2010 online business idea
Online business idea search
Looking for online business idea is not as difficult as you thought. Here is one, single idea that works over and over again for me: Spying on the Flippa marketplace listings.

I love being a spectator. Not because I am too afraid taking any actions on anything, but being a spectator allows me to have bird’s eyes vision on what’s going on right here, right now.

In online business, I enjoy being a spectator, as much as being a website builder myself. For this observation purpose, I regularly visit online marketplaces, where site sales and acquisitions are happening on real time.

There are actually plenty of online marketplaces where you and I can buy or sell sites (or merely observing what’s going on.) Of the many I’ve been tried so far (including eBay,) I have the urge to endorse Flippa.

flippa marketplace listing
Flippa marketplace listing

Flippa has helped me discover new online business ideas, as well as where to look for service providers I need in my webpreneurship endeavours. Flippa has also helped me in buying and selling sites, despite what I do most on the marketplace is, indeed, spying on the listings and what people do on the site.

Here’s exactly what I do on and benefit from Flippa (and on some other buy and sell websites marketplaces) that could very well help you in spotting hot online business ideas:

  • I can follow the trends in online business and make money online world – I can spot what’s hot and what’s not. Obviously, spotting the hot trends and build/flip sites based on the information I acquire is what I should do next. E.g. Web directories are hot a couple of years ago, but not today – not much listings and not much interest on such sites.
  • Analyse the listed sites’ profitability and potential – Some type of sites and/or some niches can be more lucrative than the others. Also, some income models are more appropriate than the others on a certain site type and/or niche. Identifying the most lucrative site type and/or niche can present you with big time income. E.g. Sites offering unique eBook/eCourse are often sold less than their monthly revenue. Why? Because most eBook business has a short business life cycle, and selling performing sites while they are ‘hot’ is a great exit strategy, as well as a great opportunity for the buyer to score some (while it last.)
  • Analyse the marketing strategy employed by site owners – This happens quite often: two similar sites on the same niche, both has the same quality content, products and/or services, but the one’s revenue and profits are twice as much as the other – how come? Most of the case, the more profitable one employs better marketing strategy. You can learn from the best practices to give you an idea or two on how to develop a successful online business. In other case, there are site owners are listing their sites just because they want more exposure to their sites, without any intention to sell their sites by any means.
  • Uncover the real opportunities from the rest – Great design helps, but the real opportunities (despite the ‘cosmetics’) can actually be spotted quite easily: Look at the number of views, comments and bids. It’s only logical: More bids mean more interest (a.k.a. demand.) On the other hand, if you see a site sold within 5 minutes of listing, you should keep an eye on the site – it must be either top quality or answer the current trends. E.g. An online business blog I bid on (I lost) has almost a dozen bid within 1 day of listing (and was getting 100s of views), before someone acquired it at full price (BIN or buy-it-now price) – I regret I didn’t BIN it before!
  • You can learn what kind of scams people are doing – By observing the marketplace, you can educate yourself on how to spot scammers. There are some site listings that are aimed to get novice website buyer’s money easy – you can spot such listings by simply look at the listing comments – there will be some ‘fights’ and arguments, and the listing owner deletes some comments on his/her listing.

As you can see, there’s a lot you can learn by being a spectator – you can rake in opportunities while avoid pitfalls, reducing your trial-and-error ‘overheads’ in your online business/make money online endeavours.

If you have any tips to share, please do so by commenting on this article.

Have fun in being a spectator and good luck spotting lucrative online business idea!

Ivan Widjaya
Spotting online business idea for 2010