Flippa is a website where you can buy and sell online businesses. It's one of the most popular sites for this purpose, with plenty to choose from in both categories – routinely, new listings are added. The site provides easy-to-use tools that make it effective when selling a brand or business or finding a new venture for purchase.
There's an active community here, too, so users can get support around every aspect of buying/selling virtual properties, similar to what real estate agents would offer through their agency relationship programs or a CPA for business valuations.
This Flippa review provides a candid and complete look at how Flippa works, who it's for, and what alternatives might be better. Let's get started.
Overview of Flippa
Flippa is an online marketplace for buying and selling websites and apps.1
- Established – 2009
- Headquarters – Melbourne, Australia, and San Francisco, California
- Founders – Mark Harbottle & Matt Mickiewicz
- History – Flippa was founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz as the SitePoint Marketplace and spun off as a separate website in June 2009. By 2015, it had traded more than $140 million in websites, domains, and mobile apps.
- Revenue – 50% from website sales and 30% from domain sales.
- Users – Flippa claims to have over 800,000 users.
Flippa Review – What is Flippa?
Flippa is a website where people can buy and sell websites and other digital assets. The company has become one of the most popular marketplaces for buying and selling websites. Flippa allows users to list their websites for sale, and buyers can browse the listings and make offers.
The website also has a forum where users can discuss their experiences with buying and selling websites. In addition, Flippa offers various services to help users get the most out of their website sales. For example, the company offers escrow services to protect buyers and sellers and provides a marketplace for website domain names.
Overall, Flippa is a well-established platform that provides a safe and easy way to buy and sell sites. The Flippa team is progressive in making updates and releasing new features. Their first event, Pulse '22, was held virtually on October 13th to announce multiple new product launches. We don't cover those here but will update this article with links to those articles soon.
Types of Businesses Flippa Helps Sell
Flippa is a popular platform for entrepreneurs and investors looking to buy or sell an existing business. Flippa offers a wide range of businesses for sale, from small personal sites to large e-commerce businesses. From starter sites to well-established sites. There are also many different business types found on Flippa, such as:
- Affiliate Websites: Websites that earn revenue through affiliate marketing. These are typically content sites.
- Ad-sponsored Websites: Websites that earn revenue through Google AdSense, Ezoic, or another marketplace.
- E-commerce Stores: Online stores that sell physical or digital products. Dropship models and inventory-owned models.
- FBA and FBM Storefronts: Web stores selling on Amazon via a fulfilled-by-Amazon or a fulfilled-by-merchant model.
- Membership Websites: Websites that offer exclusive content or features to paying members.
- SaaS Businesses: Software as a Service businesses that offer subscription-based access to software products.
- Domains: Established domains and net new domains offered at varying price points.
- Starter Sites: Websites that may be designed but aren't launched or are not monetized.
- Mobile Applications: Mobile apps that are in development to apps that have been launched and are available in the respective iOS and Android app stores.
The above list is not all-inclusive; one-off types of businesses are sold routinely. We encourage you to check out the website for your particular entity type.
Price Range of Flippa Businesses
When it comes to buying and selling businesses, there's no shortage of options on Flippa. Whether you're looking for a small, niche website or a large, established business, you'll likely find something that fits your business budget. There are many high-quality sites, but you will also find low-quality sites and potential scams.
Businesses on Flippa are typically priced based on their annual revenue, with the vast majority falling into the $1 – $100k range. However, a significant number of businesses generate over $1 million in annual revenue.
Typically, you'll see a markup on the annual revenue between 0.5x – 4.5x, but the standard markup is roughly 2.5x-3.5x. If you see something wildly above or below that range, be cautious and perform your due diligence before making an offer.
Flippa Review – How Flippa Works for Sellers
Flippa offers a wide variety of features to help you evaluate, list, and sell a business, including a business valuation tool, the information required to list, and a host of seller resources on each part of the process and what to expect.
Flippa will help you set a reserve price and start an auction. They also offer a “Buy It Now” option if you're looking to sell quickly. Once your listing goes live, Flippa will promote it to its massive audience of potential buyers.
Here's how it works for online business owners:
Register for an account with all the relevant information. You'll be able to verify your identity and business throughout the account creation process. Seller verification is an important part of the listing process.
