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  #1  
Old 11-20-2008, 06:42 PM
critique critique is offline
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Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Hi, has anyone had experience buying established websites on eBay? I'm evaluating business from home projects with view to buying into something that generates additional income, amongst them established, turnkey websites that only require you to market the website itself. I'm especially interested in these because it states no experience necessary.

However I have been told by people who have bought these websites that one is merely buying a template, not an established website. Established websites are supposed to have proof of traffic and/or proof of ability to generate income, as in past record of sales.

Furthermore, these disgruntled buyers state that the after sales support is nothing but an after sales pitch of further products. A person with no experience cannot possibly know how to market a website. Apparently marketing a website is quite tricky and optimising it for a Search Engine like Google, which is an essential part of website marketing, does in fact require technical knowledge and good, long term experience.

It makes sense that the marketing aspect of a website is far more important than the design, as marketing is what generates website traffic, not the design. Marketing cannot be that easy because a lot of people, experienced people, fail. It's easy to design a website but not that easy to make it profitable.

It is probably a very good business for the Seller but not the Purchaser. The Seller designs hundreds of templates every month, saturating the marketing with duplicated businesses under a different name, so the profit margin shrinks with every duplicated template.

Sell the Templates, sell the Hosting Plans and... once the poor buyer realises that website marketing requires experience and a lot of dedicated time and effort, sell them marketing tools. The buyer loses all the way, because after all that, there still is no guarantee that the website will generate an income. Hmmm....


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  #2  
Old 11-23-2008, 02:49 PM
Truthy Truthy is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Anything that says "No experience necessary" or "High school diploma not required" means it is a scam IMHO. Also, if you don't know how to run a website, how do you plan to make money off of it? Advertising on the internet can cost big bucks...



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  #3  
Old 11-23-2008, 07:52 PM
critique critique is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Truthy, if it is a scam, I think what makes this vicious is the fact that the Seller is camouflaged as an eBay Powerseller with a high positive trader rating, the websites are supposed to be self maintaining and is an extention of eBay, so thinking that it is a good business concept for the inexperienced is not so improbable.

I'll be honest, I bought and I got caught.

I realised something was wrong when she flogged marketing tools after the sale. I can't prove anything but on another site she, using her own words, brags about flipping sites.

********


Last edited by katiescorner : 12-03-2008 at 04:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2008, 01:57 PM
critique critique is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

I just feel sorry for the victims. There must be hundreds, if not thousands.

Look at the so called, after sales support Forum, where no-one talks much, it's like a graveyard of bamboozled people.


Last edited by katiescorner : 11-25-2008 at 07:45 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2008, 02:31 PM
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katiescorner katiescorner is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

It definately sounds like a scheme. If you are interested in buying an established website do some research. There are lots of websites listed here: http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/cat...sites-for-sale

You will still need to learn how to do the marketing and all the other stuff that goes along with owning a website so you might want to consider just starting your own.

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  #6  
Old 11-24-2008, 04:32 PM
critique critique is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Thank you Katie, I had a look at that site. It will be a while before I buy another "established" website..

It's my own stupidity, one dreams of having a home based business and these schemers know it. Just wanted to warn other "dreamers". These eBay websites can fetch over US$1,000!!

small sample of the sausage machine, duplicated sites :

************


Last edited by katiescorner : 12-03-2008 at 04:31 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2008, 06:36 PM
critique critique is offline
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Paypal closes her account

We have just been informed that Paypal closed the Seller's account? Why would Paypal do that? Could it be related to abuse?

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  #8  
Old 11-25-2008, 07:47 PM
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katiescorner katiescorner is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

I would guess they were being deceptive and got a few too many complaints?

Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.. ;)

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  #9  
Old 11-28-2008, 10:17 AM
zvideo zvideo is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

These site sellers are hoping to do the following:

1. Sell your hosting.
2. Upsell you other stuff once you sign up.
3. Make money with useless sites...

However, I suggest you look at the Usability of the site you're interested in. If it's something YOU can work with and make grow, then it might be worth the investment.

Look at the number of bids on the sites being sold. Most sites on eBay are getting "0" bids for a reason.

