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Is This a Flippa Scam?

Discussion in 'Site Flipping' started by thepranksta, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. thepranksta

    thepranksta Newbie

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    OK, I think I got scammed by a sale on Flippa based on fake or "bot" traffic. I know, I know, it's part of the learning curve, and I need to do my due diligence. Lesson learned. It happens, and I will learn. I was naive because I have bought websites in the past from Flippa that made income (albeit black hat), but my issue with this purchase is that I'm concerned it's beyond even black hat.

    The seller provided screenshots of traffic and Adsense, and now I've come to learn that these can easily be faked. This site I bought appears to generate bot traffic and bot Adsense clicks. I want to stay on Google's good side and not risk getting sanctioned. The issue I have found in my Google Analytics is the short duration of visits/engagement. Interestingly, these bots seem to check more than one page, giving a low bounce rate (two percent or lower, as shown in the screenshots below). A large percentage of traffic comes from Amazon Technologies and Amazon.com -- two cloud sources known to be used by those generating fake traffic.

    Attached are screenshots. My concern is with the average duration of visits (less than 5 seconds) and the fact that I supposedly made about $9 today from this sketchy traffic. The traffic comes from many countries and most are English-speaking. Also, the traffic seems to come in spurts. It seems these bots are more sophisticated than most as they visit more than one page and come from a variety of countries. However, almost all visitors are new users, which is supposed to be a red flag.

    Is my analysis wrong? Could the stats I attached be legitimate? It just doesn't feel right. Let me know what you think. Also, if my suspicion is confirmed, I will initiate a chargeback with my bank and complaint through Flippa (at least to get the seller banned).
     

    Attached Files:

  2. abraarukuk

    abraarukuk Junior Member

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    Looks like a classic Flippa junk site to me. It's only been around since May and claims it's making $2,500 per month? Possible, but considering it has no Google rankings, I doubt it. What's the asking price? If it's less than $25,000 then it's definitely suspicious.
     
  3. thepranksta

    thepranksta Newbie

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    The seller claimed to be making about $300 a month and I bought it for $1,500. I saw the screenshots and took a chance. Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I am curious if anyone can make anything of the stats I attached.
     
  4. xReminisce

    xReminisce Regular Member

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    2.32 pages for session (on average) at a 5 second session duration rate (on average) already sounds like bot traffic.

    So my question would be
    how many, "inner pages" does this site have.
     
  5. sasag

    sasag Junior Member

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    by screenshots seems its bots because average duration is too low lol, anyway u can msg me in pm your url i check via tools what traffic and so on, and tell you more details .
     
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  6. thepranksta

    thepranksta Newbie

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    It uses WP Robot as an automated website, and supposedly has about 900 pages indexed.
     
  7. thepranksta

    thepranksta Newbie

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    Sasag used some good tools to analyze the website. He confirmed it's bot traffic. If anyone else wants to provide input based on the attachments I provided, feel free to do so. This can be a lesson for everyone.
     
  8. miedy

    miedy Senior Member

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    0.05 avg duration is a big red flag.
     
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  9. bazaregift

    bazaregift Newbie

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    cheap bot traffic
     
  10. dav62z99

    dav62z99 Newbie

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    Occupation:
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    I've spent about $21,000 on Flippa sites, I've been burned once for one $800 site, but have since learned. Here is my recommended checklist when interacting on Flippa:
    • If the person is in a big "rush" to sell the site, avoid.
      These are usually scams. The excuse is usually a "family emergency, family issue, need to offload sites to pay for yadda yadda"

    • If the site has verified Google Analytics, ask them to add you to the google Analytics profile.
      Look at backlink sources, if they have tons of 301/url shorteners, avoid its a scam

    • If there are additional requirements for paying a third-party "marketer" get detailed information.
      Ask for a walk-through or more detailed information about the third-party marketer before committing to the sale. You can ask for a skype walk through, video walk through, etc
      Don't accept canned responses such as "you just pay my marketer and that's it".

    • Avoid "screenshot" evidence that is not congruent with the information you see on the flippa listing
      Never accept "screenshots" of webalizer or non-verified analytics where you can't see source URLs, backlinks, keywords, etc.

    • If possible, use third party tool to validate/verify backlinks, and organic SEO keywords before buying
      I recommend using a site like serpstat . com, semrush where you can plug in domains and check out the quality of their backlinks.

    • I have had two great transactions with "new" people, but be very wary of new accounts
      If the account name is named after the domain. Example: username : girlfriendninja, domain: girlfriendninja.com. Usually, implies they're in for a one and done / possible scam.

    • Always use escrow/flippa escrow
      Always use flippa escrow. If the user tries to steer you away from flippa escrow I wouldn't recommend it. Once it's gone, it's gone. This includes any interaction with their 3rd party vendors, affiliates, and so on. Make sure you establish all relationships 100% before releasing escrow funds.

    • Make sure whatever you are purchasing (blog, eCommerce, product website) that the product itself is actually intellectual property rights of that person.
      The site I got burned on the person just copied and pasted from several other sources. I could have gotten sued if I used it.

    • Just as in SEO, sites that "miraciously" have hundreds to thousands of visitors in less than 4 months should be heavily suspected.
      My recommendation is buy sites > 2 years of age with established analytics. 6 months or less and you're playing a risky gamble, and they probably did some sort of link building campaign.

    • There's always the golden expression, "if it's too good to be true, it probably is". "Your gut will always tell you what's what." Don't gamble with your money if it rubs you the wrong way.
    Best of luck
     
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  11. thepranksta

    thepranksta Newbie

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    As an update, I was fully refunded. It's not true that you cannot get a refund after getting scammed at Flippa -- at least if you use a credit card to buy on Flippa. All I did was send the CC company screenshots proving the traffic came from bots. I also provided a screenshot showing the seller was banned from Flippa and received other complaints.
     
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