I recently finished the sale of MinecraftCrafting.org, my first true piece of success online. You can find the complete auction listing on Flippa.com here.
The site is a resource for people who play the popular sandbox building indie game Minecraft (over 7.5 million copies sold). It includes articles covering various creatures, items and features of the game as well as several guides that help gamers with processes such as choosing the best hosting company or configuring their Minecraft server. But the main attraction, the reason I started the site and a big reason why it is so popular is the complete list of crafting recipes.
I started the site back in September 2010, soon after my brother recommended the game to me and a few months before the beta release of the game. I scoffed at first at its poor graphics and simplistic gameplay, but after playing it for an hour or so I started to realize how addictive and fun it was and was amazed by the endless possibilities it offered. During our first discussion about the game, my brother told me that the game was the purest form of a sandbox game as it came with no manual or help section of any kind. On top of this, the primary game mechanic required players to craft new items by combining various resources they collected in order to progress. The type and configuration of each crafting recipe was unique and many of them were unknown to most players (an example recipe for crafting a fishing rod can be found below). The entrepreneurial side of my mind immediately clicked and I registered MinecraftCrafting.org.
7 million+ pageviews and $10,000+ in
revenue profit later, the site sold for approximately 17 times monthly revenue. Not a bad multiple if you ask me.
It’s not all about the money though. I had a hard time at first accepting the fact that I was selling my “baby”, but what made it easier was finding out how interested in Minecraft the new owner is and hearing about the big ideas he has planned for the site. It’ll be really interesting to see what improvements and additions he implements in the coming months.
It was my first time buying or selling on Flippa.com and it was great experience. I will definitely use it again to sell sites in the future. The only downside is the size of the cuts that third parties take out of the sale price as compensation for helping you sell the site.
Here is the breakdown:
Flippa Success Fee: $340 (5%)
Escrow.com Standard Service Fee: $66.87
Wire Transfer Fees: $345.67
Sum Received: $6047.46
I am fine with the fees paid to Flippa and Escrow as I was aware of them before hand. But another ~5% just for transferring $6k between 1 (or more) banks in the US and Canada? Ridiculous!
I called PC Financial before the transfer and they warned me that while they do not charge wire transfer fees, CIBC does ($10) and so do other banks. They told me to direct Escrow to send the funds to the Wells Fargo Bank in New York as they would then forward it to CIBC and then to PC. At least this is what I was told. So unless Wells Fargo’s policy is to take 5% off each transaction or my money went through 10+ banking institutions, I was completely scammed! Anyway, it’s not a big deal as I got a good chunk of change in the end, but I was annoyed as I was not aware of how much it would be.
Things I would do again next time:
- “Why the main keyword is so awesome” section
- Include bullet points throughout the sales description for easy skimming
- Provide more dilligent buyers with a ton of information, traffic statistics and revenue proof to look over
- Post “Last 7 days profit/revenue” screenshots near the end of the auction
- Buy the advertisement to be listed in the “Featured Listings” on the home page
- Give useful, realistic suggestions on how the website could be improved/taken to the next level
Things I will do differently next time:
- Research the other ways that Escrow offers to send money to sellers. While the option I chose didn’t cost any extra up front (others such as sending a cheque are $40-$80 and take much longer for processing), I paid for it in the end.
- Consider pursuing private offers from companies and individuals who have an interest in the site’s topic to find out how much they are willing to pay.
- Refuse to give out hints as to what the reserve price of the auction is to avoid limiting interest or bids
- Test additional advertisement options offered by Flippa to see how well they convert into auction followers and bidders
That’s it for now I guess. If you would like to learn more about websites/blogs or are interested in starting one yourself, I’d be more than happy to help you out. You can get in touch with me using any of my profiles listed in the sidebar, but your best bet is the contact page.