Spams don’t damage much, but scams can drag you down big time. Here are some tips to spot scams in website for sale listing and how to deal with them:
1. When it’s too good to be true, run away from it
Many people are eager to make money online, to get rich quick, or to get out of their financial problems. Those things are mainly what the scammers use to get you buy their listed sites.
When a site is offering you 2 or 3 times monthly profit, you should be aware of it – is the site is using illegal methods in making money – e.g. cookie stuffing, arbitrage strategies, even faking stats and income proofs? This is difficult to find the truth about the site – the best way is for you to be realistic and stay away from the website for sale listing.
2. When the site for sale is making money via affiliate sales…
Making money via affiliate marketing is not easy – only a few can master it and make significant profits from affiliate marketing. Even if a site does make money from affiliate marketing, you need to see proofs to show the last 3 months of affiliate sales activities – the income could be unstable at best.
I’ve seen enough website for sale listing that have BIN (buy in now – asking price) only 3-6 times affiliate income. Many of them are using “engineered” screenshots – they are edited to show fake data.
Some of the scammers are indeed using real screenshots, but the screenshot is actually showing a total. For example, if you see a screenshot of Clickbank income of, say, $1,000 this month, the scammer could claims that that amount is from X site listed for sale – the truth is, if the scammer has 50 sites, the $1,000 could very well be a total – beware! You could end up buying a site making $20 a month, not $1,000 a month.
3. When the site for sale is making money via Google AdSense and the likes…
Also watch out for this – Making money off Google AdSense is notoriously difficult – even worse than affiliate income.
When you see a site for sale listing that sell a site making money off Google Adsense only at 3 to 6 monthly AdSense income, take a great caution.
The seller could be using AdSense arbitrage techniques – gaming the system using AdWord to push per-click income to benefit his/her own site. This is against Google AdSense TOS and could get your site banned.
Now the scammers are smart – they bail out as soon as they are making a nice amount of money, wanting to sell the site quickly – thus the low asking price compared to the AdSense income.
Naturally, I’ve seen sites making money via AdSense to be sold 20 to up to 50 times monthly income – simply because it’s darn difficult to make money from AdSense these days…
4. “When you buy my site, I’ll tell you a secret technique to get such traffic and income”
Related to #1, if the listing includes the so-called “secrets”, beware. Most of the cases, the seller just run away with your money and won’t tell you any secrets.
Logically, if it’s a secret – especially a trade secret, why would the sellers share them? They could add one more competitor in you, right? Of course, there are sellers are genuinely want to help you out, but I only encounter one or two genuine seller in 100s I’ve been dealing with – again, those sellers are not necessarily scammers, but you need to be careful when we are dealing with anybody, online.
Scammers are getting smarter, these days – What to do now?
The best way is to learn how they operate. Visit webmaster forums, read the threads. Visit website flipping marketplace, such as Flippa, and observe some listings you are interested in, and find out how they end; are they successfully being sold? Are they stirring enough controversy? Are they blatant scam?
When you see a questionable listing, warn the forum moderators or the marketplace support team regarding a possible scam. They are probably won’t responding to you, but at least they know what and who to watch on.
WARNING – I’ve sold a couple of sites to a couple of site flippers only to see that my sites end up being acquired by some scammers – the scammers list on Flippa and get thousands of dollar selling the sites. That sucks, really.
I’ve warned Flippa a couple of times, but I don’t get positive responses most of the time – maybe they are busy with something else, God knows what…
Website for sale scams suck