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Looking to value a forum + wondering how much hosting would cost?

Discussion in 'Site Flipping' started by dog-tag, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. dog-tag

    dog-tag Senior Member

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    Hello again,

    I've got my eyes on a particular forum, it's not for sale but I reckon a good offer would secure it.

    The site has about 30,000 threads, +3,500 members, and is a couple of years old. There was ZERO seo ever done on it, so it actually ranks very poorly considering it's size, so personally I see ALOT of potential with it.

    I'm about to start advertising on it to test the traffic responsiveness and see the potential of it, but I'm not sure where to start in valuing it. I know the guy who owns it makes no profit on the site and only makes a very small amount on advertising, probably not enough to cover hosting... so the 12 month rule is out the window.

    Speaking of which, I've never owned or ran a vbulletin forum, so the licence needs to be paid for, but how much should I expect hosting to be?

    Thanks for any useful replies, I will rep anyone with some good info!
    Gilesy
     
  2. dog-tag

    dog-tag Senior Member

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    Anyone out there ever buy a forum? hmmm.... its lonely inside this thread :( lol
     
  3. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    You can easily host a forum of that size on a VPS for ~$50 a month.

    Valuation wise - you can't do it off regular multiples if it's not making money, so I'd advise just making an offer you feel comfortable with. Forums are a bitch to get active, so I doubt he'll give it away cheap.

    People tend to run (or start) forums as hobby sites so approach it as if you are someone interested in the niche rather than business interests (he won't want you buying it just to make money out of the members).

    Good luck.
     
  4. dog-tag

    dog-tag Senior Member

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    THANKS MAN :) I actually just went onto IRC #makecash there because I don't actually see this type of information anywhere got good help there also particularly from abstroose.

    Anyway the forum is at risk of dieing I think, the webmaster there at the moment is talking about making it a membership site, and now its gotten hard to navigate with new graphics, really bad move by him...

    I was thinking about this deal instead, what if I made a deal to buy all the advertisement rights?

    He keeps the site, earns from a couple of trader ads spots on it, and I get all the ad space for say 50years, I agree legally with him that I'll pay him X amount per year for advertising with a get out clause for me incase the site dies.... You see if I buy it, there's a chance the main mods might lose interest in it, so I want the top guys to still have a vested interest financially and personally.

    Maybe I'm making it too messy?

    Your experience is a big help here to me by the way!
     
  5. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    Just buy the site outright so you have full control. I'd speak to some of the mods beforehand to make sure they are willing to stay on (although, it's really not hard to find mods on forums).

    If he's not making much (or anything) right now, offer him something like 12x what you were going to pay for a monthly ad (and then increase up to 36x if he negotiates). Forums tend to trade at high multiples, purely because they are so hard to get started and don't necessarily rely on search engine traffic which is notoriously fickle.
     
  6. dog-tag

    dog-tag Senior Member

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    hmmm your right, I know your right, it's just I don't want to be the chump who buys a forum that dies!

    The guy has ZERO seo done on the site, so I'm trying to see that in a positive light that I can attract more users from SE traffic.

    I think maybe the best thing for me would be to advertise on it for 3 months and see how much it's actually worth.. only then will I know it's true value I suppose.

    Also the niche is cars, so I've no clickbank offers, no CPA offers that I know of around, only local businesses and banner exchanges I can use.

    Selling banner space is my main idea, and then dating offers is my second idea, car sites have the right demographics for it, and cars + tits go together very well....
     
  7. hungryforfb

    hungryforfb Registered Member

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    sellling banner space works great if you have traffic ... easiest i can suggest you !