Negotiating the Best Website Business Deal
By Dennis Blasius
Congratulations! After many hours of searching buy-sell website
sites, youíve finally found the perfect website. It meets all of your
requirements and is definitely in alignment with your purchasing goals.
But now, youíre completely stuck. You donít have a clue of how you can
effectively negotiate with the seller and certainly donít want to pay more than
the site is worth. In fact, you want to get the best possible price for your
money. Well, sit back, relax, and get comfortable because in five simple steps,
weíre going to teach you how to effectively negotiate and obtain the best
possible deal for your new website. So, letís get started!
1. Be a detective. First and foremost, you have to act as a detective. You
should be willing to roll up your sleeves and do some in-depth research into the
site which will enable you to obtain answers to some important questions. Now is
not the time to be shy because you future is at stake. You have to delve deep
and be willing to find all the pertinent information that will help you make a
great offer. Here are some questions that youíll want to inquire as you become a
a. Does the site have any copyright/trademark violations or pending law
b. Has the site ever been associated with spam or received any warnings?
c. Is the site content devoid of any copyright infringement issues?
d. Will you be allowed to customize the content as you see fit?
e. What is your monthly bandwidth and costs if you go over this allocated
f. Will the existing merchant account and hosting service be transferred to
g. Will any technical assistance be available for the transfer?
h. Can you verify the siteís web traffic with independent sources like
Google, Alexa or other engines?
i. Does the site rely heavily on pay-per-click advertising? If so, how much
does it cost to maintain these rankings?
j. Will your designer be able to maintain graphics and current site
k. Are planned changes compatible with existing software?
l. Will you own the domain name and when will that registration be
m. What will be your initial and monthly costs with running this site?
n. What is your expected monthly profit?
o. Will you be allowed to add additional links or improve upon existing ones?
p. Will you have access to any auto responders, interactive features, or
programming, which the current owner utilizes?
q. How will you update the site as time passes?
r. Will you have access to website statistics including page history,
existing member lists, and other pertinent information?
s. When was the site last updated? By whom?
t. Who designed current content and site and are they still available to
handle revision requests?
2. Consolidate information. Once you have answered all these questions,
youíll have a better idea of what the site is worth. However, youíre work is not
done. You now have to consolidate all this information into a concrete number.
Some consultants recommend that you pay no more than five or six times the
monthly earnings of the website however; weíve found that each site is
individualized and a simple formula doesnít work for everyone. Instead, you
should take all gathered information and either hire a professional website
appraisal company or do your own research to come up with an amount that factors
in your siteís uniqueness.
3. Decide what youíre willing to pay. Now that you know what your website is
worth, you have to figure out what youíre willing to pay for it. That is, what
is your bottom line figure? What is your high figure? Once you know these
answers, you should be willing to walk away if you canít reach a price that
youíre comfortable with. After all, there are literally thousands of sites
available for purchase. You simply have to be patient and hold off for the site
that can meets all your needs and your budgetary constraints.
4. Feel out the site owner. Now, itís time to feel out the site owner. In
this step, you must find out what the site ownerís motivating factors are for
selling the site. For instance, are they concerned with a lump sum payment or
are they more concerned with security? The reason being is that if they are
concerned with a lump sum payment they will likely not be open to a contingency
plan or wonít be as interested in taking stock in lieu of cash. However, if they
are more concerned with security, they may be open to a more creative type of
financing arrangement. Once you know this information, you can use it in the
5. Make your offer. Finally, it is now time to make your offer. If possible,
get the existing owner to make the first offer and then negotiate from there. If
you make the first offer, make sure that you have factored in all pertinent
information and that your offer is based on your budget. You should never
lowball the owner (unless you donít care whether they sell you the site or not)
and should always make a fair offer so that the site owner doesnít cease
negotiations. If you do offer less than the current asking price, include your
reasons for making the lower offer.
In conclusion, purchasing a website is not a simple process. It involves much
planning, research, and careful implementation. However, if you apply the
previous five steps, you can walk away with a great site, peace of mind, and
immense pride in knowing that you negotiated well and paid a fair price.