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Weekly Web Opportunities For Entrepreneurs - Week 2

Thanks for the love on the last post. This week there's a lot of people bidding on stuff and prices are pretty high. I paid double what an application dev wanted for an app due to the sudden influx of bidders. As such I am going to add a new feature, and that's a target purchase price range. I'll try to include ROI calculations, break even assessments, etc... where possible, but strongly encourage you to do your own math. For those who missed last week read that post here
Last week Flippa, the main portal to buy and sell websites / apps, made a UI update. There's a lot more to see on each screen so in this week's post I'll be linking directly to the opportunity I found there, hope that's ok with the mods. Disclaimer and Updates on last weeks post are at the bottom.
Business: InstaSnoop Type: iOS App Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auctions / Buy It Now Current Price: $600 Target Price Range: $1,500 - $3,500 Days Til End: 5 days My Thoughts: This is an app that allows you to surf though Instagram without being able to comment or like on any photos. Perfect for the Instastalker and likely something teens / young adults would download based on past social media history of this very same behavior (MySpace and Facebook). Could also be a valuable tool for HR departments and Law Enforcement to look through public data without accidentally notifying people that are being watched. Business Insider also did an article on this app and it's been written about by Mashable, Madmoizelle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Australia, and a handful of other websites. That's where the good news ends. The listing itself has a lot of red flags for me. First off the seller states that he lives in United Arab Emirates, but there's an Australian trademark license in the images provided. Secondly he states that he posted a screenshot of his good friend 'Sandy' but the screenshots are all named Jane Smith or John Smith, common filler names meaning they might not be indicitive of what the app actually looks like. Also a commenter points out this doesn't appear to use the Instagram API, so how it works is a bit of a mystery at the moment. Finally the app has an official website, but that doesn't appear to have been verified by the seller. Verdict: Buy maybe - The name of the seller on Flippa matches the name listed on iTunes and while there's no verified data, this app got quite a bit of publicity late last year. Also the seller has a remarkable rating and claims over $300k in transations on the website. Now all of that could be easily faked but the more information I examine the more likely it is to be legitimate. Still, there's a lot of room to ask questions and before you go dipping your toes into the bidding pool I'd get those questions answered either publicly or privately. If you're into making social media clients or already doing something with Instagram this is a pretty decent pickup, if only for the links going to the apps website. They have links from places like CBS and Hootsuite and their images are used on various other websites. (pro tip: you can see if an app is legitimate by doing a reverse image search on the supplied screenshots required for iOS / android app stores). According to Open Site Explorer the site has links from 27 other websites. If you bought this, made half of your money back, and then shut it down and forwarded the website to another social media app, instagram blog, etc... it would be worth the purchase price. Still, the app got quite a bit of coverage last year and while the gimmick might be burned out there's every chance that it's not and that porting this app to Android and Windows phone could bring in more publicity driving higher downloads and generating income back. Link: Flippa auction link App Store Link: iOS App Store Profile = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Business: Pizza Destinations Type: Pizza Food Blog Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $1 Target Price Range: $10 to $25 Days Til End: 2 hours My Thoughts: Note: This auction might be over by the time this is posted, but it's been listed 13 times before so there's a good chance it'll still be there. This is one for the entry level entrepreneur. Are you a college or high school student that wants some free pizza? This is a deal for you, if you get it for the right price. I have several friends that run food / travel blogs and they are growing in popularity with restaurant owners. Most restaurant owners are very fickle with how they spend their marketing budget, giving away a free pizza in exchange for a positive review, location listings, and a link is a win for them every time. Of course the domain name pigeon holes you into traveling and/or cooperating with other people in various areas to get this to work. I checked the content and while it's unique it's terrible quality. The design of the site isn't good either. The website has almost zero SEO value as well and no social media presence. Still, there's quite a bit of upside for an entry level entrepreneur to get their feet wet with this one as pizza restaurants are found around the globe and in varying arrays of style, ingredient selection, ingredient quality, and price. Verdict: Buy low - Sure buy it, but don't pay too much. It's going to take some work to get this thing going, but that's good news for a pizza craving entrepreneur. The seller has a Buy It Now price of $150, but if you bid on this auction it's very likely that it won't go for that price, which means the auction will end and you'll get an offer from the seller for half. That's your chance to negotiate. If you do buy it immediately start categorizing the site on a geolocation basis (i.e. country -> state/prov -> city -> neighborhood). If you don't get this for the right price and you like the concept don't freak out, there are still a lot of good domain names available in the space and WordPress is free. That's all you're really getting in this sale anyways.

Link: Flippa auction link

Business: 1 Gallon a Day Type: iOS app Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $4,500 Target Price Range: $4,000 to $6,800 Days Til End: 3 Days My Thoughts: If you've been to a gym for more than 5 minutes you know that gym bros carry around a gallon jug to make sure they drink their 1 gallon of water per day. This app makes it far easier for people to track their water intake. The app was featured on the Apple App store and just got a recent update that hasn't been messaged out to the general public just yet. This app made $4k in revenue in January because it was featured, revenue dropped to $478 in February after the app was no longer featured. That means revenue might not be a function of number of downloads, but of how often it gets featured. The $478 in February was still more than the first month the app existed, December 2015 which was $199. If I had a fitness client or brand I would have them gobble this app up and if I had another fitness tracking app I would examine the likelihood of merging the 2 or adding other tracking features to this app. Verdict: Buy - Fitness is hot and doesn't appear to be cooling off. There's a lot of room for this to grow and you should be able to make the purchase price back within it's first year. Still don't expect this to be your million dollar golden egg. It's a one trick pony with something that could easily be copied. You should grab all of the downloads you can, while you can, expand to Android, and then either introduce sister apps to this one or new features in the next 4 to 6 months before other apps start duplicating your method and your messaging.

