Anyone looking to buy a website or sell a website on Flippa may have noticed a few recent changes to our site rules.
We thought it might be best to do a notification of these changes on the off chance that a seller somewhere might agree to abide to these rules without reading them (yes, we know this NEVER happens!).
Since Flippa’s inception, we’ve required any website or domain for sale on Flippa to be an exclusive listing.
The reason for this is that if a website is being auctioned in more than one marketplace (do others exist?!), the winning bidder in one marketplace will not win the site. Because of our dual listing rules, bidders on websites for sale on Flippa can be confident that once an auction has passed reserve, the highest will secure ownership of the website.
So what is the rule change?
While dual listings are clearly not workable for auctions, it can be done for private listings as the seller is simply receiving offers from prospective buyers. Website buyers never know what other prices are being offered and as a result there is no transparent competition between buyers.
While our sales stats indicate that a website is three times more likely to sell at an auction than at a private sale, these private sales can arguably be listed in multiple locations without upsetting any price mechanism. In recognition of this, we’ve limited our dual listing rules to apply to website/domain auctions only.
Potential Revenue Claims and Guarantees
Our recent blog post on the value of potential revenue drew a range of passionate responses.
For all the debate, there was little, if any, defense of the practice of putting seemingly firm figures on potential revenue or traffic. While Flippa has always required sellers to provide workings for potential revenue or traffic, we’ve updated the Flippa Site Rules to make this more explicit and reduce any risk for buyers. Note that simply multiplying Google’s search volume for a keyword by Google’s PPC price for that keyword is obviously NOT sufficient. We’ve also added that claims to specific potential revenue or traffic numbers are expressly forbidden in listing titles.
There was furthermore no active defense of buyer guarantees. In addition to this, buyer guarantees are both legally complex and ultimately not enforceable. In the interests of buyer safety, buyer guarantees are no longer allowed on Flippa.
Depending on the significance of the violation, listings that we find to breach rules will be suspended or otherwise corrected by our support team without notice. Eg a title of “Website with potential to earn $10,000 per month with #1 keyword in google guaranteed” will end up as “Website”).
Most readers will not be directly impacted by these changes: private sales are only a fraction of websites sold on Flippa and most sellers are already doing a great job of avoiding blatant potential revenue/traffic puffery. We like to think that these changes will indirectly enhance the Flippa experience for everyone as a result of more flexible listing options for website sellers and a dependable purchase environment for website buyers.
While we have no immediate plans to back out these changes, we’d love to hear your views. Will the relaxed dual listing policy result in more private sales? Will tighter potential revenue rules result in fewer websites for sale? Let us know in the comments below.