Flippa and Empire Flippers are two well-known marketplaces for buying and selling websites. Although they both serve the same general purpose, they take very different approaches.
This article covers the essential details of both platforms while providing a balanced and comprehensive comparison of Flippa vs. Empire Flippers. We’ll discuss important details like the fees, types of sites you’ll find at each marketplace, price ranges of listings, and more. After reading, you’ll be able to decide which one, if either, is right for you.
Empire Flippers vs Flippa: An Overall Summary
The main differences between Empire Flippers and Flippa are:
- Flippa is an open marketplace (anyone can list), while Empire Flippers is a curated marketplace and website broker
- Flippa offers a higher quantity of listings than Empire Flippers
- Flippa, as a consequence of its business model, offers lower quality listings than Empire Flippers
Flippa allows anyone to list their website or online business for sale, including starter sites and small sites that haven’t made any money. Flippa also offers highly profitable businesses, so the range is quite broad, with thousands of active listings at any given time.
On the other hand, Empire Flippers requires that sites and businesses earn an average of at least $2,000 per month over the previous twelve months. Almost all of its listings are in the six-to-seven-figure range. There are usually around 100 active listings at Empire Flippers, as they focus exclusively on established, profitable online businesses.
While Empire Flippers and Flippa are both options for buyers and sellers, Investors Club has some significant advantages over both, including lower fees, vetted listings, and a focus on deals ranging from $20,000 to $100,000+ (established sites that are still affordable). Read Investors Club vs. Flippa for a detailed breakdown of the two platforms.
Flippa was one of the early influencers in the online mergers and acquisitions industry. It gained popularity partly by being the first marketplace of its kind where anyone could buy or sell a website, online business, or domain name.
Today, Flippa has a massive audience of website owners, investors, and others looking to start buying or selling websites. The main draw for sellers is access to Flippa’s large, established audience of buyers.
For buyers, Flippa presents an opportunity to browse a large number of listings and potentially come away with a great deal, if you find a quality listing that lacks interest from other buyers. However, Flippa also has a reputation for scammers and unscrupulous buyers and sellers, so it’s essential to exercise caution.
Flippa offers two different types of listings:
- Auctions. The highest bidder wins the auction, as long as the seller’s reserve price is met.
- Classifieds. The seller lists an asking price. Buyers can make an offer, which the seller can accept or reject.
Although Flippa does have some restrictions, it’s an open marketplace that just about anyone can use. This is noteworthy because many marketplaces and brokers only list established businesses.
Sellers can list their businesses for sale on Flippa and manage the sale independently. Alternatively, Flippa offers a brokered service for sites listed at $100,000, which is a more comprehensive service with slightly higher fees.
Empire Flippers Overview
Empire Flippers is a curated marketplace and website broker that offers a wide range of online businesses, including content websites, e-commerce, Amazon FBA, dropshipping, SaaS, lead gen, and more, making it one of the leading Flippa alternatives.
Every listing published at Empire Flippers has made it through their selection process. They require businesses to average at least $2,000 per month in profit and to have at least 12 months of history.
If you want to sell a site that makes less than $2,000 per month, Empire Flippers is not an option. Investors Club lists websites that earn at least $500 per month. Learn more about selling on Investors Club.
Because of Empire Flippers’ selective approach, buyers won’t find the low-priced websites there that are available at Flippa. Instead, you’ll find websites and businesses with six and seven-figure price tags.
Empire Flippers also provides high-touch brokerage services for sellers. They assist with everything from valuation and creating the listing to communicating with potential buyers and site migration.
Although they haven’t been around as long as Flippa, Empire Flippers has built a large audience and established a reputation within the industry.
|All listings verified
|Listings below $100k
|Up to 10%
Now that we’ve covered the basics of each platform, let’s see how they compare.
Types of Websites and Businesses Listed
Both Flippa and Empire Flippers are open to a wide range of websites and online businesses. You can buy or sell content sites (blogs and niche websites), e-commerce businesses, Amazon FBA businesses, dropshipping businesses, digital agencies, and more on each platform.
Flippa also lists domain names and social media accounts, while Empire Flippers currently does not.
