Motion Invest is an online brokerage who specializes in connecting people who want to buy and sell websites.
Motion Invest launched near the end of the year in 2019, and I’ve been following their brand pretty much from the beginning.
One of the websites in my portfolio wasn’t getting the attention it deserved (I was devoting a lot of time to my Million Dollar Niche Site Project amongst some other things), so I decided to sell it and take the cash in June of 2020.
I gave Motion Invest a try and overall was really happy with how everything turned out. Below is a summary of my experience, my honest Motion Invest review, and a guide of what you can expect when you sell or buy a site on Motion Invest.
Quick Overview of Motion Invest
Motion Invest was founded by Jon Gillham, Spencer Haws, and Kelley Van Boxmeer, all of whom have an extensive background in online entrepreneurship and each actively invest in the sort of websites that you can find for sale on the Motion Invest platform.
The platform targets websites that are making around the range of $50 to $2,000 per month in revenue, which definitely is a range of website revenue size that is kind of underserved in the world of buying and selling websites. There’s definitely a demand for sites that might not be making a lot but have a nice foundation of content and domain authority. Just not a lot of options out there for buying and selling.
Flippa still has a wild west vibe to me when it comes to buying and selling there and they definitely don’t do the most due diligence on the businesses they allow to be listed for sale.
Empire Flippers has a great reputation but as of a couple of years ago stopped listing sites that make less than $1,000 per month in profit. Many other online brokerages have even higher earnings requirements than that!
All of that to say, I think Motion Invest is on to something by catering to this underserved space of smaller websites.
My Experience Selling a Site on Motion Invest
Here’s where I walk you through the entire process, all the way from submitting my site for a valuation to cash hitting my account and a done deal.
Submitting My Site For Valuation
To get the process started, they have you fill out a form where you enter all of the basic info about your site. I entered my domain name, profit and loss, and provided proof of earnings in the form of screenshots of my site’s Amazon Associates and Ezoic earnings.
From there, a member of their team reached out to me and said that they were beginning the due diligence process on my site. I submitted my site and all necessary documents/information on June 23rd.
I eventually heard back on July 6th, so about 13 days later, with my site’s valuation. It was a little longer than I was hoping for to hear back, but there was the 4th of July holiday in between and they had to do some calculations to retroactively modify my Amazon Associates earnings before April 21st, so the wait wasn’t that big of a big deal to me.
Selling to Motion Invest vs Selling to a 3rd Party
When Motion Invest first got started out, their model was to be a counter party in every transaction on their marketplace. So if you were selling, they were buying, and if you were a buyer, you were buying a site that Motion Invest had presumably bought from somebody else.
After a while, they started to match buyers and sellers so that you could leverage their audience to sell to somebody else.
I think my site was a good example about what you can expect selling to Motion Invest vs selling to somebody else.
My site was making about $420 per month in revenue, and they said they could list it for $12,000 on the marketplace (they take a 15% success fee if the site sells, so I really make $10,200), or they would buy it outright from me for $7,000.
The answer is pretty obvious here – and their offer to buy outright was honestly so low that it seems to me they clearly preferred I list on the marketplace vs selling to them. I don’t know if that’s the direction they want to head in general or they just weren’t crazy about my site, but I thought it was a little strange to even put one option out there that puts 30% less in my pocket than the other.
It’s worth pointing out too that Motion Invest employs a “dutch auction” style marketplace. In the case of my site, the asking price would reduce by $70 each day until it’s sold or until it reaches a $9,900 asking price.
Purchase Agreement and Listing
Before the site went live on their marketplace, I had to sign a purchase agreement and answer a few questions about my site to help answer some common questions that potential buyers were likely to ask.
I gave my thoughts on what I would do to grow the site, which type of buyer I thought it would be good for, how much time per week I spent working on it, and other things like that.
After all of that was complete, the listing went live on July 13th, so only 20 days after I initially submitted my site to be initially reviewed. All in all a super quick process!
Receiving and Accepting an Offer
The site received some interest right off the bat from multiple interested buyers and on July 17th (so 4 days after going live on the marketplace) a potential buyer came in with an $11,500 cash offer.
It was only 5% less than Motion Invest’s initial valuation and as I mentioned earlier, I was just looking to get this site off of my plate, so I was pretty happy with the offer and decided to take it.
From there, the buyer had to wire their money to Motion Invest before the migration process began. It took about 4-5 days for the money to come in so there was a little bit of a waiting period here (Motion Invest banks in Canada and the buyer was located in the United States which might have contributed to this waiting period).
Migrating the Site
Once we had agreed to the terms of the sale, and Motion Invest was holding the cash in escrow, it was time for me to migrate my domain, website, Google Analytics property, and other relavent files over to the buyer.
This part required a little bit of work on my end and coordination with Motion Invest’s transfer support team.
