br> br>

How Long Should I List My Auction For?

Wed, Sep 3, 2008


For those of you that are new to site flipping, this seems to be one of the more popular questions.  Since I’m answering it almost daily anyway, I think it’s time to post it here for all of you to see.

Here’s the deal.  When you post an auction, you are giving up a lot of the liberties that normal salesmen have.  A salesman at your local Best Buy has an edge on you due to the fact that he gets to go face-to-face with potential buyers, feel them out, and develop rapport.  You don’t have this, so you have to improvise.  I’m not saying that selling online is HARDER than it is selling in the real world, but it’s not entirely the same.  You need to be a bit more creative, and you have to work a lot harder to show perceived value for an item that your customer can’t touch or play with.

If you go back to sales 101, one of the most profitable things you can do as a salesman is to create urgency.  For this reason, I list most of my auctions for a period of 2-3 days.  That’s it!  Any longer and the potential buyer might see it on the first day, and then say to himself, “I’ll check back later in the week to see what the bidding is up to”.  You DO NOT want to give buyers an opportunity to watch your auctions, and make an educated guess on what it will go for.  You want to sell the site as soon as possible, and the only way to do this is to create urgency.  2-3 days doesn’t give buyers time to fall into the “I’ll check back later” trap.  It forces them to take action, and to do it right away!

Why not let them take their time?

Because you are selling online.  It’s not like you can pitch your product, drop a business card, and let them sleep on it like an offline salesman would do.  You have to create the illusion that if they don’t ACT NOW then they may be passing up an opportunity.

In case you were wondering.  Most auctions of mine on Sitepoint sell within the first 24 hours.  Why?  Because I apply offline sales tactics, in an online world.  I paint a picture that shows the value in what they are looking at, which gets them excited, and then I force them to take action.  There are many ways that online selling parallels offline selling, but in order to take advantage of these, you need to be creative, and find ways to implement them in an online world.

The true benefit of online selling is that you have the potential to reach many more customers than you would in an offline world.  Most auctions see about 2-4k visitors in just a few days.  It’s up to you to capitalize on that kind of attention.  Remember, it’s all about creating urgency.  You have to have the mindset that if you miss one buyer, there are three more behind him that would love to take his spot.

I Love Social Bookmarking

16 Comments For This Post

  1. Sly from SlyVisions dot Com Says:

    I wish I could have read this earlier! I have just put up my first site flip project on a 14-day auction a few days ago. The only reason I put it up that long was because I thought some people would miss out on the auction if I didn’t have it up long enough. I guess I’m wrong and will be doing 2-3 day auctions next time. Thanks for the tip Bryan.


  2. Mark Cuda Says:

    Thanks Brian, I’ve used this technique in my blog sale: hope it works out!


  3. Paul Says:

    Nice article Bryan, it’s extrmemly nice from my perspective, to see someone explaining things like the basics. One question I did have is how to write your pitch on somewhere like sitepoint.


  4. SuiteJ Says:

    I believe every one of my sites has sold within 24 hours as well (or 48 at the latest when I choose to add the BIN after it started), and I agree with your 2-3 day philosophy. I would always set a duration of 3 days for my daily ebay auctions for those same reasons and did well with sales.

    That being said, I almost always list my SitePoint auctions for 7 days. Even though my sites always sell fast, I just feel more comfortable having the extra days “in case” I miss that perfect buyer in the first 48 hours.

    Also, depending on the details and the price, I think a longer duration (up to 7 days) could be beneficial if you have a site worth a high value, where you might have potential buyers that need a little time to investigate, ask questions, confirm stats, secure the funds, refinance their home, sell the family pet, etc.

    @Sly: Where’s your site auction link?



  5. Justin Says:

    Hmmm. 3 days or 7!! Just when I thought I’d have an answer!

    HaHa..I think both approaches are good examples. Also I would recommend to anyone to read some information on writing sales copy. Not necessary but it would come in handy when applying sales tactics to the online world and creating a sense of urgency.Anything to squeeze more juice from the money tree right?

    Just an opinion but I would think to pay attention to the calendar as well. Is it a holiday that could affect when people are by their computers? Of course having a weekend in your listing is always good.

    Thanks for the Info Jay and Brian.


