So, you’ve decided you’re interested in investing in websites but you’re not sure where to look? No worries – I’ve compiled a pretty comprehensive list of places where you can find established websites for sale.
Even if you’re not ready to buy and you’re still working on improving your due diligence skillset, the list of sites below should still be pretty useful to you. The best way to get better at due diligence is to practice on live sites. Looking over a range of live listings will help give you a frame of reference of A) what kind of sites are available in the market, and B) how to differentiate between legitimate, quality listings and low quality trash.
A good portion of the initial due diligence on a site doesn’t require any information from the seller. If you want to go more in depth with your DD on a site, in many cases sellers and brokers are happy to give you Google Analytics access on a site after a message or a quick phone call (brokers will use phone calls to screen out people who’re just mining for data).
I’d also advise that you focus your efforts on the marketplaces and brokers where there are websites for sale in your price range. Due diligence on a $3K site is not the same as due diligence on a $30K site. As your price range goes up, both the difficulty and the nature of the due diligence that you need to do will change (e.g, if you’re buying a 200K site, you’ll need to do legal due diligence, think about taxes, etc.)
Anyways, without further ado, here‘s a comprehensive list of places that have established websites for sale. I’ve provided a little bit of commentary on the brokers/marketplaces that I’m familiar with.
Marketplaces with Established Websites for Sale
Undeniably the most well-known website marketplace, but has a little bit of a bad rep for being too much of a free-for-all. My experience is that there are indeed many scammy sites, but that there are also hidden gems if you’re patient enough. In my opinion, there’s no better place to try and pick up lower-tier sites ($1K-$10K).
No experience buying on here. From a quick glance, it seems like there are tons of Starter Sites listed here.
This marketplace seems to be a mixture of domains and websites. Briefly looked over some of the listed sites – there do seem to be some established sites there but the search functions aren’t as robust as Flippa and I saw that even when I filter for Websites there are still many listings selling Domains only.
SideProjectors is a site where people can sell their side projects. I haven’t bought anything from Side Projectors, but it seems like the sites listed there tend to be SAAS sites or web apps. The site is more for developers, so it may not appeal to everyone – but if you have coding chops, you might be able to get an awesome deal on a site that requires a little more technical knowhow.
Never been on this marketplace before, but it looks to me like most of the listings are of dubious quality. Seems like loads of starter sites and sites that don’t have audiences.
Haven’t actually gone through with buying any sites from EF (sites get snatched up really quickly in many cases), but I’ve talked to many people – both on the buy side and the sell side – who think that they’re awesome.
Sites listed typically range from $5K-$100K, but recently there have been many sites listed of EF that are priced higher than $100K so don’t count them out for more expensive sites.
Missed out on a site with FE recently – I can personally say that they were very professional and were very responsive with communications. Sites listed on FE usually range from $50K-$1M. Normally, FE’s listings include sites that run the gamut in terms of online business models (content sites, drop shipping, ecommerce, SAAS).
Latona’s usually has a very wide selection of ongoing listings – the advantage of this is that there are more sites to go over, but the disadvantage is that they don’t do all that much filtering, so there’s a definitely a huge variation in the quality of the sites that are listed. I like to think of Latona’s as comparable to Flippa, except that you work with a broker instead of directly with the seller. Buying a site from Latona’s should be great as long as you treat sites listed there similarly to how you would treat a Flippa listing (don’t assume anything and do complete due diligence).
Quiet Light’s listings are mostly outside of my price range, so I’ve never dealt with them. I had heard that most of their listings are $1M+, but it seems like they have some sites in the $100K range as well.
Digital Exits is another high end broker that is outside of my acquisition price range. What I do know about them is that they put out great content, both on their blog and on their podcast.
Here are some more brokers – their listed lower simply because I have no familiarity with them at all – this isn’t a value judgment and this list is not any kind of a ranking of which broker has the best websites for sale.
BizBuySell (Generic, not online focused)
BusinessBroker.net (Generic, not online focused)
BusinessMart (Generic, not online focused)
Off Market Opportunities
This is (in my opinion) the most interesting way to buy websites. I’m working on a number of methods to get directly in contact with website owners who might be interested in selling. I’ve actually bought one website in a private deal already, and I was able to get a great multiple because the seller was eager to get rid of it quickly and didn’t want to go through a middleman.
Obviously, if you’re looking at doing off-market deals, you need to be extra careful with your due diligence.
The advantages of buying off-market are numerous
- The seller can avoid fees, which can in turn lower the valuation in your favor
- Some sellers may have neglected their site and might be surprised/happy to get anything for it at all
- Sellers have less expectations about valuations – you have more room to negotiate beyond the typical range of multiples.
Here are some basic ways that you might be able to find buying opportunities outside of the traditional channels:
Go through your network
If you have a network of relationships in the online business world, reach out to them every once in a while to see if there’s any sites they want to let go of. Many entrepreneurs get bored easily and like jumping from project to project, and a lot of times people in your network will have sites that they’re no longer inclined to work on.
There are tons of FB groups that revolve around online business and entrepreneurship. Occasionally you might see people in these groups expressing interest in selling – often, they won’t mention the site directly, but they might ask for advice regarding which broker or marketplace to use. Reaching out to these people and inquiring about the site might work, especially if they’re already familiar with you through the group.
There are more internet business forums than I can count. Some forums have specific areas for buying and selling stuff, and on other sites, you might see an occasional post about the potential of selling a site – again, reach out to these people to find out what they have on offer.
I’ve heard that outreach isn’t really all that effective as a method of finding sites to buy. I’m currently testing a number of outreach methods myself. Either way, if you see a site out there that you feel would be a great acquisition target, go ahead and reach out via email or phone. The worst that can happen is that the owner of the site doesn’t get back to you.