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Trust Score is Dead. Long Live Trust.

As a website marketplace, we fully appreciate the importance of website buyers and sellers being able to trust the people they decide to do business with. Naturally this notion of trust is different for different people so, as of today, we are laying the single Flippa trust rating to rest.

There were three key reasons for us doing this:

  1. The weightings and values that the original algorithm placed on different components of a user profile were done at a point in time and could not hope to suit everyone. The importance one user places on an authenticated Facebook account won’t necessarily be the same as the next user …
  2. Once a defined algorithm exists, users who may not be so trustworthy may look at ways to game the system in their favor. Google arguably has the same problem with their search algorithm …
  3. The very notion of distilling a user’s trust profile down to one number over-simplifies the concept of trust. We have users on Flippa with a relatively low trust rating but I’d be more than happy to do business with them in a snap. Others have a high trust rating but have yet to make a successful website transaction.

To this end we’re dropping the notion of a trust rating and replacing it with a dual metric comprised of feedback and transaction size as well as a number of profile page enhancements that provide greater transparency on a given user.

So What Do I Use To Replace a Trust Rating?

Feedback/Transaction Metrics

Arguably, there is nothing to confidently gauge trust until someone has successfully bought or sold a website. In recognition of this, we are replacing trust with two metrics:

  1. % Positive Feedback: The proportion of the user’s feedback that is positive calculated as the amount of feedback divided by total feedback. For example, a user with 3 positive feedbacks, 2 neutral feedbacks and 1 negative feedback will receive a 50% positive feedback score. For sellers, this includes both transaction and quality feedback
  2. Total Transaction Value: The sum of all transactions conducted on Flippa. For example, a user who has bought two sites with a combined value of $12,000 who sold one of them for $11,000 will have a transaction value of $23,000.

Any users who have not transacted on Flippa before will be flagged as “new”.

Authenticated User Identification

In the case where a user has not yet bought or sold a website on Flippa, they are now able to provide further proof of authenticity by linking their profile to their facebook, linkedin or twitter accounts.

Note that this will provide a link on the user’s profile to the authenticated account on the respective social network. This will not appear for users who previously authenticated their accounts until they give Flippa permission to display – of course there is now no value in adding your facebook/linkedin account unless you do display it on your profile…

To add a social network profile to your own account, simply follow the instructions from the “Identity Manager” link from your dashboard. Be sure to click on the “Display on Profile” checkbox so that the icons appear. You can check out my account for a preview of how this looks.

Account Behaviours

In addition to the user-provided information, regular user may have noticed a few other components on the profile page that can be used to gauge trust. This includes:

  • Verified phone number details – on the basis that a fixed or mobile account is more authentic than a voip number and to flag where the user’s claimed country may be different to the country from which the phone was verified.
  • The number of disputes that the user has lost. If a user has lost a dispute, it is worth checking why.

Let us know your views about this significant change in the comments below. Will these changes allow you to buy and/or sell with greater confidence? Is this change more or less fair than the previous trust score?

Image: opensourceway

  • http://bobjones.nl Bob Jones

    So now I’m tagged as [new] user? Even though I’ve been active on Flippa for nearly 2 years.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Don’t worry – I’m in the same boat. It really just means that we have not yet bought or sold anything on Flippa just yet. We’d love to change it to something more indicative but could not think of anything appropriate (“voyeur” was not seen as being appropriate). Let us know if you have any ideas …

    • http://flippa.com/ Chris

      We just tweaked this so it won’t display ‘new’ if your account isn’t actually new. We were trying to think of a suitable word, but removing it entirely seems to make more sense. Open to suggestions on this.

    • http://www.pixloo.com Virtual Tour

      Time to buy some sites!

  • http://businesssavvystartups.com John

    Perfection. Seriously guys, this is an awesome way to communicate to buyers how much they should trust a seller! Awesome change.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Thanks John – we think so too 😉

  • CYBERAY

    Thank god !

    It is very important and very well change , now all new buyers will be protected at sales .

    Thank you flippa team

  • http://nythemes.com new york themes

    WOW this rocks, indeed a great improvement, for both sellers and buyers.

    This will “quickly” give both parties a better idea of who they are dealing with.

    thanks

    • http://salewebsites.net/ sale websites

      Yes, this point is cool.

  • http://www.android-update.org Android Update

    I think this is a good move! I already like the way the transaction value and my 100% positive feedback reflects beside my username. Shows my hard work for good customer experience will finally pay off in a good way.

