Talking Website Sales – Interview With Thomas Smale

by Nick · 11 comments

in Selling Websites

Buying & Selling Websites - Interview with Thomas Smale

Welcome to the 3rd segment of my Podcast Series Talking with Industry Experts. In this episode I have the pleasure of interviewing Thomas Smale, co-owner of the website brokerage firm FE International. We’ll be discussing about how you should do website selling if you’re planning an exit from your online business.

FE International, formerly Flipping Enterprises, specializes in representing both buyers and sellers of websites ranging from $20,000 up to several million dollars. In only 4 years the company has grown to over $1 million in fee revenue – no one is doing more mid-market website deals then these guys!

A special thanks to Mr. Patrick Hathaway for making the introduction.


If you can’t listen, here’s the full transcript:

Nick: Hey SEO Nick listeners. Thanks for tuning into the latest podcast on the Talking Shop with Industry Experts segment. Today I am joined by Thomas Smale from FE International. Thomas is a website broker who’s been doing this for . . . how long have you been doing this now Thomas?

Thomas Smale: Just over four years.

Nick: [That’s fast]. Thomas’ company, FE International is doing over a million dollars in sales representing $10 million in transactions in just four years. That’ really impressive.

Thomas Smale: Thanks.

Nick: Thanks again, man, for joining us today. I’m real excited to ask you some questions. I know a lot of people listening to this are ecommerce website owners, or they work at ecommerce shops. Probably people who do anywhere from two to $300,000 a year in annual revenue, up to 15, $20 million, which my understanding is that sweet spot of the market that you guys represent.

Thomas Smale: Yeah. I’d say that’s just about the range. I’m excited to be on.

Nick: Wonderful.

The first question to open it up is, can you take us through the general due diligence process for an ecommerce website sale.

Thomas Smale: If we look at it from our perspective as a broker, we’ve got quite a standardized process. For the purpose of this I’ll go over the way we would do it for both parties. Obviously, if you’re buying elsewhere or buying privately it might be slightly different, but I definitely would encourage anyone looking to either buy a site or sell a business to follow a due diligence process. Generally speaking, it breaks due diligence down into five parts. That would be traffic verification, financial verification, owner verification, and then operational, technical due diligence and legal due diligence.

If we go through those in order . . . Every business is different, so if you have a business that doesn’t necessarily get much traffic, then traffic verification being a massive part of it, but if you’ve got a site that gets all of its sales online, and i gets a lot of organic traffic, then traffic verification, generally speaking, industry standard most people use Google Analytics these days.

It’s a case of figuring the logistics of the traffic that’s coming in. There will be some crossover, for example, if they were buying traffic than you’d expect to see that on the financials. If they’re buying traffic but not telling you, then you’re going to make sure it all checks out and reconciles. Then you just go through all the different traffic sources making sure they look legitimate. Look for any signs of paid links or sponsored links that might not necessarily be declared.

It really depends on the sophistication of the buyer. Generally speaking from a sell perspective, you would expect this to be very transparent with a buyer, giving them full access to Google Analytics and letting them go through and make sure they’re happy with those things.

Also, from a seller perspective, you want to make sure that you don’t just give traffic access to anyone. You want to make sure they are a serious buyer. Generally speaking, we don’t give anyone analytics access until they’ve made an offer that’s been accepted. There’s different ways to do that.

Nick: Real quick, just to parse your words for a second, and something that piqued my interest a little bit.

When you say from a buyer perspective to make sure they’re not paying for paid-for links, you mean more so links that would be paid for on an on-going basis, so monthly, quarterly, annual commitments for link placement, or links that maybe were purchased and paid for at one time?

Thomas Smale: Yeah. Well, it could be anything. If they’ve purchased or bought a link in the past, that’s not necessarily an issue, but it’s really just like a signaling thing. There’s not an exact science behind due diligence. Say for example, if you’ve got a lot of links that look like from a private blog network, or they’re all from guests’ posts, then you’re going to make sure that they’ve declared a cost for that, or they’re being honest with you. If you’re being a seller, my advice is to just be honest. If you start hiding things it’s bound to come up.

