Flippa scam .pdf
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An Open Letter To Flippa and the
In short, this letter outlines an ongoing scam on Flippa.com, of a half a million dollar,
and how a few Flippa support staff members are actively covering it up and promoting
This is not your average “I’ve been scammed buying a website” cry for help. Please
read the full letter to the end. Thank you.
Flippa is without a question one of the best, if not the best platform for buying and selling
websites and domains.
One issue that started to receive a lot of attention, is that of a seller called TurnkeyProfit
The following letter is written with the help of several people who purchased auctions from
this seller, as well as with help from other popular sellers on Flippa.
The seller TurnkeyProfit has over $500,000 in sales with 100% positive feedback. He sells
startup (clone) websites, heavily promoting that with his websites, anyone will earn
$10,000/month guaranteed or he will offer a full refund, no questions asked. He mentions
that he will provide his secret marketing guide, which will show how anyone can easily earn
$10,000/month with his websites.
Sounds too good to be true? Of course it does. But seeing that he has 100% positive
feedback across 8 years, offers 100% money back guarantee, and sells 2-3 auctions per
day, and Flippa itself is a reputable platform knowing for selling websites worth millions, it
sounded like it’s safe. Worst case, money back.
The sellers auctions include bundles of 25-40 websites. Each auction costing between $195
- $295. Upon purchasing the auction, he sets up the websites within 2-3 weeks. Once set up,
he will provide his marketing strategies, which consists of a handful of PDF files covering
basic SEO, as well as his personal guide on how to get traffic via YouTube.
The PDF files are heavily outdated. Some date back to 2012. It’s also worth mentioning that
those eBooks are freely available and they cover basic marketing, social media and SEO.
Nothing in the eBooks will teach you how to actually earn $10,000/month. It’s just a bunch of
outdated information that is common knowledge by know and can be found for free on any
What the seller is making out to be his big secret to success, is his YouTube marketing
strategy, where he creates YouTube videos to bring visitors to his websites.
His YouTube marketing strategy involves creating YouTube compilation videos about
anything popular, such as cat videos, funny videos, fail videos, vines, babies etc. He
recommends to download dozens of those videos from YouTube and then edit them
together to make a new 10 minute video. Then upload them to YouTube and add links to the
websites in the video description, so viewers will come to the websites.
He also links to a few example compilation videos that received millions of views, arguing
that this is prove that compilation videos will automatically get 1000s of views per day. Those
videos he used as examples, do not belong to him but instead belong to popular YouTube
channels that have 100,000s and millions of subscribers.
He also recommends to purchase a Pay Per Click search engine website, so that you can
promote your own websites their, and sell ad space on that search engine, asking for $100s
per ad space. No mention on how to get visitors to the search engine, other than asking
other website owners to pay you $100s per ad space to promote their website.
It becomes clear very quickly that none of the marketing strategies he provides really work,
not to mention will earn you $10,000 a month.
Anyone who created YouTube compilation videos before, knows that even if you create 100
videos, you usually get 10-100 views per month on your videos, unless you are already
popular on YouTube. Perhaps back in 2010-2012 this would have worked with some
moderate success. But as of 2017/2018, creating YouTube compilation videos and
expecting to automatically receive 100,000s of views per month, is as unrealistic as winning
Once buyers realize that the marketing strategies do not work, they kindly ask him for a
refund. However he rejects the refunds 100% of the time, arguing that the buyer has not
spent enough time creating YouTube videos and did not read the PDF eBooks. When
arguing that the marketing strategies with YouTube are useless, the seller quickly loses his
temper, calls the buyer a liar for not trying the marketing strategies and threatens with
lawyers and legal action if one is to go public, claiming that his websites do not work.
When contacting Flippa for help, Flippa support replies by saying that once the sale is
finalized, all issues are between the buyer and seller.
When leaving a negative feedback, stating that the seller refuses to refund and the
marketing strategies do not work, Flippa removes the negative feedback a few hours later.
