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There are quite a few options these days for finding an online marketplace to buy and sell affiliate websites – we took the time to research the best places to buy websites and have compiled what we think are key details that both affiliate website buyers and sellers look for when making their next deal!
Note: the “we” mentioned in the opening paragraph above refers to the guest blogger who wrote this post. I (Matthew Allen) am not in the business of buying/selling websites and I did not do this research. In fact, the guest blogger who wrote this post didn’t even mention Empire Flippers – which I thought was THE most popular broker out there these days for affiliate websites. They also didn’t mention Flippa – which happens to be the only place that I have ever used to sell a website.
Anyhow… I publish guest posts now – so here is somebody else’s supposedly ‘researched’ article on the best places to buy and sell affiliate websites in 2020. I will say that I do know a little bit about #2 (Motion Invest) and it is legit. I personally know the owners (virtually) and they are filling a gap in this market with what they have to offer.
1. Quiet Light
Founded by Mark Doust in 2007, Quiet Light (formerly Quiet Light Brokerage) is one of the first website brokerage firms of its kind to help ecommerce business owners sell and buy their sites. Quiet Light has brokered the sale of hundreds of different online businesses, with various business models including: SaaS, Ecommerce, Content and Affiliate sites.
They verify all of their buyers in advance to ensure a quick sale for your business. In addition, they have thousands of registered buyers, which helps towards their above industry average close rate that is making them stand out from their competition.
The company has recently undergone through a rebranding exercise and have been able to offer clients additional value-add services such as an in-depth guide page, free website valuations and more user-friendly listing search function. Moreover, Quiet Light has a reputation for offering fair prices, offering quality websites and charging reasonable brokerage fees. They are able to offer quality websites through a comprehensive, standardized due diligence process by supplying reasonable inventory of listings while charging an attractive brokerage fee of 14%.
Their team includes experienced entrepreneurs and professional advisors, who have successfully owned, bought, and sold their own six and seven figure businesses. Jason Yelowitz, for example, has raised over $10 million in venture capital while starting many of his own sites. This first-hand experience from well-respected brokers has gained them a great reputation within the industry.
Best for: deals in 6-7 figure range
First and foremost, Motion Invest is the only business on this list that focuses on cash-flowing businesses that make between $500 -$40K in profit, annually. The Motion Invest team has over 20 years experience buying and selling small, profitable websites, which has allowed them to build an online platform that caters specifically to small website buyers and sellers.
Motion Invest has the ability to buy sites quickly, sometimes within 48 hours. Sellers also benefit from having a standardized process that all sites go through to ensure the process is quick and efficient for both the buyer and seller. In addition, along with buying sites at fair market prices, Motion Invest charges $0 listing fees, 0% buyer fees and most importantly, 0% brokerage fees as Motion Invest actually buys the site themselves! The end result is if your site meets industry benchmarked standards you get more money in your pocket faster while spending less effort selling. Also, given that Motion Invest buys the sites themselves, there is no exclusivity period, meaning that website sellers can shop around if they are not completely satisfied with the service and value offered by Motion Invest!
Something other website brokers lack on this list is strong after-sale support. Motion Invest excels in this aspect, with a dedicated support team that helps make the transition easier by assisting to set everything up on your host as well as helping to switch out the monetization to your specific details.
Motion Invest is considered one of the smaller players in the space with inventory levels a bit lower, this could be because they are newer in the space. They also have small inventory levels due to fast turnaround times and an extensive vetting process, allowing for only the highest quality sites to get listed on the site. The company specializes in selling and buying various types of websites including: Affiliate and Content-based sites.
Motion Invest is run by a solid 3-person team of website buying and selling specialists, who are experienced in both the technical and business aspects of website sales. This unparalleled experience enables them to give you support and guidance through the whole process of selling and buying your website that will not only maximize your sites value but close a deal that you’re happy with.
Best for: deals in range of $500 – $100,000
3. FE International
Founded in 2010, FE International is considered a leading broker within the industry, specializing in the sale of large online businesses, primarily dealing with SaaS based business models, with the majority valued between $100K – $5MM. The company market themselves as a higher caliber broker: assisting clients with due diligence, providing useful resources for their customers to rely on, and making the most of negotiations. They are based in the U.S. and currently have one of the largest teams in the industry, boasting over 100 employees across 3 offices. The company has a sound reputation for its professionalism and high-quality listings. They also tend to attract higher-end businesses and like to primarily deal with SaaS & App development- based sites. As one of the oldest website brokers, FE International has allowed for a large selection of listings, with quite a bit of listings at any given time.
The company proudly advertises their high website selling success rate of 94.1%, however, the turnaround time varies significantly given their focus on higher-end businesses. They do, however, state that they have sold over 750 businesses in the span of 9 years, which is a great accomplishment and speaks to their ability to sell sites efficiently.
FE International charges a non-negotiable 15% brokerage fee, to the seller, for their services. Considering the industry average, their fee falls in the upper range of the spectrum, however, considering they are the leaders in the space, it could be said that their brokerage rate is justified, given they have more bargaining power and larger economies of scale than most other brokers.
Best for: SaaS deals in the six-seven figure range
First launched in 2021, BitsForDigits is a more recent addition to the online business acquisition ecosystem. The platform is an acquisition marketplace for internet startups with annual revenues of $100K or more.
BitsForDigits allows founders and owners of internet businesses such as affiliate websites, SaaS, eCommerce and more to list their business anonymously on their marketplace. Especially noteworthy are two points. Firstly, owners can list their business as a full, majority or minority acquisition. That means the platform allows sellers to list their entire site or opt for a partial sale.
Secondly, BitsForDigits monetizes via a subscription fee on the buy-side. Business owners do not pay anything to use the platform. There is no commission fee.
The platform only functions as a bulletin board. Acquirers can reach out to business owners on the platform and exchange messages, but deals are negotiated and transacted off platform. Hence, BitsForDigits does not offer any due diligence services.
Best for: deals in 6-7 figure range
Founded in 2013, BuySellEmpire is an online brokerage that buys and sells websites for U.S. and Indian based clients. The company is considered one of the smaller players in the space with inventory levels in the middle of the pack amongst the other brokers. Compared to other brokerages on this list, their description of how they conduct due diligence was vague and seemed non-exhaustive. They specialize in mid-market deals ranging between $100K – $1MM. We were impressed with their exclusivity period of 2 months, which was on par with the industry average. Their website also claimed to have a 95% success rate, which is a pretty impressive stat.
As one of the older website brokers in the space, BuySellEmpire has a highly standardized due diligence process, while offering extended support of 24/7. They focus on an array of website business models such as SaaS, Ecommerce, Content and Affiliate sites – although a majority of their website listings seem to be Content and Ecommerce based.
BuySellEmpire does a good job with website buying and selling turnaround times, claiming, their process takes an estimated 2-3 months, from the submission of a website to the final money transfer. This number can vary; for larger assets, it can sometimes take longer.
Another aspect of their business model includes partnering with individuals who want to acquire websites with a market value in the range of $250K – $2MM+. They will help with vetting, closing deals, fast-tracking growth, and carrying out other business initiatives. For their efforts, they will work out an arrangement for a small stake in your company.
BuySellEmpire consists of a small and dedicated team of website buying and selling professionals. Their headquarters are in the U.S., specifically, Washington, DC.