I read an interesting article in Business 2.0 this month (June 2006) entitled “Flipping Web Fixer-Uppers” regarding a new trend in online entrepreneurship – purchasing underperforming sites, improving the content, infrastructure, and/or marketing to build traffic and revenue, and then selling them for a profit. This has been facilitated by sites such as SitePoint and eBay where whole sites and the businesses built around them are auctioned off.I took a look at SitePoint, and there are a lot of sites that I would never purchase, but there are a few I found that I would consider. As the article in Business 2.0 says, the key would be finding a site about something you are passionate. I do not think that a techie would be able to flip a site on modern art, nor would a musician be able to turn a profit on a site dedicated to advanced data structures.

I do think that this kind of entrepreneurship has merit, as I have personally visited many a site with potential but which has been neglected. There are many destinations on the Web that simply need the tender love of someone who really cares about the site’s topic in order to blossom. Virtual real estate certainly has tangible value, so it is natural that this kind of opportunity arose just as it did for neglected homes in hot housing markets across the country.

Some of the sites for sale are quite comical. My favorite is SaveToby.com, which I had run across before. It involves threatening to eat an innocent bunny, and the viral momentum it had a few months ago is worth a blog post in and of itself (stay tuned).

If you are interested, visit these sites to see some of the Web properties currently up for sale: