Flippa.com: Flipping Websites

I decided to sell my Blog Aggregator + Feed Reader + Social Bookmarking site and searched for a marketplace to do it. There are numerous sites but one that stood out was Flippa.com. A website trading marketplace operating out of Australia.

Flippa.com stood out from the competition because it had many things right. Upon registering, they ask for several “trust rating” factors such as authenticating with your facebook account, verifying your phone number by calling it using an automated voice PIN announcer which you would then type in the confirmation box on the website.  Flippa also had a professionally designed website that is appealing. No wonder because Flippa was made by the guys who ran the Sitepoint Marketplace!

Pricing

They charge $19 for your first listing with discounts on re-listings. A 5% “success fee” is taken upon successful auction and could be paid by either the buyer, the seller, or split by both parties. The success fee is a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $498. Additional upgrades to your listing could be purchased such as making your title bolder, putting borders around your ad, privacy options, and a tweeting service that tweets your listing to Flippa’s 2,500 followers for a $50 fee.

My Experience

Listing was a breeze with their interface. Input boxes are there just waiting for you to fill them up. The only thing I didn’t like was their HTML editor for the Description Details box. It wasn’t much help when it came to creating a nicely formatted description. Though you can cut and paste from Microsoft Word.

I first listed my auction by setting a 30-day long auction, a high reserve price and a high “buy it now” price. It didn’t get much bid and views so I decided to end it earlier (7 days). Thankfully Flippa gives a discount to relistings.

Their blog was helpful. I read an article about Website Selling Strategies and implemented some of the tips on my re-listing. I set the auction to “no reserve”, meaning the starting price is $1 and there is no reserve to be met. I listed it on a Saturday morning (US EST) and only for 10 days this time. I also purchased all their upgrades except for the privacy options. The result? 510 views and 18 people watching the auction in just 3 days.

After listing, I was wondering why my ad wasn’t tweeted yet. I shot them an email over the weekend but didn’t get a reply right away. So I sent two more emails via the blog and their contact form. I was asking them about the tweet and how they handle failed auctions.

On tuesday morning I got a reply from Dave Slutzkin, Flippa Customer Support, telling me that they didn’t get back to me earlier because of an Australian Holiday. Fair enough, but I think they should operate on a global schedule – no holidays. I saw my tweet and he replied that in case of a failed auction, such as when the other party does not proceed with the transaction, you can lodge a complaint using the Flippa Dispute Procedure and you will get relisted for free and the upgrade fees refunded. The success fee should however be paid on schedule and it will be refunded when the dispute is approved.

Overall I’m satisfied with their service, but would like to see more competition in this area of website trading.

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