    Also, for the members who have been around for more than 2 years or so…They can be termed as “Tenured Member” or something of a similar kind, so it shows that it is not just a random account which was created recently and is termed as “New”.

    Good move Guys! Appreciate the constant improvement that you guys bring to the site.

  • Sunshine

    Yes, it is a right and useful improvement.

  • http://www.iphone5cost.com William

    That’s a great move. It makes more sense. But it also means all my efforts to gain trust points go down the drain. e.g Linked account, putting in my iphone contact number etc..

    But will it become a numbers’ game?

    Let’s say:
    Two ‘flippers’ with 100% feedback and $10,000 transaction values- John and Doe.
    John: 100 transactions – $100 each
    Doe: 2 transactions – $5,000 each
    Which one is more trustworthy?

    Regarding the name to give to site veterans but flipping newbies, try a labelling scheme similar to forums. E.g. peon, grunt, master, junior, senior, veteran etc

    • Dave Slutzkin

      William,

      Yeah, agreed, it’s hard to distinguish. But while we expect this to be a useful signal of trust, it’s never going to be the be-all and end-all. Users should still always click through and review the information on the user profile for themselves – and that’s where connecting your LinkedIn account can give people much more ability to trust you.

      • http://www.iphone5cost.com William

        Maybe BOTH of them can be considered trustworthy. Since someone who can sell hundreds of $100 sites must be good at that doing that – selling 100 buck sites.
        On the other hand, someone who can handle high value sites may not need the transaction quantity to justify their credibility.

        I think that is the beauty of this new feedback system. Kudos.

  • http://atozautocar.com/car-wallpapers/ Car Wallpapers

    Nice effort! A solution to judge seller in quick way. How about improvement in feedback system.
    There are some aspect to assess the seller.
    It should buyer able to give multi rating; information accuracy, communication, fairness, etc.

  • Gian

    Instead of showing the amount transaction it could be like a star for each figure.
    If user sold $1000 dollar worth then it’s 4 stars
    If $10000 then it’s 5 stars etc

    • milicon

      Why stars? We are doing business here, not hanging on forum so we need to think hey this guy has 10 stars, he has to have $250000 in transactions… I really like the way you have done this, really great thing and VERY clear to show info about seller or buyer… Really nice job done!

    • http://www.iphone5cost.com William

      How much is considered the ceiling? E.g. if 5 stars is $10,000, what happens if a new cap is reached e.g. $20,000? 10 stars? And $50,000 = 25 stars?
      Stating the actual value is much more transparent and meaningful.

  • http://BusinessOnline.ph Dave

    “there is nothing to confidently gauge trust until someone has successfully bought or sold a website”
    What about users who bid on an auction, win it and then do not pay? Is there a way to punish these users when they do not have a valid reason for not completing the sale? Or possibly a way to provide feedback either from the seller or directly from flippa in cases where a dispute has been lodged and flippa decided in the favour of the seller?
    I had one sale fall through and looking at the user, it is displaying the price they bid and never paid for my auction as part of their total funds paid for sites. This is misleading and would make anyone think that they have paid that price for auctions, when in reality they have not.

  • http://chickencoopguru.com chicken coops for sale

    “Trust Score is Dead. Long Live Trust.”

    The king is dead. Long live the king. So goes the metaphor and I really appreciate your using it for writing blogposts.

    There is a reason for metaphors and analogies in use in the language. It makes it easy for people to convey the message.

    You did a great job here and clarified the doubts and so this blogpost achieved what it’s supposed to do. 🙂

  • http://www.flippingplanet.com Thomas

    This is a good update. Now just change the extended feedback period to 1 month from 6 months and everyone will be happy 🙂

    • http://www.followstocks.com followstocks

      I agree, I don’t know how many people wait until the last couple days to leave feedback for a transaction that was completed months ago. Chances are they have purchased the site…might have become bored with it and then Flippa sends out an email reminding them of the money they put into it. Who’s going to get it…the buyer. Bad feedback, for no reason really. After a month, you should have a fair idea of what you purchased and be able to leave proper feedback. If that’s not the case, I don’t know why you don’t just leave it open for feedback forever and maybe just stop sending email to remind them to leave feedback. If the user has truly had a poor experience, they are NOT going to forget to leave feedback telling the buyer about it.

