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I have run a hobby website for about seven years and it has gained a lot of traffic. I was recently approached with a purchase inquiry a company which appears to be reputable with a price I am happy with.

What things to I need to be aware of in order to not get screwed or scammed?

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I'm not sure this falls under the scope of "operations of running a website". –  John Conde May 11 '11 at 14:48
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Well, it's the end of running a website. –  paulmorriss May 11 '11 at 14:51
    
I think it's a bit of a stretch but since it will probably be asked here numerous times in the future we might as well leave it open and (hopefully) get a bunch of great answers that we can refer to for future questions. –  John Conde May 11 '11 at 15:17
    
When you say "selling a website", what exactly are you including? Just the domain name? The content? The code that drives it? The server infrastructure? People you employ to run the site? Or perhaps you are selling them a license to use the code for the site, but move it to their domain? –  rjmunro Mar 18 '12 at 23:07

3 Answers 3

I always supply the website on a disk so the customer has something tangible to hold in their hands. This also doubles up as a nice backup for them in case they make any mistakes later on.

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Do all the things you normally would when selling a product to someone you haven't met, for example on eBay:

  • check references if possible
  • Use an escrow service or ask to be paid before handing over the site

From a sys admin perspective:

  • Change all passwords and hardcoded personal info
  • Remove all trust relationships with your own servers
  • Announce the change of ownership on the site

And contractually:

  • Ensure the contract of sale passes all liability on to the new owners
  • Specifically state that there is no support or warranty

(caveat: I am not a lawyer, but these things seem to be good sense)

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Use an escrow service to handle the transaction. That way both buyer and seller are 100% sure the transaction is honest and fair.

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