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Places to look for sites for sale

NEW: Discuss the best places to buy sites in our forum

Good places to look:

1. Places we've recommended as good places to sell a web site

2. DMOZ: Go through DMOZ categories looking for sites that haven't been updated in a while. Approach the site owner directly. You may need to do a WHOIS to find a working email address. Be aware that sites on free hosting (like angelfire) sometimes make it into DMOZ. You may want to filter them out as some free hosts don't allow change in owners.

3. Try your favourite search engines for the kind of phrases someone looking to sell a site may use. Some example: "Site for Sale", "This site for sale", "Buy this site", "This site is now for sale", "Want to buy this site?" etc. Then try other search engines. Know of an algo change at Google? Run your searches again, you may get completely different prospects. Just when you think you've exhausted all the search phrases you may find something like "This domain is for sale" on a site you're browsing, run it through a search engine and discover there are thousands of results for that term. More tips in this forum thread.

4. Place a wanted ad in the forums that allow WTB (Want to Buy) ads. Some examples.

5. eBay: It takes a great deal of patience to wade through the vast amount of rubbish, templates, cookie-cutter and other websites, web businesses, web ideas and even "get rich on eBay" schemes listed at the famous auction website. However, if you know what you're looking for it may be possible to outsource the daily checks and have someone else monitor eBay listings.

6. Sometimes the most value in the site lies in the code behind it. Places like hotscripts may be the venue to explore.

7. Business for sale websites do also list websites for sale, particularly if those sites are profitable businesses. Some examples of business broker sites:



- BizQuest

- and


Daltons (UK) used to list primarily Bricks and Mortar businesses but now have a dedicated section for Internet businesses.

Nationwide (UK) and Small Biz network (US) are a few of the plethora of business for sale websites dealing mainly in fish and chip/coffee shop/laundry businesses and very rarely have web based ones.

With all the business broker websites you'll have to filter out the large number of non-web based businesses. After all, you're not looking to buy a hair dressing salon. Fortunately, most of them have advanced search functions that work pretty well and you can often filter based not only on business type but also price, location or B2B/B2C.

Due Diligence Checklist on Buying a Business

Paying money always helps

Placing a wanted ad in the businesses for sale websites is particularly for those looking to spend over $50K (on the business, not the listing!). But, it does get results. Don't expect many brokers to write in (there are very few "proactive" ones) but you will get a flood of enquiries from potential sellers. Yes, sometimes it costs money to get what you want. B*gger!

There's a hidden market here that's really, really worth tapping. We'll let you in on a secret. Several of the users of the business for sale sites are business owners who are toying with the idea of selling their business. They have not listed their business anywhere, are unlikely to ever list it anywhere - partly for privacy reasons, partly for other reasons - but you can persuade them to contact you in confidence. Get exclusive access to a business that nobody else may know is for sale! How do you do it? Disclose the maximum figure you're willing to spend and make your listing look approachable, "eager buyer wants to pay cash for ...." - that kind of thing. But there are dirty tricks about. Some have figured you can even have two listing in two different names, string buyers along in parallel email threads, offer them a particular high price in one of the threads and then pull out leaving his only other potential buyer being yourself in thread two. 

Some of the locations at the start of this page could take up a lot of time -  particularly monitoring the forums and picking through DMOZ. You may be able to train someone in-house to do the time consuming part of the work and to flag potential threads/sites for your more experienced attention. (Best places to buy domains)