Flippa Sale - No website and no money

blackwar85

BuSo Pro
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
68
Likes
104
Points
0
At this point I`m pretty sure that I just gave my website away as free in Flippa.

Full story:

So I listed it for a sale, certain guy won it at the end. He seemed to be like a nice guy, when doing little background search everything seemed to be legit, he is college teacher. What happened is that just after I transferred domain, website files and social media accounts - the whole package, he started to complain about the backlinks I`m receiving last months calling them negative SEO. He had all the time to go over the backlinks before actually bidding, doing all the due diligence before that. I tried to show him that those were legit links, just from a random link pyramid service I was using couple months ago.

Now, after while he disputed the sale regardless of my efforts. I explained my side of story to Flippa about dispute, pretty confident that they will still release the money to me ( after all website etc was fully transferred). Today message came that the money has been refunded to him and a offer to relist the site for free.

Now when buyer has money and files what are the changes that he will transfer everything back to me. Slim to none. I know Flippa is like go-to place for selling sites, but how they still have such a retarded dispute system? It`s like waiting for scams to happen. Can´t they just hold the money in escrow till he send me the files back ?

Do you guys have any advice for this situation when this buyer actually won´t send me the files back?
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
4
Likes
8
Points
0
I'm not sure where you are based, where he is based and how much money is involved in the transaction. If it's anything more than a couple of thousand dollars I would definitely consult a lawyer about this.
 

blackwar85

BuSo Pro
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
68
Likes
104
Points
0
I'm not sure where you are based, where he is based and how much money is involved in the transaction. If it's anything more than a couple of thousand dollars I would definitely consult a lawyer about this.

I`m in [removed], he is in United States. It`s high 4 figures.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

emp

BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Messages
587
Likes
593
Points
2
You don't have a copy of the files?

::emp::

To be (hopefully) more helpful, your turn to file a dispute.
If he does not transfer files and domain back to you.

Next step: lawyer up

::emp::
 
Last edited by a moderator:

blackwar85

BuSo Pro
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
68
Likes
104
Points
0
You don't have a copy of the files?

::emp::

Yes I have copy of the actual DB and files. But he still has the domain, social accounts etc. That`s a good idea to file a dispute against him in return. However I`m still amazed how Flippa handles this situation, I`m surprised I have not heard stories like this before. Definitely going to use a broker next time.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
485
Likes
310
Points
2
YUP! Avoid Flippa.

They cancelled my auction with 4 hours left to go because an anonymous person flagged my listing and asked me for a copy of my passport.

Killed the listing right there.

EmpireFlipper gives you 20x guaranteed. FEInternational is similar.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
68
Likes
82
Points
0
Sue Flippa... If the transaction is complete and you transferred the domain. They are no longer part of the process.

Plus, they're the ones with the money, not some butt-drip college teacher...
 

emp

BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Messages
587
Likes
593
Points
2
Why didn't you use an escrow service to start?

High 4 figures would warrant that, for sure?

::emp::
 

blackwar85

BuSo Pro
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
68
Likes
104
Points
0
Meatplow - yes I transferred the files, domain, social media accounts so pretty much the next step for buyer would be releasing the funds from Flippa escrow. However, suddenly he started complaining about some backlinks that have been there for months so he did dispute - he got the money back and of course still has the ownership of the domain etc.

Emp. I used flippa escrow. Searching around it seemed to be a good option, I thought why should I pay the extra fees associated with Escrow.com? At that point I had no idea people handling the Flippa escrow would do something so stupid. Do you think that if I would used the escrow.com they would kept the money in hold until buyer transfers domain, social media accounts back to me?
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
4,690
Likes
9,048
Points
9
If you can, change the passwords or limit his ability to use the social accounts immediately. Contact the registrar and explain what happened and provide as much documentation as possible. If that fails, if he continues to operate the site with your content and design, contact his hosting. If that fails, and you can't get your money back, burn the site to the ground and get it deindexed.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2014
Messages
112
Likes
67
Points
0
Get him on the phone, tell him you're prepared to fight back with the full extent of the law. Does he have a common name? You could post some articles detailing what happened and how he scammed you. You can call the school he works at. You can do a whole bunch of LEGAL things that will make this completely not worthwhile for him. You can make sure anybody who Googles his name will never want to do business with him again.
 