  6. Breakaway Says:

    Yah… i had one site listed for like 9 days… and a buddy said to drop it to at least 7….. but the 2 sites I have sold have been within 24 hours (hitting the buy it now, making me think it should have been higher) but yah, it’s still way more than I thought and others estimated (*COUGH* SuiteJ *COUGH*)


  7. SuiteJ Says:

    @Justin: Yeah, weekend is good, but I’ve also done deals (in general) with several people who actually are “offline” on the weekends. That’s why I feel better with a few extra days, just to cover all bases and reach all potential buyers “in case” it doesn’t sell in the first 48h. I think 3 days is good for small sales/new sites though. I just perosnally like 7, it’s worked for me every time. Maybe it’s part superstition now? lol

    @Breakaway: LMAO! Man, I’ll never live that down. Am I the only one that came in under what you sold it for? Maybe I was trying to grab it at a “good deal for myself”.

    Congrats again on the sale though.

    Cheers guys!


    Bryan Clark reply on September 3rd, 2008:

    Yeah, 2-3 days is great for new or somewhat inexpensive sites. Anything that you are going to sell for quite a bit, list if for 7 days, although if it’s going to sell for top dollar, it’ll be within the first few days.


    Breakaway reply on September 3rd, 2008:

    @Jay … nah man… no one (even me, thought it would go that high)

    @Bryan … whats ur stance on setting a reserve?


    Missy reply on September 4th, 2008:

    Nice flip. It sold for a good chunk of cashola.


  8. Ryan @ Smarter Wealth Says:

    Great post, really smart thinking.
    I have done this before and had great success. I think I might do this again later
    ….next time I flip a site


  9. Mike Says:

    You can now flip blogs over here: You might want to check that out.


  10. Missy Says:

    I notice that when a site is in big demand, be it because of its niche, income, or design, it sells fast.

    There is one seller (i wont name), that everytime she puts up a site, it sells like hotcakes. I’ve not seen a site of hers, not sell fast.

    But as with all, there are exceptions.


  11. Jay Says:

    Then what’s your take on BINs? Set them or no?



    Missy reply on September 4th, 2008:

    As for BIN, i wait for demand. If there is good demand, (then a higher rather than lower) BIN should be added. But if there is little demand, go with a low BIN.

    The cool thing with BIN on SP is it can be changed. It’s about demand.

    But also i think that if you want a quick flip, and you truly have a price in mind, then set it at the get go. Why wait. (for quick flips under $300, set a BIN)


  12. Breakaway Says:

    @Mike … If that is your site…. flipping domains for the buyers, doesn’t sound too fantastic. For sellers like us, it’s fantastic. Plus, not everyone sells blogs. Good luck with it, but I’ll stick with reputable sitepoint, and a lil less reputable digitalpoint…. because i can at least see trading histories, etc.


  13. Mike Says:


    No, it’s not mine. But I think the way it is ran is more like Craigslist, whereas sitepoint is like an ebay for websites. Apples to oranges.

    BTW - digitalpoint is horrible, I would never do a transaction there, personally.


  14. Bryan Clark Says:

    I agree that Digitalpoint is terrible, but it does have bargains from time to time, and at least with iTrader, you can see who you are dealing with. That site you posted might be okay in the future, but right now it looks like it was built with yahoo site builder, and it has no traffic. Defeats the purpose of listing a site for sale.


  15. Missy Says:

    I truly don’t trust DP at all. It has become a scammers haven. There is something about it, that just doesn’t inspire confidence anymore. As for feedback, i read somewhere the more sophisticated scammers will simply buy someones account, feedback and all.

    Even though SP has a charge to it, i think this fact alone keeps lots of scammers away. I’m not saying there aren’t scammers on SP, but i do feel it is safer there.

    The $10 and $20 listing fees help keep out the weeds. My 5 cents. I’m kinda new to this whole site flipping deal, so i’m no expert, am simply stating my experiences and feelings on the matter.


  16. Mike Says:


    Yeah I agree the design is boring as hell but I do enjoy the ease of posting.


1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Saturday Updates and Links Love | Says:

    [...] Clark explains how long you should list your auctions when selling your website. Most of the information is pretty much what I already know, but it will [...]

Leave a Reply