Sold!


Sold Well, 2 days ago I put UKOffer.com up for sale and I'm pleased to say it's now been sold. I thought I would write a blog post about it to share some of my experiences and lessons learned. However I won't divulge who bought it as they wish to remain anonymous. What I will say however is that the buyer is an experienced and successful affiliate who will be adding UKOffer.com to his portfolio and I wish him the best of luck. I've known him for a few year now and he's a very talented guy who I have the utmost respect for and I just know he will hit £100k profit for the site in 2010. At least. Before I talk about what I've learned I just want to point out that this wasn't a really well thought out and planned "exit" from the business in the traditional sense. When I was writing my goals for 2010 post a few days ago I came to the decision that I should really sell UKOffer so I could focus on my other core businesses. Even as I was writing that blog post I didn't have a strategy or really plan it other than having the thought in my mind that I should sell it. Even then, it was only two days ago when I wrote my "for sale" blog post that the idea crystalised in my head. It was actually when I was writing the blog that I thought I really should do some digging and find out what the site earned in 2009. But that's just the way I work, I'm not a details kind of person and can be very "of the moment". I decided that the only way I would market the sale of the site was through this blog, the Affiliates 4U Forum and the Acorn Domains forum. That was it, I wouldn't even use my contacts, instead I would just wait to see what the response was from people reading my blog etc. So what did I learn? Setting the right asking price - It's fair to say that the majority of the people who have commented and who I've chatted to about the sale have said that my asking price of just 2 x years annual profits was too low and I should have asked for 3 or 4 years. Maybe, maybe not. If I'm totally honest I think that I could have possibly set the sale at £80k to £90k (i.e. under that £100k mental barrier that makes things looks expensive) and possibly negotiated down a few thousand pounds if need be. I was very conscious though of getting people's attention and I thought that setting the asking price just that little bit lower would get people interested. From that point of view it worked, as I'm writing this I've just had 2 more emails come in expressing interest, bringing the total number of enquiries up to 28, 29. Bidding wars - one thing that I didn't feel comfortable doing, but could have easily done is set the sale as an auction. I was truly taken aback at the level of interest that I received for the site and it became clear early on that there were a few serious players who had the cash to spend. However, I didn't want to get into "x has made an offer of £y, can you beat it?" As, in my mind at least that can leave a bitter aftertaste in people's mouths. Instead I agreed to just stick with a fixed price and not mess people around. Could I have gotten more for the site if I gave more people the opportunity to place a bid? Possibly but it didn't feel right. Wiggle room - the only problem with setting the asking price at basically the lowest amount I would accept was that it left me no "wiggle room". Everybody likes to negotiate and get a "deal" but by setting the price at my absolute lowest I would accept then I wasn't giving people the perception that they could get a discount. It may have been a better idea to set the price at £70k even and allow myself to be talked down to my real asking price of £62k. Live and learn. What this did mean was that I got a couple of offers straight off the bat for £50k. Now generous as that seemed I had to politely decline and state my case that £62k was my lowest price and I'm really sorry but I can't budge on it. Which led to other complications...because everything was done so quick and the buyer wanted to conclude the deal today it meant that I hadn't even received offers from some people (after all it's not many people who will buy a site for £62k in 48 hours while only seeing the most basic of stats) or I had received low offers of £50k or so. This meant that in some cases the next correspondence they got from me was "thanks for your kind offer/interest but I have to politely decline as the site is now sold". Most people were gracious and thanked me for letting them know, sure they wish they could have had a shot at it but hey life would go on :) However one or two seemed very aggrieved that they had offered me £50k and not had the chance to negotiate higher. I would point out that I honestly didn't think it realistic that they would increase their offer from £50k to £62k in the space of an hour or two. They would then reply that yes of course they would. Well if that was the case then maybe that's the offer they should have come in with in the first place and they could have had the site. Which leads me neatly on to... Jumping through hoops - Some potential buyers would ask for the stats spreadsheet that I had prepared for 2009 and that was it, that was all they needed. They would maybe ask a couple of top level questions about traffic, rankings etc etc but overall they were easy to please. However some potential buyers would want War and Peace. They sent me mega long emails filled with question after question, after question, after question. And then some more questions just to keep it interesting. Now again I don't have a problem with this either. I know some people like the details and want to know every last bit of information possible before making a decision. Fair enough, as £62k is a fair chunk of change and I must stress I didn't have a problem with this. However, the buyers who asked the "easy" questions were the emails that I responded to first. I wasn't being mean I was just being lazy, I always try to clear the easy tasks before tackling the harder ones. So I guess what I'm saying here is that there is maybe a balance to be made when purchasing a website. Ask yourself, do you really need to know the answer to the questions your asking to help you make a decision? Maybe I'm being unfair as the guys who asked the most pertinent and relevant questions were the guys who had been around the block a bit and knew the affiliate sector very well and what makes a site work and what doesn't. These guys asked stuff about stats, traffic and rankings and that was pretty much it. To the point, quick and easy. It's possibly unfair that the guys with a bit less experience in the sector didn't get a crack of the whip but unfortunately that's just the way it goes sometimes. Payment terms - despite me stating in my original post that I wasn't interested in developing the site as a going concern with somebody I still got asked a few times. Seriously guys, read the blog post. Then there were people who wanted to pay me in installments or if the site achieved certain targets and so on. Now again, all valid propositions but the guy who offers me the whole cash upfront is the one who will get my attention. Transparency - one of my really big bug bears is people who advertise sites for sale like this "site for sale, in highly lucrative gaming sector, email me for details". Seriously, this is how they conduct business. They are so bloody paranoid that others will come along and "steal" their great business idea that they don't even give out the URL of their site, never mind offer any stats or revenue figures. Madness. I mean, if you saw an ad in say Auto Trader that said "blue car for sale, ring for details" would you? Of course not. But yet, day in and day out on certain websites and forums you get numptees trying to sell their site in this way. What they don't seem to grasp is that any potential buyer is going to ask for all this information anyway so why not just get it out there? Paranoid androids, the lot of them. It's 2010 baby - I find it kinda cool that the whole deal took place via MSN Messenger. I didn't speak to the buyer once or indeed meet in person. Yes I've known him for years and there was mutual trust between us. But still, it was cool to thrash out the negotiations via MSN then finally agree on terms. Sweet. End of an era - I was actually quite touched as a few people have said that they've followed me and UKOffer.com over the years and that the site has been used to train affiliate network staff and just generally been featured a lot in the industry over the years. I never really thought about this until I started reading these comments but I guess it's true. Which leads me to another problem, I have loads of email addresses but my main one is info at ukoffer.com. I'm going to have to use another one now, it'll seem, well, just odd. So there you go, my experiences summed up. What I would like to say is thankyou to each and everyone of you who either enquired about the site or passed on my details to somebody they know who may have been interested. You guys are awesome. It's also reminded me of how many people with class there are in the affiliate sector. There are some real gentlemen out there (and ladies) with whom I'm proud to be associated with. Well done Team Affiliate! What I'm listening to right now: Lamont Dozier - "Breaking Out All Over". Tune.