Next, create your listing and set a price. Be sure to include all the relevant details, such as traffic and revenue statistics, so buyers know what they're getting. Then, the Flippa Marketplace team of curators will review your listing to make sure it meets Flippa's quality standards. Once it's live, buyers can start placing bids.
You'll be able to use multiple data integrations to help with the vetting and data verification process. This is highly beneficial as most buyers won't even look at a listing that doesn't have some sort of data verification. Google Analytics is a popular tool used for data verification.
You can also add your listing as confidential and with an NDA during the listing process. You won't reveal your company name, personal information, or website address unless someone qualifies and signs an NDA or non-disclosure agreement, which you can review and approve.
You can accept or decline any offer, and there's no obligation to sell. When you find a buyer you're happy with, complete the transaction through Flippa's secure platform, and you'll receive your payment.
Flippa Seller Pricing and Fees
Flippa makes money off its fees, levied to sellers and buyers in different ways. We've broken down the fee types below.
Flippa Listing Fees
Flippa charges a one-time listing fee for every product listed on its website, regardless of the product type. This flat fee is $29 (as of 10/14/2022) and breaks down into Domains, Starter Sites and Apps, and Established Websites. The Standard listing package provides a 3-month listing duration, a discounted escrow, and standard reach. Depending on your chosen listing package, your fee structure might vary.
Flippa Success Fees
Flippa also charges a success fee, a percentage of the final sale value. The success fee ranges from 5% to 10%, depending on the sale price. Below is a breakdown of Flippa's fixed-fee pricing tiers and the adjustments each has for listing packages and fees. Please note that we created Tiers to separate these to make it more clear. Flippa does not use this terminology in its breakdown.
Tier 1: $1 – $9,999 – 10% fee w/ option to upgrade to Enhanced listing for $99
- The upgrade from the standard listing to the enhanced listing gives you an unlimited duration to sell, free escrow, and enhanced reach.
Tier 2: $10,000 – $49,999 – 10% fee, with three listing package upgrade options, Enhanced for $199, Premium for $299, and Ultimate for $399. See the pricing screenshot for more details.
Tier 3: $50,000 – $99,999 – 8% fee, with listing package upgrades that mirror the pricing of Tier 2.
Tier 4: $100,000 – $999,999 – 6% fee, with three listing package upgrades, Enhanced for $299, Premium for $399, and Ultimate for $499.
Tier 5: $1M – $4,999,999 – 5% fee, Sell w/ Flippa | 15% fee, Sell with a Broker
- Listing package upgrades mirror the pricing of Tier 4.
Tier 6: $5M – $10M – 4% fee, Sell w/ Flippa | 15% fee, Sell with a Broker
- Listing package upgrades mirror the pricing of Tiers 4 and 5.
Upgraded Listings and Promotions on Flippa
Flippa offers two options to help you get more exposure for your listing and sell your web property more quickly: upgraded listings and promotions. With an upgraded listing, your listing appears higher in search results and includes a featured image.
Promotions put your listing in front of more buyers through targeted email campaigns, social media promotion, paid traffic, and other means. You can choose to upgrade your listing or run a promotion (or both) at any time. Go to your listing page and select the “Upgrade” or “Promote” option.
Upgraded listings and promotions are available for the price points listed above, so you can choose the marketing boost that best fits your budget. Enhanced listings and promotion are typically well-suited for established sites, but starter sites usually stick with the Standard package.
Whether you're looking to get a little extra exposure for your listing or give it a significant boost, Flippa's upgraded listings and promotions can help you reach your goals.
Flippa Additional Seller Services
Flippa offers several additional services to help sellers get the most out of their sales. First, they offer an Escrow service that protects both buyers and sellers by ensuring that the buyer receives the domain or website they paid for and that the seller receives their payment.
They also offer a “StubHub-like” service called Auction Accelerator, which allows sellers to list their domain or website in multiple auctions to increase their visibility and chances of selling.
Finally, they offer a Promoted Listings service that allows sellers to have their listing featured prominently on the Flippa homepage and in email newsletters. All of these services help sellers succeed in connecting with buyers and completing a successful sale.
A seller can also choose to boost a listing with targeted advertising on Google, Facebook, and other platforms. These services are optional, but they can be helpful for sellers who are looking to generate more interest in their listing.
Flippa Review – How Flippa Works for Buyers
There are good deals and great deals to be had on Flippa. There are also terrible deals and more scams than there should be. Flippa also has features that make it easier for buyers to find the right web properties. For example, a search bar lets you filter results by price, category, and other criteria.
