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Selling A Web Site
liquidstar




msg:789524
 3:03 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have any experiences selling a complete website? I've found a lot of info on domains, but I'm looking at selling an small e-commerce site (only about $1,000/year net). It has been a hobby, but it's taking too much time now that I've gotten married. How do you go about selling a purely internet venture? I'm talking, images, product (in this case it's just graphic templates so nothing physical), page rank, domain name(s), etc. Is it more marketable since it ranks #1 in SEs for it's keywords even though it's very specific? I'm just lost on this right now. It's only getting about 230-250 unique user sessions a day on average so it's far from bigtime. Where do I go from here? eBay? Are there other options? How do I valuate it? Thanks.

 

rogerd




msg:789525
 3:07 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

For the small $$ you are talking about, I doubt if conventional business brokers would touch it. eBay was the first thought that came to my mind, too, although I haven't checked to see if they do "business for sale" listings.

Mardi_Gras




msg:789526
 3:10 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

liquidstar - typically you would look at the revenue stream and come up with a cap rate. A $10,000 purchase price would return 10% per year to the investor.

In your case, I think you are going to have to work at convincing someone that the site COULD make a lot more money (you know, the typical e-commerce stock sale ;)). A $1,000 income stream just is not likely to atract many takers. If I value my time at $100 per hour and the site takes 2 hours a week to manage, I'm spending $10,000 of time for $1,000 in income. I think you need to show some upside!

brotherhood of LAN




msg:789527
 3:13 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Mardi, I have something similar in mind.

Since you put it in terms of ROI (works for me), would most interested parties be looking for a 3-5 year ROI??

I remember reading up about e-comm's not really making money in the first couple of years, so perhaps it is reasonable to sell a site at a price where you would get a return after 3-5 years...

Mardi_Gras




msg:789528
 3:20 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

would most interested parties be looking for a 3-5 year ROI??

With any kind of active investment (which I suspect this site is)I think you are on the money with a 3-5 year payback.

I always believe in selling the sizzle and not the steak. With an income stream of less than $100 per month, there is not much sizzle here! That's why I think this needs to be sold on the basis of what it COULD generate. Even at that, it will be a tough sell.

rogerd




msg:789529
 3:22 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I missed the valuation question. Valuing ANY business is pretty tough. This business is perhaps even more difficult, due to the fact that the revenue stream is probably a bit more dicey than a brick-and-mortar business. (Think of the impact of a surprise PR0, a major algo change at Google or other major SE, etc.)

The big question in valuing a business like this is what its growth potential is. The bigger the potential, the more it is worth. Of course, you have to convince a buyer that the potential is real and that with the right steps it can be achieved.

Conventionally, a valuation of ten times annual earnings is a starting point ($10K in this case), although during the dot-com boom you could probably add a few zeros onto that number. If the earnings forecast looks shaky, then it could be lower, of course. One problem is that such a small business kind of falls into the "not worth the effort" category unless the growth prospects are strong. An investor could put his $10K into bonds or equities and get an annual return close to your $1K, and not have to do anything.

IMO, your ability to sell this at all depends on your ability to convince someone there's a pot of gold in the future. Good luck!

vitaplease




msg:789530
 3:24 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

liquidstar,

it could be worthwhile for someone in the same area/theme/category

the links from your site could be valued at pagerank, depending on your Pagerank.

[webmasterworld.com...]
and
[webmasterworld.com...]

liquidstar




msg:789531
 3:38 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the quick responses. Really, I'm not looking to make money, just get out from under it without upsetting any of the relationships I've built with customers. I think there is pretty good upside, but I don't see it ever making more than 5K a year. Maybe I'm short sighted though. I'm just hoping to get about a thousand dollars, and was wondering if that was reasonable. Really appreciate all the info so far.

liquidstar




msg:789532
 3:39 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

oh, btw PR is 5 down from 6 a when everyone's dropped one a couple of months ago.

pageoneresults




msg:789533
 3:39 pm on Jul 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'll agree with vitaplease and the others. The site generates very little income (>$100.00 per month) and that alone will prevent selling the site as an income generator.

vitaplease brought up your best alternative and that is to look for others in your industry who may be interested in the domain, the PR and any other useable information from the site.

You may also be able to set up some type of referral program. Keep the site, but send buyers to someone that you've worked out a commission deal with. Ask them if they want to maintain it.

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