  • http://www.fiverrarbitrage.com Fiverr Arbitrage

    Great Improvement – I think this was a much needed change and more accurately reflects the rating of the buyer/seller.

  • http://www.downloadx.org Matt

    Feedback is enough, simple and should do the job. Thanks

  • http://gotwarcraft.com/ Greg

    How about something like:

    Member (of Flippa) since: mo/year
    Domains sold: X
    Domains bought: Y
    Value of all transactions: Z

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi Greg – how about websites bought and sold? At the end of the day, folk are going to want to see different metrics against a profile. To this end, we’ve brought it right back to the basics and each user can use the wealth of information on the user’s profile page to make their own call on whether or not they wish to do business with them.

  • maxi

    it’s a good move but still I want to see the improvement in payment system, especially escrow to provide less dependency on trust. Seller, even when using escrow.com can be scammed. Will it be better if flippa can provide a risk free domain escrow service? by then, seller and buyer don’t have to worry about trust because they know they won’t get scammed.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      HI Maxi – how would a “risk free domain escrow service” differ from the escrow.com offering?

      • http://these Maxi

        Hi Andrew,

        I’ve learned a fact that escrow.com check domain whois to make sure the domain is transferred to the buyer or not. This is quite a flaw, if the buyer doesn’t have goodwill, he changes the domain whois after receiving, what can seller do? I like service like sedo escrow, they hold and check the domain before transferring to the buyer, not only whois. This will eliminate the risk for the seller.

        Thanks

        • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

          Thanks Maxi – I’m guessing this is limited to domains registered with Sedo …

  • http://www.aspidoff.com Serg

    Thats a great way to separate quality buyers from the flakes. Lets make a seller top and compete for those transaction amounts! 🙂 hehe

    • http://FlippingEnterprises.com/ Bryan

      This has actually already been done a while ago 😉 (by third parties)

      Check out http://FlippaLeaderboard.com/

  • http://www.computer-games.biz Computer Games

    Feedback is most useful. I must say, I like the new trust score.

  • John

    I love it….MUCH needed change and I appreciate you making it!!

  • http://amaraqwebsites.com Nicole

    This is a great change that makes total sense. Great job Flippa!

  • http://azblogtips.com Tinh

    Great improvement, not every long time but not active buyers & sellers are the top ones 🙂

  • David

    This is so much better than trust score. Thank you.

    A suggestion, simply add 1 measure:

    number of transactions

  • BobKnobbins

    Hi, great post. Look at the picture of “trust” it totally looks like a big goatse. Lol!

  • http://Noonanco.com Tommy

    This is great! I wonder if there is a way to see a list of the top sellers on Flippa?

  • Mark

    ok, looks good, but there is one problem.

    If someone registers a new account, bids for fun and wins one or few auctions with no intention to pay, his profile will automatically display dollar amount – the total value of completed transactions, even when the bidder did not paid yet for any.

    This can be misleading to sellers because sellers may think the bidder is a serious buyer because already had some high dollar transactions, but in reality the bidder only won but did not paid for any yet and maybe has no intention to pay.
    It will take several days (about a week for the dispute process) to find out if he actually pays or not, by that time the bidder can do a lot of damage fooling sellers he had several completed transactions and can be trusted.

    There is no way to know if a new bidder with $2K in transactions is actually a serious bidder or just went on a bidding spree for fun before bidding on my auction.
    I don’t think that not completed transactions should automatically show as completed.

    By the way, I think it would be nice feature to allow sellers to see who is watching them.

    • http://www.strongwords.ca Jim

      I think this could be handled if there was a delay on applying transactions to an account and/or if older transactions were duly noted. For example, go beyond “total value” in the profile, to indicate some dates of transactions. If I have several deals staggered over several years I’m quite likely a good citizen. (Which I have, and am :-))

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hey Mark.
      If a bidder does not pay, the resulting dispute will wipe the transaction from their total and they are more often than not suspended. Very soon we will also be displaying a count of lost disputes on the user’s profile to ring alarm bells. Just to be clear, transaction value only reflects undisputed transactions.

      Allowing sellers to see who is watching them is a frequent request however we have no immediate plans for providing it – primarily because it is open to abuse and can lead to spam.

      • Mark

        Yes, but before the dispute wipes the transactions from their total or gets them suspended, it will take 6 days or more (3 days wait to file dispute + 3 days wait for them to respond, many more days if they pretend they intend to pay soon).
        That means for at least 6 days non-paying bidders can look like serious buyers because high dollar amounts will show in their profiles as completed transactions.