The first step is to create an account on Flippa. There is no fee to join or monthly subscription. Once you're registered, you can start browsing the marketplace. You can use the search bar to find specific items or browse by category.
When you find an item that interests you, just click on it to view more information. The listing will include details about the item, as well as information about the seller. If you don't see this information, the seller is likely using a confidential feature to maintain anonymity.
There are two types of confidential listings; those that require a signed NDA to be approved and those that need funds verification and an NDA. As a buyer, you can add your financial information at sign-up and get approved for a certain amount, which is what funds verification equals.
If you are presented with an NDA, you will need to fill out the NDA and submit it. You'll either gain immediate auto-approval to see the listing details, or the seller will manually review and approve based on your buyer profile and potential.
If you have questions about the item, you can contact the seller directly through the Flippa platform. When you're ready to make an offer, just click on the “Make an Offer” button and enter your bid price. If the seller accepts your offer, you'll be able to pay for the item and begin the transfer process.
In some cases, you will see a “Buy it Now” button on a listing, which means the seller has set a specific price, and if you agree to pay that price, you will successfully purchase that business.
Flippa Review – Account Setup
Setting up your account is the first step in getting started on Flippa. To set up your account, you must provide basic information about yourself. This information includes your name, your email address, and your password.
Flippa will also ask you to complete additional details about yourself and your business requirements. Some of these are why you are looking to buy, your financials, including a budget, deal size, whether you require financing and more. You'll be asked about your background, experience, business models, industries, and preferred location to purchase or sell.
Verification is the next step in the sign-up process. You must provide details to verify yourself and your business listing as a seller. As a buyer, you must confirm details about yourself and your financial status to gain approval to view certain listings.
The Flippa Search Process
When you're looking for businesses to purchase on Flippa, the search process can be simple to complex, whatever works best for you. Get started by entering a business type into the search field or browsing the marketplace.
From there, you can further narrow down your criteria using the sophisticated filtering system on the search results page by location and revenue, asset type, industry, age, profit multiplier, and more.
Once you've found a few businesses that fit your criteria, it's time to do your due diligence. Checking traffic statistics and financials will give you a good idea of whether or not a particular business is a good fit for you.
Finding a fit is a critical process for a buyer, so please do not take it lightly. Look at the financials closely, review the traffic, the website or application, and ask for access to Google Analytics, Search Console, rank tracking tools, and keyword metrics if applicable. One of the previous knocks on Flippa is false information provided by a seller, so protect yourself as a buyer.
As always, get an accountant or business valuation software involved or your attorney to help vet a business you might seriously be considering.
Flippa Business Review Process
Flippa's business review process is an integral part of the site. Due diligence involves a potential buyer investigating a business before consummating a transaction. This typically involves verifying traffic, financial documents, monthly profit, net profit, and other criteria.
One of Flippa's products is the Flippa Due Diligence service, where you can pay for Flippa's team of experts to conduct the evaluation for you.
In conducting due diligence, the buyer will usually request specific information and documents from the seller to confirm the accuracy of the representations made about the business. They may also ask for access to platforms like Google Analytics to verify direct traffic, organic traffic, and traffic from other channels.
The seller will often undergo a due diligence process to ensure they get the best price for their business and enable as much seller protection as possible. By conducting due diligence, buyers, and sellers can help ensure that they make wise decisions.
Flippa Business Buyer Fees
If you're interested in purchasing a business on Flippa, there are a few fees you need to consider.
There is no fee to set up an account and browse listings. There is a $5.00 hold placed on a credit card when you bid on listings. If your bid or offer is over $5,000, an additional $500 authorization is required at that time. This hold is made available to you in your account within ten days per your financial institution or credit card provider's policies.
Fees come into play if you successfully purchase a business. Flippa's escrow service charges a fee ranging from 0.89% for over $25,000 to 3.25% for anything $5000 and under.
There are also legal templates you can and should purchase to protect yourself if you choose not to engage formally with a legal advisor. These are priced at $99. A sales agreement should also be signed by both parties and provided to Flippa.
When considering a purchase on Flippa, be sure to factor in all of these costs so that you can come up with an accurate estimate of the total cost.
