Before I start the Flippa review, I should tell you that there has been an 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.
Hi, I'm Khalid...
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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.
Flippa is a lower end marketplace for online business owners. It’s a pretty good place to sell your site if you don’t mind dealing with a lot of tire kickers. I can’t recommend that anyone buy a site on Flippa though. There are just too many scams out there
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.
Here's a Trustpilot review that I liked:
Transcription of the Video
Hello internet marketers. Thanks for checking out another video from how to webmaster. Today we're going to talk about flipaa scams. Flippa is considered the number one marketplace for buying and selling websites. As you can see here. However, well it used to be a very good marketplace for buying and selling websites, but nowadays it's filled with scammers, scam websites, bunch of low Cardi sites, and the proof is here. This is Alexa ranking and this is flippa. And as you can see, it's been going downhill for a while now. It used to be among the top 1000 websites in the world and it just been going down Hills for the last few years. This field, there are just so many scammers on here selling websites with fake income screenshots and a lot of people had been scanned here. So I want to make this video to show you guys what to avoid.
And I've been a member here for 12 years. Here's my profile. I've done 32,000 about $32,000 not a whole lot, but I've bought and sold enough to know what to look for. And I've been scammed myself a few times. So I have not bought a website from flipper for a long time. Now it just very rare to see a legit website that goes up for sale. Okay, so let's take a look at the most active websites on flipper. So here it is. These are the most active meaning it's got the most views, the most bids, maybe the most comments. So let's take a look at how these top most active sites, what they look like. And I'll tell you if, if you're looking at these side, you see how what to avoid and you should be very suspicious of any major claims. And I've already scouted some of these sites and here is one that looks pretty scammy.
So we got feeding fashion.com and I'm not 100% sure how legit it is. So you have to be the judge for yourself. Everything could be faked from income, screenshots, PayPal, screenshots, ClickBank, screenshots, JV zoo, screenshots, even videos you can be faked. And I'll actually make some videos on how a scammers can fake from their PayPal accounts, ClickBank accounts. And it's actually pretty easy. And I'll show you guys that in another video sometimes. And as you can see here, this guy's making $700 in profit and he's got to buy it now for $1,000. So he's making 1,300 every month in revenue. And that's, and where is that? $700 net profits. And he's going to let it go. $4,000 of easy money. Who in the right mind would do such a thing? And here's his pitch and he's got video proof, PayPal. So let's take a look at the most recent selves, October.
So let's check it out. Okay, so here's his screenshot. It's got a nice graph. So it looks at me and everything looks legit. But again, everything can be faked. So these numbers, I mean he can easily go into the database, add a bunch of fake orders, and easily inflate these numbers. That could be easily done. And, and again, the cells, we don't know where the traffic's coming from. So let's check out the traffic. And here's a newbie mistake. Nobody knew this all stats. This is all stats. Um, traffic tracking program. This is default for C C panel hostings. So our status, the is very, very bad for sellers. I mean if this, this guy has sold, let's see, 44 transactions, $48,000 and he's still using all stats, see how outdated the stats are and you're not going to get any good traffic data from using this program.
You got a new Google analytics or some other tracking or traffic tracking programs because this doesn't tell you anything. This doesn't tell you where the traffic come from. Sure, he's got a thousand something unique visitors a month. But where do they come from? Search engines or he paid a bunch of peop paper click traffic. So he spent $1,000 to make a thousand and he's saying it's all free traffic or he paid $5 on Fiverr for a couple thousand hits, easily done. So this right here tells me this guy is not legit. It's not a legit website. It's only been four months. So let's see if he actually is honest about the traffic. So he's Facebook advertising and Google ad words. And now I'll tell you one thing, Google adwords is not cheap. So he's getting a thousand hits. He's paying a lot for those. If it's party buyer's trafficked, he's not cheap. He's probably, he's probably spending $1,000 to make a thousand if that. And he's got 90% positive feedback.
So this seller's probably been selling these types of websites for awhile now where he starts a turnkey website, buys paid traffic either from Facebook or AdWords, pump up the earnings and then sell it for cheap and then repeat the process. And it's not a, I mean you got some, uh, some reviews here says after a while the seller doesn't even reply to you. And he sold a bunch of some other cheaper websites. And I mean, I think this guy, he would probably continue to send traffic for maybe a week or two after the purchase to make the buyer happy. And after they leave the feedback, then he would just stop sending those traffic. So I've seen this before, it's nothing new, so be careful again, if it's something too good to be true, it probably is like in this case. So let's move on to the next website.
Okay, this one bio links today. So it's a service selling some, a backlink buildings probably and he's making thousand 500 revenue and 1,200 net profit and he's selling it for close to 5,000 and again, a lot of these scams sites, they always start like it's always like a few months old. How can you build up a site, a few months old and then up to this much money that quickly unless you're paying for traffic again, you spend a thousand to make a thousand and then sell the property. So I mean it's a zero net income, but then the buyers don't know that. They just see the stats, they don't know where the traffic came from. There's always a few months old and let's just check out some revenues. Let's do the latest revenue is right here, October and PayPal. One of my favorite things, the PayPal screenshot. And in another video I'll show you guys how to fake this.
It's easy. And I'll even show you guys how to fake a video, proof of income. So it's pretty scary. I can't tell if it's real fake, but just based on just the, uh, this, the amount being sold and the age of the site, it just doesn't look legit. Let's look at the traffic. And again, of course he's gonna set, or at least he's honest that he's, he's partnering with the traffic provider. So, and this is no way, it's very, very hard to buy traffic, quality traffic for let's say 100 bucks here to make what he's claiming. So it's very, very unlikely. I mean, this is like the goal, the Holy grail of traffic right here. Whoever is buying it from, if you can get traffic for $100 to make $1,300 or whatever he's claiming, why would he give that up? Or why would the seller of this traffic source sell for such a low amount and put Google AdWords and Facebook ad traffic out of business, whoever this guy is, rapid old traffic provider and say he found a loophole at Google ad words or Facebook ads, he's not going to give it away.