Link: Flippa auction link

Business: 94 Designs Type: Website Business Model: Job / Gig Listings Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $149 Target Price Range: $0 Days Til End: 14 hours My Thoughts: This is a gig listing site like fiverr. There are dozens upon dozens of these on the web already and this one offers nothing unique. The brand name is also incredibly similar to 99 designs which does something very similar to this.

Verdict: DO NOT BUY - Run from this one as fast as you can. I just wanted to post a DNB listing here and this one isn't just in a crowded field making it a dog, but there's also a chance you'll get into legal trouble with it. The seller has the starting price at $149 and the buy it now price at $150, which isn't a great sign either. Not worth it, move along.

Business: Bit Video Type: Website Business Model: Profit sharing Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $331 Target Price Range: $500 - $2,000 Days Til End: 23 hours My Thoughts: Live Streaming video is all the rage today and this is a pretty neat implementation of that but using bitcoins and WebRTC to achieve a decentralized live streaming video network. Unfortunately it's generating zero revenue according to the listing and the seller has posted frustratingly little about the site. Based on my experiences in online video (GamersTube.com 2006 to 2013) I know that this is going to be fraught with challenges. If I'm understanding the description correctly though, this website won't incur the bandwidth bill of the streamed video, and that's the largest expenditure for any video site. To me it's a unique and interesting concept which, if the bitcoin community embraced, could lead to double digit monthly revenues. It's a gamble, but a gamble I'd be willing to make if I could validate that this is a unique implementation of the prior mentioned technologies and not based on a script. Verdict: Buy - This looks like a star in the making to me, though it's intrinsically tied to the on again / off again fortunes of bitcoin. If it turns out this is just a redo of an already done implementation or there is some bigger bitcoin video competitor, I might change my verdict on this to a Watch or DNB.

Link: Flippa auction link

Business: Ventrilode Type: iOS App Business Model: Ad supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $3,000 Target Price Range: $2,500 - $3,250 Days Til End: 9 days My Thoughts: Ventrilode is something I've been familiar with for some time as it was born out of the frustration with Flagship Industries, the makers of Ventrilo, not making an app client. As far as I know Ventrilo server hosts are barred from being associated with any unofficial clients for Ventrilo, including mobile app clients. I was told this while doing consulting work for NationVoice, at one time the largest Ventrilo server host in the world. That means the biggest source of advertisers, revenue, and publicity are not approachable which will make driving revenue from this difficult. Add to that that the app is being used less as VOIP clients for gaming fall out of favor with consumers and you see that this is not a good idea for a large cash investment.

Verdict: Watch - Unless you think you can lose 3k active users per month and still make a profit, do not buy this. Brian Knapp / Flagship Industries could always introduce a mobile client at any moment, or upgrade Ventrilo which hasn't happened since 2007, breaking this app. But the loss of users is much bigger of a problem and the current price of $3,000 hasn't even reach their reserve price. You could be buy this app simply to grab eyeballs and attention of PC gamers. At the price of $3,000 that would put your customer acquisition costs at $0.42 / active user. That's a great deal, but remember its hemorrhaging active users at a rate of approximately 250 per month. By the time you close and get everything transferred over your customer acquisition costs could rise substantially and that's at the $3,000 figure that doesn't match their reserve. In five years the developers never wanted to make an Android version of this and that's weird to me. This auction also comes with another iOS app client for Mumble called Mumblefy. To me this is a wait and see, but there are very few ways in which this app will make your investment back and a whole lot of ways you'll lose every penny.

Business: Rocket Soccer Type: iOS / Android app Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $600 Target Price Range: $500 - $1,000 Days Til End: 4 days My Thoughts: This is a ripoff of Rocket League, a popular game on PS4 and Xbox. I didn't even want to download and test it, but it has atrocious reviews on the Android app store.

Verdict: DO NOT BUY - I am not into buying ripoff apps or websites that I can't make unique. This one just feels too close to Rocket League for me to enjoy. Of course buying this would allow you to follow in their coat tails and make some decent scratch. I'm just not going to recommend that.

UPDATES on WEEK 1: * Nerd Armor - 1 day left at $3,000 w/ reserve met auction listing * CheapTonight.com - Ended without sale open to offers now * IBartendNow.com - 15 days left at $200 w/ reserve not met auction listing * Paintball-Stuff.com - Sold for $40, negotiated post-sale closed listing
Disclaimer: As always I am not affiliated with Flippa, GoDaddy Auctions, AfterNIC, Digital Point, Name Pros, Empire Flippers, or any other website, social community, or web app where websites, domains, and mobile apps are bought and sold. I have been building websites since 1994 and currently run a boutique digital strategy agency. I also buy websites and apps to optimize and earn revenue from. This post contains only my opinions and serves as no guarantee of success.
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