Flippa Review for Buyers and Sellers (Is It Legit?)

Flippa Review for Buyers and Sellers

Although several marketplaces for buying and selling websites and online businesses exist, Flippa was one of the first and remains the largest. It was founded in 2009 as a spin-off of the SitePoint forums, and today Flippa reaches thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a website, understanding the details of the various platforms helps you to find the right opportunity, minimize fees, and avoid scams and fraud. This Flippa review provides insight to help you determine if Flippa is the right platform for you.

What Is Flippa?

Flippa is a marketplace for buying and selling websites, online businesses, apps, and domain names. It connects buyers and sellers globally, providing a platform to facilitate the transaction.

While many other marketplaces and brokers have strict requirements for the websites and businesses they sell, Flippa is more open and accessible. You can list just about any type of website, including starter sites and pre-revenue businesses. There are no minimum requirements, making Flippa a suitable platform for selling small projects (a section of the market overlooked by most brokers and marketplaces).

Is Flippa Legit?

Yes, Flippa is a legit platform for buying and selling websites and online businesses. However, Flippa has a reputation for hosting questionable or scam listings. This because Flippa did not verify any seller’s claims in the past, and buyers were responsible making their own due diligence.

Flippa has worked to crack down on fraudsters and scammers and has improved in recent years as a result. However, it still doesn’t verify listings below $50,000, so potential buyers must perform due diligence before purchasing smaller digital assets.

Flippa Pros

Here are some of the noteworthy reasons why buyers and sellers may decide to use Flippa.

1. Large, Established Audience

As the oldest and largest marketplace for buying and selling websites, Flippa has a vast audience. Sellers can get their website or business in front of this large audience by creating a listing. Buyers can find plenty of active listings because of Flippa’s popularity.

2. Buy or Sell Just About Any Website

Flippa’s open nature is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Some marketplaces and online business brokers take a more selective approach, which leaves some website owners with very few options when they want to sell. But Flippa is open to most websites, whether it’s a starter site, pre-revenue project, or an established business.

3. Listings in All Price Ranges

Flippa listings fall into a variety of price ranges. You can find websites and businesses for as little as a few hundred dollars up to several million dollars. This makes it suitable for buyers with different budgets, so almost anyone can use Flippa.

4. Potential for High Selling Price

Because of Flippa’s large audience, listings that generate a lot of interest can potentially sell for a high multiple. This is especially true of auction listings, where a bidding war can erupt if multiple buyers compete for the highest bid.

5. Possible to Find Hidden Gems

Buyers have the potential to find excellent opportunities that can be scooped up for a low price. Due to the large number of active listings at Flippa, some can fall through the cracks and not get much attention from buyers. Buyers willing to browse through many listings may uncover a hidden gem.

Flippa Cons

Of course, there are also some significant drawbacks to consider.

1. Unverified Listings

Listings below $50,000 are not verified by Flippa. The company claims to verify the traffic (using Google Analytics) and revenue details of listings above $50,000, but the lower-priced unverified listings require extra caution from buyers. It’s essential to perform due diligence and research before buying a website, especially for listings that haven’t been verified.

Some of Flippa’s competitors, including Investors Club and Motion Invest, verify the traffic and revenue of each listing, regardless of price. This gives buyers an extra layer of protection.

2. Overwhelming Number of Listings

The high number of active listings at Flippa can be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective. Although buyers can find hidden gems, it takes a lot of time and effort to sift through the massive number of listings. Some buyers prefer to use curated marketplaces that do some of the legwork by eliminating low-quality listings.

3. Difficult for Sellers to Stand Out

With so many active listings, sellers can have a hard time getting noticed. Flippa offers optional upgrades to increase reach and exposure, but the cost may be out of reach for many sellers. In this sense, Flippa’s popularity can have negative consequences for sellers.

4. High Fees With Lots of Add-Ons

Details of Flippa’s fees are covered in another section below, but the summary is that they tend to be higher than the fees charged by many other marketplaces. Flippa charges sellers a listing fee and a success fee, while most marketplaces don’t charge a listing fee.

