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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 detective:

a. Does the site have any copyright/trademark violations or pending law suits?

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 amount?

f. Will the existing merchant account and hosting service be transferred to you?

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 technology?

k. Are planned changes compatible with existing software?

l. Will you own the domain name and when will that registration be transferred?

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 negotiating process.

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.

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