Is there a black market behind Sitepoint?
The blogosphere’€™s most stumbling blog, Jack of all Blogs, thinks so. I would probably have missed this story since Jack of all Blogs has been in feed reader limbo for a while, they just haven’€™t delivered anything good for, well, ages.
Then this comes along, a whiny post about the selling practice over at Sitepoint, which was followed by another example a couple of days ago.
I’€™ve never soled a site at Sitepoint, or any other auction site. All my deals have been made through direct contact with the buyer (and seller, when being on that side of the fence), which probably have landed me less attractive deals at times but still, public auctions can be like flashing the coat open in a public place, if you know what I mean. Sometimes all you’€™ve got is your credibility, and the fact that your brand is a lot stronger than it should be, just because it seems that way. And then neither you nor the buyer (yes, you got to disclose, you greedy little thing you!) wants it out in the open.
And sometimes you get screwed, like I was fairly recently. Tough break, but I’€™ve managed and will hopefully make a healthy profit in the end. But that’€™s beside the point.
What I’€™m curious about is how you guys, our beloved and always so pleasant readers here at The Blog Herald, views the practices over at Sitepoint? Who’€™s in control, who’€™s at a disadvantage, and why? I’€™m curious, partly because of the two posts mentioned, and partly because I intend to use Sitepoint, or an alike service, in the future.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.
I’m not sure about a black market, but one thing I know is that the sites on sale at Sitepoint are not regulated at all. A few months back a Splog was being sold by its owner on Sitepoint.
We managed to get the splog shut down, however Sitepoint told me that they can’t do anything about it!
My post about it
Well, I cannot comment specifically on their marketplace as I have never used it, but I was informed of a situation some years ago when someone blatantly ripped off one of my designs and used it as it was to enter – and win – a design contest.
That person was a moderator at Sitepoint forums. That wouldn’t have been so bad, however, when the matter was challenged, another very senior moderator on Sitepoint forums contacted me in tones that tried to make them right and me wrong. At the same time, posts that had been made by my “informant”, which had made the “crime” public, were “mysteriously” deleted.
There is definitely a clique there and my experience would certainly teach me not to be surprised if there was something else non-kosher going on there also.
My earlier comment seemed to have disappeared :(
One thing I have observed about their market place is there is no regulation on the sites which are being sold. A few months back the owner of a splog was selling their site of. The site was an RSS Scraper. I contacted the Marketplace support and was curtly told that they have no power about stopping such sales!
I was able to get the site offline by writing to the webhosts.
I somehow feel that the commercial aspect is the only thing that Sitepoint cares about, even if it is unethical or illegal!
Sitepoint isn’t too bad, I’ve sold a few sites on the service, but I’ve also struggled with others. It’s got a slightly wild west feel to it, even if it is Australian owned and based in Melbourne (bet not many people knew that). I guess it’s like any marketplace, and that includes ebay for that matter, that sometimes it can be a matter of pot luck, but that’s true with any type of selling forum, offline as well. Yes, I’ve seen splogs on the site, but for my way of thinking it’s a case of caveat emptor, and at the end of the day it’s up to the individual looking to buy as to what they spend their money on. Splogs, whether we like them or not, do have a value on a marketplace and can be traded like any site, the folks at Sitepoint are just the meeting place if you like to match up buy and seller….although at $20US for an established site, it’s no wonder that the numbers of sites listed there now has actually decreased.
Thanks for all the feedback on our MarketPlace.
One of the things we try our best to do is to teach potential buyers how to conduct their own due diligence and ask good questions. We’ve published a “Guide to Buying Websites” which is downloadable for free at:
The bottom line – If you’re uncomfortable with a site being sold or with the answers you’re getting from the seller: walk away. They’ll always be another website and another deal.