Empire Flippers Review | Selling a $300,000 Website

Empire Flippers Review | Selling a $300,000 Website

Empire Flippers Review: Selling a $300,000 Website

Selling on Empire Flippers Review

Selling a business that you start from scratch is as much of an emotional decision as it is a financial decision and after 7 years of starting and running my business, I was ready to sell.  In fact, I was burnt out and needed to sell in order to get my life and sanity back.

This is a review of a website that I sold on Empire Flippers for over $300,000 USD.

Why I chose Empire Flippers:

The main reason I chose Empire Flippers was because I trusted them and their platform and I knew that potential buyers trusted them as well.

This cuts down on the amount of work you have to do to prove your business to every potential buyer.  Empire Flippers vets your site for weeks before they let you list it.  They make sure that the numbers you’re claiming are legitimate which puts potential buyers at ease.  Empire Flippers also verifies the funds of potential buyers to make sure they can actually afford your business.  This acts as a great filter and eliminates buyers who aren’t serious and will end up wasting your time.


Empire Flippers vs Flippa:

Flippa vs Empire Flippers

Before listing my website on the Empire Flippers Marketplace I shopped around and even listed my site on Flippa.  Flippa has a lower fee of only 5% of the sale price vs Empire Flippers’ 15% so I thought it was worth a shot.

My business got a lot of attention and at first it seemed like Flippa was going to work out, then came the stupid questions.

Buyers kept asking questions that are clearly listed in the description like:

“what’s your monetization method?”

“I have a full time job and can’t spend any time on the business, is it 100% passive?”

“who is your biggest supplier?”

After weeks of answering stupid questions it became painfully obvious that the buyers on Flippa weren’t serious, and even worse, they might even try to copy my business.  The valuation they suggested was also lower than the Empire Flippers valuation which would have resulted in me receiving about $50,000 less after the sale.


Empire Flippers Selling Fees:

The fees are probably what will give someone the biggest pause before listing their site with a particular broker and while Empire Flippers does not charge a listing fee, they do take a cut of the final sale price:

Empire Flippers Listing Fee: Free

$700,000 and under: Empire Flipper’s Commission is 15% of the sale price.

$700,000 to $5 Million: Empire Flipper’s Commission is 8% on the amount above $700,000 and below $5,000,000.

Over $5 million: Empire Flipper’s Commission is 2.5% on the amount above $5,000,000.


Flippa Selling Fees:

Flippa takes a smaller commission than Empire Flippers, only 5% of the final selling price for larger sites and 10% for smaller sites.  But they charge you a fee just to list your site which ranges from $29.00 to $499.00.  I paid $128.00 so that I could have an NDA & Confidentiality agreement attached to my site.  Otherwise anyone on the platform can see your URL and other business details.

Also, like I mentioned above, the quality of the buyers on Flippa is much lower than on Empire Flippers.  From my experience, Flippa is better for listing low value sites (under $10,000) and Empire Flippers is better for high value sites.


Empire Flippers Selling Process:

Empire Flippers Selling Process

Depending on your type of business, this process can take a while.  My site took about 6 months to sell and this was mainly because it was a drop shipping site in a very unique niche which limited the amount of potential buyers.

If you have a site which is more passive like Affiliate, FBA, etc. then the selling process is usually much faster.  Either way, I recommend that you start preparing your site to sell way in advance of the date you actually want to sell it.

Get Started At Least 6 Months Before You Want to Sell

The first step is to get in touch with Empire Flippers and set up an initial consultation.  This is free and will give you a chance to ask any basic questions you have as well as let someone from Empire Flippers take a look at your site to make sure it is a good fit and offer any suggestions.


Get your books in order

Once you decide that you want to list your site then you will need to submit your financial information to the vetting department.  This means you should have a P&L (Profit and Loss) that makes sense and that all the figures can be accounted for.

Ideally, all funds should be coming in and out of one bank account.  This wasn’t the case with my business and it took some extra work to get my figures vetted so if you’re thinking about selling your business, start simplifying things now and make your books as clean as possible, one bank account, one credit card, etc.

Empire Flippers also has a P&L form that you will need to use to input all of your information like SKUs, Units Sold, Income (Amazon, Woocommerce, Stripe, Affiliate, etc.), COGS (cost of goods) and other expenses.

