How to avoid getting ripped off when selling a website online

No matter the reason for selling a website online, whether it’s due to a lack of time or money, or if you’re looking to flip the site, you need to take care and ensure you’re selling through reputable means and have everything in place first.

Firstly, you should make sure that you’re getting as much as possible for the website, especially considering the resources you’ve put into it. Also, being that it is the internet, there are a lot of different ways you can be scammed or ripped off when selling your website.

In order to avoid this, we have some tips for you.

Know the value of your website

In order to determine your asking price for a website, you need to determine its actual value.

website value

To do this, look at the profit the website generates on a monthly basis. That figure, whatever it is, won’t be your asking price; it’s just the lowest value you should be willing to drop to.

Instead, you should look at the long-term value of the website and base the price off of that. Depending on how valuable your brand and solutions offered are, you can multiply the profit between five and nine times in order to set your asking price.

Additionally, to help determine the asking price, take the following into consideration:

  • The growth trends in your business
  • Your business’ and sector’s sales trends
  • The scalability of the online business
  • Channels set in place for customer acquisition and how effective they are
  • The position of your business in the market, especially SEO
  • The business processes you already have in place

Be sure to document all your findings. These can be presented to potential buyers so they know exactly what they are getting into with your business and why your asking price is what it is.

Research and model your approach based on previous successes

Being aware of the market and conducting proper research is one of the first steps you take when planning to sell anything. You want to sell your product when there is a demand for it in the market. The good thing about a successful website is that there will always be a demand for it. But it’s not just about selling the website, you want to profit from it as much as you can.

This is where studying other businesses that have had success in selling their website comes into play. You want to play close attention to how the website was presented, what information they shared, and what kind of tactics they used. This will help you in your approach and increase your chances of achieving similar success.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Why make things harder for yourself when so many others have gone before you and paved the way to set a standard for success? You don’t have to copy others’ models verbatim, nor do you need to completely start from scratch; just don’t make life hard for yourself and, instead, mirror someone else’s success.

Target the right audience

Knowing your buyers not only allows you to target them but also lets you devise the proper strategy to do so. There is a huge difference between selling to someone that has an interest in your online business compared to someone that is just looking to buy a website. By “interest,” we mean that the buyer is interested in buying an established website within your particular industry.

An interested buyer is a lot easier to sell to and also helps you avoid getting ripped off. They usually have done their research prior to contacting you, so they already have an idea of the value of your business and its potential. So when you tell them the asking price and provide them with all the documentation to back it up, chances are there won’t be much back and forth on the price, meaning you will end up selling your website close to your asking price.

Brokers and trustworthy authorities

website broker

Not sure where you can find the right buyers? There are numerous auction sites that help sellers list and sell websites—one of the most popular options being Flippa. Such platforms ensure that the transaction between you and the buyer is smooth, with a heavily reduced chance of being scammed.

For those who have a more successful website, a website broker is probably the best option. Brokers can help you get the attention from buyers that are targeted to your industry, and ones that your site deserves. The great thing about brokers is that they handle all the formalities for you, and will even negotiate on the price on your behalf (with your prior agreement, of course), in order to get you the best deal—much like with real estate. With the broker handling everything, there is little to no chance of you getting ripped off in any shape or form.

Ensure your site is ship shape

Having a site that is unattractive, poorly laid out, and just not up to scratch will open yourself up to being scammed or ripped off. Why? Because you’re not coming across as someone who is serious.

The last thing you want to do is sell a website that ranks low with search engines and doesn’t have much revenue. While not offering up much value, it’s also a sure fire way to not getting much interest for your website, receiving low ball offers, or just being more vulnerable to being ripped off.

You need to think of it from the buyer’s perspective. Why should they invest in a business that is barely staying afloat, let alone pay top dollars for it?

To get your website in shape, here are a few things you can focus on:

  • Have a responsive design that is mobile device ready
  • Ensure your site is simple, easy to navigate, and clutter-free
  • All content should be search engine optimized


As you can see, there are some simple steps you can take in order to avoid being ripped off when selling a website. Such steps will not only ensure you know exactly what your site is worth, but it will help prepare you for the sale, taking the right approach to get the most out of the website.

Leave a Comment