For example, I’ve seen sites in the past ranked well by sponsoring certain events or charity projects. That would be a yearly sponsorship. If they’re getting bunch of good links from that, and they’re paying a thousand bucks a year to sponsor, you want to make sure that cost is reflected in the financials. If it’s not, then it’s generally a red flag from a buyer perspective, and you want to make sure there’s nothing else funny going on there.

Obviously, buying links in the SEO community, there’s a divided opinion over whether or not you should or shouldn’t. I guess that’s a very subjective part of due diligence. Some buyers will be comfortable. I’ve seen deals fall apart before because buyers are not comfortable with it. That’s very much a subjective element. Due diligence is a combination of objective fact-finding and subjective decision making. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. What one person sees as a risk another might see as an opportunity.

It’s really just a verification, and then depending on the buyer or the seller, it’s just a case of figuring out what’s okay and what’s not okay. From a buyer’s perspective, you’d never expect for it to be perfect. There’s always something that goes wrong unfortunately. You just want to be reasonable entering the process. The same from the seller perspective.

If you’re the one selling the business, you want to make sure that you’re transparent, and you’ve got answers for people. If you’ve tried to hide things then expect it to come back to you, especially if you’ve got a sophisticated buyer who knows that they’re doing, it’s unlikely they’re going to get away with spending $20,000 a year on sponsored links and hope no one notices.

I guess that moves onto the next part of due diligence, which is owner verification. It’s the most minor part of due diligence, and again, it’s very subjective. It’s just figuring out who’s the owner. Again, if you’re the seller, your due diligence would be done the same way for the buyer. You’re going to make sure the buyer is legit. If you’re a big company like Internet Browns for example, they would have less of an issue getting a deal over than some random guy working out of his mom’s basement who has basically no company, no audit trail, no history.

It’s always important to verify the owner. At least says who they say they are. Look them up on LinkedIn, Facebook Twitter. These days it’s quite easy to find who people are. Again, that’s just subjective part. A big red flag would be there if one person names a website by who it is, and then a different person is trying to sell you the site. That’s less common at the higher end of the market and more of a less sophisticated scam you might see on some smaller webmaster forums. Really, it’s just a case of making sure you’re comfortable with who you’re dealing with.

Then you move onto operational and technical due diligence. This is probably the most subjective element, and it really depends on the business. If you’ve got an ecommerce business, and let’s say you’re on the Magento platform, a buyer might want to make sure there isn’t any custom plug-ins or extensions that have been used that they’ve got the correct licenses, or if they’ve been custom built they’ve got access to clean code. They’ve got a programmer who’s done it, and they know what they’re doing. That’s a very subjective element, but making sure that everyone’s comfortable with the platform.

From a seller perspective, it’s always important to use a platform a buyer is familiar with. If you decide to build something yourself, if you have their business or something along those lines, SaaS being software as a service, make sure any custom programming or code you create is well documented for a buyer. The easier you make it for a buyer to understand, the more likely they are to go through.

Operational, again, is quite subjective, but probably the biggest point here is how much time does the business take to run. In all my years of doing this, it’s probably the most readily misrepresented part. If you’re looking to buy a business, the seller will say I spend 10 hours a week on it, but when you get to due diligence, you want to make sure. It’s always impossible to know exactly, but you want to figure out whether or not the tasks they’re doing would match up to the number of hours they claim.

Obviously, if you’re buying a business, and they claim it’s 10 hours a week, you don’t want take over and find out it’s 60. Most entrepreneurs are guilty of doing. Most entrepreneurs will work 60 hours a week, but when their selling their business they say the work five. That’s, from a buyer perspective, something you want to verify. Again, it goes back to day one. If you’re the one selling the business, be honest from the start, because it’s going to pretty obvious if you’re processing a thousand orders by hand every day and shipping them out, you’re not doing that in half an hour a day. It’s just a case of being honest and transparent, and then everyone’s happy.