The only site I've bought on eBay that I'm happy with is a free text messaging service because it's something "useful". I only buy sites on eBay when I can turn them into money makers and not what THEY say it makes because most of it is B.S. Nobody is going to sell money-making sites on ebay for $10.

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  #10  
Old 11-28-2008, 09:56 PM
critique critique is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Noted your comments zvideo.

The reason i got caught :

1) This particular user was selling sites like hot cakes, there was ALWAYS high bidding for her sites.

2) She is a so called eBay powerseller with high REPUTATION points.

3) At $10 I would not cry, but I've lost over $300.00!! I'm small fry though, compared to those that have paid OVER $1000.00 for her sites, because she claims they are established.

Anyway, I see Paypal has closed her account & her eBay activity has stopped. BEWARE should she start up again! Her Trademark is in the footer area of the sausage machine sites I have listed above.

Oh, & by the way, Paypal protection? Yeah right! Paypal has closed her account so now I can't get a refund!! I now have wait for Paypal arbitration! Be warned, Paypal cannot guarantee 100% buyer protection!


Last edited by critique : 11-28-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:03 AM
zvideo zvideo is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Instead of purchasing "turnkey" websites, it is wise to learn the following:

1. How to install a php or cgi script on a server.

2. Have your own hosting that allows MULTIPLE accounts. I.e., you pay a single monthly fee but you can host unlimited domains. No more paying $5 a month per each site you purchase.

3. Know the right tools to determine if a site is getting traffic or not. For example, use http://statbrain.com or http://alexa.com

4. Never buy "established, money-making" or "or all you have to do is promote it" type crap. If the sites were any good, they wouldn't be for sale on eBay. With rare exceptions.

5. Limit yourself to $20-$30 if you must buy something. That way, if the site ends up being crap, you're not out hundreds of dollars.

Finally, visit legitimate sites for sale places like http://turnkeyboy.com or
http://marketplace.sitepoint.com
or the warrior forums and digital point forums.

eBay site selling is for amateurs. I have been fortunate to have met some eBay executives at their headquarters and that was about 3 years ago. At that time, it was revealed to me that some of their powersellers DO make over $50,000-$100,000 per month! I said per month!

Ebay even provides them with a special support desk and staff to cater to them to make sure they keep making big sales. However, if any powerseller gets out of line or ends up being a scammer, eBay will get rid of him or her and since eBay owns PayPal, well, draw your own conclusion here. As I've said before, real scammers are MOST Internet Marketing Gurus, with rare exceptions. These guys are as sleak as they come. There are perhaps a dozen you can trust with your money. The rest are scammers.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2008, 01:41 PM
critique critique is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Thankyou zVideo, that info was particularly useful, eg Statbrain & Alexa & where to buy legitimate websites.

By the way, I found out that eBay does NOT ALLOW electronic delivery of goods because Paypal does not refund on non tangible goods!!

So any person selling websites on eBay doing electronic delivery, is doing so ILLEGALLY!!

I just wonder why eBay allowed this one to carry on for so long! It is being discussed on eBay :

http://forums.ebay.com.au/thread.jsp...=1227766665848

Please be careful though, this Seller has hundreds of "enterprises" going on the Internet, eBooks, diets, work from home schemes. Do a search on Sheryl Polomka, you will notice McAfee Siteadvisor has marked a lot of these sites RED because of spamming activity.


Last edited by critique : 12-02-2008 at 02:02 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2008, 04:10 PM
critique critique is offline
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Changing to another host

By the way, this Seller wants $30.00 to move your site to another host. You don't have to pay that, any reputable host will move your site for FREE. You can get good hosting starting $4.95 a month for unlimited sites.

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  #14  
Old 12-02-2008, 05:07 PM
Jakob Jakob is offline
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Re: Changing to another host

Did the website have everything that they stated it had?

The reason I ask is that the facts in your thread on the ebay forum that you posted above doesn't seem to run completely true. I have also purchased a website from this seller without any problems and the site is making me money now.

You state that you needed to spend days learning html for the website - yet these sites are created using Wordpress, there is no html required at all.

You also said you had to learn about plugins - the plugins are already all on the site and activated, there was nothing that you needed to do with the plugins.

You said you had to learn about widgets. Yes the sites use widgets and they are very easy to use and the seller gave complete step by step instructions - with screenshots - on how to change the affiliate information in the widgets.