If you don’t already have this information clearly documented, start doing it now and this will make the sale process much faster and smoother.


How much do businesses sell for on Empire Flippers?

Valuations are based on a multiple of monthly profit generally ranging from 25x – 50x monthly profit.  Empire Flippers has a valuation tool that you can use to get an estimate of what your site is worth.

Empire Flippers Valuation ToolClick Here for a Free Valuation

What Types of Businesses Sell on Empire Flippers?

Empire Flippers accepts a lot of different kinds of online businesses like Affiliate, FBA, Kindle, Subscription, Drop Shipping, etc. and if you have a legitimate online business, then odds are you will be able to list it for sale on Empire Flippers.  However, they do have some criteria like no adult sites, gambling sites, scam sites, etc.

Also, the type of business that you list will help determine how much it sells for and how long the sale process takes.  For example, SaaS and Affiliate Sites generally get the largest multiples and sell the quickest because they don’t require shipping of any physical goods and are more passive than something like a drop shipping business.  FBA businesses are also in high demand right now and can usually sell for more.

My business was a drop shipping business and it took about 6 months to sell while I saw other more passive businesses sell in less than a week.

Type of Business

Selling a Growing Business vs. Declining Business

Obviously a growing business is going to attract more buyers than a declining one so do everything you can to have a strong business before you start your listing.  Your listing price will also be updated every month based on your monthly profit so if you can show growth and increasing numbers this will not only attract more buyers, it will also increase your final sale price.

Empire Flippers Earnings

When to list a seasonal business

My business was seasonal with higher sales and page views in the summer and lower ones in the winter.  I listed my site in the summer which was the height of my best sales season but because it did not sell quickly, I had to go through a winter period where the numbers naturally went down due to seasonality.

If I had to do it again I would have listed my seasonal business for sale in the beginning of the spring, right when my sales and site traffic was naturally going up.

Site Traffic

Type of Business Niche

Potential buyers need to be able to see themselves running your business so keep this in mind while you’re getting your website ready to sell.

My business was in a very particular niche in the food and beverage industry which meant that I had less buyers interested in it.

So even though my profit was increasing every month, which was increasing the sale price of my business, because there were less buyers interested in my particular niche, I had to lower my multiple in order to attract more buyers.

Similar to starting a business, the only way to really know the demand of your product or business, is to get it in front of potential buyers.


Dynamic Valuations

I touched on this earlier but one thing to keep in mind is that you will be updating your profit numbers and submitting them to Empire Flippers every month.  This will change the final price of your business and you can take these profit figures as an example:

Monthly Website Profit Figures

The January 2021 profit of $8,000 will be replaced by January 2022 and the sale price will either increase or decrease depending on if the new total monthly profit is higher or lower.

So if the profit from January 2022 is $9,000 then your new total will be $112,000/12 = 9,333 x 40 = $373,333

A $1,000 increase in this month will result in a $3,333 increase in your final valuation.

Essentially every month you are competing against your last year’s numbers.

Business Unlocks 

Once your business is live on the Empire Flippers platform, potential buyers will be able to “Unlock” your site.  Unlocking your site will give the buyer detailed access to your listing including your URL, Google Analytics Data, Social Media, Ahrefs, etc.

But in order for a potential buyer to unlock your site they will need to verify that they actually have enough money to buy your site.  Empire Flippers does this verification and this is another huge benefit over other platforms like Flippa because it ensures that you are only getting qualified buyers who have the means to buy your site.

Once an interested buyer unlocks your site they will be able to schedule a call with you and then eventually make an offer on your site.

Buying a Website on Empire Flippers


Once an offer is made, you will then be able to accept it or make a counter offer.  Before accepting the offer, you want to make sure that it is a number that you will be happy with.  You also want to iron out all the other details like inventory and sales terms.

Generally offers come in at about 90% of the asking price and there are usually some terms attached.  For example, 75% of the payment upfront and the other 25% in three months.

If you are happy with the offer, you can accept it and then the sale will move into the migration phase.


Migration Phase

The migration phase is actually made up of 4 phases that all need to be completed before the seller can get paid; The Pre-Inspection Phase, The Inspection Period, The Post-Inspection Phase and then finally, The Payout Phase.

