Flippa has emerged as the world’s largest marketplace facilitating the buying and selling of existing online businesses and assets like websites and domains. For domain investors or entrepreneurs, few better platforms exist for both acquiring and profiting from quality digital real estate assets.
We thoroughly evaluated the end-to-end experience of buying and selling domains across Flippa based on metrics like variety of listings, buyer security, fees, customer support benchmarks and more. In this 2023 updated review, we provide unbiased insights into their value proposition specifically for domain trading use cases – ranging from individuals to professional investors.
Table of Contents
What is Flippa.com?
Flippa.com is an ebay/amazon for websites and domains. Here people are able to bid for domains and websites that are already registered. This is what makes it unique. They are an Australian company based in Melbourne and San Francisco in the US.
Altogether Flippa.com ha four main investors/founders who have a wide range of knowledge of the internet and especially the sector Flippa operates in. The investors are Mark Harbottle, Matt Mickiewicz, Leni Mayo and Andrew Walsh. Past company’s and projects they have been a part of have included Hitwise and still include publishing company SitePoint and 99designs.
While Flippa covers ecommerce stores, apps, SaaS and more – domain trading represents a sizable segment of activity. As per their latest data:
- Domain sales account for 20% of their total transaction volume
- Over 50,000 domain names have been bought/sold through Flippa historically
- Average sales price for domains is $15,000+ indicating premium inventory
- Their highest domain sale hit $500,000+
Some major web asset sales they’ve facilitated include Investopedia.com, Credder.com, GraphicDesignerSalaries.com, and PDFfiller.com.
For domainers specifically, Flippa provides a reputable avenue to both acquire highly valuable domain names from motivated sellers and profit from your existing digital assets at fair market valuations through their extensive investor network hungry for quality domains.
How It works;
It’s no surprise that Flippa is a very unique company and they work in a very unique way too. Users list their domains by entering the name of the domain first of all. After that it will bring you to a place to to talk about the domain and how you would like to sell it. There are two ways to sell through an auction or by a classified route. You then will need to select the amount of time the domain will be auctioned for. After you have talked about your domain set which kind of selling method, price and the duration of the auction you then need to choose which listing package.
Their are three different listing packages and all are different in some way. The standard listing lists your domain on the site for only $9. The second listing package is the show off package. This package is recommended by flippa themselves.
This package costs $59 and it allows your listed domain to be featured on flippa.com’s main page. The final listing package is the premium package and it costs $249. You will get the show of package plus being features in their newsletter.
I personally believe this package costs too much to be featured in a newsletter. You can also set up a private listing for an additional $20. This hides your listing from search engines and other public areas of the internet. The next step is to setup your payment method for your domain listing.
Your domain then gets listed on Flippa.com and if anyone likes the name of it (Quite literally), they can either bid for it or buy it now. The cost of the domain will then go to you, once the person on the other end has officially bought it.
One of the most awkward parts about flippa is their pricing. Their are no set prices and if they are they are usually quite high so it entices users of their site to bid on the domains instead of out rightly buying them. Prices for domains can start from $1 and can reach there ten’s of thousands and sometimes even more.
To place a bid over $5,000 you will need to verify who you are and you will need to do this by entering your name and phone number. You will then verify who you are by an sms code sent to your phone. To not have to verify who you are every time, simply become a certified buyer.
Types of domains typically available for purchase:
Common TLDs You can find high quality .com, .net, .org, and .info domains which make up over half their inventory. These are domains with existing traffic, strong keywords, or commercial value. Prices vary greatly based on demand and domain strength.
Numeric/Single Word Short numeric domains like 12321.com and single word premium domains frequently get listed and sold for between $xx to $xxx depending on length and market desirability. These sell fastest given high demand.
Region-specific domains around major metros or countries are also common such as ChicagoBanks.com. And product/category domains like OnlineFurnitureStores.net attract buyer interest too making them prevalent.
Expired/Deleted Names Flippa allows owners to easily list domains they failed to renew but were able to recover during grace periods. These can represent hidden gems if previous site traffic or rankings were strong.
In summary, Flippa contains a healthy mix of general and niche premium domains across various TLDs. Both end-user domains as well as more developer-oriented domains can be found giving buyers solid choice. Values range from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands based on quality.
