Investing in websites has become a popular way to make money online. Whether you’re looking to buy an established site or sell your own, choosing the right platform is crucial. Empire Flippers and Flippa are both well-known platforms that cater to website investors and sellers, but they have distinct differences that can greatly impact your experience and success.
When it comes to comparing Empire Flippers and Flippa, there are several factors to consider. From the quality of listings to the level of support and security provided, each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. In this ultimate comparison guide, we will take a closer look at Empire Flippers and Flippa to help you make an informed decision and maximize your website investment or selling potential.
What is Empire Flippers?
Empire Flippers is the leading curated marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. To date, they’ve sold over $465 million worth of online businesses and have over $10 billion in verified buyer liquidity ready to deploy on deals.
Empire Flippers offers a range of monetizations on their marketplace. The most popular business models are Amazon FBA, Amazon KDP, Content-based businesses monetized via Amazon Affiliate sites or advertising, e-commerce, SaaS, digital products, and online service-based businesses.
Empire Flippers has businesses appropriate for new online business buyers all the way to capital-backed Amazon Aggregators.
Typically Empire Flipper’s platform is best suited for experienced buyers as the minimum sales price threshold is a bit higher than other platforms and the high-quality businesses offered here create healthy competition amongst other skilled buyers.
That being said — Empire Flippers offers support throughout the deal process and takes a lot of the work of the deal on themselves so buyers and sellers who are completely new to online business M&A have experienced teams helping them from listing to migrating a deal.
Let’s explore the benefits of using Empire Flippers and establish what sets them apart as a brokerage.
Benefits of Empire Flippers
Streamlined Deal Process
Empire Flippers has sold thousands of businesses and has solidified their deal process to be streamlined, efficient, and fast. The average deal duration is 86 days, a relatively quick time frame for the start-to-finish process of selling an online business. The efficiency of their process is beneficial to both buyers and sellers because each side can get what they want without a long wait: a lucrative payout and a successful, cash-flowing business asset.
Empire Flippers is a curated marketplace. Curated listings means the businesses are carefully evaluated and chosen to be listed on the marketplace. The way Empire Flippers evaluates listings is through their thorough vetting process. In vetting, Empire Flippers verifies website traffic, domain ownership, earnings and expenses, and the growth potential of the business. By vetting and curating listings, buyers and sellers can trust in the validity, quality, and trustworthiness of businesses listed on the marketplace.
Experienced Team and Hands-on Support
Empire Flippers has teams built out around sale support, migrations, vetting, and marketing to support every part of the deal process. They have a team working with buyers and sellers every step of the way, offering expert guidance and removing the friction of a buyer or seller handling deal processes themselves. This is a huge weight lifted for buyers and sellers because they can trust that their deal is in good hands.
Migrations Handled by Empire Flippers
Migrations is a critical part of the deal process. If the ownership of the business is not properly transferred over to the new owner, the site could face legal issues or technical problems that could completely halt its cash flow.
Empire Flippers is one of the only brokers in the industry that handles migrating the business from seller to buyer ownership. They have a dedicated team to handle this part of the deal process to ensure a smooth transfer of the business.
What is Flippa?
Flippa was founded in 2009 and is considered to be the oldest platform for buying and selling online businesses. Since its inception, Flippa has sold over 300,000 digital assets and has built an audience of three million.
With thousands of listings live on their marketplace, Flippa has a wide range of businesses available for sale in the industry.
Budget buyers will have plenty of sites to choose from, as Flippa offers digital businesses for a couple of hundred dollars or just a few thousand dollars.
Since there are thousands of listings available on Flippa and anyone can submit a site for sale without being vetted, buyers have to do extensive searching and due diligence on their own when using the marketplace.
That being said, Flippa is now offering in-house due diligence services and M&A advisory on deals for a tiered price, so those looking for a bit more support throughout the deal process can access that all within the Flippa marketplace.
Benefits of Flippa
Vast Diversity of Businesses Listed for Sale
Flippa boasts a vast inventory of online businesses across various industries. Whether you’re interested in e-commerce, content sites, mobile apps, or service businesses, you’ll find a wide selection of listings on Flippa. This diverse range of options allows buyers to explore different niches and find hidden gems that may not exist on other platforms.
Large Buyer Pool and Audience Reach
Flippa has the widest audience reach by far with an email list of +360,000 ready to be marketed to. This is important for sellers who want to reach a large audience of interested, engaged buyers to close their deals quickly.
Business Options for Budget Buyers
Flippa stands as virtually unbeatable compared to other brokers when it comes to offering budget listings. You can buy a business as low as a couple hundred dollars, making this the ideal starting point for a prospective buyer curious about online assets and wanting to jump into online business ownership without putting in a ton of money.
Empire Flippers vs Flippa: How do they compare?