This process is great for the buyer but not ideal for the seller because all of the profit from the business will start going to the buyer as soon as the offer has been accepted.  This means that the seller will end up running the business for about 3 weeks for free.

This is my biggest criticism of the Empire Flippers selling process but it still wasn’t a deal breaker for me, I used this time to show the new buyer how to run the business.

This is another thing that helps build trusts with the buyer who is the one who will ultimately be making the payment to you.

The Pre-Inspection Phase: This is when all of the revenue generating assets are transferred over to the buyer.  This includes payment processing accounts (Stripe, PayPal, etc.), affiliate links, incoming bank transfers, and anything else that generates revenue for your business.  Once the buyer has all of these in place, the inspection period can begin.

The Inspection Period:  This is a 14 day period where the buyer can check for any gross misrepresentations of the business.  During this period, your site also needs to generate at least 50% of its normal revenue.  So for example, if your site normally makes $20,000 in revenue per month, then your site will need to generate at least $4,666.67 in revenue during the 14 day inspection period:

$20,000 * 50% = $10,000

$10,000/30 days = $333.33

$333.33 x 14 days = $4,666.67

If these criteria are not met, then the buyer has the right to cancel the sale.

The Post-Inspection Phase: This is when any remaining assets are transferred to the buyer like social media accounts, logo files, SOPs, Google Drive, etc.

The profits and expenses will also be calculated for this period and once the buyer confirms that they have all of the assets then it is time for the Payout Phase!

The Payout Phase:

Before you get to this point, you should have already uploaded your banking details to Empire Flippers.  Their accenting team will also reach out to you by email and make sure that they have the correct banking information on file.  I chose to get my payout sent by wire transfer and I received it within hours of the accounting team sending the payment.

Make sure that you double check your routing and account numbers so that there aren’t any delays.  For most sellers, this will be the largest single bank transfer to your account so you will want to make sure there aren’t any hiccups!


Fees and Taxes on Selling an Online Business

Empire Flippers will essentially act as escrow for the sale.  They will get the initial payment from the buyer and transfer this amount (minus their commission) to you once the migration phase has been completed.

They also only take their commission on what has actually been paid by the buyer.  For example, if a buyer buys a site for $200,000 but agrees to pay 50% now and then 50% in 6 months.  Then your first payout from Empire Flippers will be $100,000 – $15,000 (15% commission) = $85,000 and 6 months later you will receive the second payment of $100,000 – $15,000 (15% commission) = $85,000.  Basically Empire Flippers only gets paid their fees when you get paid.

They also don’t take out any taxes and leave this for the seller to sort out.  The final amount of taxes you pay will depend on many factors such as your home country, your income during the year you sold your business, duration of the business, etc.  In the US, sellers can expect to pay about 15% in Long Term Capital Gains Tax as long as they have held the business for more than a year.  I am not an accountant so please speak with one for more detailed information about your specific situation.


Final Thoughts: Selling a Website on Empire Flippers

All in all I had a positive experience selling my website on Empire Flippers and they handled everything very professionally.  If you have a business that you want to sell, I recommend that you start getting prepared 6 months to a year before you want to sell.  Things always take longer than anticipated and you don’t want to be stuck running a business you no longer care about or have the energy to run successfully.

Empire Flippers Valuation Tool

Click Here to See How Much Your Business is Worth

4% Rule Calculator | How Much to Retire on Four Percent

4% Rule Calculator | How Much to Retire on Four Percent

how to calculate 4% rule

Retirement planning is a critical aspect of an individual’s financial journey. It requires proper planning and consideration of various factors to ensure a comfortable and secure retirement. One of the most widely discussed and debated retirement planning strategies is the 4% rule.

This rule is used by financial advisors and retirees alike to determine how much money an individual needs to retire comfortably. In this article, we’ll discuss what the 4% Rule is, if it works and how to calculate how much you need to retire using the four percent rule.


What is the 4% Rule for Retirement?

The 4% rule is a widely used retirement planning strategy that states that an individual can safely withdraw 4% of their retirement portfolio each year and not run out of money. This rule is based on historical market returns and has been widely adopted as a safe withdrawal rate for retirees. The 4% rule assumes that an individual has a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds and can expect to earn a long-term average return of 7% to 8% on their investment.  The 4% Rule was first made famous by The Trinity Study.