What Happens After Purchase on Flippa
Once you have completed your purchase, you are redirected to communicate with the seller or buyer to arrange the necessary transfer of assets.
You will find various helpful articles outlining the transfer process for different digital property types, including websites, native mobile apps, and domain ownership.
Flippa does not intervene nor participate in the post-sale process unless there is a problem, so it is best to ensure your responsibilities as a seller or buyer upon the successful completion of a sale or purchase respectively.
In addition, if the business sold includes any physical assets (such as inventory or equipment), the buyer will also be responsible for paying any shipping and handling costs.
Pros and Cons of Using Flippa
Flippa is an excellent resource for buying and selling websites, but there are pros and cons to using it.
- Flippa has a massive audience of buyers and sellers.
- The site is easy to use and provides many resources.
- They have their valuation tools and market insight tools.
- Flippa makes it easy to find websites that fit your budget and preferences.
- You can also see how much a website has earned in the past and verify these earnings.
- The cons are that the prices are often high, and the quality of the listings can be variable.
- If you're selling a website, Flippa makes it easy to list and manage your listing.
- Flippa does charge fees for both buyers and sellers.
- There's always the risk of scams or fraud.
- Sellers have been suspected of inflating numbers to increase the selling price.
If you're considering using Flippa or any marketplace of this type, be sure to do your research and proceed with caution.
Flippa's Valuation Tool
The valuation tool is an online application that allows you to estimate the value of a company. You can use the tool to input information about the company's revenue, profits, and assets.
Enter some information about your site, and our tool will give you an estimated value. The tool will then calculate the company's value and provide a report. Of course, no tool can give you an accurate number – ultimately, the value of a website is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
But the valuation tool can give you a good starting point for negotiating a sale price. If you're thinking about buying or selling a website, we recommend using Flippa's Valuation Tool.
Flippa Selling Tips
If you're looking to sell your website or domain on Flippa, making sure your listing is as effective as possible is essential. Follow best practices established for selling a digital business before and when listing. Follow the tips below when listing to achieve better results.
Be clear and concise in your listings
When creating a listing on Flippa, clarity, and conciseness is vital. Make sure that your title accurately reflects the item you're selling, and provide prospects with clear bullet points outlining the features and benefits of your offering. Fuzzy details will discourage buyers from taking the plunge.
Include as much relevant information as possible
Include all relevant information in your listing, such as traffic statistics, revenue figures, and growth potential. Use images and videos to help explain your business. Offer Google Analytics traffic data or access to Google Analytics to verify traffic.
Be honest about your website or domain's traffic and revenue. Anything that looks suspicious will be called out and asked about.
Price your listing realistically
It's easy to overvalue a product you've put countless years of effort into building. Try to follow the guidelines Flippa has for valuing your business, or use the Valuation tools to get a more accurate valuation.
If you overprice, your web property will likely sit there and receive no interest or bids. Do your research and price it accordingly.
Answer buyer questions promptly
Be prepared to answer questions from potential buyers. They'll want to know everything about your site or product, from traffic figures to average monthly profit to what's included in the sale. Being responsive and honest will give buyers the confidence they need to make a purchase.
Offer customer support after the sale
Once your listing has sold, it's essential to offer customer support to ensure a smooth transition, including helping the new owner transfer the domain, set up hosting, and anything else they need to get started. You'll create a good impression of yourself by offering excellent customer service and building a positive reputation on Flippa.
Follow up with buyers after the sale is complete
Once you've completed a sale, follow up with the buyer in a timely manner to ensure they're satisfied with the transaction. This is an excellent opportunity to build rapport and potentially create a repeat customer.
If there are any problems with the transfer of ownership or other issues, resolve them promptly. By following up and taking care of any problems, you'll create a positive experience for the buyer and solidify your reputation as a trustworthy seller.
Flippa Buying Tips
As a buyer on Flippa, you want to ensure you are working with a reputable seller and getting a good product at the best price for your needs. Below are a few things to keep in mind when making a purchase.
Do your research
Always research the seller you are buying from and the website you're buying. Take a look at the seller's history. How many sales have they made? What kind of feedback do they have? Ensure the website is earning money and that the seller is reputable. Most sellers want to sell and are listing on Flippa for that reason.