Contacting Flippa support and asking why it was removed, will be answered by saying that a
resolution needs to be found with the seller on this issue and the feedback will not be
When contacting the seller again to work with him on the websites, he refuses to answer,
and if he does answer, it’s usually with legal threats, saying that his websites work, and if
claimed otherwise, he will sue. Pretty much every single message he sends is incredibly
rude and full of legal threats. Any questions or issues that the buyer raises, that slightly leans
After 3 months of the sale, a second feedback can be left, about the quality of the websites.
Same situation here, when leaving a negative feedback, all negative feedback will be
removed by Flippa support within hours, without ever contacting the person who left it.
Other sellers who have received negative feedbacks and tried to work it out with the buyer
first, and once the buyer did not respond, contacted Flippa support for help, but were told
that, I quote:
“We will not be able to remove the feedback without the other party's consent.’
List of popular sellers who did not manage to get a negative feedback removed. Some of
them have 100s of positive ones and just a single negative one, but Flippa refused to help.
Other sellers have asked Flippa support on how the seller “TurnkeyProfit” manages to get rid
of all negative feedback. Flippa support replied with, I quote:
“The feedback that is left in a user's account will not be removed by Flippa without
the consent of the user who left the feedback. At the end of the day, no matter how
much a seller or a buyer complains about the feedback he received on his profile, we
will not be able to remove it, unless we hear from the party who left a feedback
confirming that he wants to feedback removed.
In this case, if the user that you are referring to gets a lot of negative feedback, I am
sure that the feedback were removed with authorization regardless if the seller issued
a refund or any other means, the point is, the party who is unsatisfied and left the
feedback is now a happy customer and asked us to remove the feedback.”
Out of my own experience and following up with several other buyers who left a negative
feedback, we can say with certainty, that the statement from Flippa is not correct.
Our feedbacks were removed without our consent nor were we contacted by Flippa.
Furthermore, it turns out, the seller TurnkeyProfit uses multiple advertising techniques to
promote his auctions on Flippa to give him a massive boost in sales, all of which are clearly
prohibited by Flippas very own Terms & Conditions.
To be exact, by offering money back guarantee and guaranteeing earnings of
$10,000/month despite the websites being brand new and not earning any money yet, he is
in breach of these 4 Flippa Rules (https://support.flippa.com/hc/en-us/articles/203110254):
Any claims of revenue or traffic in a listing must be supported by evidence. Any
claims to potential revenue or traffic in a listing must clearly marked as such and be
accompanied by robust workings and assumptions.
Sites with less than three months of revenue history are not able to claim revenue in
their financials or listing title or description.
Claims to specific potential revenue or traffic numbers are expressly forbidden in
Making guarantees is not allowed on listings due to their lack of enforceability and
possible contention regarding terms of any guarantees. We recommend that users
instead utilize sales contracts and/or Flippa escrow services.
Seeing that the seller TurnkeyProfit offers money back guarantee as well as makes earnings
claims of $10,000 a month, he is in clear violation of those rules.
Update: As of mid April 2018, it seems that the seller removed his money back
guarantee statement from all his current and new auctions. This is most likely due to
several buyers making a complaint with Flippa support about the money back
guarantee he offers. Looking through the past 24 months of his sales, he always
offered money back guarantee along with guaranteed earning claims.
Update #2: The seller TurnkeyProfit has now hidden all his past sales from the
previous 8 years. It is now no longer possible to look up his previous sales. This is
most likely due to people pointing out to him that he has been running this scam for
By making such outraging earning claims of $10,000/month, he manages to sell 5 times
more than other sellers who sell similar startup websites, but do not make any such claims.
On average he earns about $8,000 - $12,000 a month selling the same websites over and
over on Flippa.
Sellers who do not make such claims but sell similar websites, often even better looking
websites, struggle making $2,000 in sales on Flippa.
