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Playing With a New Free Flippa Research Tool

Discussion in 'Site Flipping' started by kvmcable, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    Most of you know I love to watch what goes on at Flippa. Although I don't list there and rarely purchase anything there I'm intrigued by the site. I have some local retired Military guys that dabble over there with template listings and they drop by the store to shoot the shit every so often. So my Flippa research is a benefit for them and a brain exercise for me. Let's move on...

    These guys learned of a new tool to research Flippa sellers. It's in early development but they sent me the link with a few accounts they thought were connected on Flippa. I had time tonight to review their research and toss in some more of mine. The tool creates a mind-map of comments left on Flippa and I've made a few suggestions for improvement to the creator but even in its early stage it ROCKS. You have to do a bit of your own research to fill in the gaps but if you ignore the IP connections and look purely at the DNS associations it's pretty easy to find oddities.

    Sorry for all the prelude but here is where you find the tool: http://stats.experienced-people.net/seller.php

    I hope to write a step by step doc of how I used it but here are the results I put together from the info the old guys sent over:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkCmrZ8PKZ85dDBHR3ZGYTl2NHBVOFFvVGhyLW4wRmc

    Now you won't get those results from the tool alone but it will get you 75% there. What I did was throw the list of domains in SB and did a WHOIS lookup and dropped the results in there. There were some blanks I had to fill in from domaintools.com but again between research with the Flippa Seller tool and SB I had quite a bit of data in short order.

    You can work the Flippa Seller tool to find suspected colluding accounts rather quickly by nameserver and the interface allows you view possible linked sellers rather quickly. I think the missing element with the tool is the WHOIS information as we already heard from the Flippa camp that given the size of GoDaddy, HostGator and Others that it isn't uncommon for sellers to have the same IP or even DNS. I disagree but let's toss in more research to argue the point.

    The WHOIS info you see in my spreadsheet is the WHOIS at the time of the auction and might not be the WHOIS that appears today. Some of these websites have sold and been moved since the nameserver data was scraped. So to accurately get the WHOIS data from the time the listing was created I needed to verify using domaintools whois history.

    So getting back to the argument that given the size of HostGator many Flippa sellers might share the same IP or nameservers. You can see I took the sellers that shared the same nameservers and grabbed a sample of their listings at random. I did a WHOIS search and found the Domain Registrants Name, Email and Country at the time of the listing if Privacy wasn't enabled. Those results are in the spreadsheet link I posted above.

    What are the odds multiple sellers on Flippa would be hosted on the same HostGator server, use the same Registrant name(s) and email(s) and be from the same Country? Even the seller accounts that were careful and used different Registrant names and emails are also from Indonesia excepting the top guy that is in the crossfire and probably unrelated collateral damage.

    I think this new Flippa Seller tool is very useful and with just a few more tweaks such as including the date the data was collected so users can use the freshest data first with history data still available would be a great addition. Looking up WHOIS data on sites that have been sold and transferred is cumbersome. To gather this info at the time of the scrape or shortly thereafter would be ideal.

    Give the tool a try and see what kind of results you can pull up.

    http://stats.experienced-people.net/seller.php
     
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  2. seoreports

    seoreports Junior Member

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    so what exactly is this tool used for?
     
  3. jox51

    jox51 Regular Member Premium Member

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    thanks. I think this shows the quality of sites at Flippa
     
  4. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    I *think* you missed the point of the tool completely.....
     
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  5. Karlos

    Karlos Junior Member

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    kvmcable, nice explanation. :)

    This tool isn't for the average n00b, but if you know what you're doing there's some kick ass information you can get from it.

    All those sellers in Flippa who have more than one account are now going to get exposed as anybody can join the dots and see their connected accounts. This goes far, far beyond the connections that Flippa makes.

    If you've listed two sites using different Flippa accounts, the chances are you're going to get caught. If those two domains are registered to the same person / same email address or hosted on the same IP or have the same name servers or if there is any other connection, your ass is busted.

    I know there are many Flippa sellers here who have multiple accounts. That's pretty blackhat and is not illegal, but it is against Flippa rules and now everybody can know that you have multiple accounts and bidders will presume that you're a bit scammy as multiple accounts are used mainly by those wanting to shill bid on their own auctions.

    If Flippa start using the same systems, thousands of Flippa users will get banned! In the meanwhile, kvmcable and I and everybody else can see who has multiple accounts and we can avoid your auctions.
     
  6. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    I'm sure many sellers with multiple accounts are scrambling for new hosting and double checking their WHOIS information but the real beauty of the tool is its history. Even if a seller with multiple accounts makes corrections today, the history is already written in the database.

    If the whois can be added at the time of the listing it will make it much easier to connect the dots and if a data filter can be added like MajesticSEO uses (fresh or historical) radio button with fresh being the last 30 days or so then the tool won't need 3rd party tools to do firm connections.

    I think the tool is about 80% there and I know the developer plans on integrating some sort of WHOIS lookup.
     
  7. JCena

    JCena Junior Member

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    Same name.servers doesnt mean anything. And so many people use whois protection.
     
  8. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    The data in totality is damning. Each piece on its own merit can be discredited as Flippa mentioned before. The odds of 4 random Flippa sellers from Indonesia creating accounts at the same webhost, being assigned the same server, purchasing domains from the same Registrar, using the same Company and personal data on the WHOIS and then having the same email confirms they are either the same seller or same group of sellers.

    This group of selling IDs has at least twice that number of IDs I didn't take time to investigate. I imagine if I took the full list of more than 20 IDs I'd find they're all related.
     
  9. Karlos

    Karlos Junior Member

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    That's why it uses a variety of inputs to connect the dots including name servers and hosting IPs. Further, even if the WHOIS is private there are other ways of connecting sellers. I've spoken with the developer. I won't disclose what he's planning, but there are several other indicators that are going to be used in future to reveal which accounts are connected to which other accounts. ;)

    Anyone who's got multiple accounts at Flippa is going to have to be constantly jumping hoops ... and will still probably fail to prevent buyers being able to see connected accounts. Even if you get someone else to word your listing descriptions so your writing style is masked and change the naming conventions on the CSS and image files used in the design, and get a new Google Analytics ID for each site you list ...there's much else to give the game away!

    Funny how Flippa hasn't bothered to use even Google Analytics IDs to find and ban multiple accounts. It's almost like they're working in collaboration with the multiple account holders.

    If you've got multiple accounts or are planning multiple accounts in future, it won't matter even if you've got domain privacy on, your connected accounts will get exposed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  10. alex1944

    alex1944 Newbie

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    I am a member of EP and have access to the tool but being new I feel like a monkey with a loaded .45. If and when you ever get around to writing that doc I certainly would like a copy for myself. I tried getting help with it at EP but apparently it is new to everyone and no one can give any good advice or directions for its use. At least I haven't had any response. Would you be so kind as to PM me when you post your doc?

    Thanks, alex1944
     
  11. Karlos

    Karlos Junior Member

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    That sounds very unlikely. You can't link out, but can you provide the thread number where you asked for directions on using this tool and didn't get them?

    If kvmcable writes that step by step foolproof document for beginners I'm sure it will be useful for at least a few n00bs. We don't want them all knocking about with loaded .45s :)
     
  12. astralslider

    astralslider Newbie

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    thanks! I will try this tool out, i have a diablo 3 site i want to get rid off
     
  13. ClintonEP

    ClintonEP Newbie

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    alex1944, I don't recall you trying to get help there, but it's not new to everyone. Users at EP are a lot more technically able than the average webmaster so maybe they see no need for explanations/guides, but if you do try to get help there I reckon there's a good chance you'll get it. I might even comment myself ;)