When does it make sense to sell your website?
I've sold a lot small websites (not recently) where I just seen they had potential but I didn't have in me to really pursue it, we're talking $500-$15,000. I've only sold a serious income earner one single time and this was due to losing complete interest in the topic, the site was run down and had declining revenue for 3 straight years but was still a good earner, had #1 for ages for its term and sold to its primary competitor. Other than that I've never sold a major income earning site.
I'm not sure what I'm even looking for in this post, because the most obvious answer is anytime someone's willing to pay more than it's worth, or when your getting paid on expected value that's not sure a thing similar to taking insurance. The question is when do you just sell a website, just to sell it when have no real motivation to do so other than just having the money now. Does that question even make sense?
This is an actual recent situation. I had an immediate use for the money, sell one website to purchase another - and because the nature wasn't gambling this made sense to me despite not being an exact even money exchange. To pursue this opportunity I solicited my site for sale for the price I needed to get for this to all work. It quickly became apparent I wasn't going to get what I had asked.
Where the struggle for me came in is I got another offer, countered very close to my original, and got another back a little higher than his initial. I'm then staring at it so confused. The numbers didn't make sense. I didn't really have a use for this money as the other deal wasn't possible. And the stress was unreal.
I have a few months savings at most times (by choice because reinvesting into sites). I'm staring at an offer that's enough to live for 2 years. On one hand I'm like no this doesn't make sense in 6 month from now working this site that offer might be 16 months income. On the other hand doing something else for 6 months I'd get paid so had to factor that in. But how, what I would be doing etc. I determined I just be building sites and 6 months put into this site is worth more than 6 months fresh.
So anyways I just punched calculators and paced for days. I reached a complete indecision - and it was so much so that I thought if I can't decide I can always sell this later, but I can't always buy it back. So i just shutdown completely - it reached the point where if I was offered more than i had initially I might not even want to sell. I just completely fully shutdown on it. I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts about selling sites. Most interested in selling for a period of financial security, but also for selling for any other reason as well. Perhaps if anyone has insight I'll gain something from it, maybe thread will be interesting or whatever. So what's your guys thoughts?
Last edited by Prop; 04-24-2012 at 08:50 PM.
First off, personally I've never sold a developed site. Theoretically you could say that makes any comment invalid (to a point)...but I'll have a stab anyway...
Doesn't it depend on your overall situation?...and also how much you're 'attached' to the site in question (ie how much love have you put into it, and how much love do you believe you can keep giving it). How much belief have you got in it...and desire to keep building it (not only from a 'what can I earn' perspective...but also from a 'how proud am I of this' perspective.......'how proud am I of this' being a statement not an internal question)
If you have a few months savings...you're comfortable with that....and good reason to believe that your other sites can maintain that general position for the foreseeable future....or you could easily build up again if and when you had to...doesn't that say either....... (I'm finding this difficult to articulate so bear with me)....
1. If it's a site you care for still and either could run on its own for a period with no work or could be picked up again at some future point, and it has income potential as well as the pride perspective...then hold.
2. If it's a site where you genuinely have lost interest and can't see a way of retrieving that, then let it go (of course if the price is right too).
If you're not really comfortable with a few months cushion, and you do have reasonable income from other sites, then possibly the answer is to sell. Deep down that extra cash cushion might give you some comfort that might be missing that gives the strength to go all out on other projects later on, or whenever the need arises...or of course just be available for that next great idea or project.
I know this isn't a great answer...and it only covers a couple of angles. Maybe it's too simplistic. There are or might be many more perspectives to it.
It's really difficult when you're in two minds about a decision..and the more you try to analyse it the more it seems to show benefits (or drawbacks) whichever way you go. In the end sometimes it comes down to gut instinct, an (almost) subconsciously chosen direction. 'Almost' because you've tried to apply all the rational reasoning....and it hasn't helped...but actually it has helped. It's helped you realise that you don't know for certain, you don't have a strong enough feeling on which way to go. In those cases the subconscious, instinctive answer can be the right one.
Almost philosophical, eh :-)
Last edited by chaumi; 04-24-2012 at 10:41 PM.
I have never sold a website, although I have had some offers. It's something I expect to do eventually.
I had the owner of a "web content" company email me out of the blue about buying one of our non-gaming sites. He basically asked if we were interested in selling. I responded that we were, if the price were right. He responded with a fairly reasonable offer without having asked me for any traffic or revenue data. It was obvious he was using some other source of data to estimate the traffic of our site and it's revenue potential, and was basing his offer range on that.
I countered, asking for about 40% more than his initial offer (roughly 4.5x yearly earnings), and he accepted.
If all website sales worked out like that one did, I would be a retired, former webmaster.