Based on this, it’s clear that the seller TurnkeyProfit only manages to get such a huge
amount of sale due to his $10,000/month earnings claims.
Other sellers who decided to add potential earnings claims to their auction description, were
immediately suspended for breaching Flippas terms & conditions.
Several people including myself have contacted Flippa support regarding the violation of
making earnings claims, and asked why nothing is being done. Here is what I asked, I quote:
I have another question.
I read the Flippa Site Rules for Sellers here:
and they say....
Claims to specific potential revenue or traffic numbers are expressly forbidden in
Making guarantees is not allowed on listings due to their lack of enforceability and
possible contention regarding terms of any guarantees
This is exactly what TurnkeyProfit seller does. He makes claims for potential revenue
and makes guarantees. Why is he allowed to do that when its against the site rules?
Reply from Flippa… ignored.
So what is the deal with the positive feedback that the seller receives? After all, he still gets
positive feedback now and then. To answer that, I had to contact other sellers and I was told
You need to understand that buyers can leave 2 feedbacks. The first feedback can
be left after 7 days of the sale, in which the buyer will be asked how the transaction
went. This is almost always 100% positive. When a buyer makes a payment, you
transfer the domain and website to them and that qualifies for a positive feedback.
But you know what is funny, when we monitored the feedback activity, TurnkeyProfit
even manages to get multiple negative site transaction feedbacks per month. We
count about 2-3 negative feedbacks per month, where customers complain that it
takes him a month to transfer the websites. Crazy. If I don’t transfer my websites
within 2 days of sale, I sometimes get customers who are upset. That guy takes a
month to transfer his websites and then gets his negative site transaction feedbacks
removed by Flippa. Unreal.
The second feedback is called the site quality feedback and can be left after 3
months of the sale. There you will be asked how the websites have been working for
you so far. If a seller receives a negative feedback at all, it’s most likely at this stage.
Especially if the seller makes crazy claims about potential earnings, which of course
are never true. Buyers tend to leave negative feedback at this stage, because they
realized after 3 months that they do not earn any money.
If a seller did not make any earnings claims, the chances are pretty high that the
feedback will be positive.
This shows that TurnkeyProfit gets massive amount of sales only because of his
crazy earnings claims. People only buy from him because they think they will earn
So why does TurnkeyProfit still receive positive feedback?
I manage to sell about 30 websites per month and I noticed most people buy on
impulse. They never contact me about anything and don’t even use the websites for
more than 1-2 months. They seem to lose interest after a few weeks. About 10% of
all people, still leave me a feedback, so far always positive.
Flippa sends out feedback reminder emails, and I think it’s in the nature of some
people to leave a positive feedback, even if they don’t use the product or service.
In other words, even I receive positive feedback from users who never even
accessed their website.
However if you look closely at the feedback of TurnkeyProfit, you will see that all his
actual positive feedback is in relation to the transaction, which can be left after 7
days. The feedback that can be left after 3 months, is almost always negative for
Looking at his profile, we can see the last 3 feedbacks for the site quality feedback,
and the 3rd feedback is dated 8 months ago. This means that in the past 8 months,
he has only received 3 site quality feedbacks. That’s obviously strange for someone
who sells 60-90 auctions per month. This means that a lot of feedback was removed.
If we look at other sellers even myself, we see that the site quality feedbacks are
almost always dated 4-5 months ago for the last 3 feedbacks, even though we sell a
lot less auctions. 4-5 months is normal because Flippa sends you a feedback
reminder 3 days before it expires, which is 4 months after the sale. Most buyers leave
a feedback after they receive the feedback invitation.
If no feedback is removed and someone sells a lot of websites, the site quality
feedback of the lastest 3 feedbacks will always be dated 4-5 months.
Some sellers on Flippa decided to monitor the feedback activity of TurnkeyProfit, as they
started to be very suspicious on what is going on with that seller. They created a script that
saves all the feedback of the seller TurnkeyProfit, including the ones that were removed.
