If you build a membership website from the ground up, it's your property. That means you can give it away, let it fall into disrepair, expand it, or even sell it for a profit. If you want to sell your website, however, you need to make sure it's worth paying for.
Membership websites can often fetch sizable amounts of money. Assuming you have a recurring subscription or a decent stream of new users coming in, that means your site has real value. A lot of people might be willing to pay for it, after taking a look under the hood.
In this article, we'll break down how the process of selling a website works, and discuss how to go about evaluating yours. Then we'll introduce you to three marketplaces where you can sell your membership site. Let's get to it!
How Selling a Website Works
The process of selling a website is easier than you might think. It comes down to calculating its worth and finding a buyer. You can either locate a buyer on your own, or rely on a broker to help you get the best deal possible.
Usually, the buyer will put the agreed amount for the website in escrow, and then the handover takes place. The process itself is pretty straightforward, but valuating your website can be a trickier matter.
The good news is that, since we're talking about membership websites, you can easily share financial information with buyers. That includes how many signups and subscriptions you're getting, how much money the site makes on average each month, and how long it's been running for.
As a rule of thumb, it's pretty hard to sell a new website. Most serious buyers will want to make sure your membership site has been around for a while, and that it's a solid investment. If you think you're ready to make a sale, let's talk about how to valuate your website.
How to Valuate Your Membership Website
There are a lot of ways to valuate your property – in other words, to determine how much it's worth. When it comes to websites, the most common approach involves taking the monthly average income and applying a multiplier.
For example, a website that brings in $500 per month in pure profit from recurring memberships could sell for anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000, when applying multipliers of 12 and 20 respectively.
There are a lot of values that impact the multiplier you can aim for when valuating your website. One key aspect that we already mentioned is the age of your site. Other factors include how the website makes its money, how much content it has, the worth of its domain, and so on.
A smart approach is to check out how much websites similar to yours are already selling for. Several platforms, such as Flippa and Empire Flippers, enable you to browse public listings. That way, you can get a feel for the market:
Since we're talking about membership websites specifically, another key metric that buyers will care about is how loyal your users are. If you can show that your website's members are likely to stick around, that can dramatically increase the value of your property.
All of the factors in play can easily make this process feel overwhelming. If this is your first time selling a website, there's real value in going through a broker. As you might imagine, they usually collect a percentage of the sale for their work. However, they can also help you get higher valuations.
3 Marketplaces for Selling Your Membership Website
Fortunately, there are a lot of brokers that can help you sell your membership website. Let's introduce you to three of the most popular options.
When it comes to selling websites, Flippa is the most popular marketplace around. You can find websites for sale starting as low as a few hundred dollars, and there aren't many requirements for putting up a listing.
Despite its reputation as a low-end website marketplace, Flippa also conducts a lot of high-ticket sales. It offers an auction system as well as direct buying, which makes it a great option for ‘starter' websites.
Empire Flippers offers a more customized selling and buying experience. To get your website listed, you'll need to provide proof that your membership website brings in at least $1,000 per month on average.
Beyond that, Empire Flippers also requires your website to have an earnings history of at least 12 months. It's definitely not an option for new membership sites, but all these requirements do come with upsides.
Since the brokers here are so picky about what websites they take on, they valuate properties using multipliers that range from 20 to 60. At the higher end of the scale, you can make significant money from a website with a solid member base and history.
Quiet Light Brokerage is about as high-end as website brokerages get. They hold your hand through the entire process of selling your website, and they only take on sites with long track records of earnings.
If you have a membership website that's been running for years and bringing in reliable income, you can contact Quiet Light Brokerage for a free valuation. On the other hand, if your website is more of an up-and-coming project, you might want to hold off on selling until you've built up more traction and history.
You can sell any website you own, but finding someone willing to pay a decent sum of money for it will be difficult if you can't prove its value. With membership websites, you have an advantage – you can show prospective buyers definitive numbers concerning subscriptions and new signups.
As for where you can sell your membership website, three of our favorite site-flipping platforms include:
- Flippa: On this platform, you can list websites of any size and age for sale, and it includes an auction system.
- Empire Flippers: This platform requires your website to meet some criteria for listing, but in exchange, it offers high valuation multipliers.
- Quiet Light Brokerage: If you want a hands-off selling experience, this high-end brokerage might be able to help you.
Do you have any questions about how to sell your membership site? Let's go over them in the comments section below!