The final part is legal due diligence. I say subjective based on the deal. If a domain has possible trademark infringement, or if there’s . . . Let’s say you’ve got a site that’s scraping content from elsewhere, that could be an issue. You might be checking that all of the images are licensed properly or if they’re creative commons. Making sure, especially with us, we’re based in the UK, and we’ve got an office in the US, but a lot of our clients are international. We deal with a lot of cross tier station deals where you might have a buyer in the US and a seller in the UK, Germany, or wherever. In that case it would be different laws in different countries.

It’s a case of figuring out just because something is legal in one country… They might be running a site that’s perfectly legal where they live, but where you’re buying it is not necessarily legal. Generally, that part of due diligence you would expect to do upfront. You would hope you didn’t have a buyer buying a business if they haven’t realized it’s not legal for them to be running. Obviously, the bigger the deal gets, the more in depth the legal due diligence can get, especially when it comes to contracts.

I guess that’s the main parts of due diligence. It’s not really an exhaustive list. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just a case of a fact-finding mission for a buyer. The more transparent a seller has been up front, the less there are to be any issues. I guess the main thing with due diligence I’ve experienced over the years is both parties just being reasonable throughout the process. If the seller is trying to hide things, it’s going to cause issues. If a buyer is getting, not that there’s anything wrong with being overly paranoid over certain things, but you’ve got to be realistic as a buyer and expect there to be the odd issue along the way. It’s just a decision of whether or not you’re willing to take the risk, if that makes sense.

Nick: To jump into something you said in a little more detail about the size of the deal, and you highlighted that contracts are really the one thing have more of a dynamic role in different sizes of deals.

If you could expand on that a little bit, what would you say are the stark differences between a $50,000 sale versus a $1 million sale?

Thomas Smale: That’s quite an interesting sometimes you get a small amount to about mid-five figures to about mid-
seven figures. I would say, generally speaking, the main difference between a 50K and a million dollar deal, again, I mean it does vary deal to deal. There’s no necessarily right or wrong way to do things. Generally speaking, this will kind of go without saying, the bigger the deal the longer you would expect it to take. That’s not necessarily in terms of finding a buyer in the first place. Most buyers at that level are quite organized, but just going through the whole due diligence process.

If you’ve got a big business that’s worth a million dollars, it’s probably got a lot of moving parts. Due diligence might take, with a million dollar deal, at the moment, $1.5 million, the due diligence period is 45 days. On a 50K site, it might be five days. The length of time it takes is longer obviously when you get to the contract negotiation stages of bigger deals. On a 50K deal, people are way more likely to agree to terms quickly. There’s not going to be anything complicated. For a $50,000 deal, it’s highly unlikely anyone’s ever going to get sued for the agreement. It’s really just a case of keeping it nice and simple, and making it fast for both parties.

On bigger deals where there’s a lot more on the line, there’s liability issues. There could be financing in the deal and all sorts of potential issues. The contract negotiation generally takes longer. I guess on the plus side, from a broker’s perspective, and a seller and buyer perspective, generally speaking, on the larger deals, the kinds of buyers you’re dealing with are significantly more sophisticated and professional.

That’s not to say professional buyers do not exist at the 50K level, but if you’re selling a business for a million dollars, you’re probably dealing with an experienced buyer who knows what they’re doing, they’re clear with what they want and what they expect, and it’s probably not their first rodeo. It’s highly unlikely it’s someone entering the market for the first time with a one million purchase; whereas, from a 50K deal perspective, you could have somebody who’s never bought a site before, far more likely to come in at that entry level than they are higher up.

From a seller perspective, it can also make it easier, and generally speaking as well, again, from a broker’s perspective. Generally, sellers are more professional. They’ve probably got their books in order. They understand the process. They’re realistic. I guess it goes for a lot of business, they understand the value of a broker. They’re paying for service because they know they need the service; whereas, on the lower end, often you can get a few more issues.