The Trinity Study and the Four Percent Rule

The Trinity Study is a famous research paper in the field of retirement planning that helped establish the 4% rule as a widely accepted guideline for determining a safe withdrawal rate. The study was conducted by three professors at Trinity University in Texas: William Bengen, David Blanchett, and Philip Cooley.

The Trinity Study analyzed historical stock and bond market data from 1926 to 1995 and concluded that a portfolio consisting of 50% stocks and 50% bonds, with an initial withdrawal rate of 4%, had a high likelihood of lasting for at least 30 years. This conclusion was based on the assumption that the withdrawal rate would be adjusted annually for inflation.

The 4% rule has since become a widely recognized guideline for retirees to determine their safe withdrawal rate, although it’s important to keep in mind that past performance is not a guarantee of future results and that other factors, such as an individual’s age, spending habits, and portfolio mix, can impact the sustainability of retirement income.

Additionally, the Trinity Study’s analysis ended in 1995, and some financial experts believe that the 4% rule may not hold up in today’s investment environment, particularly with the current low interest rate environment.


Is 4% a Safe Withdrawal Rate for Retirement?

The safe withdrawal rate (SWR) is the amount that you can withdraw annually from your retirement savings without running out of money. It is a crucial factor to consider when planning for retirement, as it helps determine the sustainability of your retirement income.

The traditional rule of thumb for the safe withdrawal rate is 4% of your initial retirement savings, adjusted annually for inflation. However, this figure is based on historical stock and bond market returns and may not hold true in the future.

It’s important to understand that the safe withdrawal rate can vary depending on a number of factors, including your age, the size of your retirement savings, the investment mix in your portfolio, and your spending habits. A financial advisor can help you determine a personalized safe withdrawal rate based on your individual financial situation.

It’s also crucial to have a plan in place for dealing with market downturns, inflation, and other potential challenges to ensure that your retirement savings last throughout your lifetime.


How to Calculate the 4% Rule

4 Percent Rule Calculator

Yearly spending limit:
Monthly spending limit:

The 4% rule is typically calculated in two different ways.

Method One:

This method involves determining the amount of savings you will have at retirement, and then multiplying that figure by 4% to determine your annual withdrawal amount.

For example, if you have $500,000 saved for retirement, you would multiply $500,000 by 4% to arrive at an annual withdrawal amount of $20,000 ($500,000 x 0.04 = $20,000).

This approach is based on the assumption that you will withdraw 4% of your savings in the first year of retirement, adjust the withdrawal amount annually for inflation, and continue this withdrawal rate for a period of 30 years or more.


Method 2:

This method involves determining the amount you expect to spend annually in retirement and then dividing that figure by 25 to determine the size of the retirement portfolio you will need. For example, if you expect to spend $40,000 per year in retirement, you would divide $40,000 by 25 to arrive at a retirement portfolio of $1,600,000 ($40,000 ÷ 25 = $1,600,000). This approach assumes that you will be able to sustainably withdraw 4% of your retirement portfolio each year to cover your expenses.


Factors that Affect the 4% Rule

The 4% rule is a useful tool for retirement planning, but it is important to note that it is based on historical market returns and may not hold true in the future. The following are some factors that can affect the 4% rule and the amount you need to retire comfortably:

Market performance: The performance of the stock market and the return on your investments will affect the amount you can safely withdraw each year. A downturn in the market can reduce the value of your portfolio, leading to a lower withdrawal rate.

Inflation: Inflation is a measure of the increase in prices over time and can significantly impact the amount you need to retire comfortably. The 4% rule assumes a 3% inflation rate, which has been the average for decades but was much higher in 2022 and 2023.

Longevity: The average lifespan of individuals is increasing, leading to longer retirement periods. This can affect the amount you need to retire comfortably and may require you to save more or reduce your withdrawal rate.

Social Security: Social Security is a significant source of retirement income for many individuals. The amount you receive from Social Security can impact the amount you need to retire comfortably.

