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Purchaser performing due diligence
Should I give away passwords

 8:20 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

A company has expressed interest in purchasing my site. We have already exchanged non-dislosures and they have sent me a Letter of Intention, aggreeing on a price and timeline (providing everything is verified).

I've already provided quite a bit of documentation. They are now asking if I could provide Google Adsense logon information so that they can verify income.

Everything has been above the board so far, they have a large number of sites simliar to mine, and I have no reason to suspect any foul motives.

The site in question will be sold for a fair ammount of money so I can understand them wanting to verify everything.

On the other hand, good intentions or not, I don't WANT to give logon information out.

I'm basically asking if this is normal. I know screenshots and CSV's can be tampered with, but I wasn't expecting to give away Adsense login information.

Input anyone?



 8:46 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

[On the other hand, good intentions or not, I don't WANT to give logon information out.]

I may misunderstand your question, but Google allows you to change the password and (altho reluctantly) even the email address. You could change the PW, give it to the buyers to have a look, then change it back later if it doesn't work out.

[I'm basically asking if this is normal]

If I were the buyer, I would be interested in checking every metric associated with the deal. It would seem to be a legitimate query, as long as it doesn't compromise your other businesses.


 8:47 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it possible for you to physically sit with them to view Adsense reports rather than proving your login details?


 8:56 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Happened to think of something else. In allowing them access to the new PW, you could lose control of access to this account if they changed the PW.

You will probably need to be present during the login session to control your interests.

Apologies for the scatterbrained response.


 8:58 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Give them the log in info? Not a chance.

Maybe offer to give them copies of your Adsense checks and screen shots of current stats, after getting specific approval from Google.

Beyond that, what you make from adsense and what they make from adsense are likely to be two very different amounts. It may well depend on what they would do with the site if they bought it.


 11:19 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Perhaps there's some kind of complex VPN setup you could use to demonstrate the account if you can't be physically located with them..? Just a suggestion...


 1:30 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can't physically be there and walk them through it, but its a good idea.

I'm thinking of the hybrid situation. Set up a time to walk them through it on the phone. Tell them the password when we get on the phone, walk them through everything, and then change the password immediately after getting off the phone.

Also, I don't think they use Google much. If they do its at least not as often as I do.

Because I've already given them several types of Google reports, the walkthrough will consist of quickly verifying the numbers. No wondering around through channel data.

Thanks everyone.


 11:02 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you've already given them Google reports I don't think they should require further more reports to assess your site. I think you should not provide them the login details.


 11:42 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

It would be trivial, imo, to fake Google reports. Perhaps using some sort of screen viewing software (them watching you) would allow you to show them the stats without revealing the password.


 11:44 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Cant you just take a screendump and send them that?


 2:36 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Someone you hardly know, but have exchanged cards and letters with, is seeking actual personal and physical access to your acct via you giving up your passwords so they can take a peek in real time instead of on paper?

Is this a business transaction or the brokering of an overseas bride? :)

Maybe I'm simply way too skeptical these days, but I think I'd (politely of course) tell them they are a wee bit nuts.


 9:46 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about sending them a video of you logging into your Google account (being careful not to display your hands typing the p/w)? You could have the videocamera looking over your shoulder as you scroll through the various reports.


 2:23 pm on Sep 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is no need for you to give them your passwords. Go and find your nearest lawyer, have them obtain the reports directly from adsense in your presence, and then certify that they are a true and accurate record of the report issued by Google.

Better still, ask your potential partner to appoint a lawyer of his or her choice to undertake the work.

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