General rule of thumb, once again, this is really a generalization, but on bigger deals I found you get less misrepresentation. Buyers and sellers are more professional. There’s less lying throughout the process. Things are just a little bit cleaner. On the lower end, especially if you start going into the 10-20K level of deals, which we try and avoid now for exactly this reason, there’s just so much misrepresentation out there it becomes a bit of a nightmare.

I guess the main difference is you just get a slightly more professional deal structure, and it just tends to take a little bit longer. Often the deals can be just as easy as the smaller deals; if not sometimes the smaller deals can be harder just because you’re dealing with less professional people on both sides of the coin. On the higher end, professionals know what they’re doing and it works itself out as you go.

Nick: That makes a lot of sense. I definitely have some of my own horror stories from buying and attempting to buy. That sort of staring evaporating into thin air when you started poking at them.

Thomas Smale: That’s how I got started out. I’ve been brokering for six years, but I’ve been buying and selling sites myself for probably six, almost seven. I’m feeling quite old now. I definitely got into the industry the hard way. Spent my own cash; lost my own cash. I certainly know what it’s like at all ends of the market.

I started out buying sites for 50 bucks. I moved up to sites that I bought for 150K. Yeah. I know what it’s like. I’ve kind of been there, done that, which I guess helps being a broker if you’ve actually done it before.

Nick: I think it makes a lot of sense.

Do you have any stories about any strange types of sites?

I realize you probably have some tight-lip nondisclosure and confidentiality agreement, but just generally speaking, is there any… Have you ever worked on a deal where the site was selling hip replacement parts or exotic lizards? I know that it’s the Internet, so the strangest that someone can imagine is out there, and someone is paying money for it.

Thomas Smale: Over the years, I don’t have our exact number of deals, but it’s like way over 200. I would say we’re relatively flexible over the kind of businesses we take on. We’re not set in our ways, so we take on a lot of random businesses. I think you’re just saying like hip replacements.

A couple of months ago we just completed the sale of the stair lift website. It was an information site all about stair lifts for your home. That was quite an interesting one. It actually took quite a long time to complete, just because a lot of people felt the niche itself wasn’t very interesting. They’re saying I don’t need the stair lift; I’m a 30 year old guy, what are you talking about.

You often find that the strange deals, while they do sell, often it’s quite difficult to find a buyer, because people are set in their ways as to what they want to buy. While a business, or a niche, might be very attractive, such as the retirement niche I guess is where stair lifts exist, it can be quite challenging to persuade buyers they should buy something that’s a non-sexy niche.

Nick: I know all about the non-sexy products.

Thomas Smale: That’s kind of where the money is to be made. I guess you go to the opposite end of the scale. Let’s go for a slightly more interesting one we did recently, especially in the gaming niche, we recently sold a Minecraft server. I’m not a gamer myself, so I don’t really know much about these things, but a couple of my programmers from the team who love and they play Minecraft every night.

We’ve never seen a Minecraft server before it came in. It’s not a traditional server, because it’s not really a website. It’s more of a game server, so we’d never seen anything like it before. You get some really interesting ones that come through the door. Obviously, I’ve been doing this for so long now I see a lot of different niches, not necessarily that would come on, but a lot come on.

I guess from going from stair lifts that are designed for 80 year olds, to Minecraft, which is often played by 10 year olds. You get a real wide spectrum. That means that my experience in selling businesses, and the kind of the things I’ve seen, is very random. It can be quite a strange experience, because I visit a lot of very odd websites. People must think I have some very strange interests that don’t really overlap. It’s certainly interesting being a broker, the kind of stuff that comes in.

Nick: A question I just glazed right over.

What’s a typical fee that somebody could expect to pay for professional, expert brokerage services from the seller’s perspective?