As it turns out, the seller receives about 3-5 negative site quality feedbacks per month with 1
positive per month. All negative feedbacks are being removed within 4-10 hours after they
All the buyers I contacted who left a negative feedback, told me their feedback was removed
without their consent. Considering all the negative feedbacks are being removed within 4-10
hours, it’s safe to say that almost all negative feedbacks are being removed without the
consent of the person who left them, as it usually takes several days or a week to work out
the issues between buyer and seller, and then agree to have the feedback removed.
Receiving 1 positive and 4 negative site quality feedbacks per month, gives us a 20%
positive rating, rather than the 100% positive rating he currently holds.
When someone has such a high amount of negative feedbacks removed, one could think
that it would be in Flippas own interest to investigate the issue, especially when they see that
this has been going on for several years and that he seller in question promotes his auctions
with methods that are against their own Terms & Conditions.
In fact, Flippa tends to permanently ban sellers on Flippa that receive a few negative site
quality feedbacks in a row. These sellers did not even make any outrages earnings claims,
but simply received multiple negative site quality feedbacks in a row, and Flippa decided to
ban them, permanently.
Additionally, the seller TurnkeyProfit has been promoted to “Super Seller” status
(https://flippa.com/super-sellers) as well as “Premium Seller” status
This is where it gets even stranger. According to Flippa, the requirement for a Super Seller
are, I quote:
“A near perfect feedback rating.
If a Super Seller’s squeaky clean record is tarnished in any way, they’ll be removed
from the program” - https://flippa.com/super-sellers
We have seen multiple sellers on Flippa that had their Super Seller status revoked because
they received a single negative feedback.
Then there is the Premium Seller status. To receive that status, you will have to, I quote:
“Premium Seller status is our way of recognising some of our best sellers - those who
have contributed strongly to the success of our marketplace in the previous 12
months by bringing to the market multiple high-quality, high-value assets that are
relevant to our buyers
In recognition of their contribution to the Flippa marketplace, Premium Sellers enjoy
reduced fees and access to other exclusive offers and discounts.”
Some sellers who sell similar startup websites as TurnkeyProfit, have contacted Flippa
support and enquired about the Premium Seller Status as they have $100,000 in sales. They
were told that Premium Seller status is reserved for seller who sell multiple high quality
websites, that are fully established and have proven revenue and visitors. Premium Seller
status is not for sellers who sell new startup websites.
Looking at the sales of TurnkeyProfit across the entire 8 years, he only sells startup
websites, yet he has the Premium Seller status.
Let’s quickly sum up in bullet points:
The seller TurnkeyProfit sells websites, with earnings claims of $10k/month
guaranteed, despite that earning claims are being prohibited by Flipaps Terms and
Seller offers money back guarantee, despite Flippa terms & conditions prohibit such
Seller does not honor money back guarantee. Refuses to refund under any
circumstances and threatens with legal actions if someone is to claim his websites do
not earn money.
The seller receives 80% negative site quality feedback on average.
All negative feedback is removed by Flippa support within 4-10 hours after it was left.
All negative feedbacks are removed without the consent of the user who left it,
despite Flippa support stating multiple times that no feedback will ever be removed
without the consent of the user who left it.
The seller has Super Seller status, which according to Flippa means he has a “A near
perfect feedback rating”. With an average of 20% positive, this is far away from a
near perfect rating. Other sellers lost their super seller status due to 1 negative
The seller has a Premium Seller Status. According to Flippa, a seller qualifies for this
badge by “selling multiple high-quality, high-value assets” and not by selling startup
websites. By Flippas own definitions, he should not qualify for Premium Seller status.
The seller is allowed to boost his sales making outrages earnings claims of
$10,000/month, resulting in up to 5 times more sales than other sellers with similar
Other sellers get suspended if the make earning claims when selling startup
Other sellers get permanently banned from Flippa if they received multiple negative
site quality feedbacks.
