So You Wanna Buy My Website?

By Daniel Scocco

Pretty much once a month I receive an email from someone claiming to be interested in purchasing one of my websites. While I am not looking to sell any of them I obviously won’t turn down an offer with the right price, so usually I reply to those emails.

First of all the emails I get go like this:

Hi,

I represent company XYZ, and we are interested in purchasing your website. Please let me know how much it earns per month and how many unique visitors it receives, and we’ll make you an offer.

Best regards,
John Doe

Most of the time there’s no link to the company website, and sometimes the person is even using a free email service, which doesn’t help a bit. Either way here’s my usual reply:

Hi John Doe,

While I am not looking to sell the site, I am willing to discuss, and if the offer is right we might be able to do business.

Before I reveal any data, however, I would like to know your budget and what multiple of monthly earnings you guys pay, just to make sure we are on the same ballpark.

Best,
Daniel

Around 80% of the people never reply to my email. I guess those are the scam artists who were looking for a clueless site owner.

Out of the 20% who reply the vast majority say they are willing to pay from 10 to 12 times monthly earnings. In other words, a joke (i.e., 12x monthly earnings is a terribly low multiple). At this point I know I just wasted my time.

Once in a while someone will offer a more decent multiple, like 20x or even 24x, but those are still too low for me to sell.

I did sell four websites or so over the past couple of years, but all the deals were done via people in my network, website brokers or Flippa.com.

Bottom line: always be skeptical about people approaching you out of the blue wanting to buy your website. Ask a lot of questions and perform your due diligence to make sure you’ll not get scammed or sell for too low.




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15 Responses to “So You Wanna Buy My Website?”

  • Nathalie Lussier

    I haven’t had anyone approach me to buy my websites, probably because all of them are branded “as me”, so it would make it hard to maintain the integrity of the brand. But I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of what your criteria is, and how you reply to these emails. 🙂

  • Stephanie

    I get those emails too, and pretty much just ignore them. You’re right about them almost never being worth it.

  • Postergy

    What kind of sites are these that 24x gross revenues is too low a bid?

    The vast majority of pricing advice I’ve seen usually ranges from 12x earnings or (monthly revenues – monthly expenditures) * 24).

    In the first scenario, you’re paying 12x gross revenues and in the second you’re paying 24x net revenue.

    I can understand that you may not want to sell your sites for anything less than over the top of the range due to your personal commitment to them but you sort of make people who make completely reasonable offers sound like idiots.

  • Jane

    I get those emails as well. Most of the times I laugh and ignore those mails coz they also include the price they are willing to pay for my site!

  • ma saifi

    Please let me know how much price your website i want to buy

  • Idee Grill

    Once one of my blog fresh by someone with hrga over 1000 dollars but I am reluctant to take it off. now kustru more on blogspot experiment.

  • Rahul Kuntala

    Daniel, I thought you were selling DBT 😉

  • Blogging Tips

    Website value is determined by many factors – not just earnings per month- especially blogs like this which have a lot of authority. 12x multiple is extremely low for any site in my opinion.

  • Ehsan Ullah

    Daniel, I never received any email like that because I’m still at level of receiving guest posting requests lol.

    BTW Daniel, If someone is really interested in purchasing your website, how much times of monthly earnings will you ask them?

  • Zouras@How To Start Up An Online business

    Hello Daniel,

    Thank very much for this great information! Of course there are too many scams out there and guys you need to be very careful if someone approaches you very unprofessionally! You have to spend time and engage in forums in order to get some advice for your situation!

    Thank you,
    Zouras

  • Ted Wilson

    For a new site that has a few months of history you’ll get about 10 times your monthly revenue. Your claims need to be backed up with proof of earnings. But if the site has neither traffic nor revenue to show up, don’t expect much…

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Postergy, in my opinion 24x is a low multiple on most situations, regardless of other factors.

    Businesses tend to sell for 36x, 48x or even higher multiples, and a website is like a business if you think about it.

    I would only recommend people to sell for 24x if they needed the money. If they don’t, it’s better to keep the site.

    If you want the maths of it, here you go: Suppose a website makes $1000 monthly. If you sell it for 24x (so $24000), you are basically giving away an asset that earns an interest of 4% per month, or 50% per year. Now where on earth will you be able to find another one? Savings account? Not even close. Real estate? It’s between 0.5% and 1% of interest. Stock market? Might reach 4%, but might also become -4%…

    In other words, buying at 24x is a great deal for the buyer, not so much for the seller. Again, in my opinion, so feel free to disagree.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Ehsan, if I needed the money for some other project I would consider selling at 30x or so. Without needing the money probably 48x or more.

  • Daniel

    I have seen some interesting numbers being talked about, as far as calculating “what site should be bought/sold” for…

    Some estimates I have seen were quite low, which did make we wonder…which was due to a low number x monthly income model they were working from….

  • hitokirihoshi

    so far, the only proposal that i received for my site are pure ad placements. but i think your suggestions are still also applicable to my concern.

    right now, I don’t think I’m gonna sell my site but let’s see if someone will offer good price. At least I have idea now how to face this kind of palatable offer.

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