Why would you give that away? It's very unlikely and I don't see any traffic stats. So that's a big problem. So again, this side, I want to say it's a scam and we got 55 beds. So these people got gonna going to get hurt. I think. So I've seen these before. Again, a lot and a lot of these sites are on flipper every day. There's a bunch of these kinds of sites, four months old, thousands of dollars per month. Okay. And the next website I want to take a look at is this one gadgets, future brand new sites, drop shipping store, 9,000 products. So I'm 100% sure or at least very sure that the content is not unique. If he imports a bunch of products, uh, the, there are softwares and programs that does this and they just copied descriptions from the manufacturer or whatever he's copying from. And now he's selling for $1 a $1 reserve, pretty much no reserve. And this guy has been doing it for awhile. It's got 160 transactions. So he pops up these easily cookie cutter websites or it has a very nice look for sure professional. But these could easily be set up with a WordPress site and a few plugins. You can get this set up yourself. And he's telling people the dream, um, the potential revenue of $500 a day for a turnkey site, pretty much. So there's just a lot of things to watch out for for sure. And I wouldn't say this is a scam site, 100%, but I'm sure he's trying to milk a lot of money from this starter site claiming farmer dollar a day, a potential.
And this side's only Ashley. Today's date is November 8th and the domain register was November 2nd. So he registered this and a few days later he popped up his site and now it's on flipper. Well, here's another potential scam site. Food wr.com it looks like a, just a regular blog about food and drink. It's making $300 in profit and this guy is selling it at $1, no reserve. The site age is one year old and you can see the trend. It's always stats for a few months and then nothing before that. Always a few months. And then they flip it every single time. And you can see here is automated income. I mean you making automated income, easy money, $300. Why the heck are you selling it for a dollar? No reserve doesn't make sense. And again, the traffic shoots up like crazy one day and shoots up like crazy. What happened? So of course he bought traffic and you could see he bought it from a bunch of lower quality countries, organic search page views.
I will not, I mean that's very unlikely that he's got a good ranking. If if you have good organic search ranking, you wouldn't, it wouldn't be. It wouldn't be happening overnight like that. It'll be slowly, slowly getting traffic organically. There's no way organically you can jump up overnight, 10,000 visitors overnight. That would be a miracle. So he bought traffic and I don't know if he's gonna claim that he bought traffic. Let's see how honest this guy is. I tried searching for traffic and he does not mention how he got his traffic. Big red flag. I am very surprised. Uh, he's got 100% feedback from 23 transactions.
He's a big red flag. He's got no traffic, he doesn't mention, but where he got traffic from, just pretty much social media accounts and he doesn't link to them to show us where the traffic's from. You just mentioned up here, the majority is from organic search. So like Google search engine, 60% almost social is very, or 20% but he mentioned nothing about organic traffic here. So no idea. So if you're asking a lot of questions like that, then just Paso just don't even think about buying the site. Two minute red flags, you know, something's wrong. So I would say this is a scam site. So here's what legit businesses are selling for. So I'm still at flipper and they actually, I think this is something new businesses, so they're not even calling it websites, even though I think these are mostly websites. So they call it businesses and they're selling from 500 to half a million plus. And these are the types. So let's check out some businesses from 10 grand to 50,000 I'm not going to go into a lot of these website details, but I'll just tell you, I'll just show you what like the profit and what they're at asking for. So this guy's making
900 almost 900 net profit, a nine 40 revenue, and it's a private listing. So I'm not sure. I saw with industry's internet, so it was probably some kind of website and he's asking $22,000 which is more reasonable. So usually websites, if it's, if it's a website and you're earning, let's say $10,000 in profit, usually they're going to sell it for 10 times more than the monthly earnings. So he's making a thousand. Usually they're going to sell it for 10,000. That's usually what the buyers are looking for, 10 times their earnings, monthly earnings. Well, and that depends on the business. Of course, if it's like an automatic, um, something that's automated where you put in very, very little work, then uh, then you can sell for a lot more. But if it's something where you have to actually work at like a drop shipping site, eCommerce site where you have to manually drop ship filling the orders or e-commerce where you have to fill in the order, ship the products, then the asking price may be, or 10 months or less, depending on how much work you put in. Like blogging, if you're making $1,000 net profit per month, but you have to do a full time blogging, it may not be worth as much. If you're going to spend 40 hours or a week on the blog just to make $1,000 a month, then you're not going to say I was high 10 times the earning price. So let's check out some others. So again, legit sites, they're going to sell for 10 times, 20 times the monthly earnings.
So these are legit sites. They're not even on the options cause they're not, they don't want to sell for low. So I hope this video helps in your decision to buy a website. I flip out or anywhere else, do your homework. And of course anything can be fake if it's too good to be true, it usually is. And in my next future videos, I'll show you guys how scammers are faking PayPal screenshots and videos. So look out for that. Thanks for watching. Check back to how to webmaster for more internet marketing tips and tricks. Until next time, happy marketing.
Here's what someone on Truspilot said:
It's a marketplace so expect a few scams and bad websites/products on it. The searching experience is good, there is enough assortment to go through but for someone who is not doesn't know how web business works, it's hard to choose a good listing. Support is not good at all. They usually pass you around.
I totally agree. Read more of those reviews here.
And that was my Flippa review. Have you ever been scammed by Flippa?
I would love to know. Leave me a comment.