Beware Flippa.com: Thousands havebeen scammed. A Cutting Review
I belong to a group that had been building websites long before Flippa.com came along. The very first site we built in 1999 set the groundwork
for what ultimately evolved into today’s online fora. That site, now dead, looked like early versions of the phpBB.
14 years had elasped since our first site launched. If our websites were feathers, we’d have enough to assemble into wings and fly into the sunset. I take pride in these creations, however, the team that manages the networks have begun to find the sheer volume unwieldy. We proceeded to auctions.
The very first auction house that served us was Godaddy- and why not, 60% of our sites are hosted and registered with them. I have nothing but praise for the experience with Godaddy. Fees are manageable and premium listing gets our domain getting a lot of eyeball traffic. Transfer is painless as well, all the more when the transfer occurs between extant Godaddy clients. It takes just 24 hours for ownership to transfer. What does take long is the remittance of payment. The wait was worth it nonetheless. We got top dollar for several PR5/6 sites that we no longer needed.
Flippa.com – Things Went Downhill.
Two years on the Godaddy Auction system got us wondering about the competition, particularly Flippa.com So we tried some domains on their famous service.
The nighmare began.
Abhorrent Listing Costs
Immediately we found that listing fees cost far more than Godaddy’s. Price ranges from under a hundred dollars to a maximum of $349. Those on a budget would cringe on something called Spotlight which charges $149 a day (for homepage listing)
We listed four domains on Flippa.com to the tune of $400 (it would have cost $29 per site at Godaddy). Flippa.com incessantly sent emails highlighting the benefits of upgrading to a higher plan for better coverage.
We almost did…
Big Boys Club
Something happened. Out of the blue, our sites got hammered with negative comments questioning our site statistics. People who never bid before would leave comments like:
- Why your PR so high? Is there a trick?
- You have PR0 inner pages. That should not be. xxx
- Your income looks fake
(Yep the grammar was bad)
These would have been okay until we noticed that other sites on auction with horrible content, no content and veritably no site authority would get high praise like this:
Very fishy. A scam was afoot at Flippa.com
In the world of the Academe, there is a term called “shilling” whereby fake students leave good testimonials for paying schools and destroy opposing schools.
Is there a cabal that was operating within Flippa.com? That is what I thought.
I looked closer. Worthless domains that had low authority on various ranking factors steadily gained bids as “encouraging comments” were posted on their listings.
One the other hand, our established sites were hammered. This despite domain age, quantified media traffic and authoritative citations from large sites. The imbalance glared.
Cliques ruled within Flippa.com just as Congressmen formed mini alliances within the House of Representatives. Outsiders stood no chance. These scammy cliques determined which listings won or not.
Into The Fire from the Frying Pan
A day later, our site site on auction was delisted from Flippa.com. How this happens to pagerank 9 domain with 40k uniques a month was mind boggling. The cryptic email from Josh W. said:
I naturally contested. There was no explanation. The reply came an hour later:
It All Became Clear- Flippa Was Siding with the Shills on It’s Auctions
Josh based the penalty on two things:
- The fact that our site had a higher rank than Flippa.com in just 2 years operation.
- That our site allegedly carried tutorials teaching blackhat (which it did not as will be seen in this article)
Apparently, Flippa customer service failed to undertake due diligence on dubious complaints made by alleged shills active on its forum. The company arbitrarily suspended then cancelled the listing on hearsay. A company as large as Flippa.com could have undergone a due diligence review with various services including Moz.com, MajesticSEO.com and even Google itself. Flippa failed to. Or rather, it’s heavy handed customer service staff refused to.
I demanded a reply for specifics on the article allegedly containing content on”cheating the search engines”. Customer service replied with a weak rebuttal:
How odd. The gist of that page is encapsulated in the following high quality infographic which is actually a favored white hat method of increasing authority:
Will No Longer Deal With Flippa and It’s Arbitrary Customer Service
Flippa apparently jumps the gun on new members availing of their pricy services. High price doesn not guarantee premium treatment. I and my team learned this the hard way. Flippa sides with old members despite evidence to the contrary- possibly even turning a blind eye to the evidence in the first place. Why Flippa Customer Service gave credence to complaining members spouting poor grammar was one thing. But what gets my brain addled is how they based their high handed actions on dubious grounds that will not stand the test of even minor scrutiny.
Sadly, it turns out that my group failed to do a due diligence on Flippa.com itself and its renowned poor customer services. Shortly after the shakedown, we found several references deploring the despotic handling of the consumer in other instances. The word scam, scammer and despotic is aligned with this auction company on google search engine references. Trustpilot.com, DigitalPoint.com, BlackhatForum and Warriorforum all tells a tale of disgust:
- Shadow bidders jacking up the prices on zero value domains
- Flippa collecting commission fees on sales that never consummated
- Auctions running well beyond the close period in favor of certain individuals
- Arbitrary closure of accounts
Heres’ what TrustPilot.com has to say of this horrible auction site. You judge for yourself whether you will do business with Flippa.com or not: