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Two companies interested in buying/investing in my website

What do I need to know?

     
11:37 pm on Apr 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm posting this under a different account, as my usual username gives my site away.

I've been running my content website for 8 years. It doesn't earn a great deal but it's enough to pay me a wage. We've won a couple of awards and have featured in mainstream media.

Recently, two separate companies, both with e-commerce sites selling the product my content site is about. Both the companies are big deals, and not small companies.

They are calling me the week after next. What should I read / do to prepare myself?

2:52 pm on Apr 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Well the most important question I can come up with is

1-what do You want to do Sell or continue to run the site with investors.

This is a serious question that you need to answer as to the direction on giving some hopefully helpful advice.

Admitted it isn't making but enough to supply you with a salary so one thing I would be really slow to provide is the revenue it is generating.

1:32 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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A number of questions and thoughts:
  • Have you ever been contacted by other companies about selling? If no, is there a reason why these two companies are contacting you now at almost the same time? Are they secretly working together?
  • Do you want to sell the site anyway, or is there a future with the site if you'll stay the owner?
  • You are talking about "buying/investing". Does this mean that they have talked about becomming co-owner together with you? I would be cautious about such constructions. What if the site future is not what you or they intended? I have bad experiences with sharing power and revenues in businesses, especially if it is with people who contact established businesses and want a share. They often go for the quick bucks and don't have high ethics.
  • Have these sites advertised on your site and may they have insight info on traffic/visitors to your site based on these ads? This could work both for, and against you in negotiations.
  • How are your rankings in Alexa and on other public ranking sites? Is your traffic going down? They may use it against you claiming it's a now-or-never offer. If traffic is climbing, just sit down and relax, they know it and may come with a higher bid if you refuse the first.
  • What type of site do you have? Content mainly about the products they sell, a broader site which may help them to diversify, a complaints site which they may want to shut down by buying it?
  • What kind of future do they have in mind? Do they just want an established domain with backlinks or are they interested in the content. Will the site remain as it is, will the content be integrated in their main site or stay separate, will they fill the site with spam links for short term SERP boosts?