Four Percent Rule and FIRE Financial Independence

The 4% rule is often used as a starting point for retirement planning, and many FIRE enthusiasts may use a lower withdrawal rate to ensure that their portfolio lasts longer. For example, some FIRE proponents may use a withdrawal rate of 3% or 2.5% to provide a larger margin of safety and ensure that their portfolio lasts through their lifetime.  It all depends on which type of FIRE you’re going for.

So while the 4% rule can be a useful starting point for FIRE planning, it’s important to consider your own financial situation and goals, and to be flexible and adjust your withdrawal rate as needed. Working with a financial advisor or retirement planning specialist can help you determine the right withdrawal rate for your specific needs and goals.

6 Different Types of FIRE Financial Independence

6 Different Types of FIRE Financial Independence

6 Different Types of FIRE Financial Independence

The Financial Independence Retire Early movement (FIRE or FI/RE) has become popular in recent years, attracting people from all walks of life who are looking to take control of their finances and secure their financial future. But not everyone who is interested in FIRE approaches it in the same way. In fact, there are several different types of FIRE, each with its own unique approach and set of goals.

In this article, we will explore the different types of FIRE, including Coast Fire, Lean FIRE, Barista FIRE, Chubby FIRE, Fat FIRE and Expat FIRE.

We will also examine the key differences between each type, as well as the pros and cons of each approach.

Whether you are just starting your journey towards financial independence, or you are looking to find the right approach for your situation, this article will provide valuable insights and information to help you achieve your goals.

So if you’re ready to take control of your finances and secure your financial future, read on to learn more about the different types of FI!


Different Levels of Financial Independence

Coast Fire

“Coast FIRE” refers to a stage in the FIRE journey where an individual has saved and invested enough to reach their desired retirement age, and no longer needs to actively contribute to their investments in order to maintain their retirement lifestyle.

At this stage, you should have an emergency fund with 3-6 months of cash in it and then enough in your 401K and brokerage accounts to be able to retire comfortably without any additional contributions.  The exact amount that you want to have invested will depend on your yearly expenses, age and planned retirement date.

Let’s look at an example of a 35 year old that has saved up $500,000 and plans to retire at age 60.

This gives them 25 years for their money to grow which, at an average of 7% a year, comes out to about $2,700,000 by the time their 60.  And this is without any further contributions to their retirement accounts, meaning that they can spend every dollar that they make at their current job, or reduce their hours to just cover their monthly expenses.

To reach Coast FIRE, individuals need to have saved and invested a significant amount, and have a well-diversified portfolio that is expected to generate enough returns to support their desired retirement lifestyle. This often involves saving and investing a large portion of one’s income, as well as making smart investment decisions and avoiding unnecessary risks.

Once someone eaches Coast FIRE, they have the flexibility to retire early, or continue working if they choose, without worrying about the financial stability of their retirement. It provides a sense of financial security and peace of mind, knowing that their investments are expected to provide enough income to support their desired lifestyle in retirement.



Lean FIRE is generally geared toward people who want to quit their job as soon as possible and put an emphasis on time and freedom rather than on material possessions.

Lean FIRE works by focusing on reducing expenses and living frugally in order to reach financial independence as soon as possible.

The goal is to save a high percentage of one’s income, often 50% or more, and invest in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds. This allows individuals to reach financial independence and retire early, even if it means living on a tight budget.

Lean FIRE proponents argue that reducing expenses and living below one’s means is key to achieving financial independence, and they often follow a minimalist lifestyle. They may opt for simple living arrangements, like living in a duplex or house hacking.

While Lean FIRE is a great way to reach financial independence quickly, it does require a significant amount of discipline and sacrifice, as individuals must be willing to make significant changes to their lifestyle and spending habits. However, for those who are committed to the Lean FIRE lifestyle, the rewards can be significant, including the ability to retire earlier, have more control over their time, and live life on their own terms.

It’s also important to remember that Lean Fire can be a starting point and once it is reached then you can still find other ways to generate income through side hustles, starting a business you’re passionate about, real estate or even getting a part-time job that you enjoy which brings us into our next type of FIRE, Barista FIRE.


Barista FIRE

Barista FIRE is similar to Lean FIRE in that it focuses on reducing expenses and living frugally, but with the added component of having a part-time job or freelance work to supplement retirement income. The goal is to reach financial independence and retire early, but with the security and stability of having a secondary source of income.