        For example, a new user bids $4000 and wins, then 5 minutes later bids on another auction of a different seller. The seller will see he has already $4000 in transactions so he will think the bidder is a serious buyer and will approve his bid. But the seller doesn’t know the $4000 showing as completed transaction was just a winning from 5 minutes ago and not actual completed transaction.
        The bad bidder can do that for at least 6 days before getting suspended, in that time fooling many sellers with his high transaction totals to gain more trust.

        Or another scenario: user bids and wins 10 auctions for $3000, giving him $30K next to his username in one day. The next day he lists a site for sale for some quick scam. Bidders will see he has $30K in transactions on Flippa, it will give them impression he can be trusted with so many completed high dollar transactions, they don’t know the $30K is from non-paid winning bids from a day before and the seller did that just to gain trust for his quick scam.

        • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

          Thanks Mark – the transaction value is removed from the buyer/seller profiles as soon as the dispute is initiated (ie 3 days). Not sure it is a common occurrence but sellers can see when the bidding has been done within the last three days which may play into the decision to accept/reject the bid.

        • http://www.followstocks.com followstocks

          I don’t know why we can’t just immediately dispute an auction. I’ve had people tell me before the auction even ends that they decided not to buy it…if they win. So, when they do win…I’m stuck with someone that really doesn’t even care to respond for at least 3 days.

          I think there should also be a way to cancel a bid. I’ve had several buyer message me asking if I could “cancel their bid” because they’ve purchased another site in the mean time.

        • Mark

          Yes, but most sellers will wait longer than 3 days to start a dispute if a bidder communicates. Some bidders can make promises to send payment soon in order to delay dispute. Some can send a PayPal eCheck, with eCheck it may take a 10 – 14 days before the seller realizes echeck was cancelled (it just happened to me).
          That means a bad user can have a high dollar transactions amount show in his profile for many days, and that can be very misleading to other buyers and sellers.

          A seller or bidder could be connecting from anonymous proxy, claim to be from US but phone verified from India. If he is new and has zero transactions most likely his high bids will be rejected and only newbies will bid on his auctions.
          But if the same user has $30K in his profile in completed transactions, he instantly gains more trust by sellers and buyers. Users may think: “ok he is connecting from anonymous proxy and phone doesn’t match his country, that’s suspicious… but he has $30K in completed transactions, so it looks like he can be trusted because he did so much business on Flippa”.

          We don’t know if the completed transactions were really completed or just winning not paid bids from 5 minutes ago.
          If he plays games with sellers or sends bad echecks, he will have 10 days or even 2 weeks to delay disputes, giving him plenty of time to fool many users with his high total value.

          It can be a problem, but solved easily by adding a wait time of maybe 10 days before winning bids are counted as completed transactions.

  • http://saveyourchurchmoney.com Chris

    I think this is a great upgrade. The trust rating could be manipulated too easily. Thanks Flippa! I still think adding a “BANK VERIFIED” and “ADDRESS VERIFIED” option would work wonders for sales.

    A simple system like PayPal where a two deposits are made into a checking account and then the amount entered by the user to verify…

    And a simple address verification system of the same sort where a 5-digit code is mailed to the street address of a user and then entered by the user to verify the address. (or weaker CC verification)

    These could be PAID upgrades (say $5 each) for buyers and sellers who want to add confidence. It would certainly make URL HIDDEN listings have more weight as at least the person claiming to agree to the NDA can have been somewhat verified.

    Anyway, great work guys — keep it up!

  • http://www.strongwords.ca Jim

    I think it’s a fair change. It’s really always been up to users to gage the trust of people they’re dealing with. You need to look beyond the public profile toward things like tone and disclosure or transparency in PMs, the user’s listing history, the text of the listing and of course due diligence into the site. And sometimes you learn things the hard way, too. This is a business, and it’s not for the foolish. There are a lot of shysters who will continue to game the system, sell absolute crap, etc. But I think this change is fair and kudos to Andrew et al, who do a lot of things right.

  • https://flippa.com/users/368763/ Best Fippa Seller

    What I really want to see on Flippa is this : I want buyers to be able load funds into their flippa account and be able to use this fund to buy a website or a domain name.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Dear Best Flippa Seller (really!!??). What you’re proposing is effectvely an escrow service. Is escrow.com not meeting this for you?

