Case Study: Experience Flipping Websites Leads to a Gem
Case Study: Experience Flipping Websites Leads to a Gem

We love to hear exciting stories about sellers flipping websites on Flippa. While quick Buy It Now purchases and Private Sales are good, they don’t quite have the exhilaration that auctions offer! That’s why we were particularly enamoured with the auction for five months ago.

Have a look at this video tour to see how the bidding action played out.

Five months after this great auction, we had a chat with Bidder 8, who, it turns out, is Brett Reilly, also known as WittyHost. As you’ll read below, he is still thrilled with his website purchase.

How did you hear about Flippa? Was this your first purchase?

I’ve been a loyal SitePoint fan for years, even before Flippa was created from the SitePoint Marketplace, and used to browse the website listings often. It was only after SitePoint Marketplace switched to Flippa that I got my first experience flipping websites, After the excitement over my first established website acquisition I continued to scour the marketplace for another potential investment.

Had you owned many websites before buying

I’ve owned about 30 websites over the past 8 years, all created by me, mostly niche websites that focused on AdSense revenue. I was always leery of purchasing a website from an auction after all the marketing scams I’ve read about, and felt it was too much of a risk.  But after spending countless hours creating and optimizing these websites, I realized that there is a way to properly assess and buy a website in order to minimize risk.

How did you find this specific site?

I finally came across (in my eyes) a hidden gem, WeLoveWP, a Famous WordPress Design Gallery that features only WordPress websites users submit.  I came across this website a lot, even before I started buying websites, when searching for WordPress design inspiration. I was shocked to see it for sale on Flippa!

I see you bid above reserve, then used the Buy It Now option. Were you concerned that someone else would buy the site before you did?

The bidding process was a little nerve racking but made it even more exciting when I was finally able to grab the website.  It’s important to look at which type of bidders you’re competing with, because I think their reputation shows how serious they are in acquiring a website.  There was another bidder who bid near the reserve price, so I quickly put a bid of $15,000 on the website.  I then realized that the Buy It Now was only $1000 more, and thought it wasn’t worth it to lose this beauty of a website for so little money.  If I’m going to put in a bid for $15,000 I figured I needed to step up and just secure it with the Buy It Now option.

What attracted you to this site? Existing revenue, user base, rate of growth?

I saw huge untapped potential when I looked at WeLoveWP.  I think that’s the key to buying websites on Flippa.  You can be conservative and look at revenue numbers and think that’s all you’ll make or you can look at a website and decide for yourself if you think you can take it to the next level.  When you see a website on Flippa that looks like a good buy, you just know it, because you already have a vision of how you would increase its revenue, not just sustain it.
WeLoveWP is certainly a famous WordPress design inspiration gallery, so I came across the website constantly in the search engines.  I loved the design of the website. The revenue attracted me as well, as did the potential revenue I felt it could make based on a redesign, added features, and a little passion.

What changes have you made since you purchased the site?

The website was completely redesigned into a modern thumbnail layout that makes it easier to browse through the gallery.  We also added another source of revenue through a featured listing section that allows a user to pay a small fee in order to feature their website at the top of the page for a month.  We’ve had good traction on the featured listings.

We also simplified a lot of the listings, and included a measure of viewer appreciation for each site.We’re very happy with the results from our changes so far and the vision is coming together faster than I expected, which also means my ROI will creep up quicker than a lot of bidders anticipated.  I saw a few comments about the auction on another popular WordPress website, and one of them stuck out to me:  “‘We Love WP’ does seem to be a bit overpriced at first glance”.  I looked at that comment and it fired me up to show everyone what potential I envisioned when I bought the website.  It was certainly not overpriced in my eyes, especially when you consider that we have almost doubled our monthly revenue in just 5 months.

Would you have bid on What kinds of questions would you have asked the seller? Let us know in the comments!

  • d3wlin

    Love this case study!

    Simple and so true,
    You can be conservative and look at revenue numbers and think that’s all you’ll make or you can look at a website and decide for yourself if you think you can take it to the next level.

    • WittyHost

      Thank you d3wlin!

  • omar6627

    So what did we learn here? a buyer with $15K in cash bought a nice site, ok, good for him, is that it? the questions posed are just so silly; did you about flippa? come on..don’t just put up articles for the hell of it, put something helpful or keep these kind of articles outside the main flippa auction page, don’t pop it up on the home page like it’s breaking news, please

    • Jordan

      I guess thats your point of view…you WOULD miss the point of the article since it’s about finding opportunities to grow your site investments quickly. Appears to be a concep your are not familiar with. I found this article pretty inspiring as I always look for the potential for growth in everything I do. Brett Reilly obviously has alot of experience when it comes to investing and making money on the Internet. This case study was extremely interesting and helpful.

      from having a narrow mind and not
      seeing the potential in

    • Ophelie at Flippa

      Hi Omar — sorry to read you didn’t find this post to your liking. We get overwhelmingly positive responses to case studies, as many buyers and sellers like to see the factors behind a successful transaction.

  • otensilnoel

    wow. congrat man. I have listed my worldpress site on there.


    Wow, the layout for We Love WP is very nice!

  • bluedianthus

    I really love this case study. I think it’s all about passion and some huge investment.
    And not to forget, to make the site up to the next level.

  • darrylhudson

    Anytime that you can get some type of case study about buying and selling online I think this is good info & intell thanks for this case study.

  • Collaboration Goodman

    Wow! 16k is totally overpriced. Even if it did double it’s revenue to 1600 and a profit of $1k per month, that still would take 16 months to get that money back.

    Most people i’ve heard from value a site at 6-10 times the monthly profit, and then go in and fix them up to get an increase in revenue.

    Anyways, i think that purchase was more of a “fan” purchase, than a super-smart investment decision.

    • james

      @Collaboration Goodman

      A fan purchase? Have you not read up on what type of ROI times are like? 16 months is still decent for a 16k investment. After that 16 months it’s all profit, never mind the extra potential. 1-2 years on most websites is common and even more depending on the brand, content, or niche.

      What other investments do you know of that ROI in 16months?

  • Collaboration Goodman

    By the way, this case study was great. I disagree with Omar, and find that it’s super interesting to see what the buyer did with the site to increase it’s revenues. That’s an education for free right there! This provides great value! Only thing i wish it had been done differently is provide more screenshots of before and after (the one that were shown in the video) for example.

    Anyways, thanks for this great case study! Keep them coming!

  • Sara J

    I really love this case study!