With Barista FIRE, individuals can live frugally, save a high percentage of their income, and invest in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds, while also earning money from part-time work or freelance opportunities. This allows for more financial stability and a higher standard of living in retirement, without sacrificing the goal of reaching financial independence as soon as possible.

Like Lean FIRE, Barista FIRE requires discipline and sacrifice, but it also allows for more flexibility and a more relaxed approach to reaching financial independence. It is a good option for individuals who want the security and stability of having a secondary source of income in retirement, while still being able to live frugally and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of early retirement.


Chubby FIRE

“Chubby FIRE” is a term that is sometimes used to describe a middle ground between Lean FIRE and Fat FIRE. It is a more balanced approach that combines elements of both, allowing for some discretionary spending while still focusing on saving and investing a significant portion of one’s income.

With Chubby FIRE, individuals may live frugally and avoid unnecessary expenses, but still allow themselves some luxuries and comforts. The goal is to reach financial independence as soon as possible, while still enjoying life and avoiding extreme frugality.

Chubby FIRE is a good option for individuals who want to balance saving and investing with a more enjoyable standard of living. It requires discipline and sacrifice, but also allows for more flexibility and a more relaxed approach to reaching financial independence.



FatFIRE is generally for those with high incomes, successful businesses or those who are willing to wait until a little later in life to retire early.

This is because FIRE that emphasizes reaching financial independence while still maintaining a comfortable standard of living. The goal is to save and invest enough to cover a high annual spending rate while still being able to retire early.

Fat FIRE is often seen as a more relaxed approach to FIRE, as it allows individuals to enjoy a higher standard of living while still pursuing financial independence. This might include spending money on expensive hobbies, dining out, or traveling.

Individuals pursuing Fat FIRE often have high income levels and invest in a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds, real estate, or other assets. They may also have additional sources of passive income, such as rental properties, that can provide a steady stream of income in retirement.

While Fat FIRE requires a significant amount of saving and investing, it also allows for a more enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle, both before and after reaching financial independence. It is a good option for individuals who prioritize a high standard of living and want the flexibility to enjoy their money while still working towards financial independence.



Expat FIRE just means pursing FIRE in another country besides your home country.  One of the benefits of Expat Fire is that if you are from a nation with a high cost of living like in the US or Europe, then moving to a country with a lower cost of living means that you can reach Financial Independence much earlier or enjoy a much higher standard of living, while spending the same amount every month.

I’m currently living in Taiwan and I classify myself as somewhere in between LEAN FIRE and EXPAT FIRE:

My Story:

After saving up $500,000 I‘m retiring early (or at least not ever working a “real” job again). My plan is to live off of the 4% Rule in Taiwan which will be about $20,000 USD/year or $1666/month.

Background: I’m currently 37 years old, from the US and have been living abroad for the past 10 years. Mostly in Taiwan but also bouncing around to other places in Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, etc.).

I came to Taiwan first to teach English but then got involved in e-commerce and ran an online business for 7 years before selling it in early 2022. I currently have permanent residency here as well as National Health Insurance.

Monthly Expenses in USD:

Rent – $580.00

Bills – $65.00

National Health Insurance – $26.00

Cell Phone – $15.00

Food & Fun – $750.00

Misc. and Travel – $200.00/month (about $2,400/year)

The biggest challenge right now is dealing with the stock market being down. Luckily I didn’t get the final payout from the sale of the business until May 2022 so I have been able to put cash into the market as it’s been going down and still have more to put in if it continues to fall.

This experience has also taught me that a job or business is not something that just brings us money but also a sense of purpose.  I worked hard to build a business and that was a big part of my identity for over 7 years.  And although I don’t regret selling my business, I do miss having the clear direction and sense of purpose having a meaning job or business can give.


Which Type of FIRE Financial Independence is Right For You?

There isn’t a one size fits all approach to FIRE and you might find yourself in between two types or combining them into a hybrid FIRE approach.

Whether you are pursuing Coast FIRE, Lean FIRE, Fat FIRE, Barista FIRE, Chubby FIRE or Expat FIRE, the key to success is to understand your own financial situation, set achievable goals and develop a plan that works for you.