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How do you buy sites?

Discussion in 'Sites' started by DomainMagnate, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. #1
    Hello there.

    Well, I have some webmaster experience, but I never bought or sold sites.
    So I'm curious to know how exactly does it happen?

    Lets assume, you want to buy a site for some $100-$2000.

    Will you pay it all before the site and domain transfer, or do you pay the half only and the rest after..?
    SEMrush
    Also is there any way to ensure that you get a site you paid for, may be by any third party guarantee?

    thanks, Michael
     
    DomainMagnate, Nov 17, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. William

    William Well-Known Member

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    #2
    You can use escrow if you want to be safe. They keep the money safe untill you recived the site.
     
    William, Nov 17, 2005 IP
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  3. honey

    honey Prominent Member

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    #3
    Most of the times if you are buying through a reputed person on a reputed forum, you are good. But you never know.
     
    honey, Nov 17, 2005 IP
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  4. a389951l

    a389951l Must Create More Content

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    #4
    Yeah as honey mentioned a lot of trust goes into buying a site. When I first wanted to buy a site, I wanted to do the usual 50/50 to be safe. But noone would sell to me that way.

    You're best bet is to do a lot of research on the site & search around google for the site & person's username - you will be surprised on what you can find. It saved me from buying a lemon!
     
    a389951l, Nov 17, 2005 IP
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  5. l234244

    l234244 Peon

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    #5
    I got ripped off once for not being careful, I now use escrow or sedo. However, I dont think Ill use sedo again though, 10% commision is too much.
     
    l234244, Nov 17, 2005 IP
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  6. sji2671

    sji2671 Self Made Mind

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    #6
    There are always certain things you can do which has been touched on.
    Do a whois lookup of the domain and make sure you get a name/address that matches the sellers info, also send an email to the owner/admin contact email address for the domain and confirm it is for sale to make sure the seller controls the domain.

    If its on a forum google their screenname, ask about, ask for references if they have sold to other people.

    It is likely that you will be expected to pay 100% up front for amounts under $2k so be sure to do your homework, there are no guarantee's but you can minimise any risk by trading with reputable sellers who have experience.

    The internet is not that big a place when scammers try and repeatedly go bad on deals, these people and their screen names are often flagged around the main communities.
     
    sji2671, Nov 17, 2005 IP
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  7. DomainMagnate

    DomainMagnate Illustrious Member

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    #7
    Thanks to William, honey, a389951l, l234244 and sji2671..

    Could you explain how the escrow works n simple words?
    And after you've paid for a site, do you usually get it with hosting, or do you need to transfer both the domain and the hosting..?
     
    DomainMagnate, Nov 18, 2005 IP
  8. pyroism

    pyroism Guest

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    #8
    A lot of times having a signed contract is good to make things legit. I usually have each party sign a legal contract. Also, doing your due dilligence is key to preventing getting scammed.

    Escrow acts like a middle man who holds the money until the transaction is complete.

    It's up to the seller if he/she will give the hosting account with it, but in all my experiences, i've taken care of my own hosting.

    Good Luck :-D
     
    pyroism, Nov 18, 2005 IP
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  9. DomainMagnate

    DomainMagnate Illustrious Member

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    #9
    Thanks, What are some reliable Escrow compnies and what fees should you expect, also who pays them, the buyer or the seller, or both?
     
    DomainMagnate, Nov 18, 2005 IP
  10. andy_boyd

    andy_boyd Active Member

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    #10
    Buying a site is usually plain sailing when you are dealing with someone reputable, like Honey says. A couple of things I do before buying a site ...

    • Run a linkage data check using SEOBook's LinkHounds
    • Use the Neat-o backlink tool from WeBuildPages to find anchor text on inbound links
    • If linked from the Yahoo! directory, is it a recent addition with a recurring annual fee
    • Is it in DMOZ.org?
    • Does it have any .ac.uk / .edu / .gov links?
    • Ask about existing reciprocal links, will they stay up?
    • Ask if there are any paid links, if so what do they cost per month?
    • Establish the history of the domain using Whois.sc
    • Does the site rank in Google / Yahoo! / MSN? If so, what are the phrases?
    • Does the current owner buy traffic using PPC?
    • Get screenshots of income and traffic stats (Forget about Alexa)
    • Chat with the vendor
    • Check out their history on other forums by searhing for their name

    I tend to concentrate on getting a solid picture of the site's foundation because this is what will make you the money in the month's ahead.

    Once you are satisfied, go ahead and make the deal. Settle on a price and a timeline. Most buyers accept PayPal for smaller transactions. However, if you would feel more secure using an escrow service then go for it.
     
    andy_boyd, Nov 18, 2005 IP
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  11. roxy

    roxy Active Member

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    #11
    Andy has covered every thing :D


     
    roxy, Nov 18, 2005 IP
  12. DomainMagnate

    DomainMagnate Illustrious Member

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    #12
    One of the best posts I've ever seen :)

    Could you just give some details about this:
    What exactly do you mean and is there any way to check the domain's history, e.g. who onwed it few years ago?

    thanks, Michael
     
    DomainMagnate, Nov 18, 2005 IP
  13. petertdavis

    petertdavis Notable Member

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    #13
    He's probably referring to stolen domains. It goes something like this, someone steals the domain by cracking the owner's password transfer the domain to their own account and then immediately put it up for sale, and collects the money then disappears and the buyer is left with no money and a stolen domain.

    But, I think it can't be emphasized enough, know who you're buying from. Read a lot. Not just here at Digitalpoint, but other places like Sitepoint, Dnforum, Namepros, and so on. You'll begin to recognize the same people over and over again, you'll learn who are the people you can trust and who are the people you can't trust. Remember, if you see a site for sale on a forum and the person registered yesterday and this is their first post, you should have reason to be wary.
     
    petertdavis, Nov 18, 2005 IP
  14. Liminal

    Liminal Peon

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    #14
    Look for "Blacklist Status" field values in whois and make sure it says "Clear". The previous owner could have gotten the site blacklisted by sending out spam, etc
     
    Liminal, Nov 18, 2005 IP
  15. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Andy made a great post, for sure. One important addition, though. If you are buying a site which includes original scripts, text, images, etc, you should ensure that the seller has copyright for these parts of the site. Otherwise you could be landed with a 'please explain' letter from the copyright owner of the material concerned.

    I believe sites with lots of content that are selling for, say, prices above $2,000, deserve a sale contract to protect all parties. For highly priced sites you might want to insist on a clause that states that the seller may not enter into competition in the area of the site's content for a period of time, say, one year. This avoids the all too familiar situation of seeing your highly prized site competing with a 'clone' of it and diminishing your new site's value overnight.
     
    Rod, Nov 19, 2005 IP
  16. roister2

    roister2 Active Member

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    #16
    Andy, your a great mentor. You've got alot of experience.

    You're great!
     
    roister2, Nov 19, 2005 IP
  17. andy_boyd

    andy_boyd Active Member

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    #17
    Thanks for the kind comments, I really appreciate them. :)

    Absolutely agreed Rod. I'd add that to the list of things to check. Also, it would be wise to find out if there is any problem with the domain in terms of intellectual property. For example ... there have been recent reports that several iPod stores have been asked by Apple's legal team to stop using domain names containing their trademarked name.

    The last thing you want after spending your hard earned cash on a good site is to get a letter from a law firm asking you to cease and desist use of the name.
     
    andy_boyd, Nov 20, 2005 IP