Types Of Businesses Offered
The Empire Flippers marketplace has a wide variety of online businesses for sale including Amazon FBA, content-based businesses monetized through Amazon Associates or advertising, eCommerce, and SaaS. These models are some of the most popular on their platform but they also carry a small number of apps, service-based businesses, lead-gen websites, subscription box businesses, and digital product businesses.
They have fewer listings on their marketplace due to curating listings to a high standard. This means that all types of businesses you find on Empire Flippers are high-quality sites due to their extensive vetting process.
Flippa offers some more flexibility when it comes to listing on their marketplace.
Similar to Empire Flippers there are a number of affiliate sites, eCommerce sites, and dropshipping sites that cover plenty of different niches for you to choose from. As there are currently over 6,000 listings on Flippa, there’s almost any niche you can think of up for sale right now.
This is helpful as a buyer if you’d like to acquire in a specific niche.
There’s also an opportunity to buy and sell mobile apps for iOS and Android however the bulk of the marketplace contains websites.
Business Valuation Process
Potential sellers first visit Empire Flippers have a free, easy valuation tool they can use to get a baseline valuation for how much their business would sell for with Empire Flippers. All sellers have to do is input a few key metrics about their business such as:
- When the business was created
- Monthly revenue and expenses
- Monthly traffic
- Your email subscriber list (if you have one)
- Social media followers
Valuations are typically built off of the following formula:
- 6-12 Months’ Average Net Profit] x Multiple (Typically 20–60+)
With those numbers in hand Empire Flippers constructs a sale multiple and projected price the business could sell for.
When using the valuation tool, it gives you an immediate estimated value of your business, built off Empire Flippers’s years of marketplace data as well as experience closing deals in the ever-evolving market.
If you are happy with the valuation the free tool gave you and want to go ahead with selling your website, you’ll need to go through a more thorough valuation which takes place during the vetting process.
During this process, you’ll be asked to verify all the information you submitted to the valuation tool. This will include screenshots of revenue, spending, any backlink efforts, and traffic sources.
Flippa has two different types of valuation processes. You can use their tool to get a free estimate of what your business is worth. You submit information about your website such as the URL, organic traffic data, and when the business was started. The tool then automatically gives you an estimated business value.
Your website must be at least 12 months old to use the valuation tool as websites under a year old aren’t established enough to get a reliable estimate.
Just like Empire Flippers, Flippa will create a more extensive valuation upon submitting your business to sell with them.
A detailed report will be requested, which should include data such as monthly income, expenses, and any other relevant information for the listing page. Providing more detailed information to Flippa increases the likelihood of selling your website.
Listing information, the website overview you see on the marketplace listing page, contains information like monetization method, asset price, and niche.
Empire Flippers does not disclose the URLs associated with the business to safeguard against website replication or malicious attacks.
To view the URL or more extensive business information, you need to verify that you have proof of funds to buy the business. To do this you must create an account and verify funds either by connecting your bank to check the bank balance or by submitting financial documents.
Once you provide Empire Flippers with the proof of funds you’ll be able to unlock the listing and view details like the domain name, Google Analytics, revenue statements, and more.
By default, Flippa doesn’t hide the domains listed on their marketplace. However, sellers can pay an extra $100 fee to make it private.
When viewing a listing on Flippa buyers are able to see:
- Site age
- Monthly profit
- Sale multiple
- Description of the business
- Screenshots of financials
- Monetization methods
Remember, Flippa does not do any vetting on listings on their marketplace so buyers must have a careful due diligence process to ensure the business they’re buying is legitimate.
Commission and Listing Fees
Empire Flippers doesn’t charge a listing fee to post your website for sale on their marketplace. Sellers only have to pay a sale commission if Empire Flippers is successful in selling their business.
Empire Flipper’s sale commission structure is as follows :
- Businesses under $700,000 = commission will be a flat 15% of the sale price.
- Businesses valued between $ 700,000-$5 million = commission will be 8% of the sale price.
- Businesses listed for over $ 5 million = commission will be 2.5% of the sale price.
Flippa does charge a fee to list your asset on their marketplace. They have a flat rate of at least $39 to list on their marketplace but for more services, Flippa charges a tiered pricing structure.
If your website price is listed for $1-$9999 then you will have access to two different listing packages, standard or enhanced. No matter the package you choose, you’ll still have to pay a 10% success fee (a portion of your listing price that will be due to Flippa upon completion of the sale).
If your website’s listing price is higher than $10,000 then you’ll have access to their premium and ultimate listing plans.
Now let’s say your asset has been on Flippa’s marketplace and someone has bought it. You’ll have to pay a commission fee to Flippa based on how much it sold for.
Flippa’s sale commission structure is as follows :
- $1-$49,999 = commission will be 10% of the sale price.
- $50,000-$99,999 = commission will be 8% of the sale price.
- $ 100,000-$249,000 = commission will be 6% of the sale price.