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36 Responses to Sold!

  1. Dom Hodgson says:

    I’ll expect the login details sent to my inbox within the hour…

  2. Richard says:

    Congratulations on the sale Kieron. It’s also good to read about your thoughts after it’s all gone through as well.

    Best of luck to the final buyer too!

  3. Thanks for publishing a very honest and insightful post, Kieron. Congrats to selling the domain, and best of luck with your other ventures. Spotify surely is a brilliant platform to build on, impressed by the volume of page views you’ve got already. Inspiring stuff.

  4. Cracking that you’ve sold it so painlessly. I’m looking forward to seeing it being updated again to see how it develops.

  5. Mally says:

    Quick sale, good to see your happy with the price you got, can’t be easy selling a site you’ve owned for so long!

  6. KirstyM says:

    Congrats on the sale Kieron, it’s been really interesting to see how the process worked for you. It does have an “end of era” feel to it. But onwards and upwards Rodney!

    Good luck with your other ventures ;)

  7. Mark Boyd says:

    Congrats on the sale Kieron :-) If I’d had the money i would have been very interested. I actually emailed an investor yesterday suggesting they take a look, shame it went so quickly!

    Good to hear it went to a good home. Will you be changing your username on a4u now?

    Mark

  8. Greg Findley says:

    Very insightful post, I think you did the right thing in sticking to the set price as the people that missed out would have been even more disgruntled if they found it was sold lower than the asking price. I’m guessing ShareMyPlaylists will take the space that’s left in the ‘Some of my sites’ list in the footer of this blog then? :)

  9. Clarke says:

    Nice one, certainly a good way to go about selling an individual site if you can do it. Know what you want, ask for it and see if anyone bites. I do think however that part of your ability to get such a quick sale is that a great many people in the industry know you, and probably only a small percentage in this position but goes to show you what getting your name about and making the sales can do when it comes to selling on a site, well done.

  10. richard101 says:

    Excellent, useful and honest post. I cannot agree more with your comments about transparency.

    Best of luck with your 2010 goals

  11. Hannah Swift says:

    Huge Congratulations! I hope you do something fun with the money! After years of hard work you deserve a nice treat. I can carry luggage where necessary ;)

  12. Congratulations and I look forward to

    1) seeing which new white car the money gets invested in (well, I guess it would make a dent in a Bugatti Veyron deposit)
    2) sampling the coffee from your fabby new espresso machine and barista skillz

  13. Dan Harrison says:

    Good stuff Kieron. When I’ve sold my sites in the past, an important part of the sale is ensuring that the website goes to someone who you think will carry on the site in the way you intended.