Once the affiliate information is changed on the site there is nothing else to do other than promote the site - which the seller also gives information on how to do that.

I don't really agree with what you have said about this seller. The websites are not just empty templates, they have the content on them that the seller advertised in her listing - there was nothing about those sites that wasn't as described in the sellers listings.

Perhaps you were not successful with promoting your website, but I certainly don't think making someone out to be a scammer is the right thing to do just because of that.

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  #15  
Old 12-02-2008, 05:10 PM
Jakob Jakob is offline
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Re: Changing to another host

Oh and for charging $30 to transfer the site to another host - most website sellers on Ebay charge for transerring to another host. This is a service that takes time and I can see why they charge for that service. That is no different than any company charging for a service that they give.

$4.95 hosting - what's your point, the seller doesn't require you to host with them, there is nothing stopping you hosting elsewhere.

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  #16  
Old 12-02-2008, 06:03 PM
critique critique is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Why donít you address your questions directly to the people who originated those threads on eBay, there is more than one thread about this issue on the Discussion Board, representing a huge group of buyers who are frustrated because they cannot get refunds. Iím sure they would appreciate your direct input about this on eBay.. People who, were attracted to the Sellerís high profile reputation status, which indicates buyer confidence, and therefore the claim of NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY could be trusted.

Marketing a website successfully requires an in-depth knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). An internet skill that takes a great deal of time and experience to acquire. So how can a person without website experience do that? Then the advertisements should state, knowledge of SEO required.

Furthermore, the Seller was delivering goods electronically, which is against eBay and Paypal policy. So is it incorrect to assume that the Seller was operating illegally and therefore this can be classified as a scam?

Why should the buyers pay the Seller to move their websites to another host if they can get it done for free? Have they not been ripped off enough? Most of the inexperienced (there we go with that word again) donít realize they have other options!

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  #17  
Old 12-02-2008, 06:36 PM
Jakob Jakob is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

If it is illegal to sell websites on Ebay then why do Ebay have a section for selling website businesses? Ebay do allow websites to be sold and therefore it is not a scam.

Why should buyers pay the seller to move the site to another host? Because it is a service that is above and beyond just the purchase of a website. If you buy a website that transfers the site for free then that is great for you, but that doesn't make it a crime that some sellers charge for this service.

As far as the Ebay discussion board - there are 2 threads and not a 'huge group', please lets not exagerate things. And I believe you are one of those 2 are you not?

As far as SEO - the seller clearly states the site needs to be promoted. She gives a number of ebooks relating to promotion. She has a forum with advice on SEO and where you can go to get help or ask questions. This seller is probably one of the most helpful after the sale, not too many sellers do that.

You purchased this website because you want to earn money online, you want a home based business. Yet, you don't seem to be willing to learn SEO or anything else that it takes to really be successful online. Could the problem here be that you are just not successful and you need to blame someone for it?

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  #18  
Old 12-02-2008, 06:53 PM
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katiescorner katiescorner is offline
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Re: Buy Established Websites on eBay Scam?

Well this discussion took an interesting turn.

I would have to agree that it is not illegal to sell websites, or website advertising, or ebooks (all electronically submitted) on ebay. Thousands if not millions of people are doing it.

However.. if she is truly selling wordpress BLOGS.. that is just insane for a buyer to even being buying. You can start wordpress blogs for free... oh wait.. you don't know what you are doing so you want to buy an "established" one.. Well great.. now what are you going to do with it?

Buying an established WEBSITE is one thing.. but you can't cry wolf when you find out that you also have to learn how to run it. Would you go out and buy a McDonalds franchise without knowing anything about management or the fast food business? Of course not.. so what makes you think you can run a website without learning how to do it first? If you had taken the time to learn.. you would find out..

That you can't run a BLOG that you know nothing about.. Bloggers are a whole different breed of website owners.. you have to blog pretty much daily to make a run of it.. you have to learn about RSS feeds,...this on TOP of regular SEO stuff..

As a website owner and a blogger, I can tell you, blogging is much harder than just running and promoting a website.. you have to know what you are doing to make it work...

The same can be said for ANY business... it's just plain ole common sense to learn about a business BEFORE you buy one... no matter what it is.


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