The migration process started on July 26th and by August 5th, I had cash in my bank account – meaning the entire migration from start to finish took only 10 days.
For those of you who don’t have a point of reference to compare that to – 10 days is scorching fast. The process at other brokers usually takes about 3-4 weeks total for these kinds of sites, which is in part because there is typically a waiting period where the buyer has about 2 weeks to receive and verify revenue.
As a seller, I loved the fact that there wasn’t a required waiting period to close the deal. Pretty much as soon as the site was all migrated over to the buyer, my funds got sent to me.
Things I Really Liked About Motion Invest
Overall, it’s really hard to complain about anything that happened in my experience selling a site with Motion Invest. Here are a couple of the highlights:
- Their overall process was really easy and streamlined. There’s a lot that goes into matching up a buyer and seller and closing one of these deals. Every part of selling a site on Motion Invest, all the way from submitting my site at the beginning to migrating my site at the end was straightforward and transparent.
- Overall, the transaction moved fast. From start to finish, I was able to list, sell, and receive cash for my site in only 43 days.
- I didn’t have to talk to the eventual buyer once. I also never had to talk to any potential buyers during the process either. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people, but it was great for me to have Motion Invest’s team take care of all of the back and forth in the selling and migration process.**
- They created a platform where I could sell a site making less than $500 per month. Frankly there aren’t many places you can go to sell a website with a transparent platform. Motion Invest was one of the few places I could even get approved to list this site because it’s so small.
**One gripe I have about Empire Flippers is that they just throw the buyer and seller on the same email chain during migration, which can get dicey if one of the parties starts to get anxious. For example, I’ve bought sites on Empire Flippers before and had sellers try to pressure me into authorizing release of payment BEFORE the site was fully migrated on the migration email chain.
Uhhh, how about no? Motion Invest totally eliminated the possibility of awkward situations like this by how they facilitated communication between buyer and seller.**
Things I’d Like to See Improved
I just want to start this comment by saying that overall, my experience with Motion Invest was a solid A, and I would totally sell with them again.
If I have to split hairs, I’d say that the promptness of their migration team’s communication could have been a little bit better.
There were a couple of times where I asked a question and hadn’t heard back from anybody for 3 days, even after the site was almost 100% migrated and the buyer had already changed the site’s WordPress theme.
I didn’t sweat it too hard because there wasn’t a TON of money on the line, but it’s the sort of thing that would have made me more anxious throughout the migration process if I were coming to them with one of my bigger sites with a 6 figure valuation.
Of course, the entire migration process only took 10 days – which is really fast, so zero complaints there. I just think that the lack of response at a couple of points made those 10 days feel a little bit longer.
Other than that nitpicky feedback, it’s really hard to find anything else that wasn’t good or great about the overall experience.
What It’s Like to Buy a Site On Motion Invest
I personally haven’t bought a site on Motion Invest myself yet, but through selling and talking to some friends who have bought a site with them, I’m pretty familiar with how it works.
Decide Which Site You Want
Think about your goals and which type of site will be a good fit for what you’re trying to do. Most of the sites on their platform are monetized via Amazon Associates and/or display advertising.
Get on Motion Invest’s mailing list and regularly check their marketplace – as of the time of this writing they release any new sites for sale every Monday.
The good news for buyers too is that you know that each site which makes it to the marketplace has gone through a due diligence process where revenue numbers are verified (see above).
Once you’ve found a site you want to purchase, you have to send payment in to secure the deal. If the site is small enough, you can buy with a credit card or PayPal – larger transactions require a wire transfer.
Once your funds are received, the site is reserved for you! It will be taken off of the marketplace and won’t be solicited to any other buyers.
After Motion Invest receives your funding for the purchase, it’s time to migrate the seller’s site over to you. The site’s domain, files, and databases will all be transferred over to your registrar and hosting accounts.
This part took about 10 days for me but I’d probably plan for it to take 14 days just to be safe. It could take a little longer depending on who your registrar is (I use Bluehost and things moved along really fast).
As soon as everything with the site has been transferred over to your ownership, the site is yours and funds will be released to the seller!
Post Acquisition – Grow the Site
Presumably if you’re buying a website, you’ve got a plan and strategy for how you’re going to grow it.
The great thing about buying sites on Motion Invest is that pretty much all of them have a great foundation for growth. With a solid content and link building strategy, you could really see some quick growth and turn your new site into an asset that puts lots of money in your pocket every month.
I hope that sharing my experience of selling a site on Motion Invest has been helpful for you to see what they are all about. Hopefully this post has given you an idea of what you can expect if you were to sell a site or buy a site on their marketplace.
At the end of the day, they are a platform for buying and selling sites and I think that they can be trusted to give you a great experience whether you’re a buyer or a seller.
I’m excited to follow their growth over the coming years and see if they are able to give some of the more established website brokers a run for their money!