When contacting Flippa support asking why he is allowed to sell such websites, the
question goes unanswered.
It’s obvious a scam if anyone guarantees earnings of $10,000/month with an
initial investment of $195. Yet Flippa decides to actively cover up all negative
feedbacks, allows the user to promote his websites in ways that are against
their own T&Cs, and promote him to Super Seller and Premium Seller status.
I’ve been in contact with other users who did a bit of digging, trying to find out more about
the seller TurnkeyProfit and who is behind it. This is what they said:
On his Flippa profile you can see his full name. Other than that, not much is known. I
see that all his domains he sells, are using domain privacy including his personal
domain. He goes through incredible lengths to hide any of his personal information.
No Facebook, Twitter or personal LinkedIn account attached to his Flippa profile,
even though Super Sellers are required to fill out those details.
I managed to look up his older website that he sold in 2011-12 where he did not use
domain privacy. The domain whois history shows they were owned by the same
name he uses on Flippa, but the address is a P.O Box in Chicago. He also uses a
company name called MDG SOLUTIONS. Doing a search for that company, I found it
being listed on LinkedIn. What I find weird, is that the owner of that company, is a
person based in Melbourne Australia, the exact same city where Flippa is based.
I don’t want to jump the rope here by creating some conspiracy theories, but what are
the chances that the one seller on Flippa who gets away with pretty much any rule
violation on Flippa, gets all the Super Seller and Premium Seller bonuses, and Flippa
support is constantly removing all his negative feedback, and then lying about it that
they would never remove feedbacks without the consent of the other user, lives in the
exact same city where Flippa is based?
A wild conclusion might be that he is either a close friend of one of the staff members
of Flippa support, or the TurnkeyProfit account is run by a (or multiple) staff members
of Flippa support. I mean if you consider that the account has made $500,000 in
sales so far and is making $10k-15k each month, it’s definitely something that many
would consider doing and then trying to cover up.
This would explain everything. No guarantees though, might just be a big
Okay, wow, this last part was unexpected. I won’t go into this any further. I don’t have any
details. Whoever at Flippa is involved in this, knows for sure what is going on.
A feedback system is there to give other potential buyers an insight of how good a product or
service is. If the owner of the platform decides to permanently remove all negative feedback
of a specific user, across multiple years, despite that user receiving up to 80% negative
feedback per month, it completely defeats the purpose of the feedback system.
Anyone working at Flippa can easily confirm all of this, by looking up the profile of this seller,
along with all the removed feedback and upset buyers who complained directly to Flippa
support. We were told that Flippa can reinstate the removed feedback at anytime. So we
assume Flippa can look up all the remove feedback.
It is completely beyond me, on how Flippa support is so extremely bias when it comes to this
user. He clearly is running a scam.
Anyone that registers brand new domains, uploads a copy of cloned website and then
sells a 1 day old website on Flippa, claiming to make $10,000 a month with it, with just
an initial investment of $195, is a scam artist, no questions asked.
I would understand if a small website that is financially struggling, would look the other way
and keep users like TurnkeyProfit, just so they receive their auction commission. But Flippa
the company, is big enough not to rely on the commission they get from that user.
Whenever I contact Flippa, I get in contact with the same 3 supporters. Parnell, Andrew and
Josh. None of them are willing to make a statement on TurnkeyProfit and on why they
remove all the feedback, nor why they allow him to continue selling websites on Flippa,
despite being in violation of their own T&Cs, not to mention that it’s an obvious scam.
I mean, come on, pay once $195 and make $10,000 a month? Even Flippa support would
quit their job to hop on to that train if it were true.
I wonder, is this just the wrongdoing of a few rogue staff members at Flippa, or is Flippa
actively promoting and covering up internet scams?
So where does this leave us?