Typical Price Range
One of the significant differences between these two platforms involves the valuations and asking prices. Flippa is open to just about anything. You’ll find starter sites, as well as highly established and profitable businesses.
You can find options at Flippa for a large or small budget. Many websites are listed below $1,000. Of course, you’ll also find established sites listed for six or seven figures.
Empire Flippers, on the other hand, has a narrower focus. Very few listings are priced below $100,000. Most of the listings are six or seven-figure businesses.
As a result, Empire Flippers is much more suitable for experienced buyers with large budgets looking for an established website. Flippa has some larger listings as well, but since most listings have a much lower asking price, it will have more options for buyers with relatively smaller budgets.
Our analysis of the typical listing prices on these platforms is shown below, with a percentage of listings that are small (less than $100k), medium ($100k – $1 million), and large (over $1 million).
The challenge is that neither Empire Flippers nor Flippa is very well-suited for new investors or buyers with budgets below $100,000. Empire Flippers simply doesn’t list these types of businesses, and Flippa’s lower-priced listings aren’t vetted (more on that in a minute). Investors Club provides a much more attractive alternative. Many of its listings are from $20,000 to $100,000, and every deal goes through a rigorous verification and vetting process.
Quantity of Listings
As the largest marketplace for websites and online businesses, Flippa typically has thousands of active listings at any given time. This is good for buyers who want a large selection, but the quantity is so large that it can feel overwhelming, and it’s impossible for buyers to stay on top of everything.
The quantity of listings at Flippa also creates a challenge for sellers because it’s difficult to stand out. Flippa offers several optional upgrades that increase a listing’s exposure, but they all come at an additional cost for the seller.
The Empire Flippers marketplace usually features around 100 active listings. This number is far more manageable for buyers, while still providing an excellent selection. Sellers also get more exposure for their listings because fewer listings compete for attention.
Quality of Listings
Since Flippa is open to just about any seller or online business, lower-quality sites often seem to make up the majority of the marketplace. Sellers with these types of listings don’t have many options for selling their site, so Flippa attracts most of them.
The lower quality of listings can hurt both buyers and sellers. The potential buyer has to browse through a lot of listings to find the most attractive opportunities. Sellers who have quality listings may suffer because of the perceptions about Flippa listings due to the lower overall quality. Even good sites and online businesses can get lumped in with the lower-quality listings.
Empire Flippers maintains higher-quality listings by taking a more selective approach. However, by focusing only on six and seven-figure listings, buyers with smaller budgets are left out.
Investors Club solves this problem by taking a selective approach (less than half of the submitted listings are accepted) while specializing in smaller deals. Many of the listings at Investors Club are priced below $100,000, but you won’t find the same low-quality listings that you find at Flippa. Buyers in this price range benefit from the selectivity of the platform while still having access to affordable websites and online businesses.
Flippa’s fee structure can be confusing because they charge several different fees (you may also be interested in our more detailed article on Flippa’s fees). They charge a listing fee of $29-$699 per listing. This fee applies even if the website doesn’t sell.
They also charge the business owner a success fee of up to 10%, depending on the selling price. This fee is only charged if the business sells.
Flippa offers several optional upgrades for things like marketing and exposure, as well as legal documents. Escrow services are not included. If buyers and sellers want to use an escrow service, Flippa offers discounted rates for Escrow.com, as well as FlippaPay.
In 2023, Flippa introduced First Access, a membership program for buyers. For $49 per month, members get access to listings 21 days before the public. This program has negative consequences for both buyers and sellers. Buyers have the additional fee, and sellers get drastically less exposure for their listing during the first 21 days.
Empire Flippers uses a more straightforward fee structure. They do not charge a listing fee, and buyers pay no fees. The only fee from Empire Flippers is a success fee that sellers pay if their listing successfully sells.
The success fee is tiered based on the selling price. It starts at 15% for transactions below $700,000 and goes down for larger dollar amounts.
Empire Flippers offers free migration assistance and free escrow services. Flippa does not offer any type of migration assistance.
Investors Club offers fees that are significantly lower than both Flippa and Empire Flippers. There are no listing fees for sellers, and the success fee is only a flat 7%. Additionally, Investors Club provides free migration services and free escrow for every transaction.
