Whether you’re planning doing website flipping as a business model or just selling your first site as a hobbyist, no one really prepares you for what to expect from the potential buyers you’ll encounter.
Sure, plenty of resources are out there comparing website brokers, talking about commission rates, giving you an idea of the overall process, and even on things like doing private sales instead of using a broker.
Empire Flippers even has a few resources on the types of buyers, though I’m not really sure if that content is aimed at potential buyers or sellers (or both?).
But the main thing no one prepares you for are the REAL types of buyers that you end up dealing with.
This has been something on my mind recently as I was giving advice to a couple of people who are selling their very first sites.
So, I’ll share some thoughts based on my experience, as well as what I’ve recently seen with the people I’ve been advising.
What The Industry Says About Website Buyers
As I mentioned, Empire Flippers has a nice little breakdown on the types of website buyers that they’ve identified.
They’ve even given them some cutesy little names and descriptions:
- Newbie Norms – Does this shit work?
- DIY David – How can I improve this site?
- Portfolio Paul – What’s My ROI?
- Lifestyle Larry – Will this pay the bills?
- Strategic Sally – How does this fit into my business?
- Flipper Fred – What’s my upside?
For me, I think my website flipping experience has left me selling sites to people mostly on those first four types listed.
And few times, it’s been a cross between the Newbie Norm and Lifestyle Larry buyer profile.
Pro tip: Try to avoid selling sites to people who have never done this before, because most of the time it ends up being a nightmare scenario after the sale.
But when you sell a site, you normally don’t just end up dealing with the person who buys the site.
You deal with all of the interested parties, some of which don’t fit into those cutesy little types listed above — mostly because their behavior is anything but cutesy.
The 3 Types Of Site Buyers No One Prepares You For
I feel like the buyer profiles no one warns you about are:
- The tire kickers
- The cheapskates
- The gaslighters
And these people are the worst of the worst because they tend to take up the most of your time for no real ROI on that time spent.
I think I hate this type of website buyer the most because they ask you a million questions about your business, when it’s obvious that they have no intention of making an offer.
Most brokers don’t really tend to discourage this type of behavior, so when you’re selling via a broker you have to play nice with the tire kickers.
I’m not sure if tire kickers are really considering buying a site, or if they’re just trying to get as much data as possible so that they can build a competing site.
Either way, it’s a massive time-waster for sellers.
Sometimes though, I think the tire kickers bleed into the cheapskates and they’re really just trying to wear you down and get a deal.
It should be very easy to spot the cheapskates that are interested in buying your site.
They tend to come in with some crazy lowball offer that they think you cannot refuse.
Yeah, it’s usually pretty insulting to deal with these people.
I remember selling a site through Empire Flippers a few years back when a well-known SEO guru made an offer on my site…for $20,000 less than the asking price. (I later learned that he always does this.)
Like I said, cheapskate buyers are insulting.
This type of site buyer is really just out for the best possible deal, and they don’t really care about sliding in with a lowball offer.
Most of the time, you get this type of buyer when your site has been listed for at least a week on one of the marketplaces (with the exception of the offer I got from the guru, mentioned above).
I think this happens because they assume you’re desperate for anyone to make an offer.
The cheapskate site buyer sees the value in your site, but still just cannot justify paying a decent price for it to themselves.
That’s why it’s never a good idea to sell a site when you really need some cash flow, cause you just might end up selling at a fire sale price to a cheapskate.
Probably the most surprising type of buyer, at least based on the conversations that I’ve had with new sellers, is the gaslighter.
The gaslighter acts like they’re doing you a favor buying your site at the obscenely low amount that is offered to you.
That’s right, the gaslighter is also often a cheapskate.
You’ll be told that no one else will offer you such a high multiple (or sale price) as the gaslighter is presenting you. (this literally just happened to someone I know)
This will make you start to doubt the quality and value of your site – don’t believe them!
They’ll try to act like they’re not even really that interested in your site, in an attempt to get you to believe that no one else will be interested in it.
You’ll often be given a short time period to respond to their offer as they’re trying to get you to make a quick (bad) decision in their favor.
The truth is that if your site has attracted a gaslighter, then it is likely more valuable than even you realize.
And if you tell them ‘no’ and they come back at you with a slightly better offer, then know that your site is especially more valuable than you realize.
Do yourself a favor and try to avoid selling sites to gaslighters…unless you get the price you want for your site.
The last two-site package that I sold attracted a gaslighter who I ended up selling to because he finally offered an amount that was reasonable.
Though I do think it is rare for a gaslighter to bring their offer up to something that is acceptable, at least that’s been my experience.
Considering their personality type, I assume they just end up copying sites with the justification of ‘I tried to make an offer to buy the site.’
Note: I don’t know that gaslighters actually do this. I’m just salty about people being shitty.
I’m not trying to scare anyone away from selling sites, but I do want you to be aware of the worst types of buyers out there that you’ll likely encounter.
Sometimes you sell a site and don’t encounter any tire kickers, cheapskates, or gaslighters.
But, often, you do encounter them.
So, put on your armor and get out there.
Hey, I’m Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. I share how I do some of that on this website.