  • Maxi

    What’s problem with escrow.com? Can’t they just do an extra work to eliminate all the risk to the seller? Both buyers and sellers don’t mind to pay extra fee for the extra work. Escrow.com shouldn’t just check the whois. Many cases has proven that this method brings risk, even loss to the seller. In addition, this new system will wipe out all new but legit buyers and sellers. Doing the business base on trust is something emotional.

    I’m not trying to destroy the party people are having here. Just my 2 cent.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Interesting angle on the whois check. Will follow up with Escrow.com for further details on this one. The new system will indeed wipe out the concept of a trust rating for legit buyers and sellers but there is really no way of being able to define what constitutes a legit buyer/seller until they’ve made a transaction.

  • http://www.dreamattic.com joduba

    I think the basis is good, but implementation can be worst.

    I think this approach is based on American-Protestant mentality (didn’t know australians had it also), where you can ask freely how much you worth ? But in other parts of the world and cultures, there are other factors that we factor when we want to give trust. In my culture, we never talk about money publicly, and is usually fishy when somebody starts to show that has a lot of money, usually it has a lot of credits also.

    My concern is privacy, perhaps I’m an active purchaser and I did more than 100k$ in transactions, and now I want to buy a website for $500. It might look that I’m out of place. Seller can have wrong expectations, …

    Also why other (non)BIDDERS has to see the amount of money I’ve invested in flippa ? I have no problem to show it to the the seller or even better when somebody asks me (you show me your thing/I show you my thing), but to everybody ? No way!

    I can see now more and more unsolicited messages to my inbox inviting me to crappy auctions.

    Personally I think I’m over with public comments, or I will simply create a fake/dummy user for that.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi joduba.
      Can appreciate your concerns – be assured that we very much had user privacy front of mind when we fleshed out how this would work. The inclusion of transaction volume was in no way intended to be a representation of the users net worth – if a user buys a site for $10,000 and sells it for $12,000 then their transaction value will reflect $22,000. Furthermore, we remain commited to allowing users to keep their identity prvate on their profile (we’re not turning Google+ on this ;-)).

      On your specific concerns regarding seller expectations, this happens regardless and should obviously not impact your bidding. We’re also serious about users sending unsolicited contact to other users. Report this to support and the perpetrator(s) will be dealt with harshly.

      Not entirely clear on your concerns wrt public messages. If anything, the feedback/transaction volume shows which commenters are more authentic than potential tire-kickers. Are you able to provide more details on this one?

  • http://www.iphone5cost.com William

    Make the tranaction value private, not public.
    Only let Flippa members log in before they can see other users’ transaction values.
    Better still, restrict what metrics users can see base on their existing trust value.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi William. Be assured that only logged-in users can see buyer/seller profiles. Note there is no longer a trust value. Are you able to provide details on the type of metrics you might want to see restricted as I’m not entirely sure on what this would achieve?

  • http://pitbull-secrets.com gary

    i want to be able to see who the bidders are.
    i am looking at a guys sites he is selling and they all they same bid numbers and amounts. if i could see the bidders info that would make me feel better about bidding on a site and not seeing the same bidder on all 8 of the guys website. same as ebay does.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      HI Gary – many buyers think there is shill bidding but the vast majority of auctions we investigate prove to be clean – not just based on no technical account match but that the bidding parties have strong bidding/purchase histories across a number of buyers. Note that ebay does not name the bidders on a listing either. We are looking at what we can do to better indicate distinct and qualified bidding activity without compromising buyer privacy …

      • Mark

        “We are looking at what we can do to better indicate distinct and qualified bidding activity without compromising buyer privacy …”

        That’s easy, display only first few characters of the bidder username, or first 2 and last one.

  • http://androidpolis.com Kiril Ivanov

    I think that the new system is very good and it also looks nice :). If you are not sure if a seller should be trusted you can easily review the user’s feedback and find out other buyers opinion.

    Still, in some cases it may be confusing, I believe that this could have been an addition to the old trust system, so users can review all data and make their own judgment.

  • JakeR

    Flippa should just display both. Account transactions, websites sold, purchased. Like they have it now.

    And also, Facebook and Linkedin, length of membership etc. It’s comforting to know the person I am dealing with has a lot of business contacts and Facebook friends.

