- 1 Pros:
- 2 Cons:
- 3 In Summary
~ 9 Minute Read
About a month ago I wrote a post detailing the new website I purchased. This article went through what the site was about as well as what I planned to do with the site in the future. What I did not cover in that post was the buying process and my experience buying a website on Empire Flippers. Today, I’m going to give you the details on the pros and cons of working with Empire Flippers based on my experience.
For those who are unfamiliar, Empire Flippers is a marketplace where website owners can sell their web properties to potential buyers. Think of it as the Realtor.com for websites. They have websites for sale that vary in price from over $1 million to under $25k.
Without further ado let’s take a look at some of pros and cons I experienced buying a website from Empire Flippers.
1. They Offer Basic Vetting
When you purchase a website from Empire Flippers you can assume that their staff has done some of the basic due diligence before posting the listing on their marketplace. This basic vetting usually includes verifying traffic and revenue numbers.
Because of this vetting the marketplace is more trustworthy than other sites that don’t do this type of background checking, like the once market leader Flippa.com. If you don’t have a great deal of experience with how to vet a website, this should give you some sense of relief that Empire Flippers checks things out as well. Some of the best features to their vetting process is disclosing if a site has a private blog network (PBN), and they report traffic and revenues.
On the flip side, realize that the vetting Empire Flippers does is basic and does not guarantee that the site you purchase will be the real deal. In fact, Empire Flippers clearly states that you as the buyer needs to do your own research into the web property to ensure that there is no funny business going on.
Before buying TheDailyWant, I looked into other web properties on Empire Flippers and there have been a couple that seemed fishy upon closer inspection. At the end of the day its a good thing that Empire Flippers does this vetting, but please make sure to do the deep digging to make sure things make sense to you.
2. Empire Flippers Helps Migrate The Websites
3. You Have A 14 Day Inspection Period
After sending your money to Empire Flippers they immediately begin the migration process. Once this process is completed you get 14 days to verify the traffic and revenue numbers. If these numbers deviate by greater than 50% from the numbers included in the website listing, then you have the right to cancel the sale.
4. Your Money Goes To Escrow
The money that you wire to Empire Flippers for purchase of a website is put into escrow until the inspection period ends. This means that the seller does not have access to the money until the site has been shown to be a legit property. This builds trust into the process and you can rest assured that if the website ends up being a dude (or scam) you can get your funds back.
While working with Empire Flippers has been a positive experience overall, there are certainly some cons that come from buying off of their marketplace.
1. Premium Prices
None of the vetting and website migration services come free. Empire Flippers takes a 15% commission on every site they sell, which I feel is about 5% too high. On top of this Empire Flippers uses a monthly income multiple formula to come up with a sale price. This monthly multiple usually ranges from 25x to 29x, which is a much higher multiple compared to when you purchase on Flippa.com or if you approach website owners directly. For example, when I purchased a website off of Flippa.com the monthly multiple for the price I paid was 12x.
The bottom line: there are no “deals” to be had on Empire Flippers. If you decide to purchase a site be sure to have a plan to make the site earn more than the already steep monthly multiple.
2. Stiff Competition
This is the price you pay for easy access to websites for sale. If you want to avoid the competition I’d recommend searching for websites you’re interested in and contacting the owner directly to see if they’d consider selling.
3. You Must Deposit To See Website Details
Once you spend a little time on the Empire Flipper’s marketplace you’ll see that to get the actual site URL that’s for sale you have to make a 5% refundable deposit. This policy is understandable as it helps Empire Flippers separate serious buyers from tire kickers, but it can make it difficult to determine which sites are worth investigating further.
A little secret I’ll share with my readers is that if you make a couple deposits on some sites and show you have the cash, the Empire Flippers staff will give you a VIP code that you can use to see the URLs without having to make the deposit. I highly recommend asking for one once you’ve made a couple deposits.
4. Relying On Their Website Migration Team
The biggest issue I had with the migration team is the time it took to switch affiliate link codes over to my account. The previous owners of TheDailyWant used short codes for all their affiliate links, meaning that each link had to changed manually. There were around 1200 posts that needed updated. I certainly didn’t expect this to be done in a day, but when I learned that after about a week’s time the Empire Flipper’s team had only switched over 40 of the 1200 posts, it goes without saying I wasn’t happy.
It even got to the point where I had to inform the migration team to pick up the pace or I would require a discount on the Empire Flippers commission. Thankfully, after this back and forth they got their act together and my links were switched over in about a week’s time after making this ultimatum.
As you can see there are several pros and cons to working with Empire Flippers. They are certainly a step up from the wild west days when Flippa dominated the market, but there is still room for improvement. I would like to see Empire Flippers improve their vetting process and lower their commission, at least slightly.
For those of us who are looking to buy a website but don’t have the time or energy to do the searching yourself, Empire Flippers is really the best choice you have. I hope that in the future there are more quality website marketplaces so that the variety of sites for sale improve and the increased competition will make this industry more efficient.
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