Buy an existing website

Growing an online business is no easy feat. Establishing an audience and waiting for your website to grow can be a fraught process. Buying an existing website enables you to skip some of the hard work — for a price.

Buying a Website Provides Significant Perks

Purchasing a website which has been around for at least one year will indeed provide significant perks, but that will largely depend upon which stage the website is at, which will determine its worth. The better developed the network, the more expensive the site. If there is still much legwork to do, you may get it for a bargain price. Many factors will influence the price, such as a good domain name, recognizable brand, good traffic, social media presence and a large list of email addresses for existing or prospective clients.

Review Your Finances

Review your finances and decide how much you are willing to spend on the purchase and subsequent management of the business. This will help you decide which types of websites are within your budget.

When buying a website, you will gain full control over it. An existing website should come with an established group of customers, trained workers and clear financial statements defining operating expenses and sales forecasts.

Do not Expect an Easy Ride

But bear in mind that if there is no established vision and growth plan for the venture, you may struggle to expand it. Also, bear in mind your own ability to run the business. If you have no experience in online retailing, is it really a good idea to buy an online marketplace?

Be sure that you have plenty of time to manage the hand-over and subsequent running of the company. If you own a website, you have a responsibility to maintain it, and the jobs of those whom are employed by it. If you’re not up to the task, do not buy the business expecting an easy ride.

Where can you buy a website for sale?

There are established marketplaces like Ebay and Flippa for buying and selling websites. To find the best deals it may be better to look beyond the initial search results. You should look not for well-optimized sites that have no further room for growth, but for decent sites that need work but have growth potential. The more extensive research you conduct in this phase, the better the purchase you will be able to make, in terms of cost, fit and potential.

Buying the Website

When you have a website that fits the bill, you should take certain steps to assess it. It’s very important to check the site’s backlinks, its history and whether there is any feedback on chatrooms, forums or a comment system you can use to assess the website. Also look thoroughly into the design of the front-end: the structure of the website’s links, headlines, titles and any keywords that are in use.

Making your Initial Approach

When you are confident enough to make an offer to purchase a website, you must contact the owner – there is usually contact information on the website itself, or if the website is advertised on a marketplace or forum, there will be contact information there. A good idea is to introduce yourself (not too formally) to the owner via email, registering an interest in acquiring their asset.

Negotiating the Price

Like buying anything, such as a used car, a negotiation will take place, if the website owner is happy to sell. A small website could be easily transacted in a matter of days. A more established business will require more assessment and it will therefore take longer to move over the website to a new owner. You need to know everything about the site — its user statistics and then revenue, costs, profit and other key financial information. Ask the hard questions about contracts, cash flow, inventory and any leases involved. A small website owner may bite your arm off at your first offer. A savvier owner will seek out a higher price.

Seeking Professional Help

You may wish to seek professional help at this stage, such as a lawyer or an accountant, who can evaluate the website and the contracts involved in the deal. It is essential that you do the following:

  • Transfer the domain name registration details, along with the business name and any potential incorporation details and software or subscriptions owned by the website. You need to ensure that your name is on everything.
  • Create a contract formalizing everything that will change hands in the deal.
  • Define a hand-over period in which the current owner can transfer the necessary information.

Ultimately, buying a ready-made online business can help you avoid having to get the website off the ground, including the hard work it takes to create the website design, craft content, build backlinks and generate revenue. An established website can be a wonderful framework that you can use grow a business, by adding content and improving SEO. But you will need to do your due diligence to make sure you buy the right website and do not avoid sinking money into a fruitless venture.