Thomas Smale: It depends on deal size with us. Generally speaking, if we go back to our example of a million dollar deal and the $50,000 deal. On the million dollar deal you’d expect to pay 10%. That’s somewhat of an industry standard. A 50K deal would be 15%. There aren’t all than many brokers out there who do sub-100K, so generally speaking, around 15%. Then above that expect it to be negotiable. Generally speaking, over a half million, it’s 10% would be an industry standard. There’s generally not that much in the way of negotiation.

Nick: That seems fair.

Thomas Smale: Just to clarify, that’s just the fee you pay in the completion. 99% of the time you shouldn’t be paying anything up front, especially on sub-2 or 3 million deals, and you would expect the broker to manage the entire process for you. You don’t want to be paying a broker who just lifts your business up and leaves it, or whatever. You should expect a full service for that.

What would you say is the most common aspects of a deal that is commonly overlooked by a seller?

Thomas Smale: Part of my job is to deal with potential sellers as and when they come through the door. I speak with a lot of people every day with varying level of business size, varying levels of business experience. The youngest seller I had last year was 17 and the oldest I think was 70. You get a real range of life experience, real range of cultures. The 17 year old guy was in Pakistan. The 70 year old guy was in the US. I deal with a range of cultures, a range of ages, a range of experience and expectations.

I’d say probably the main thing that is an issue across almost every deal is your financials and getting your books into order, especially on lower end deals. If you’ve got a site making $50,000 a year, you don’t necessarily have an accountant. You might do the books yourself. You might not do them that often. The key is making sure that your financials are in order, especially if you’re trying to sell privately. That essential, and it’s often a bit of a deal killer.

I guess one of the advantages of working with a broker is the broker should have enough accounting knowledge, which is a large part of the broker’s world, to help you prepare the accounts, present them in such a way that’s clean. You’d never want to work with a broker who just puts your numbers out as you do them. You’d expect them to answer some questions, similar to if you’re doing a tax return, you’d expect similar questions from a broker.

Probably the most overlooked by owners that they need to have their numbers in order. People often expect to just submit their tax returns from last year, show that to a buyer, and expect them to make an offer. While that’s not impossible, the more clarity a buyer has over financials, and the more they understand the dynamics of the business, the more likely they are to pay more money for it. If you’re very vague with what you can supply, or the proof you have of income doesn’t really match up to what you say you’re making, then you’re not going to get as much money for a business.

Probably most overlooked, again, that’s going back to a small or big deal, generally speaking, the bigger the deal is the more likely a seller is to have a decent accountant, their books in order. They’re probably going to understand the numbers; whereas, on the lower end buyers often haven’t got a clue what their numbers are. I know when I started out I had literally no idea what I was making on a monthly basis. I’d say financials are probably the number one thing there.

Nick: That’s does help very well.

What would you give as some practical advice for a website owner looking to position their ecommerce website for sale, whether they’re hoping to sell in the next three months, or they’re hoping to sell in the next 12 months?

Thomas Smale: That’s a good question. If you speak to a broker, and if you were looking into some of this and you were speaking to a broker in advance, you’re not necessarily committed. Part of a broker’s job is to advise on an asset, and you’d expect that to be part of their own fee. A lot of my time is spent to speaking to people, three months in advance, as well as 12 months, and making sure they’ve got everything in line. Ultimately an organized seller is good for a broker, if you go for broker or for a buyer.

I think the number one thing, the overall, overriding thing is making sure you’re organized. Get your finances into order. If you don’t know what your financials are doing, then make sure you do understand them. If you’ve got any other websites in your portfolio, make sure you can split out the income. If you’re using, for example, that’s quite easy to do because you get Euro channels.

Let’s say you’ve got an ecommerce website that accepts PayPal, and you’ve got five other ecommerce sites that are all accepting PayPal, make sure you can split out the sales. In that case you could probably do it by different email addresses or whatever for the payments. Making sure you can prove the income from that particular site or business is important.

