"I want to buy a website and start making some extra money online but there seems to be a lot of hype!...how can I know what is real and what is not."
Hype really is the key word in any sales driven industry so lets discuss some of the hype and discuss how you can determine what is true and what is gimmicky or even a scam...
1.Established Website: An established website is one in which it has been online for at least 6 months with the domain name. It is a site that has traffic and generates some revenue. Many website sellers or resellers will purchase a domain name and stick a site on it then list it for sale the next day as an established website...of course charging more for this. A domain name costs an average of $10 per year and does not increase the value of web design and programming by itself.
Determine if a site is "established" by first determining the age of the domain name. You can visit http://whois.domaintools.com to look up a domain name, determine when it was created, and view how many times it has changed servers and ownership.
2.Valuable Domain Name...worth $XX,XXX.00. This is the most ridiculous ploy out there. There are companies that will provide an over glorified appraisal of a domain name based on its length, words, and extension. This is no way dictates the value of a domain name. A domain name is valued by its presence, traffic, and profitability. If you are truly interested in a site with a domain name in which the sellers shows a domain name appraisal it would be advisable to contact the seller and ask for a copy of a certified appraisal. This is not a photoshop created certificate with a number in it. It is a certified appraisal from a legitimate appraisal company that charges for their services. They research the name and all the content and traffic that goes with it.
3.Website for 99 cents with no reserve. Wow that's great...who would not want to start a new business for only a buck...I should not have to say any more but...the catch here is either a simple designed affiliate site is being sold or a website that is able to be resold is being sold and the seller wants you as a hosting customer. Generally these are people that have signed up as hosting resellers and they will do anything to build up their clientele. The risk to you is resellers come and go like day and night. Some cannot keep paying their $50-$100 a month reseller account so all of their accounts get suspended (including yours) or in some case these guys will build up 500-1000 clients as quickly as possible and then sell the hosting company as established with customers. You never know who your server administrators are and never know if your site will remain online.
4.Seller is making sales of 5 times what everyone else is and sells everything he lists...he must offer superior support. Well...maybe...however since ebay changed their policy so people could not sell 1 penny ebooks in order to manipulate feedback and power seller status some have found other ways. To be a powerseller one must sell 100 items a month for 3 months straight or complete $1000 in sales each of 3 months. In other words if someone just getting into this business is willing to pay the fees it would make sense that they would bid their own auctions high in order to achieve that status. Do not believe everything you see in these sales. If you want to know the reputation of a seller and if his/her work is quality then email him for a phone number. Call and talk about what you would like to do and what it will cost.
5.Buy from us and we will submit your website to the search engines. Ok that is great to not have to pay for this as the search engines are key in getting indexed...but...it does not cost for you to do it yourself either. First of all Google, Yahoo, and MSN will be spidering your site within days of it being online without any submissions. Secondly you can find software that is free to use. It takes only seconds to submit your site. This is not really a service of value...its just more hype unbeknownst to the new webmasters.
If you are going to buy a business from a business then you should know who you are buying from and what you are buying.
Things to ask the seller:
1.Is this design created by you or your company or are you just licensed to resell it?
2.Can you customize the site to my specifications?
3.What is the legal name of your business?
4.Where is your business located?
5.How long have you owned the domain name you are selling?
6.Can you provide traffic and revenue details to back up your advertising as established?
7.What datacenter houses your servers?
8.Is this company a full time service company or do you do this part time after your other job?
9.What hours can I reach you to discuss my site?
10.If site comes with a domain name will the domain name be transferred to me right away?
Buying a website and operating a website can be an exciting and lucrative venture. The key ingredient to it's success is you...the webmaster. Your drive and ambition to drive traffic to your site. The website should have something to do that you can relate to...something that interests you. If you are into sports but buy a website about clothing then you will find the task of promotion tiring and ultimately boring. It is difficult to promote something that doesn't excite you. Do your due diligence in checking out the market. Perform searches on google and yahoo for keywords relating to the site you intend to purchase. And most importantly ASK QUESTIONS...this is YOUR investment and you have every right to know whats bull and whats true. Best of luck in your ventures!
Buying a Website Business
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July 8, 2008
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