How Much Would You Sell Your Website For?

I’ve recently been in talks with a media company that has expressed interest in purchasing GrownUpGeek.com.  I made it clear to them up front that I was not really interested in selling, but I would listen to what they had to offer.

What is the real value of a website? The standard way to valuate a website is to take it’s average yearly earnings and multiply that by 1 year, or 3 years, or even 5 years.  This would put the estimated sale value of Grownupgeek.com somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000.  Of course, if the buyer is more interested in just the domain name because it matched a new product or service, the value to the buyer could be much more, but sadly I have no such luck.

Going into the talks I knew/assumed that the company would already have an idea of the “standard” value of GrownUpGeek.com ($200,000 – $300,000) and I was already prepared to turn down an offer of that amount.  WHY?  Because the website will generate that much money in 4 to 5 years.  If I sell the website today for say, $300,000 then subtract taxes, escrow fees, attorney’s fees, and whatever other fee’s that come up, I would actually be losing money as opposed to holding on to the site for 3-5 years.  This does not even take into account the emotional attachments to “my baby” – I have spent the majority of the last 5 years of my life tending to, feeding, & caring for the website.  It’s my hobby, it’s my LIFE!  What the heck would I do without it?  Sure, I would have a couple of hundred thousand dollars in my pocket – but I will have that anyway over the course of the next few years.

So when asked by the big media company “what kind of number did you have in mind Mr. W?”  I responded with something closer to 2.5 times higher than “standard” value.   (I could hear the gasp in the room)..  Some kind of bargaining technique?  NO – It’s just worth more to me than a few hundred thousand dollars that I will most likely see anyway in the next few years.  Unfortunately the media company does not assign the same emotional value to a website that I do, and as expected, they thanked me for my time.

How much is your website worth to you?  Do you assign any sentimental or emotional value to it?  Even if it’s “just a business” to you, could you walk away from it for only 3-5 years worth of your current earnings?  Am I just a sentimental fool?

10 thoughts on “How Much Would You Sell Your Website For?

  1. Wow, that is an amazing amount of money for your website. I’ve seen a lot of people selling websites on places like flippa.com. Some people create websites and some short amount of time later, sell them for a small amount. Most of those are between $500 to $1000. You are definitely not a fool. I would sell for four -five times annual earnings. I would only do it if I had another nest egg too.

  2. Yah, i researched the prices on Flippa.com, and the asking prices are all over the place from $1000 to $1,000,000 for similar sites. I guess the real value of a website really is what you will take for it or what someone is willing to pay for it.

  3. Because creating a successful, profitable website is not easy! Stastically the odds are that i would fail. Besides, ive seen plenty copy cats try to make sites just like mine.. All appear to be failures so far..

  4. I like your blog and thanks for sharing this blog with us.Why don’t you sell it and start and start another one similar to it?

  5. An offer of $200,000 to $300,000 would be tempting, but if you are going to make more than that over the long run then why sell. I think the key might be to know when the time is right. Look at myspace. At their peek popularity they could have sold out for big bucks. Not so anymore, their popularity is way down.

  6. Blog or sites are usually valued at a multiply of what they cirrently earn. Its just a matter of both parties agreeing on the value so a sale can be made.

    About selling grownupgeek.com, I do agree with you of not selling it. I feel that you set up this site not for flipping purposes. And as you said it’s your “baby”.

    Many people do set up sites to flip but I also believe that people should also set up sites to keep for continous income.

  7. Well it never crossed my mind before but I’ve always been told that there is far more value to a blog that is still earning you money than one you’ve just sold for a lump sum. Even if I had a blog worth $300,000 I don’t think I’d want to sell.

  8. I studied business valuation on my way to an MBA in the late 1990’s and Internet valuations are typically far too low. A business valuation looks at discounted cash flow which includes growth of profit and the cost of funds (what a bank might charge you for interest on a business loan) in its calculation. To simplify things, I always ask a business owner “How big of a savings bond would you need to provide you with the cash that your business provides you as profit?”. A $2,000,000 bond at 5% would provide you with $100,000 in interest per year. Unless Internet values grow up into true business valuations, never sell a profitable site with long term viability.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this story. I definitely have an emotional attachment to my blog. I love it. I’m not at the $300k point yet, but I know that I’ll be there in a couple of years (or less).

    Keep the Tail Wagging is going to be my full time business and I couldn’t imagine giving it up and starting again. This is where my passion is and I’m having a blast.

    Kimberly

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