Andrewkar

...
BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
392
Likes
209
Points
1
Get him on the phone, tell him you're prepared to fight back with the full extent of the law. Does he have a common name? You could post some articles detailing what happened and how he scammed you. You can call the school he works at. You can do a whole bunch of LEGAL things that will make this completely not worthwhile for him. You can make sure anybody who Googles his name will never want to do business with him again.
If the guy is for real...

It's obvious scam in my opinion. I don't think you will get your site back or that this thing will end up positively for you. That being said, I wish and hope for best for you.

And the most important thing, legal agreement. This always should be in place when making any deals.

Have you checked if he is real? I'm mean have you called that school where he is working, and got him on the phone? Or have you called him before the deal? In a first place I would try to find out if he is real, or maybe just pretends to be someone else.

If he is real, do as @Romac said. If he is a typical scammer kill the site because if that's the case there is no way you will win that fight.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2014
Messages
112
Likes
67
Points
0
This makes me weary of ever using Flippa's escrow service. Sounds like a nightmare, regardless of whether or not OP could have done anything differently. Escrow.com is a breeze.
 

Andrewkar

...
BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
392
Likes
209
Points
1
So far I have used only PP on Flippa (no problems so far, plus I have a very good standing with PP). In general I don't like the idea of giving files and control over my site (domain) to someone whom I've never seen or can't even check properly. But my deals were small, no more than $2K. On the other note, why would anyone give the files and domain to someone without being paid first? Especially when deal is made internationally? When it comes to small deals that just don't make sense becosue this is the area where most scams take place.

Right now I have one site on Flippa, but I won't be selling it to someone without good history there. It's just too risky. The only exception will be if I can check that person properly before closing the deal. And still, legal agreement have to be in place.
 

blackwar85

BuSo Pro
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
68
Likes
104
Points
0
Thanks for the ideas guys, fortunately I did not need to use any of the advice this time.

It comes out that this guy was actually legit and finally contacted me yesterday and pushed the domain to my name + social accounts. With a bit of searching it was easy to find information about this guy ( legit FB profiles etc) so ripping me of would not have ended good for him.

I actually contacted Flippa too asking what they were thinking refunding the funds to him without me getting the files back first. They just replied that if he would not had transferred the files back to me they would have banned him. Great solution...

I got lucky this time. So there is 2 things everyone ( including me) can take away from this incident. First, make sure that the buyer you are selling your site to is actually legit ( legit FB full of pictures etc), I managed to actually find out the school he works as teacher. So if he would have not returned the website, I could have contacted his school, friends etc.

Secondly, avoid Flippa Escrow. However, I wonder if Escrow.com would handled this situation differently?
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2014
Messages
112
Likes
67
Points
0
Really happy to hear that man!!!

That's absolutely shameful on behalf of Flippa. Wow. What's the point of escrow if it's THAT easy for somebody to manipulate their escrow system? That's EMBARRASSING. I really hope a Flippa rep reads this and can chime in and let us know that they're going to make the necessary changes so that Webmasters can feel safe using their service.

Quick sidenote: FEI uses Escrow.com, which is a lot more secure, and the owner is a member here at BuSo so if you have a larger site DEFINITELY give them a call. (@Thomas Smale !! would love to hear your thoughts on this situation from the POV of somebody who's helped tons of people sell sites.)
 

Golan

BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
362
Likes
168
Points
1
Glad about the happy resolution of the case. Although you ended up with unsold site. But what to do.
 

Thomas Smale

BuSo Pro
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
19
Likes
50
Points
0
This sounds like a very unprofessional system - it's not how an escrow service should work at all.

Firstly, once funds are in Escrow.com (assuming that's who you use) if there are issues there is a formal dispute process and arbitration. They certainly don't refund the buyer if they complain without your response, nor should they.

In future, get an asset purchase agreement signed stating terms of the deal. Then you are at the mercy of the contract/escrow terms rather than a marketplace with an "escrow" service. Assuming you hadn't misrepresented anything then the deal would be final once funds are in escrow and everything transferred - not liking the backlinks you have is not a reason to get out of a deal mid escrow (unless you hadn't declared the cost of them, for example).