  • Bret

    This ok but its not great. I think Flippa NEEDS to do more to PROTECT THE BUYER. It seems they only care about the seller. However the less buyers = less % profits for Flippa.
    For example eBay offers “Buyer Protection” they will give you your money back if you get screwed.
    Flippa however will only take legal action against the buyer if the buyer doesn’t pay… well what is the seller is a scamer?
    I see scams on here all the time, people claiming to be making $3,000 a month, thousands of page views and yet they have alexa rating of 0, page rank 0, and compete ranking of 0. Why aren’t these people being banded for false information?

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi Bret.
      We’re very much aware of our commitment to both buyers and sellers and we do a great deal for both sides of the equation to preserve the continued growth of the Flippa marketplace.

      As far as buyer protection is concerned, using escrow remains the safest option – check out the fineprint on eBay’s buyer protection as it doesn’t seem to cover the sorts of concerns you raise.

      We do suspend users from the marketplace when we have firm evidence of fraud. While it is improbable, it most certainly is not impossible to have a revenue generating site with an alexarank/pagerank of zero. To this end we strongly encourage you to conduct due diligence on any listing on Flippa to verify seller claims – request a walk-through of their revenue reports or access to their stats. Note that a copyscape score of zero is typically a good think (ie no copies found).

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  • http://www.pixloo.com Virtual Tour

    Thanks for changing it so that if I have an aged account it’s not tagged as new.

  • http://BusinessOnline.ph Dave

    Does this mean we shouldnt trust Flippa Customer Service? https://flippa.com/users/341241
    I’m joking. But it is interesting that Flippas own account was verified via mobile and not a static land line lol.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      It would be hypocritical of us to not be subject to the same transparency 😉 Plus I don’t think we have much by way of static land lines here … expect that a post paid mobile number like this carries more trust than a pre-paid or a voip number for most people.

  • Groundwork

    I am about commence selling on Flippa. I have done a lot of homework on the site itself to gauge how best to market my sites for sale.
    I have had several facepalm, bang head on desk moments while reviewing sold listings.
    I’ve seen a bulk of too good to be true sold listings on Flippa.
    A very simple rule thumb is that if someone is selling their website for less than 2-3 years earnings, one should be wary of buying said site.
    Anyway, people need to realize that Flippa is a listing service. It’s more akin to Craigslist than Escrow.com.
    So due diligence is mandatory for successful buying and selling on Flippa.
    Try and connect DIRECTLY with whomever you buy or sell to.
    SKYPE is awesome and still free. Or Microsoft Live. Plus, there are tons of free video voip programs out there.

  • http://www.bestipadappslist.com/ Yurckk

    Look at this auction (https://flippa.com/2643263-sexshop-with-cheap-vibrators-toys-100-automated), and take a look at “Seller” section.

    I think the (Trust% | $$$) should be above/below the username.

    • Maxi

      simply click on the username, you will see all the info and more.

  • Maxi

    Andrew, could you please reply to my concern?
    Thanks

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Done! 😉

  • http://www.a-games.us A Games

    Hi Guys,

    I think it is an improvement w.r.t trust. Although better, I think the buyer be aware principle still applies. Flippa provides a platform to trade websites. If something is too good to be true, it usually is.

    Do your homework before buying. Score or no score.

    Thanks

    Mike

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Thanks Mike. Spot on about homework before buying … !

  • http://www.arbetovinsurance.com HaverCanada

    Hi Andrew and community,
    I am in a difficult situation. 14hours ago I won the auction on this website. At the very moment of the finish auction the website is down. It shows This Site Has Been Moved to a New Server.
    It may be possible to restore access to this site by following these instructions for clearing your dns cache.
    In my opinion the value of website is decreasing because of this. What should I do? Do I have the right to refuse the deal or ask to decrease the price ? Thank you for your opinion.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi – it will possibly depend on the circumstance of the outage. In some cases, a site can go offline as part of the ownership change process. Recommend chasing it up with the seller.

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  • Neran

    Just found that the trust won’t display the amount for private sales. My “value” suddenly went from ~$270K down to ~$130K.

    That’s not really reflecting the real trust of the user then, since most of the quality transactions are made in private, you can display a user without any transactions but it fact it’s a user with over $1MM in transactions.
    You’ll have to find a way to show the real quality of the user otherwise the trust method is useless.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi Neran – I think we may have just responded to your support ticket on this 😉 A excerpt for the sake of transparency …

      Most private sales on Flippa are where sellers (and possibly buyers) wish to keep the sale of the websites out of the public arena. To this end, including this figure in the trust rating for a seller would make the price evident when it is a new(ish) user. Private sales are relatively rare on Flippa so we’re not expecting this to be of major consequence to most users.