Flippa also offers several option add-ons, but many marketplaces and brokers provide these features and services at no additional cost.

5. First Access Program Limits Exposure for Sellers

Flippa rolled out its First Access program in 2023. This is an optional subscription ($49 per month) for buyers who want priority access to listings. For the first 21 days, Flippa’s listings are visible only to First Access members. After 21 days, they become visible to everyone else.

While this program does give subscribers a better chance to purchase sites, it hurts sellers by significantly reducing exposure for a full three weeks, potentially leading to fewer and lower offers.

Flippa did not reduce the listing fees for sellers after rolling out First Access, so sellers pay the same fees for less exposure.

6. No Migration Assistance

Flippa doesn’t offer migration assistance or support. This can be a significant disadvantage to some customers, and expesically to first time buyers. Many other marketplaces offer free migration assistance, which is appreciated by buyers and sellers. 

7. Lack of Confidentiality

By default, Flippa listings publicly display the website name and URL. Anyone can see the websites that are for sale, plus basic traffic and revenue details. This lack of confidentiality allows copycats to easily take advantage of information and compete against sellers and whoever buys the site.

Flippa does offer confidential listings, but as a $199 upgrade over a standard listing.

This price seem reasonable for larger businesses but can be a significant expense for smaller website owners (for a $10,000 website it’s nearly 2% of the selling price). This is unfortunate because smaller websites often lack a strong competitive advantage or “moat,” making them more vulnerable to copycats. Owners who forego the add-on due to its high cost leave their websites exposed to potential imitators, increasing the risk of losing their competitive edge.

Flippa also offers private listings for a $599 fee (plus success fees if it sells). Private listings aren’t visible on Flippa’s website. Instead, Flippa’s team members act more like brokers by presenting your listing directly to potential buyers.

Private Listing

All listings at Investors Club are confidential. Only Premium members can see the website name or URL of the listings.

Ways to Sell on Flippa

Flippa offers a few different types of listings. The details are covered below.

Auctions

Auctions on Flippa function similarly to eBay. Sellers can set a reserve price, the lowest price they’re willing to accept. The highest bidder wins the auction, as long as the reserve price is met. If the reserve isn’t met, the listing ends without a sale.

Sellers also have the option to use a “buy it now” price, which allows buyers to end the auction immediately if they’re willing to pay the desired price.

Classifieds

Classifieds list an asking price and potential buyers can make an offer. Both parties move forward with due diligence after an offer is accepted. The listing ends when the sale is finalized, or when it expires, whichever comes first. Listings can be for 3 or 6 months, depending on the purchased package.

Brokered

Flippa’s brokered service, formerly called Managed by Flippa, is available for listings over $100,000. All listings above $1,000,000 are brokered. A professional advisor works with the seller to attract a potential buyer, negotiate the sale, and assist with all aspects of the acquisition.

Flippa Fees

Flippa’s fee structure is quite complex compared to most other marketplaces (we have an entire article dedicated to Flippa fees if you want all the details).

Sellers must pay a listing fee that ranges from $29 to $699, depending on the selected package. The listing price is due before the listing goes live and is not refundable if the site doesn’t sell. Most of Flippa’s competitors, including Investors Club, do not charge a listing fee.

Flippa also charges a percentage of the selling price if the site sells. The success fee tiers are:

  • Under $50,000: 10%
  • $50,000 – $99,999: 9%
  • $100,000 – $249,999: 8%

Brokered listings cost $999 for a nine-month term, plus a success fee from 3% to 8%.

Several features and services provided by some marketplaces at no additional cost are an upgrade for Flippa sellers. For example:

  • Confidential listing with NDAs: $199
  • Legal document templates: $199
  • Escrow service: Price varies

Overall, Flippa’s fees can be significantly higher than most comparable marketplaces. For example, Investors Club charges no listing fee no success fees. Extras like legal documents, escrow, and migration assistance are included at no additional cost.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is an essential part of buying a website or online business, regardless of what platform or marketplace you use. However, due diligence is even more critical when the marketplace hasn’t verified the traffic and revenue details.