This one’s not essential, but I always advise people to do it because of what buyers expect these days. Install Google Analytics; buyer’s generally want to see it. I know some people, especially in SEO circles, are a little paranoid about analytics from time to time. If you’re absolutely against using Google Analytics, then go for a second tier tracking service like Clicky is probably the second most popular one that comes along.

Nick: Piwik is pretty good too.

Thomas Smale: Yeah. Piwik is another popular one. Avoid anything server side, because it’s too easy to manipulate. Webalizer or AdWords, anything that comes with cPanel. Five or ten years ago you might have got away, but these days people expect to see Google Analytics, or a Piwiki or Clicky are common. Make sure you can prove your traffic.

I guess if you’re like me, and you’re pretty disorganized person, you want to make sure that your tasks are well documented and you know what you do on a day-to-day basis. From a buyer perspective, if they’re coming into a business where it’s a complete mess, the seller hasn’t got a clue what they’re doing, they don’t write anything down, then the buyers are not going to buy it in the first place, or they’re not going to pay you as much for the business because they’re going to spend six months after taking over trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

If you’ve got any day-to-day tasks, just start documenting it. Yo don’t need to write a book or complete manual, but if you can just write down the processes you go through. If you don’t have processes, like a lot of people don’t, try and make them. If you’ve got an ecommerce business, map out the entire process, whatever you go through. You might ship the products yourself, you might have a fulfillment center, you might go through something like fulfillment by Amazon, or you might drop ship the product.

Make sure you’ve got a standardized process for everything there, so for orders, returns, anything like that. I guess the same goes for support questions. If you’ve got an ecommerce business and people ask a lot of questions presale, let’s say you answer everything by email at the moment, and you’re an industry expert…

Let’s say we go back to our stair lift business, and you’re selling stair lifts, the average buyer coming in probably doesn’t know anything about stair lifts, so you want to make sure, with the most vast majority of businesses I see, the questions you get are generic. There’s probably ten questions that ninety percent of the people ask. I’d build out a decent FAQ section on your website, or build out a support ticket system with a knowledge base, so a buyer can come in a feel comfortable.

I was speaking to a buyer yesterday, and he’s in the middle of a deal, and one of his concerns coming into it is the seller of the business is very technically minded and has quite a technical product, but hasn’t documented out support that well. That’s something the seller is trying to work on now to get in line. The more organized you are, and the easier you make it for the buyer, the better.

Obviously, it does depend on the specific business, and the size of the business, but the more transparent you can be with everyone, especially with your broker or the buyer, generally, the easier the process is going to be.

Nick: I’ve got one final question for you, and I’m sure there’s going to be some people really curious about this. I’m actually really curious about this.

Have you ever sold a site that was pre-revenue?

Thomas Smale: Pre-revenue? That’s an interesting one. That’s probably the most common request that comes in that we don’t do. I’ll tell you the main reason we don’t do it, because from a broker’s perspective, obviously you only get paid on completion, and the buyer’s we have on our list, and the buyer’s we go after expect to pay very set…

There’s a very set way to approach business valuation, so if a business is pre-revenue, it’s difficult to put any common metrics to it. You don’t really know what it’s worth. If you came into me with a business that got a million visits a month, but it wasn’t monetized, I would have absolutely no idea what that is worth.

I would say it’s not impossible. I know people who have bought sites that are un-monetized, but generally speaking, they would be strategic buyers. To be perfectly honest, if you’ve got something like that, you don’t want to be speaking to a broker. You want to be going directly to the buyer and see if you can work out a deal directly. I personally have not, but it’s certainly not impossible.

Nick: Interesting, I was going to say, I’ve approached trying to perform projections on pure traffic sites, and we used the base metric. We would use would back into page views and ECPM. We usually try to use a relatively conservative or industry standard ECPM, or Earnings Per Thousand Impressions of $5. If you take a site that’s got five million page views, divide it by a 1000. You’re down to 500,000 times five. Hypothetically, that would be worth a $250,000 at a $5 per thousand page view earning rate.