Investors Club also offers an optional membership fee for buyers ($79 per month, $399 per year, or $1999 for lifetime membership) that provides some additional perks.
Verification and Vetting
Flippa does not verify listings priced below $50,000. They claim to verify earnings of listings above $50,000.
Every listing at Empire Flippers goes through a verification process, but you won’t find many listings priced below $100,000.
Investors Clubs provides a solution for buyers looking for verified listings priced below $100,000. The revenue and traffic for every listing is verified, regardless of the list price. And with many listings priced below $100,000, it’s an excellent solution for those who want affordable deals that have been vetted.
Although marketplaces and brokers like Flippa, Empire Flippers, and Investors Club provide verified listings, buyers should always perform their own due diligence before purchasing any digital asset.
Flippa does not assist with migrating or transferring the website. It’s up to the buyer and seller to handle the migration.
Empire Flippers includes migration as part of its process.
Investors Club also provides migration assistance, and with success fees that are less than half of what Empire Flippers charges.
- Access to the largest audience of potential buyers. Flippa has the largest audience of any online business marketplace.
- Flexibility to sell just about any type of online business. There are very few restrictions compared to other brokers and marketplaces.
- No minimum income requirements. Starter sites and non-revenue-generating sites can be listed.
- Potential for a high selling price through an auction. If an auction leads to a bidding war, there’s a chance for a high sell price.
- Potential for buyers to find hidden gems. Savvy buyers may be able to find a good deal by weeding through a lot of listings.
- High fees for little service. Flippa’s fees are on the high end for a marketplace. Many add-ons potentially increase the total cost for buyers and sellers.
- First Access limits the exposure of listings. Although sellers can reach a large audience of buyers, the First Access program drastically reduces the exposure listings get for three weeks.
- Low-quality listings. Unfortunately, Flippa is known for having a high percentage of low-quality listings.
- Difficult for listings to stand out. It’s difficult for sellers to get exposure because of the large number of listings.
- Lack of verified listings. Flippa does not verify listings priced below $50,000, and it has a reputation for being home to many scams.
- Lots of tire kickers for sellers to deal with. Listings that generate a lot of interest typically require the seller to spend a lot of time communicating with buyers who may not be serious.
- Migration and escrow not included. Flippa does not offer migration assistance or an escrow service.
Empire Flippers Pros
- High-quality listings. Empire Flippers rejects the majority of listing submissions, so only the highest quality listings make it to the marketplace.
- Verified listings. They verify the income and traffic of every listing.
- Excellent selection. With more than 100 active listings, Empire Flippers provides an excellent selection without so many options that it’s overwhelming.
- Excellent exposure for sellers. Empire Flippers has a large, established audience of buyers.
- Migration and escrow services included. Empire Flippers helps with transferring and migrating the site, and also provides escrow services at no additional cost.
Empire Flippers Cons
- High fees. Empire Flippers’ success fee is 15% for amounts up to $700,000. That’s at the high end in the industry.
- Almost no listings below $100,000. Buyers looking for opportunities below $100,000 are out of luck.
- Not an option for sellers earning less than $2,000 per month. Sellers must earn an average of at least $2,000 monthly profit over the past 12 months to qualify, so it’s not an option for smaller businesses.
Flippa vs Empire Flippers: Final Verdict
Both Flippa and Empire Flippers are recognized marketplaces for buying and selling websites and online businesses, but they take very different approaches. Flippa provides opportunities for buying or selling smaller projects, but the lack of verified listings causes concern.
Empire Flippers verifies revenue and traffic for all listings on its marketplace, but you won’t find many deals below $100,000.
If you’re looking for a platform that offers verified listings with asking prices as low as $20,000 (and even lower in some cases), Investors Club is the solution for you.
If you’re interested in selling a website or online business, try the Investors Club Valuation Tool to see what it’s worth. If you’re interested in buying a website or online business, create a free Investors Club account to access the current listings.
Marc has been building websites and online businesses since 2007. He's built successful businesses in several industries, including web/graphic design, photography, travel, and personal finance. Marc is the founder of Flip My Site, where he writes about buying and selling websites.