SEO staple Cre8asiteforums for sale for 170k but what’s it really worth?

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Today one of my old favorite sites has hit the auction block on Flippa.

The reserve price is at $170,000.00 with a Buy it Now for $225,000.00.

Here are some interesting stats from the listing:

  • The auction is listed Listed on the Auction it says the site makes $1667 in gross revenue.
  • Pageviews (3 month avg) 35,923
  • The Alexa traffic rank is 46,061
  • The forums have had 2 new posts in the last 2 weeks.
  • The site did not make a blog post from March until May (its made a couple in recent days).

The Valuation:

I have been hit up by about 5 people so far this morning and I am sure I will get hit up by more so I thought I would just post what I have been telling people.

Guy Kawasaki one time told me there are 3 times to sell a site. To early, just right, to late.

I have been on about every side of that. With NextPimp I sold the site waaaaaaay to late. With AuctionAds I sold the site to early. What are you going to do.

But I digress…

Ok so with this site lets just break down some numbers.

First of all the gross revenue is listed. People forget someone is going to have to run this website. So what are you going to pay that person?

Just to break even you can’t pay someone over 24k/yr or $12 a hour. That would be fulltime of course.

I think to really blow this site out to become an authority again you would have to have a full time person. Blog updates, forum moderation, selling advertising, JV partnerships. All that shit takes a TON of time.

Lets pretend you get the site profitable after paying someone (or yourself) to run it. If you double revenue the site would be doing 24k a year in profit which I don’t think should be THAT hard.

Being the site has been on a MASSIVE downtrend and your taking a total gamble I would value it around 10-20k.

But that is just me… if I was to buy it. And I would turn it into a fricking nascar with ads.

The real value is the database of people interested in SEO. But being that the site has been neglected for SO long you can’t really contact those people out of the blue….

I would guess 99% of the existing traffic is coming from Google (especially looking at their compete and Alexa stats) looking for keywords to help their SEO. But from what I can see the matches are from years ago (sometimes 5-6 year ago). So the value to users is going to be very limited.

Again I would pepper the shit out of it with ads.

I think its a lost cause to being the site back as the authority it once was. I have tried with previous sites that were crushing it.

But maybe I am way off. Where would you value this site and what would you do if you owned it?

32 thoughts on “SEO staple Cre8asiteforums for sale for 170k but what’s it really worth?

  1. Pete

    I think you’re spot on with the $10k-$20k valuation of the assets, though I think if it were put up as an auction it would go into the $30k range on Flippa. But, $225k is just silly, and the icing on the cake is this sentence in the listing “It will ONLY be sold to a good home, and that means someone or a company who will retain the forums integrity and not slap ads all over it in lieu of intelligent discussions.” Very ironic to ask for a multiple higher than Facebook, then try to enforce their own ideas on monetization after the site would be sold.

  2. Brendon Beck

    Shoe, your valuation is spot on ! I would NEVER pay more than 10 X monthly revenue, even if I know i could make it spike.

    From what I understand from the listing is they just implemented banners in January… These guys must be kidding.

    Why do people get all shy, when it’s time to monetize their site ? And then expect to get paid 225K for it.

    Come on

    1. Sam the Sock Puppet

      what a TERRIBLE way to value a website!

      The only sites you can value like that are shitty little cookie-cutter adsense spam sites.

      You cannot even link revenue to the value of a website.

      You should value a site on the time it would take to recreate it – with the same content, and same visitor numbers.

      Think about content, design, time to build backlinks, rank, visitors, returning visitors. This is how you value a website.

      The whole “10 x month revenue” is a stupid digitalpoint/warriorforum idea.

      1. Brendon Beck

        Mate, take it easy…

        The value of something is the highest amount that someone would pay for it. So I guess I’m wrong.

        Just one question. What is your valuation ?

        1. Sam the Sock Puppet

          Sorry – i wasn’t trying to sound pissed :)

          I would think – $30k to $40k

          Shoemoney said under $20k – but i bet in all honesty – if it was his site, he wouldn’t let it go for that — because of the potential.

  3. Pete

    I would ALWAYS pay more than 10 x monthly revenue for a healthy forum community website. Fair market value is typically between 2 years and 7 years revenue, depending on several factors.

  4. Ken Savage

    I’d be interested in hearing from Lee Dodd on this sale.

    Not sure he’d comment or opinionize another forum owner but would be interesting to hear from him maybe on the next Shoemoney show?