Thomas Smale: If you wanted to work it out like that. If you’re talking lower end, let’s say $10,000, then the buyer is probably going to want it for other reasons. They might be in the SEO space and they might want it because it’s a decent, strong domain they can have as part of their network.

At the higher end, I personally haven’t seen many deals, either through myself, other brokers, Flipper, or wherever you might see a public marketplace, that’s always very difficult. There is a school of thought out there with valuation. I would say that the people that use this school of thought are people who haven’t actually sold many sites before.

They’ll do a method similar to yours, and they’ll multiply out what they say the traffic is worth and what it costs to buy the traffic in AdWords or whatever. While that works out well on paper, a buyer, if you’ve got 250,000 as a buyer, you can go out there and buy a business making a solid $90,000. Or are you going to take part in a business that could make $5 CPM or could make 50 cents. The buyer’s reaction would generally be, if you think it can make that, prove it.

The problem with pre-revenue versus actual proven revenue, you never actually know what’s going to happen until you change it. For example, if you’ve got a site that’s not monetized, it might pick up organic links in a lot easier manner. People are going to be happy to link to your because they don’t think it’s commercial site; whereas, as soon as it’s monetized, that might no longer happen. Savvy buyers will know that and be aware of it.

Generally speaking, if you’ve got a site that’s pre-revenue but gets traffic, just monetize it for a month, ideally three. The vast majority of buyers are going to want 12 months of financials, but experienced buyers who know what they’re doing won’t necessarily shy away from a site if the traffic’s been, say, consistent for five years, but you’ve only put ads up for month. It’s doable. It’s not impossible, but expect a buyer to call your bluff. If you’re going to put a number out for what you say it’s going to make, what you think it can make; therefore, what it’s worth, you’re going to need to prove it.

Nick: That’s awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time. This has been really, really informative. I learned a whole bunch. I think everybody’s really going to enjoy all of the information and insight you provided.

Thomas Smale: Yeah, well thanks so much for having me on. Hopefully, I was of use to some people out there.

Nick: Absolutely, I’m going to do my best to encourage anyone who is listening to reach out to you directly. It’s hard to find good trustworthy brokers who have the plethora of experience in doing these types of sales these days, at least in my experience. Thank you again, Thomas, it’s really been a pleasure.

Thomas Smale: Yeah. No worries. It’s anyone’s got any questions, feel free to get in touch. If I can’t help you, I can almost definitely point you in the right direction. Don’t be scared to ask.

Nick: Awesome.

Thomas Smale: Well, thanks a lot.

About Nick
Nick is the Co-Founder of an ecommerce consultancy company and the author of this SEO Blog.

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  • Informative article. Thanks for sharing

  • Ryan

    Great interview. It was in depth and complete with practical and helpful info. I appreciate your hard work.

    On a side note, I have a little recommendation, well more of a minor request to be exact lol. It would be a lot more convenient if there was an option to print the main text/posts via a pdf printout or a print friendly option. Maybe if you put button on the social media bar? It would help avoid the unnecessary text that clutters the page when printing articles to reread later. But its nothing major just an idea.

    Thanks again!

  • Solid post Nick! Some of us still go the route of selling people NEW sites. 😉

  • WOW. 10 million in transactions.

    And this company is 100X better than Flippa.

  • Debra Mccray

    I appreciate your hard work and I just love your interview. If any of you interested to increase your business with seo, click on my link.

  • Amazing interview, this will motivate me to work harder
    Thank you

  • Very informative podcast for those looking to get into buying and selling websites … keep it up!

  • Thanks for sharing this interview. It gave me a lot of exposure, How can we analyze that how much business a website is being generating, I mean leads and what does that cost?

  • TradeMySite


    I love the points you mentioned in simple words.Buying and selling of websites can be very tedious and confusing if you don’t have much experience .I remember the first time I wanted to sell my website.Here in this comment I have given some guidance, as what I have learnt while working in this industry.
    The owner doesn’t update his website regularly
    It is usually harder to build a business than to grow it
    Never rely on google

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