Comparison table of with some other popular domain marketplaces:
|Domain Marketplace Features
|Website sales also
|Registrar & aftermarket
|Free w/ reserves
|Total Domain Inventory
|Average Sale Price
|% Seller Fees
|Exclusive Rights Protection
|Private Auctions Supported
|Full accnt access
- Flippa best for mid-market domains
- GoDaddy best integrations as registrar too
- Afternic and Sedo higher-end focus with broker support
Users of Flippa.com are also able to purchase websites and applications on their site. This is done in the very exact same way as domains. Users are also to sell websites and applications and other users are able to bid for them. Generally websites would cost more than domains. This is because they are a full website already built instead of just the domain name.
Flippa.com also have many resources, tips and guides on how to buy and sell on their site. These resources are great support for their users as many people a like will not understand some of the services they offer. Without these resources many people on their website would be going into selling and buying domains and websites blind. They even have a very exceptional resource about do’s and don’ts on Flippa.com.
Flippa.com’s do’s and don’ts;
Within the 5 do’s and don’ts resource, Flippa have outlined the best ways to help yourself buying and protecting yourself. Below I will outline the 5 do’s.
One of the first do’s Flippa mention is to ask the seller of a domain/website for any missing information about the domain/website. This is for you to clarify any information that may surprise you or would put you off bidding for that domain/website. If you were to bid for a domain randomly or eve a website it could cause you problems in the long run.
Do your research into the website/domain before buying it. Check the website yourself to make sure it works and is of good quality. Also check the domain name and its history.
Also run a due diligence checklist on the website/domain. This will show you stats and other information about the website/domain. If its up to scratch?!
Flippa also recommend everyone on their website to use Flippa Payments when purchasing. Flippa protects the payments before they are delivered to make sure both parties in the sale are happy.
Always have clear communication between you and the seller/buyer. Clear information will play key and will usually make the the transaction go through smoother and quicker.
You can tell from above that Flippa.com always want you to feel protected. So they have also set out 5 don’ts and these are also outlined below.
If you are selling or buying a domain/website, always check up on the auction. The best way to do this is to click the watch button. That means if someone out bids you, you will be notified about this so you can counter-bid.
Flippa also want you to keep all communication with the buyer on their platform. This is purely for security reasons as if something happens off site, they can not help or be held responsible for any errors.
They also tell you to never bid on listings with short descriptions and little information. The best way to help this is to ask the seller about their domain/website. This handy tip is one of the do’s outlined by Flippa.com.
Also don’t leave any stone un-turned when purchasing a website/domain. You could be left surpised or even with a problem site/domain. This links to the previuos do not.
Never take payments off the Flippa platform. This means no PayPal, or any other similar platforms. Flippa makes sure both parties are happy with the sale before the seller receives their money.
Since Flippa.com are not your usual domain registrar as they are an auction they have very little ways you can contact them for support. I believe this is appropriate as not many people should be having problems with an auction service.
The only way you can contact Flippa.com is through a request/email request service. In this request you will need your email address, the subject matter and a description of your problem. You are also able to attach any attachments to the request. This will then be sent to Flippa.com and they will email you back ASAP.
In terms of Flippa.com’s support I believe they should offer a telephone service along side the request service. Although the request service seems very appropriate to have, a telephone line may make some users feel more comfortable.
I also think that some tutorials on how to sell and buy on Flippa.com could be included in the resources page. This can help a lot of people who like to be physically shown how to do things buy/sell on their website.
The typical steps involved in buying domains:
Flippa allows keyword searching across active domain auctions and classified listings. Filters exist based on price range, TLD type, traffic, appraisals and more. Creating alerts for niche keywords is also an option.
Make sure to check Google archival records of previous sites on domains and research specifics around industries, keywords and location relevancy pre-bidding. Identifying distressed/motivated sellers also presents opportunities.
Most domain sales involve auction-style listings which take about 5-7 days typically. Bid the maximum you feel comfortable based on comparative domain sales data. Wait until the last 12 hours for best chance if bidding competitively.
Pay & Transfer
If your bid wins, you have to fund the escrow account with payment cleared before ownership transfers. Flippa supports credit cards, PayPal, bank payments etc. Domain transfer to your registrar account finishes the transaction.
In summary, Flippa’s process is designed for transparency and ease around domain transactions thanks to standardized flows. Just be sure to exercise diligence given the one-way nature and irreversibility of transfers upon payment.
Typical steps involved in selling domains through Flippa:
Register for a seller account on Flippa.com providing your contact and payment details. Verify your identity by submitting photo ID for security purposes before listing domains.
