If you peruse Ebay a lot, you'll see a lot of members selling website businesses. Often advertising these as "Turnkey", they claim that the site has been making X dollars a month for the past X months. The businesses include expired domain name searches, online auction sites, credit repair sites, dating and adult sites, etc. Take a look at the current bids or prices - $1.99? What gives? If this site is making money, why would they want to sell it??? Here are some tips to help avoid buying a waste of time. Take a look at the domain name.
Do a Google search for it. Does it show up? Keep in mind how long the seller claims the site has been in business. Go to Internic and do a Whois on the domain name.how long has it existed? Chances are less than a month. Are there any bids on it? the number of bids is generally a good indicator on how legit this "business" is.
If there's only 25 minutes left on the auction, and there is one bid for a very low dollar amount, this one's most likely a dog. If it is down to 25 minutes and there are 60 bids on it up to 500 bucks, it's most likely a keeper. Proof of income. Some sites show a screen shot of their payment processor. Visit the website. Is the payment processor the same? For example, is the screen shot on Ebay from 2Checkout, and Paypal is the only payment method on the site? Smells fishy to me. Most of these sites claim to be "100 Percent custom hand coded by experienced developers". Do some Googling for "website templates". Look through some of the places that offer web templates for sale. You will most likely run across the design of the website that is for sale.
View the source of the site that's for sale - you may find that the seller forgot to remove the comment code that states that "This site was developed by " . There are actually websites that SELL turnkey web businesses specifically for sale on Ebay, and they use these templates all the time, over and over again. If you are still skeptical, email the seller with your questions. If this site is truly on the up-and-up, they'll be honest. If not, they'll dodge your questions like a bullet. One more thing to consider: Often these sites will come with "Dirt Cheap Web Hosting", for something like $6.99 per year. Think about it - would a TRUE e-commerce site that was getting tons of traffic and sales rely on lowest-bidder web hosting? Nope. Now, don't get me wrong - there ARE some good web businesses available from time to time on Ebay.but with the availability of so many free website scripts and templates, they seem to be few and far between.
Caveat Emptor, my friends - let the buyer beware. However, if you want to learn more about running a real ebay business and selling real goods and making good sales, take a look at this site, "ebay auction software" to find some great tips.
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