quickly had a look at the featured section of Flippa.
Remember, the featured section is where Flippa manually curate the best of their listings to appear.
Here’s what it looks like right now:
All of them are somewhat scams, but the obvious one is the third one (Bitcoin Profit Secrets.website). I mean, it doesn’t require you to be an Einstein to understand that a website can’t be sold for $16 if it is making a profit of $741/month.
What’s the Issue Here with Flippa?
The main reason why Flippa has turned into a dream place for scammers and dream-sellers is because Flippa doesn’t have a manual review process before any sites go up live to their marketplace.
They let you put your own numbers and they don’t verify if what you are putting is right.
I can create a website today, claim that it made $20,000 USD tomorrow and list it on Flippa day after tomorrow asking for a sell price of $30,000 USD.
Flippa will never ask me once for the proof of that $20k.
That’s where other website brokers come into play. Brokers like Empire Flippers will always ask for proof, will do their due-diligence and will look for things like natural curve of revenue.
Though it costs a lot more to buy a site from a broker like them, the risk is minimal.
Another option can be buying sites off Facebook groups.
I know this sounds crazy but if you visit some of the more popular Facebook groups around Internet Marketing, you will find enough people selling websites.
Make sure that you are doing your due-diligence and using something like Escrow as a middle man instead of wiring money to someone.
Again, this review is only to help you pick the right websites, not to discourage you from getting into the game.
Have you ever been scammed by Flippa?
I would love to know. Leave me a comment.