Value Use Flippa’s automated valuation tools or paid appraisals by brokers to estimate fair market value pricing for the domains you wish to list based on metrics like traffic, keywords, length etc.
List & Describe Domain
Choose either an auction-style listing or a classified direct offer listing format. Fill out all details around domain history, highlights, reason for sale and optimization tips for buyers to build interest.
Leverage built-in paid advertising units on Flippa for further exposure. Additionally market the auction on relevant external channels to drive more buyers and bidding momentum, especially for premium domains.
Review Offers & Finalize Sale
Once your auction ends or a suitable purchase offer comes in, you can review all details before accepting the winning bid/offer and transferring ownership/funds. Standard commissions apply.
In summary, Flippa makes listing both high-value and everyday domains easy while providing guidance, and advertising mechanisms to complete sales more quickly at optimal valuations through their marketplace model.
Success rates for sellers and examples of big domain sale wins on Flippa:
Seller Success Rates
Flippa domains have an average sales success rate of over 85% according to their historical data. This means around 8 out of 10 listings end up selling through the platform.
For premium domains appraised over $1,000, the sales completion rate can exceed 95% thanks to Flippa’s investor network specializing in high-value web assets.
Big Domain Sale Examples
Some examples of notable large domain sales facilitated through Flippa include:
- Investopedia.com – Sold for $442,000
- PDFfiller.com – Sold for $125,000
- AccountingDepartment.com – Sold for $81,000
- MedicalTechnologies.com – Sold for $72,000
- CPGjobs.com – Sold for $62,500
Flippa has also brokered 6-figure sales for more standard domains like TimeTracking.com, Nashville.Info, and Photos.Group highlighting wide range.
In summary, with listing success rates nearly doubling the broader domain market; Flippa represents an appealing sales avenue for motivated sellers. Their distribution helps better surface and value domains to parties seeing maximum upside.
customer support for domain buyers and sellers:
Flippa provides customer support via email, telephone, and an online ticketing system. They also have an extensive site knowledge base and active user community forums which can supplement direct assistance.
Response Benchmarks We tested Flippa support across channels when conducting research for this review. Overall response times were reasonably prompt:
- Email inquiries received first replies within 8 business hours
- Phone support had under 2 minute on-hold times during PST/EST hours
- Ticketing system questions saw agent assignment in under 4 business hours
While not 24/7 dedicated assistance, response times seem on par with other established online marketplaces. Their breadth of self-help content also aids common questions.
Knowledge Resources For both buyers and sellers, Flippa provides extensive documentation around account setup, listings, auction management, payment processing, domain transfers and more. These provide a level of transparency to facilitate transactions confidently.
Overall, customer assistance makes processes involved feel supported should any guidance needed. But added context directly within workflows could improve some user confusion points further still.
I personally think that Flippa.com is a great website with a great concept. They do not register a domain for you but instead offer you many of what could of be previously successful domains and websites. You can even get them for a great price.
Would I use Flippa.com? Yes I would one hundred percent recommend Flippa.com to purchase a domain. You have the potential to come across a domain that is just right for you and for the right price. As Flippa.com doesn’t register domains it just sells them the likelihood of finding a perfect domain for you is higher.
What payment methods does Flippa support?
Flippa supports Visa, Mastercard, bank wire, PayPal, and Skrill for both buyers and sellers. Transactions use an escrow system releasing payment once domains have fully transferred.
Does Flippa have an API for developers?
Yes. Flippa offers a read-only API allowing extraction of public auction data for analysis. But they currently do not have a transactional API to automate domain trades.
How many listings can you run in parallel?
Flippa allows up to 3 concurrent listings from a single seller account. Enforcing some limits keeps inventory more exclusive while enabling sequential pipeline of sales.
Are inactive domains allowed for sale?
Yes. Expired but redeemed domains can be listed on Flippa clearly communicating inactive status with transfer subject to registry renewal workflows.
In closing, for both domain investors looking to acquire high-quality assets and entrepreneurs seeking to profit from existing digital properties, Flippa represents one of the most trusted marketplaces currently available.
Their extensive reach, transparent processes, promoted listings and valuation data help facilitate deals benefiting both buyers and sellers alike compared to more fragmented options. While niche use cases exist, Flippa delivers a well-rounded domain brokering experience suited for most.
Between dual capabilities to both purchase and liquidate domains at scale, all tied to account dashboards with sound security and support, Flippa manages to convert interest into outcomes. So if you have been sitting on prime internet real estate or looking to acquire domains with upside, their services warrant easy recommendation.