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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Selling clients/hosting company guidelines

    Is'nt it time we set some guidelines for selling hosting clients/companies? We see the same questions asked over and over again. We also see the same posts like this:

    Hi, I'm selling my clients because [insert life story here].....
    I usually make about $$ each month BUT [insert lame reason here]....
    This has great potential [insert meaningless fluff here]....
    Just PM me with offers.

    Anyone willing to put up serious money needs serious answers to serious questions. I have spent (upper) $xx,xxx this year buying quality accounts and have wasted almost as much time going back and forth with sellers over BASIC things. Things that I think should be addressed UP FRONT.

    Here is (IMO) a good starting list of questions that should be answered for ANY sale.

    Feel free to add to the list, agree or disagree that we should do this or even tell me to shove off.

    If a signed NDA is required, please send it to [email protected]
    What control panel do the clients use?
    What are the plan sizes, BW limits and costs?
    How many clients on each plan?
    Whats the total annual income?
    How many have dedicated IPs?
    How many are reseller accounts?
    What country are most clients located in?
    What billing and support systems are used?
    What payment methods do the clients use?
    How many domain registrations are done for the clients?
    What registrar is used for domains?
    Does the sale include the hardware?
    How much is the server/colo/reseller per month?
    When is it due next?
    Does the sale include the company name?
    Does the sale include the domain name(s)?
    What payment method(s) do you accept for the sale?
    Who pays the fees?
    ☆☆☆ Miss Names - Cool domain names for sale! -☆☆☆

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Just outside of Philly
    I agree completely. Perhaps not all of those things should be mandatory, but I don't understand why some sellers keep some basic info out of the listings and insist on an email or PM. I think they often don't realize they're doing themselves as disservice, particularly when the info isn't disclosing anything significant.

    As a company that is actively purchasing, I'd appreciate some template or guidelines to streamline the process for all involved.

    <generalization>Not to offend anyone, but it seems like the folks that don't make much of an effort to detail what they're selling are exactly the types that need to get out of the busy because of [insert "reason" here]. Sellers: a little more effort can go a long way! <generalization />
    Effective, Personalized Support
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Quincy, MA
    I second that. I go through all the offers, and I usually pass them all by because the person selling doesn't have all their ducks in a row when it comes to all the details of their business. I've been burnt in the past because one of my acquisitions that couldn't even keep track of who was paying and who wasn't even though they were using a billing system. In the end what looked like a great offer, ended up being a bad investment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Quincy, MA
    Another thing to add. Most of these small hosts aren't incorporated at all, don't have business licenses, they haven't paid any taxes, and you may be responsible for other debts and liabilities that are not disclosed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Support Ticket Near You!
    Most people have an NDA and then will release all that information at free will.

    That is basic practice. If you can't get an NDA organized and basic contracts together, you're asking for trouble, quick sale or not.

    Going back and forth takes time, but you're getting to know each other better to complete the sale if it goes that far. - VPS Control Panel
    Automating and monitoring your hosting business.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    United States
    I totally agree with you GORF. We have spent countless hours too trying to close a deal only to find out the seller has some other issues undisclosed to us.
    What a great idea!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    I think all contracts should include the following for the buyer:

    - List of all accounts being sold
    - Review of billing data
    - Login to examin live accounts

    Before the release of any funds with the right to terminate.
    ☆☆☆ Miss Names - Cool domain names for sale! -☆☆☆

    ☆☆☆ Find a new pet for your home ... Find a new home for your pet -☆☆☆

  8. #8
    This is a typical problem across all business for sale listings, I have seen companies for sale for over 100K with records that are just a joke.

    It would be excellent if a required questionnaire and format could be used so we could just bid.

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