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Buying a Web Site vs. Starting from Scratch

If you had the choice between having $10,000 to build a web site from scratch, or to buy an established web site that is generating $500 a month, which would you choose? The market for buying established web sites has always been hot, but it’s always a tough decision as the auction clock counts down… especially if you get into the high five and six figures sales! The million dollar question is, if you took the time and had the resources, could you build something better, vs. buying a web site, or are you just wasting time?

After buying  few established sites over the past several months, I’ve had my fair share of stressful moments and going over the numbers time and time again to make sure I was making the right decision. Through my experience, I’ve broken down my decisions to a few major factors.

Here’s a list of my top reasons why I would rather purchase a solid established web site for 20+ times earnings, then build my own from scratch.


We all have great ideas. Unfortunately we get side tracked, have problems executing and get overwhelmed… which leaves most of our ideas on the back burner. Hence, time is more valuable then money. If you are already established and making money online, you may already have the resources and money to purchase a web site, which saves you the time from starting from scratch. If you buy an established web site, the design, infrastructure and establishment is already there.


Depending on the size of the web site you purchase, you may be paying for the branding and authority already associated with a site. One of the biggest problems with starting a web site from scratch, is having to get people to your web site and building a solid presence. This can easily fall into the “time issue”, but is actually a whole set of problems/solutions in itself.

The data from picking up an established site is also a huge benefit. These days every site has a mailing list, a twitter account and a social appearance. While these advantages usually don’t have a dollar figure on them, they definitely do contribute to the growth and exposure of your site. The time itself to build up traffic, collect newsletter subscribers and study these numbers is quite a hefty number.


How is your business doing financially? If your numbers are doing great, picking up an established site that is already generating a few hundred/thousand a month in revenue is a good idea. Actually, if it’s a site that you can completely outsource and keep profitable, then it’s a great idea! Web sites that may fall under this category are media/video entertainment sites, blogging and web forums. Even if the cost of outsourcing is 75% of the profit made from the site, you are still earning a potential 25% profit while increasing in size month over month, while not having to manage the site.


The last and most important factor in deciding to buy an established web site, or create your own… is if you can put your expertise to use. Whether you specialize in affiliate marketing, social media, web design or search marketing… it’s tough to find an established web site that is doing their best on all of these, and that is your advance. Find already profitable web sites, what they are lacking, and most importantly what you can improve upon.


In the end, it all comes down to a few deciding factors on whether or not you are going to be the TOP BIDDER when that auction clock counts down. (I hate that 4 hour extension on Flippa!) In realistic terms, it might come down to the size of your wallet, but if that’s not the case… then it’s the following. Do your research and make sure the site is legit. Think really hard if this is a site/niche that you want to dive into. If you’re going to drop a few thousand or more on a site, make sure you are ready to take it to the next level… or you may find yourself putting out a fire, losing money and cost yourself even more time than before you picked this site up.


There is a huge demand for the buying and selling of web sites, but also a big lack of competition. So where is the best place to buy and sell web sites? Right now Flippa.com (formerly SitePoint) is leading the way… and by a mile I may add. Since their launch, Flippa has done over $28 million in web site sales. Where is all of the competition for Flippa? Sure, you have sites like ebay.com, that usually have crap sites. Then you have a bunch of “in the mix” sites, that just don’t compete. Right now Flippa is KING.

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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