    I’ve found that you can always earn more from a website sale, but it gets increasingly more difficult to find the write buyer at that point!

    Dan

  14. Congratulations on the sale Kieron. May the new owner really take it to the next level! What are you going to invest the cash into?

  15. Chris Frost says:

    LMAO @ TheHodge

    Will be keeping a close on how it develops.

    I can’t wait until me and Keiron hit the tables, cocktails and shopping in Vegas. A replay of 2 years ago. Happy times ahead :)

  16. Congrats mate! Amazing it sold so quickly!

    It’ll be sad for you to part with it, but I’m sure the 62k will help stem the tears.

    Now that UKOffer.com is no longer yours I’m going to have change my affiliate marketing training slides, so don’t forget to pop 2k in the post to me for my troubles.

  17. Kieron says:

    Cheers mate, afternoon shopping in the Fashion Show Mall followed by cocktails in the Wynn until we fall over!

  18. Kieron says:

    Never thought about it but yes I guess I should!

  19. Kieron says:

    Lol yeah, something else I forgot about, doh!

  20. Kieron says:

    ShareMyPlaylists.com, ContentNow.co.uk and Bingo.org.uk. Or maybe put it towards a new Range Rover? Only kidding, it’s all going back into the business.

  21. NickH says:

    Great post Kieron. I had no doubts it would sell within hours. Just wish I’d have had the cash. :)

    It’s interesting that the core businesses you mention aren’t typical retail affiliate sites, and one involves having ‘real’ clients.

    Do you envisage selling more of your retail affiliate sites in the future, or even moving away from the retail affiliate space totally? You led the way early in the game, can’t help but wonder if you’re seeing something many of us aren’t. :)

  22. Well done on the sale Kieron. Don’t blow it all in Vegas.

    UKOffer has always been one of those creme de la creme sites that affiliates aspire to.

    Nice that it’s gone to a good home.

  23. Joe Connor says:

    Congratulations on the sale Kieron and spot on post about the sale.
    I think the new owner has a good deal for a good price although I didn’t think you’d get your asking price. I’m impressed there are affiliates out there with cash to spend.
    I considered making a lower offer but I’ve promised myself to stop buy sites and make the best of what I have before buying any more screen real estate!

  24. jezza101 says:

    Congrats on the sale. And thanks for sharing some of the background info too, made interesting reading. Hope the tax man doesn’t take too much – grrrrr!

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  26. Thanks Kieron for sharing your experience and lessons learned.

    “I mean, if you saw an ad in say Auto Trader that said blue car for sale, ring for details would you? Of course not. But yet, day in and day out on certain websites and forums you get numptees trying to sell their site in this way. What they dont seem to grasp is that any potential buyer is going to ask for all this information anyway so why not just get it out there? Paranoid androids, the lot of them”

    You said it well. I also used to ask myself why would some marketers do that.

    Jose

  27. Mike says:

    Congratulatons on the sale Kieron. This is yet another inspirational post for many of us proving that you can really make good amount of cash from your websites, if you do things the “right way”. And it is yet another important bit that, the website was running on the wordpress platform. Isn’t it?

  28. Chris Young says:

    Well we thought it was time we poked our heads out from under our rock and let you know that Nigel Frith and myself have purchased the site off of Kieron.

    Kieron – just wanted to say a big thanks for all your help in providing us with the necessary info to decide on the purchase. You are a real gent and a pleasure to deal with.

  29. Shane says:

    Well done on the quick sale! Its definately an inspiration for “noobs” like me! Something for me to aim for.

    eToys is a wicked domain – dont sell it – or not till I can afford it anyway :D

  30. Perp says:

    Congratulations, seems incredibly painless, and so quick – don’t these things normally drag on for ages?!
    Also a huge well done to the new owners!
    On a slightly different note, have fun in vegas, v v jealous!

  31. DougS says:

    Well done Mr Young an interesting purchase

    Doug

  32. Ian says:

    Very inspirational, but it must have been hard letting something go from 8 years of work. Well done

  33. Pingback: UK Voucher Code site for sale (spendlessonline.co.uk) | One Man Went To Mow

  34. investah says:

    Bugger only just saw this months after the sale, I thought it was still owned by Kieran as the whois still says so (shouldn’t that really be updated guys!) I know there’s all that BS that if a whois changes you will see a tank in serps but I doubt it?

  35. Congratulatons Kieron. At least this shows a benchmark for 1 way of measuring the value of a site!

  36. Pingback: Not another voucher code site for sale? | befuddled me?

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