How to Spot a Potential Scam on Flippa
Unfortunately, they are not as rare on Flippa as you might think. I stumbled upon this auction recently and right away some things seemed very strange about it right away.
Upon further investigation, you can easily discover that:
The domain was registered only a month ago, yet the site already makes thousands of dollars per month in amazon
All social accounts have fake followers:
- 5.6K likes on FB – but only 2 posts and each only has a single like from the seller. ‘People talking about this’ is a cool zero.
- 21k Followers on twitter – with only 3 tweets and no engagement at all from followers.
- 600 followers on pinterest – again with just two pins.
The site doesn’t rank for anything according to semrush.com live data.
There are 4 bids by the same person from $1,999 to $9,999. And the next bid is going to reach the reserve.
When asked about sources of traffic in the auction comments his replies were rather elusive. Claiming organic and social traffic – while there is clearly none.
Sites just don’t start to get 10K organic visitors from google per day for no apparent reason, in a couple of weeks after they are built! Especially considering all duplicate content, no real backlinks, and no visible social presence.
I was able to get access from the seller to see GA stats and they looked fairly good from a quick look. However:
- almost all organic traffic.
- 98% of page views are on homepage – which is unlikely for a site with thousands of pages.
- there was quite a lot of traffic from fiverr.com so the seller likely bought many Fiverr gigs
- the site doesn’t rank anywhere in google.com for any of the keywords listed in GA!
After confronting the seller that his stats look fake, he promptly removed me from GA and stopped communicating.
More details on how to identify and avoid Flippa scams available for site investment course subscribers.
Update: Flippa suspended the auction pending further verification, based on my report. Also more details available here