Flippa had another exciting sale yesterday with a major boat sales directory, SacsMarine.com fetching $22,000 with a total of 15 active bidders. The directory was launched in 2009 and currently makes around $1,500 with roughly half of the revenue coming from AdSense. The owners have done a good job of monetizing the site from multiple sources as the site also generates good revenue from listings and direct ad sales.
As you can see the site itself is quite simple and looks like it’s built on the Classipress WordPress theme. That being said we all know that content is king and the site boasts over 95,000 boats listed for sale. The site was started initially for the owners to list their own boats for sale but they quickly saw that the model could be expanded to include listings by boat owners around the world.
While personally I think their use of AdSense makes the site look damn ugly, it does seem to be accounting for 50% of their revenue so they’ve definitely found a model that works for them. If it were up to me I’d get rid of the AdSense and put a lot more energy into negotiating direct advertising deals and getting boat owners to pay for featured listings.
All of this being said, the site gets over 45,000 visitors/month and generates $1,450/month in profit so given that it does have a lot of room for improvement I see this as a good base to start with. I would consider this a fixer-upper, the basic business model is there and some tweaks and improvements could help to make the site look better and generate more revenue. It always amazes me when ugly sites make good money but then again, it still comes down to the golden rule – content is king and with over 95,000 listings there is a lot of content and active users.
This also goes to show that you can really focus on getting your business model right long before you design fancy graphics or create a nice-looking site. SacsMarine.com wouldn’t have made a dime parked but it’s making nice income right now and I’ll be interested to see how the new owners take the site and business to the next level!