For websites that haven’t been verified, so the responsibility for due diligence falls completely on buyers. 

Flippa offers due diligence services as an optional upgrade, but the pricing might be difficult to justify for smaller deals. The packages offered are:

Red Flag Report ($1,500)

  • Analysis period: 1 year
  • Report size: 11-14 pages
  • Recommended for deals below $30,000

Standard Report ($2,000)

  • Analysis period: 2 years
  • Report size: 21-25 pages
  • Recommended for deals from $30,000 to $200,000

Enhanced Report ($2,500)

  • Analysis period: 3 years
  • Report size: 26-35 pages
  • Recommended for deals over $200,000

Flippa Reviews from Buyers and Sellers

When evaluating a marketplace like Flippa, you’ll want to look at the reviews and feedback from users. Of course, a large marketplace with thousands of users will have a mix of positive and negative reviews. However, Flippa’s average ratings show reason for concern.

The table below displays the details of Flippa’s ratings and reviews on various platforms (the average ratings are based on a five-star scale).

WebsiteAverage RatingNumber of Reviews
TrustPilot3.31,347
Sitejabber2.2129
Reviews.io2.26
MouthShut.com1.6357
Pissed Consumer1.622

The most common topics discussed in the negative reviews include scam listings, lack of customer support, and fees.

Who Is Flippa Best For?

Flippa is best for experienced buyers and sellers. Inexperienced sellers may face challenges when listing on Flippa because of the lack of support unless the price is above $100,000 and the listing is managed by a Flippa advisor or broker.

Flippa provides buyers an opportunity to find excellent online businesses and domains at low prices. However, due diligence is extremely important since the listings below $50,000 aren’t verified.

Those with experience buying and selling websites may be able to overcome the challenges related to unverified listings, limited support, and a lack of migration assistance.

Is Flippa Safe?

Yes, Flippa is safe. They are a legit company. The Flippa platform itself is not unsafe, but activity that takes place on the platform could be unsafe.  Users must understand that while Flippa takes steps to prevent scams, there is possiblity to come across scammers and fake buyers on the platform.

Buyers should always perform thorough due diligence before acquiring a website or online business. All of the website traffic and revenue claims made by the seller should be verified. Using an escrow service for the transaction also improves security and protects against scams.

Sellers should vet potential buyers and only transfer the assets after the payment has been received, or use an escrow service. Optionally, sellers can upgrade to a confidential listing that requires potential buyers to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before accessing sensitive details.

Does Flippa Work?

Yes, Flippa does work for buying and selling websites. Of course, not every listing sells, but Flippa is one of the most popular marketplaces of its kind. 

Flippa provides access to thousands of buyers and sellers. Sellers can increase their chances of success by selling growing websites and creating a detailed and thorough listing. Promptly responding to buyer inquiries is also important.

Buyers can increase their chances of success on the Flippa marketplace by dedicating the time to browse and evaluate many listings to find the best opportunities. Of course, thorough due diligence is also essential.

Final Thoughts 

Flippa is the oldest and largest marketplace for buying and selling websites. It provides access to a massive audience and there are always plenty of active listings. However, the lack of verification for listings priced under $50,000 is a concern for some buyers. Other marketplaces like Investors Club and Motion Invest provide greater security by verifying every listing, plus each buyer and seller.

Experienced buyers and sellers may be savvy enough to use Flippa safely for excellent results, but Flippa’s lack of included services like escrow and migration assistance may nudge users toward other platforms.

Marc Andre
Author

Marc has been building websites and online businesses since 2007. He's built successful businesses in several industries, including web/graphic design, photography, travel, and personal finance. Marc is the founder of Flip My Site, where he writes about buying and selling websites.

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