Set a budget and stick to it
Don't overspend on a website because you think it will make you money. Stick to your budget and only buy what you can afford. It's not advisable to buy over your budgeted amount for multiple reasons and fear of the unknown. For example, a Google algorithm update knocks the site off the first page of rankings. Or, Amazon changes its terms, and an FBA store suddenly loses profitability.
Check out the listing itself. Is it well-written and professional? Does it include all the information you need to make a decision? If not, move on. There are plenty of other great sites for sale on Flippa.
If a seller claims that a website is earning a certain amount of money, do your research to verify these claims. Verified earnings are probably the most important method in which to vet sellers.
Negotiation is the art of the deal
Don't be afraid to negotiate. If you think the price is too high, reach out to the seller and see if they're willing to come down. Remember, you're in control here – so don't be afraid to ask for what you want.
Questions to Ask Before Making a Purchase
Asking and, more importantly, getting answers to the following questions is paramount in your purchase process. Don't take the seller's word. If you can't validate the information below, don't make the purchase.
- How many visitors does the site get?
- How many downloads does the software or app get?
- Where do they come from?
- What's the domain history?
- Does the site have positive feedback?
- What percentage of them are returning visitors?
- What are the primary sources of revenue?
- Are there any high costs to cover after the sale?
- What do other buyers say about their experience working with this seller?
- How do the financials look?
- How long has the site or product made a profit?
- What are the monthly expenses?
There are many good alternatives to Flippa if you want to buy or sell a website. These include Sedo, MotionInvest, Empire Flippers, BizBuySell, and FE International. Each of these services offers a slightly different approach, so be sure to research to find the right one.
Sedo is one of the most established sites for buying or sell domains. They offer over 19 million listed domains for sale. They also have auctions for domains; deals can be found. The process of buying and selling through Sedo is simple and secure. Buyers who want to hire a broker will incur fees. A single $69 fee to hire a broker and a 15% commission if a domain is successfully purchased.
Sellers can list a domain at no charge but will have to pay a 10% commission or higher on a successfully sold domain. You can promote and sell your domain globally, and sellers can offer many options to enhance their listing.
Motion Invest is an online marketplace that allows users to buy and sell websites. They offer a quicker route to selling a website, and the websites available tend to be lower priced than on other marketplaces. They're a relative newcomer to the scene but cater to sellers whose websites haven't generated enough revenue to sell on other marketplaces.
They sell content-powered sites with all content in English, with high organic traffic, and make $20 or more monthly revenue. They do not sell websites that have not been monetized, eCommerce sites, dropshipping sites, or domains.
Empire Flippers is one of the leading marketplaces in the industry. They are a full-service brokerage offering a wide range of services to buyers and sellers. Their platform connects buyers and sellers from all over the world.
They have a team of broker management experts who assist in each step of the process, from vetting businesses to listing them on our marketplace. Empire Flippers only list businesses that are already turning a profit, so you can be sure that you're getting a turnkey business that will start earning you money from day one.
If you're interested in buying businesses in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars range, Empire Flippers is the perfect place to start your search.
BizBuySell is a marketplace for businesses and franchises. They have been around since 1996 and have completed over one million business sales. BizBuySell does not sell sites but businesses that include a website as part of the sale.
The businesses listed on BizBuySell are typically brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations. The listed companies tend to be small businesses, with the median revenue being $200,000. They are a division of CoStar Group, Inc, which also owns apartments.com and other high-value online properties.
FE International is one of the leading website brokers in the industry. They specialize in helping sellers exit their business with the highest possible return on their investment. They have a strict vetting process for the businesses they list on their platform. This ensures that buyers are getting a good return on their investment.
In addition to its role as a website broker, FE International provides clients with valuation and consulting services. They work with clients worldwide and typically broker deals for high-value online properties and businesses.
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Flippa Review Wrap-up
Flippa is a great platform to buy and sell sites and digital businesses. However, it's important to note that the quality of businesses available for sale on Flippa can vary greatly. There are often low-quality businesses listed on the platform, so you must do your own due diligence before making a purchase.
Our advice is to trust your gut. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is, and steering clear is the best advice we can provide. If you have bought or sold, we'd love to hear about your Flippa experience in the comments.
At the end of the day, if you're looking for a marketplace that offers a wide range of services and caters to both buyers and sellers, Flippa is a great marketplace. However, if you're looking for a marketplace specializing in high-value online properties, you may want to consider one of the other options in this article.
Flippa. (2021, November 5th). InWikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flippa