In this, the age of technology, it's not just products and businesses that change hands anymore. Believe it or not, people buy and sell websites for profit, and if you're good at it, it's a lucrative business. If you can buy an already up-and-running website, you don't need to worry about getting it into search engines or establishing a customer base. You can just step in and make improvements. If you are considering getting into this and want to know how to buy a website, follow these steps.
Search the web. You can start off your search for a website to buy by doing a search on the internet. But you will need to look deep into the depths of the internet for sites worth purchasing. Don't go with the first few sites that pop up. Similarly, don't go with the big name sites either, as they'll likely be pricey and high maintenance. Unless you've got a team willing to take on those responsibilities, look for manageable websites to buy.
Focus on products and services you know. If you already buy and sell certain products and services, choose a site that deals with these same things. You can easily redirect traffic from this new site to your existing site through links, mailing lists and forums.
Evaluate the site before you buy it. You want to know if the website you want to buy has potential for revenue. Don't take the owner's word for it - do research on your own. Get an idea of the daily traffic on the site by using programs like Site Meter to understand how many visits the site gets. Run a few of these programs if you want to, but go with the most conservative number. You will also want to look at past revenue, the age of the site and the quality of the content on the site. Like a home, the site may have potential but need major renovations to bring it up to your standards. Make sure that you consider these things when you decide to buy a website. You can easily investigate this by checking the site's backlinks, looking into its history and perusing the forums in the site's community (if it has one). You also want to evaluate the overall site design, the keyword density, and the quality of the links.
Contact the owner. Before you can buy a website, you will need to treat it as a business transaction. Contact the owner to show your interest. You can usually find the website owner's email address on the website. If you can't find it on the website, you can always check Whols Database to find the email address of the person who registered the site name. Through discussions with the owner, you will need to gather information that can help you to come up with a reasonable offer. (Again, take into consideration site statistics, revenues, costs and anything else the owner tells you, and make sure that the owner is able to back up any information he gives you). Being sincere throughout this process will help your purchase of this website run more smoothly. Make sure there is a contract outlining the deal that both parties have signed and dated. It should include a clause banning the owner from starting a competing website in the near future. And it's also a good idea to require the previous owner to be available for support and questions over the next few months while the ownership transitions.
Buy the website. Once the contract is written up, you also want to make sure that you haven't overlooked any details. Be sure to transfer the domain name, along with the business name or corporation information, hosting ownership and any other third party subscriptions to your name. There should be nothing left in the previous owner's name. You also want to make sure that you have a copy of the email lists. This is imperative to the longevity and profitability of your site!
Invest in your new web property. Like any new investment, when you buy a website you should be prepared to invest a little bit of time and equity in maintaining and improving the website. Also remember that a new website comes with a few added responsibilities. You will need to reply to support emails, maintain the server, do SPAM control and keep up with the daily responsibilities as a webmaster. If you are successful at this, your efforts to buy a website should lead to profits.