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Selling the Picks and Shovels
Being the guy with the tools always pays big dividends
- May 3, 2010, 2:25 pm | Buying and Selling

During the California Gold Rush, not everyone who risked their health and life, uprooted their families and had big dreams found enough gold to change their lives financially. However, the ones who made out, the ones who consistently made the most money, are the ones who sold the picks and shovels to the miners.

gold rush California supply demand
People need shovels and other tools to build their hoped-for dreams.

It is easy to find that guy selling the best web site, the one with the huge potential. He describes the web site's earning power and traffic magnetism so well that you feel lucky to have a chance to own it. However, then, how could you not wonder why he is even considering selling it? Is he sick? Settling an estate? Making a big mistake?

Maybe he is simply like those people who choose their lottery winnings in one smaller lump sum instead of spread out over the years - which would actually pay out a lot more money, if he were more patient.

One thing is for sure - he is in the great business of selling tools to people with big dreams.

He is simply saying that his shovel has a better, stronger handle - easier to hold, more comfortable if you have a lot of digging to do. The spade is made of a metal alloy never combined until now - built to last for years under the stress of daily use.

Maybe the shovel even has a different size or shape from the other shovels made and sold around him.  

And next month he is sure to have another best web site, an even better shovel.

And why? Because there is a market. People need shovels to build their hoped-for dreams.

Perhaps some of these web sites you see do turn out to be good investments. Looking at the number of web sites that sell through Flippa.com and similar sites, there always seems to be a buyer.

Of course it would be difficult to measure the success of these web sites after the sale. First of all, Flippa and similar sites would likely want no part in this type of study. They would risk losing a lot of revenue if the reports showed an overall low or even negative ROI. Pride and/or embarrassment would likely keep the buyer's responses less that truthful.

I am, in some ways, like that guy. I develop web sites that end up for sale. Frankly, it never starts out that way. I can honestly say that every web site I build is meant to be for me - to earn my money now and in the long-term. And I firmly believed that every web site I sold was a great investment for the buyer.

However, I am sure some of the sites I sold never turned the corner for the buyers. However, I am equally sure these buyers never worked at the business plan as I laid it out. If posts to forums were working for me when I owned the site why wouldn't it continue to work for them? Internet usage increases daily.

It's not like DigitalPoint or SitePoint stopped getting new members, or lost a lot of traffic.

And I can honestly say that my shovels that end up at auction are some of the best available. I have put thousands of hours into developing and evolving sites and ideas and methods. However, I have also come to realize my limitations.

My achilles heal is PageRank. Of course I understand the importance of PageRank to the "Organic" success of a web site, but I don't have the resources to pull it off. I think this is an issue with a lot of developers who develop a lot of sites. There is only so much PageRank juice to go around.

I have even considered buying some high PR sites, but in my opinion, that is a high-risk move, at best. Looking at the links sending PR to many of these sites - it is clear, at least to me, that the high PR enjoyed today is fleeting, delicate, brittle, and a lot of other words like these.

However, if you are looking to buy a shovel or two, and you have the time to add legitimate PageRank and follow or improve upon the business plan I provide - my shovels really are some of the best out there.

And if I ever found a way to boost PageRank in a legit way, using my own resources - the only way you could get one of my web sites is by ripping it from my cold, dead hands!!:)

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