$216,000 Could Get You Stoned


Putting a price on your baby is hard (assuming you live outside of China and your first born is not a girl), but Bruce Stone is selling Wow Directory for $216,000 on Sitepoint.

Many of the people at Sitepoint think the price is well north of par value:

So you're looking for 3 years revenue? Longer than the site itself has been online?

Bruce explains why he is selling:

I’m tired of working 16 hour days 7 days a week and my health is showing it. When you start having nightmares about servers going down it’s time to cut back.

A couple years ago GoGuides.org was for put on the auction block starting off at $10,000. It seems like search engines have been putting less weight on general directory links than in days gone by. How many useful general web directories will there be in 3 years? Is Bruce overvaluing his baby?



Let's think about it... the domain name has little value in itself, the site doesn't offer anything unique, no widgets or anything for sale and directories are not hot property.

Not to mention... 3 years income? How much would it cost to hire an Indian team to copy the Wow directory onto a freshly purchased old site, buy some links and wait?

Based upon the prices that I sell sites for and what I see others selling them for he should ask for 10 to 12 months income --- $60,000 to $72,000 and be willing to settle for 8. Then again, you never know who will come along with a hole burning in his pocket...


WoW has never been a general directory and is primarily a local and regional directory. The majority of the traffic is from organic local and regional searches as well. WoW is one of the few cross referencing scripts that place all submissions into a general directory format as well as the state, country and town. Personally I don’t care if it sells or not because it has been really good to me, but it’s available to the right person if they want it. Is it overpriced, needless to say I don't think so. It's the best directory I have ever developed and has taken two years of hard work.

i dunno

it IS a well-known directory. i think he might be able to get his asking price.

Worth half what he asking.

Worth half what he asking. If he works 16 hours a day and it makes 6k a month, he can get some staff to run it and take it easy. I would rather go and buy a house for that sort of money.

Yeah I don't get that

Yeah I don't get that either.. 6k could easily buy a part time staff

16 hours per day

in conjunction with his other websites. I'm sure that's an exageration also.

Personally, that site requires too much digging around to figure out what the user value of it is.

He's got the syndrome

Anyone here NOT ever contacted someone to buy a site worth about $500 and get told that the owner wouldn't let it go for less than $10K because of the impressive future value or some such?

Everyone way overvalues their own sites. People completely miss half the equation...it's worth $200K to the owner, but what's it really worth to someone else? Not nearly that much. People do the same thing when selling their home.

You've got a website and a domain, that honestly, isn't worth that much. You've got a business earning 6K - all based on a notoriously fickle and completely unreliable source of traffic. 3 years? No way does this business last that long, not in this industry. As for it's 'future potential', well if I buy it and increase the profit, then I'm entitled to 100% of that increase - sorry, that doesn't get built into the price (otherwise, increase the revenue as claimed it's possible, then get back to me). Sell it on what it's got, not some imaginary dream. (I'm speaking of 'you' in general, non-specific terms).

As one poster noted on sitepoint, a good case can also be made that the same amount of money could be better invested into recreating the product. And that's exactly how any potential purchaser is going to think.

I've sold a couple online business/websites in the low six figure range, and I can assure you that most potential buyers are going to go throuugh exactly these thoughts - and end up with a figure of about $50K. Even that might be a tough sale.

Respectfully, either the owner of the site is a newb when it comes to selling a site like this, or I smell linkbait.

I thinks

I thinks some folks don't know how much money directories make. A little hype here and there and a directory can pull in over $30,000 a month. Wow is grossly under-monetizing its traffic. The site could easily make $20,000 a month with a few changes. Its positioned nicely, marketing wise, due to Stoner's good name.

No, it's not priced for quick sale. But I wouldn't be surprised to see it sell at that price.

Kinda cheap considering that L$ bought Zeal for $20 million.


Yes looks a bit like that, the last comment on that thread reads

Is seller alive?

Old Bruce doesn't seem to have been too active in responding there.

And there is not sign of any discussion elsewhere on Serps.

I've no idea what the value

I've no idea what the value of Wow is - I guess value is in the eye of the beholder.

IMO, though, the Wow Directory is one of the best independent directories out there.

Sure, you can simply build a directory and populate it, but that's overlooking Wow's local listings, which IMO is its USP.

Bruce is a good guy with a sound business.

Maybe we DO know

I thinks some folks don't know how much money directories make.

JohnScott, and you have absolutely no personal interest in talking up the price of directory sites? By your calculations you can recover your capital in 10 months. Sounds like a great deal. Did you put in your bid?

Bruce may be a good guy but "sound business"? Hmm. High risk, long hours, minimal profits? Nah, doesn't sound like a sound business to me. I'll be a chimpanzee's rent-boy before I spend a quarter of a million dollars plus work 60 hours a week for the $1,500 weekly profits he quotes before tax and expenses.


JohnScott, and you have absolutely no personal interest in talking up the price of directory sites?

Guess I'm busted. Yes, I do have a personal interest in talking up directory sale prices. It is my secret intention to convince everyone to create their own directories, thereby flooding the market and decreasing my income. I secretly long to be poor and homeless. You got me.

