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The Website Investor: The Guide to Buying an Online Website Business for Passive Income Paperback – April 7, 2015
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15. WHEN TO SELL AND HOW TO DO IT
This book is not about flipping sites per se, but many people love the thrill of the hunt and the even bigger thrill of the sale. Personally, I always hang onto sites that have steady financial earnings and are not too difficult to operate. As the workload grows, I delegate, outsource, or partner with other people to keep my time free to work on other projects. However, there are a lot of good reasons to sell, and I have sold in these and other situations:
• The potential sales value of the website was high, and I knew I could create a new site in the same niche and quickly replace earnings from the site that was being sold.
• The website had higher-than-expected customer support requirements, and I felt like my time could be spent on more profitable and enjoyable activities.
• The website was very dependent on traffic from Google. Though it was performing well, I had a sense that if Google changed its search algorithm again, the tide might turn. It seemed better to sell the site for ten months’ earnings than keep it and risk a traffic hit in the next ten months that would dramatically lower the value of the site.
• I had unwittingly acquired some sites that were legal to operate but pushed the limits of my own personal ethics.
• The website had lost most of its value, and I had no clue how to turn it around. I sold to avoid a total loss.
Website flipping is often compared to real estate flipping. However, beyond the principle of “buy low, sell high,” the two have little in common. After a house is purchased and remodeled, it needs to be sold or it becomes a liability. It is either tying up cash that could be used elsewhere, or it carries ongoing interest and tax expense. After a website is purchased and improved, it is a profitable asset, not a liability. So the rationale for selling a website is fundamentally different than the rationale for selling a house that has been intentionally purchased and remodeled for resale.
The business model of the website flipper is to look for hidden or potential value in websites and buy in at a good price point. The flipper then harvests low-hanging fruit by making relatively simple changes to the website that increase its earnings and overall value. The flipper then sells the website because its overall earning potential has improved, so he can get a much higher price. This strategy works well because the flipper has learned some specific techniques to improve website performance quickly, and those techniques are successful a high percentage of the time. The flipper may not know anything at all about how to take the website to the next level or may have no interest in doing so. Simply put, the flipper spends his time doing three things: buying, improving, and selling.
By contrast, the website investor also does some buying, improving, and selling, but because those activities are not passive, they don’t meet one of his main goals, which is to develop passive income streams to preserve his time for more preferable pursuits. I don’t want to be dependent on the margin of the next sale for this month’s income. As you browse through some of my reasons for selling, you will see a combination of risk aversion, financial prudence, time protection, and simple preference.
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Also, if you have a web property, reading this book will help you prepare your property to have the greatest value to a buyer/investor. If your site isn't making you any money, Mr. Hunt's information should open your eyes to a lot of excellent possibilities to create somewhat passive income from your site. It will also tell you what web property investors look for in a web business.
You'll definitely want to purchase this book if you have any concerns relative to acquiring a website (or investing in a percentage) -- don't let the "Passive Income" portion of the title throw you off.
Generally, a useful book due to the explanations with easy to understand examples. It's not simply a list, but answers the "why" in requesting certainthings from the seller.
Jeff is able to put down his experience on paper and his book will be my guide for buying my first website
(I highly recommend browsing auction sites like Flippa, ask questions and start with a small purchase to learn how the process works. This book will be a good guide to fill in certain blind spots that one may have just starting out in buying websites.) I read it at work while checking out auctions and thinking thoroughly about the process of evaluating websites carefully and patiently until you find the right pick for you. I bought a site just after finishing this book for a little under $200 to ensure I understood how to transfer a site and I was fortunate to have a very kind seller who was also learning.