  5. Ken Savage

    I agree with Guy and Jeremy. I’ve sold sites way too early and way too late and still working on the “just right” timing. 10x monthly revenue might work for some but in this case it’s crap. The user base here is where the real gold is at. I doubt this attracts the heavy hitters from 4 or 5 years ago but it can still do well with noobs and up and comers.
    Pitch them the Shoemoney system or any other “make money from home” system over the course of a few months and you’d do better than the $2k/month for sure.

  6. Jonny

    Assuming that it is making $1667 in passive income and the monthly expenses are low, I think $25-$50K would be a better valuation. With a bit of marketing and better monetization, it can surely make quite a bit more.

      1. Jonny

        Actually, after reviewing the auction again, I realized that they are claiming $5k per month in revenue and this works out to $1667 per month avg because they did not monetize for the two months previous.

        If this is true, then it puts your valuation completely out of context right?

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  9. Mark Zuckerburg

    Based on the posted earnings – it would be a 11.6 ROI not to mention expenses to operate the site, servers, BW, employee’s etc. Your better off wasting your money on facebook stock buying it at the $40 a share option

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  12. John

    After reading this, checking out the stats, I guess if I owned the site I would sell it too. Seems it might take some elbow grease to get it back to A1 condition. Maybe somebody has the time or resources, but I doubt they would pay that price.

  13. Derek

    Shoemone, you are spot on. For a site that old and not even close to 1 million posts makes me think it’s a useless forum no one goes to at all. Heck, digital point forum is worth way more then what this guy is asking. lol

    If i was to buy that site, i would have to slap up Adsense while i have a huge marketing campaign going besides remove all the spammers/duplicate accounts to basically start over from scratch and build it up with active people.

    If this get’s sold for the price he is wanting, i feel bad for that company or person who bought it. Would take many years to break even. Heck, what if Google decides to slap a penalty on the site during this auction time?

  14. Tech84

    Wow, a site selling for $170,000.00 with a Buy it Now for $225,000.00.

    I always thought the value of a website when you sell it on sites like flippa should be x3 (or x5 not sure) of your site’s annual earnings? So a site earning 5k a year can be sold at 15k or 25k at most.

    Or maybe the owners a still a little hesitant on really selling the site that’s why their selling it at a very high price which probably no one would buy.

  15. Geek Culture

    Selling a site that requires someone to create new content is a very tough deal to get done. The only success I’ve had are with sites that sell products (ebooks/cheats/guides).

    Most people who want a site that generates content already have one! :-P

  16. Matt

    I agree with the valuation of $10-20k, because success of a forum is purely about how your popularity draws in strong contributors to reinforce your popularity further. The internet runs on dog years so that forum is well past it’s prime and it’s very hard to regain that momentum. Not impossible, but a huge hidden cost. If someone wants to use that to leverage connections or a product (like a seomoz tool), they’re probably just as well off starting fresh rather than paying out the nose for a dead forum.

  17. Eddie

    You sold AuctionAds too early? You’re shitting me right? The whole thing tanked practically right after you sold it. Where is that business now?

  18. Kim Krause Berg

    Hi Jeremy,

    I wish I’d seen this thread when I’d put the forums up for sale. You might have invited Jim Boykin to join in, since he spent a butt-load on buying out a bunch of forums. For myself, the forums has been around since 1998 and is famous for not allowing spam and crap posts in our discussions. This has always set it apart. After years of my time, my money, being on duty 24/7, plus vacation and holidays, I wanted to find it a home with someone who would not kill it.

    Every offer that came in wanted to completely destroy it and pop ads all over it. I did not sell. I wanted to find an investor to help me upgrade the entire thing and keep me on as Admin and peacemaker in the forums. A software dev (tools) would have an instant market at the forums. I WAS offered an enormous amount of money about 5 years ago and turned it down because the membership didn’t accept the potential buyer or sale.

    The Flippit sale was a learning experience. Clearly, I asked too much and kept lowering it until it just became stupid to sell it. Every forum has its niche. My forums, unlike many in the SEO/web dev space, never tolerated bad advice, spam, trolls and dumb posts. I think people go to the other forums for that drama.

    As for ads, I always went with what the membership wanted and they hated ads. Finally, when I upgraded the server and software, I had no choice but to fund that. Meanwhile, it remains a labor of love and occasional bitching by me.

    Cheers.

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