Flipping websites is quickly becoming one of the top business models in the Internet Marketing community. You buy a piece of property, in this case virtual property, you add some value to it, and you resell it for a profit. If you’ve done any kind of site flipping, or even if you’ve just thought about it, then you’ve probably heard about a site called Flippa. They are an online auction service, similar to eBay, for internet properties. They handle listings for blogs and websites, or even just domain names. Blogs, websites, domain names, membership sites, eBooks, you name it, you can flip it there.
Comparing their auction system to eBay’s is like comparing charcoal to diamonds. They do charge you a listing fee, a pretty hefty listing fee I might add, and they do let you set your own time limit on your auctions. For one thing, Flippa has a barely minimum verification process in place. Whether you are buying or selling, they have no control process in place, no monitors watching the listings, to prevent the person on the other side of the transaction from lying, cheating, and manipulating listings and pretty much just giving you their best shot right below the belt. Sites that are less than 24 hours old are listed as Premium Domains. Blogs that are nothing but the default Wordpress theme and a couple of PLR articles are listed as Unique, Customized Websites. And buyers will swoop in at the last minute to win the auction, then, after they’ve uploaded the site, they’ll file a dispute so they won’t have to pay for it.
I don’t even like to think about some of the comments I’ve seen on the listings at this auction site. Scammers like to watch for sites that are getting bids. Sellers are motivated to leave good feedback for the buyers in the hopes that the buyers will return the favor. Buyers have no motivation to leave feedback. Case closed.
Their method of ending an auction is also questionable. If you’re a seller, you have to sit for hours, watching to see if someone bids, because all bids require the acceptance of the seller. But if you’re a buyer, this system is even more frustrating. According to the stats that they list on site, they processed sales in excess of $110,000 within the last week. For a site that does that much business, you’d think they would have better control over the final transaction, the part where money and property exchange hands. Filing a dispute with Flippa if one of those parties does not comply often results in a vague answer, IF you get an answer at all.
It seems to me, that with the growing interest in site flipping, there should be a better alternative than Flippa. Where is the protection for the sellers? Are the buyers getting smarter? The buyers looking for quality are. I think site flipping is about to move onto a whole new playing field.