By your calculations you can recover your capital in 10 months. Sounds like a great deal. Did you put in your bid?

Precisely what I need is another web directory. Yup.

Seriously, if I wasn't already affiliated with the number of web directories that I am affiliated with, I would consider it a good investment.

High risk, long hours, minimal profits?

I don't know where the long hours come from. I don't see the high risk either. Minimal profits - that's because he isn't monetizing it nearly as much as he could.

We hired an editor to do our submissions and paid min. wage, and until September I was on nearly a year-long vacation. Not exactly long hours.

Come on

First off, I don't have a problem with him asking what he is for the directory. The guy put his blood, sweat and tears into it and I'm guessing it would be hard to part with in the first place. Don't we all overvalue a few sites that hold a special place with us?

With that said, the price is ridiculous. Lets be honest, this isn't a custom CMS driven directory, the design isn't exactly difficult to reproduce, and it doesn't offer anything else unique compared to its competitors. So really, you are paying for a PR6 site with a little over 6,000 links that has a directory pre-populated for $216,000? As for traffic, is it traffic that can really be monetized for a lot of profit?

Lastly, what is the lifespan of something like this? Directories are certainly not going in that upward direction we saw 2-3 years ago. It's a Google update away from being worthless. We see them pick off mid-level directories left and right these days, who's to say they aren't next?

Now at $6000 monthly revenue, we aren't talking a lot of bank. This is not including the costs that go into the directory which I'd imagine would include hosting, maintenance, paid links, and the time you put in or hire someone to do. So to say you'd break even in 3 years on that revenue level is flat out wrong. You'd have to signifigantly increase the revenue, 3-4 times what it currently is at. Why? Well because most directories won't be in the same position in 3 years. Do people really think these directory links will hold the same value in the search engines that they do now? Do people really think that Google won't officially bury most of these sites shortly?

My value is at $20,000. Basically the cost of the aged domain, links, traffic, and current listings. This directory can be replicated within a year for a tenth of the cost that is being asked. Either way, if he finds a fish willing to bite, more power to him. Beauty of a capitalism.

Guess you're not busted then

Guess I'm busted

Guess you're not. Why would I be glad if all the properties in my area go up in price? It's not like I enjoy making a lot of money when my time comes to sell.

if I wasn't already affiliated with the number of web directories that I am affiliated with, I would consider it a good investment.

The problem is that he may find that everybody who shares his valuation doesn't have the time/money. And those that have the time/money don't think it's worth the price. Strange that. It happens a lot in the site buying/selling business.

But, hey, time has a good way of letting things prove themselves.

That time vs money issue is

That time vs money issue is a great point that many people miss.

It probably is a bit hard to be wealthy with hundreds of thousands of dollars of liquid capital without valuing your time at many hundreds of dollars an hour.

Right Aaron

Another point people miss is that their own time is worth money. Often they don't deduct that from the profit. A site making $6,000 is not really making $6,000 if the owner is using 60 hours per week of his own time. A fair salary for that time needs to be deducted. Buyers aren't looking to buy a job, they're looking to buy a business.

>> fair salary

A fair salary for that time needs to be deducted.

So true. In the sales post stoner3221 indicates he works 7 days a week at 16 hours per day. While we don't know if that is an exaggeration, Macro (from Sitepoint) makes a sound observation:

From what's been provided so far it would be reasonable to conclude that the site makes $6K per month gross, pays expenses, pays 1.5 x employees (60 hours a week) @ approx $4K per month and comes out making $0. (Though, I appreciate, the full accounts may disclose a profitable business)

Macro made a $70k offer - which makes me think the 60 to 100 hours quoted as operating time was an overstatement.

Just to put something in perspective

For a while I was involved in the facilitating of the buying/selling of businesses. For a sum of $200K+ he'll find that people don't take his word on anything - not on traffic, stats, source of custom, actual receipts... or even his expenditure - they want proof. Even if he has audited accounts they'll want due diligence (I once picked up that over 70% of a site's traffic was coming from one IP - the owner's! Info like that doesn't come by accident but by careful analysis of the business for sale).

Auditors/business advisors will factor in a salary, notional other costs if he works from home, notional costs of advertising if he's linking to it from his other sites.... etc. Even if his own chartered accountant prepares the figures he may find this business generates a lot less net profit than he thinks it does.

Nebraska, here's a page that illustrates the salary point you make.

Bruce works on multiple

Bruce works on multiple projects, of which the Wow directory is just one. There's little point factoring in the time management costs for his other business interests. Looks like Bruce has shot himself in the foot by not making that clear.

The value is always going to be a subject of debate, but if the business is profitable, then it's a good business model. Simple as that. Doesn't mean to say it couldn't be better, or that it's everyone's preferred. But a profitable business is a profitable business. Looks like any serious buyer is going to havbe to tease out just what the profitability is before a sale on their own criteria.

I believe it sold for more

I believe it sold for more than he was asking.



John, yeah, sure ;)

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