What Red Flags Do You Need to Know Before Buying a Website?

By | June 27, 2011

The formula is pretty simple: you’re not a bull. So when you see red, you stop. The problem is, not everything is always as cut-and-dry as a traffic light. If only the world of buying and selling websites were that easy.

The fact is, sometimes there will be some warning signs that tell you not to buy a website. The problem is that these “red flags” are metaphorical: you won’t actually see a stop sign telling you not to buy the site. That means you’ll have to take it upon yourself to understand what these red flags actually look like in the real world.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll be on your own. This article will introduce you to some potential red flags – and you can check them out for yourself at the listings at WebsiteBroker.com to see if you spot any sites displaying exactly what we talk about here.

Red Flag #1: Low-quality traffic.

Sometimes, it’s actually quite easy to get a lot of traffic. Heck, you can buy up traffic from seedy websites that are looking to make a quick buck. But the quality of that traffic is really what you want to pay attention to, which is why one red flag is low-quality traffic.

How do you determine the quality of traffic? There are some easy variables to remember. First, you’ll want to see how “sticky” the traffic is. For example, a site that has a lot of visitors – and these visitors stay on the site for a long time – well, that’s a good sign. The red flag is when you see a site with a lot of visitors and not a lot of participation. It’s easy for these red-flagged site owners to ask for more money than they really deserve, especially if the domain buyer is na├»ve enough not to check out the traffic quality for himself.

The takeaway? Always check on how long visitors stay at a site, and what they do there. It’s better to have 100 visitors and 100 paying customers each month than 1,000 visitors and 10 paying customers.

Red Flag #2: Nobody’s bought the site for a long time.

This one might not quite be as tangible as the first red flag, but it can be just as important. When nobody has bought up a domain name that looks to be valuable for a long time, then you have to start to wonder if those other potential buyers know something you don’t.

Of course, this red flag isn’t definitive. There’s a chance that people haven’t bought up a domain name simply because those people aren’t great at evaluating domain names. Maybe they’re not as good as you are at the whole process. But the longer a site has been on the market and hasn’t been sold, the more likely it is to be a red flag.

Why is this? Because the longer a site’s been on the market, the more chances people have had to look at it. And when so many people don’t want it, you have to ask yourself why.