For assets priced over $250,000, sellers will have a certified M&A Advisor who will personally manage the sale process. Below are the terms of the package and what sellers can expect to get from Flippa’s M&A service:
All businesses above $250K qualify for Flippa’s M&A program. However, as the list price increases, Flippa’s sale commission rate decreases as follows:
- $250,000 – $999,999 = commission will be 6% of the sale price.
- $1,000,000 – $4,999,999 = commission will be 5% of the sale price.
- $5,000,000 – $9,999,999 = commission will be 4% of the sale price.
- $10,000,000 and above = commission will be 3% of the sale price.
Further, any business listed above $1,000,000 will have to pay $499 monthly to Flippa to list their business and be a part of the M&A program.
Vetting and Due Diligence
Empire Flippers extensively vets businesses before they are listed on their marketplace. Verifying an asset’s traffic, income, domain ownership, and how trustworthy the seller is, is all a part of the extensive due diligence Empire Flippers performs on their listings.
The vetting process at Empire Flippers can take up to 4 weeks. During that time the vetting team with Empire Flippers will ask sellers for information about the business to verify all aspects of the business. The vetting process can close faster as long as the seller works quickly with the vetting team and has transparency around their business metrics
Flippa doesn’t have a built-in vetting process to list on their marketplace. Anyone is able to list on the marketplace and due diligence falls on the buyer to conduct on listings of interest.
They do provide some content surrounding due diligence best practices for buyers. Flippa’s due diligence checklist suggests verifying a few of the following metrics before buying a site:
- Business model
- Whois history
- Get to know the seller
- Plagiarism check
- Revenue account transferability
Flippa now offers an in-platform paid due diligence service for those wanting more support during the buying process. They offer a tiered due diligence service offering with different levels of support.
Here are Flippa’s three different pricing plans for their due diligence services:
Deal Process Support
Empire Flippers is known for offering hands-on support, including vetting and migrations services for all deals. That being said, sale broker support is more active for businesses above the $300k mark. There is no additional fees for broker support, the commission rate includes Empire Flippers cut for the work they put into facilitating the deal.
Flippa now offers a “Managed by Flippa” option for listings above $250k. For this service an assigned M&A broker supports negotiations between buyer and seller and offers support throughout the deal process. Deals under this threshold are between the buyer and seller to run themselves.
Marketing Businesses for Sale
Empire Flippers automatically markets all businesses listed on their marketplace. Every Monday new listings are promoted to EF’s email list of +180k, and other listings are repromoted via email during other days of the week. Empire Flippers also offers seller interviews to sellers above $300k, which is a seller’s chance to explain their business to buyers on their listing page and on YouTube.
Flippa has a large potential buyer pool to market to, where simply listing the business on their marketplace should give valuable buyer exposure.
However, additional marketing comes with additional costs for sellers. For businesses listed under $50k, getting boosted search results or featured on the home page with Flippa’s Ultimate or Premium packages will cost an additional $399 – $499. Businesses listed between $50k – $249k can opt for the same packages at a $599 and $499 rate. Above that threshold Flippa offers a different pricing structure with an assigned M&A advisor to deals.
Empire Flippers is one of the few brokers in the industry who will handle the entire migration process. This is a huge benefit to both buyer and seller because Empire Flippers’s migration team handles the technical labor of transferring affiliate links or putting Amazon Associates accounts in new ownership.
Empire Flippers also offers a 14-day inspection period during this time where the buyer can monitor performance in Google Analytics or ensure there are no major dips to average monthly profit.
Flippa does not handle the asset migration process so the responsibility of migrating the business is on the seller and buyer to figure out.
Empire Flippers vs Flippa – Verdict
Ultimately, the decision between Empire Flippers and Flippa should take into account the seller’s specific goals, the nature of their business, and their willingness to pay a higher or lower commission fee. Sellers should also consider the level of support and assistance provided by each platform throughout the selling process, as well as the potential reach and exposure their listing will receive
Each broker has its own pros and cons however we think Empire Flippers is the one to go for.
Empire Flippers is known for its rigorous vetting process and diligent valuations of businesses listed on their platform. This in-depth vetting helps to establish the genuine value and validity of the business, attracting serious buyers and potentially leading to higher sale prices.
The hands-on nature of Empire Flipper’s deal process makes buying and selling easy and well-supported throughout the deal process. Their track record for closing deals shows that they are leading, trusted choice for sellers and buyers alike.
While Flippa is starting to offer more M&A support, it’s only available to listings above $250K. All deals below that threshold will have minimal to mixed support from the platform. Considering anyone can post to the marketplace without being vetted, it creates an environment more likely for buyers to run into scam listings.
Strong due diligence with Flippa is incredibly important. As long as a buyer is confident in their ability to spot a solid business, they may have the chance to find a diamond in the rough on the marketplace.
If you’re interested in selling or buying with Empire Flippers, create an account here or feel free to reach out to the advisory team over at Acquiring Digitial. Acquiring Digital has deep experience conducting deals with Empire Flippers and can help advise you on how to get your most profitable acquisition or exit.