      Outside of this, the transaction value is intended to be used as a relative figure for buyers and sellers to gauge whether they wish to transact with another user (in concert with feedback and other details now reflected on the profile page). To this end, both $270K and $130K are serious transaction amounts which I would expect Flippa buyers and sellers to interpret as indicators of a legitimate user.

  • Neran

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your fast reply, lets continue the discussion here.

    Although I can understand the reason to hide the private transactions amount (I wouldn’t want users to figure out those private amounts), I still don’t think it reflects the real value of the user.
    If I didn’t have any public transactions but had $200K in private listing – then what?

    Since I’m looking for high end websites (buy & sell), most of my transactions will be private.
    It is very important for me to be able to know that the transaction amount really reflects the seller/buyer and I’m sure there are many in the same situation.

    I think there should be an additional rating for private listing, something like:
    100% | $130K public trz | 5 private trz (or some kind of levels)

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi Neran – will take your feedback on board. Concern with the proposal is that it adds complexity to the metrics (something we’ve worked hard to reduce). We could possibly look at options such as letting seller elect to disclose the final sale price … As before in your specific instance, I’d be very surprised if a buyer or seller, who was willing to either bid on your auction or otherwise accept a bid from you, declined your bid/auction because your score was $130K rather than $270K. More than happy to vouch for your private sales if this were to ever arise ;-). I’d otherwise be interested to learn of other private sellers who are in a similar boat …

  • Mark

    I have a suggestion.
    ‘Claimed Financials’ has a warning: “Warning: The seller has provided estimates (read more)”

    I think it would be a good idea to add similar warning to ‘Attachments’.
    Recently there is a huge number of sellers with fake paypal screen captures. They figured they can get away with it and thank to it sell their new sites for 10 times more.
    Some even title attachments “Verified Proof”.
    Example: https://flippa.com/2644853

    Many newbies don’t know screen captures can be fake and attachment titled *verified* was not verified by Flippa.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Thanks Mark – the only verified attachments are via our Google Analytics verification. Anything else is arguably deceptive and will be removed or edited. Buyers should be extremely skeptical of such claims and possibly question the reliability of the seller (such as in the case you have provided). Its important to remember that ALL the details provided in the listing body and right-hand bar are seller provided and should be subject to robust due diligence prior to proceeding with a bid …

  • http://www.mashup.com Haythem Khalil

    So, here’s a question… How does a person like myself, who isn’t really looking to buy sites, but is interested in selling a big ticket site, improve his credibility?

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi Haythem.
      Don’t worry, new sellers regularly sell on Flippa without a problem. The common key to success in these cases is being as transparent as possible about both who you are as well as about the site you are selling. To this end, provide as much detail as possible in your listing and be responsive to buyer questions. Furthermore, consider connecting your facebook/twitter/linkedin accounts to your profile so that buyers get a good feel as to who you are … hope that helps.

  • http://www.pixloo.com Virtual Tour

    Thanks for the great post. I like the legit buyer/seller feature. Helps me know more who to instantly trust.

  • https://flippa.com/users/379814 hiruma

    This changes have meaning that any user regardless of when they join will be a newbie if they never do any transaction, i think that’s good idea as identifying trust by looking at the transaction is more transparent.

  • https://flippa.com/users/217496 sergeo_syd

    I wish you could filter out all the crappy autoblogs , empty affiliates and directories.

  • https://flippa.com/users/445439 siteurl

    Similarly,

    Dont you think Google Page Rank is dead? Or atleast people can fake page ranks easily?

    We see many websites listed in flippa which are just few months old and have high PR of 3 to 7

    There are many fake page rank tools. I think flippa should consider using one of them.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      We call out on the due diligence page when there is possible problem with the pagerank (eg via redirects). Our review of other tools indicates they don’t do a whole lot more than this. Otherwise consider that dropped domains can carry across strong PR to a “new” site but even Google acknowledges the PR here …

  • http://www.electroniccigarette.org Matt

    I missed the TRUST score now. Please bring it back. It’s better that what we have now.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Really?! Pretty well everyone we’ve heard from is saying good riddance. What about it do you miss?

  • Social Media

    Your scoring system should not factor neutral as a negative — or you might as well eliminate Neutral ranking as a choice since it’s treated as a negative.