It's been said that on the open market you can buy or sell just about anything. Did you know that you can even buy or sell a website?
Indeed, websites are bought and sold every day without anyone ever knowing. You may be checking out a website talking about Eastern Indian jewelry one day, only to have it transfer hands before you get back to it a few days later. You've never know the difference except for the fact that despite the new site owner has dressed the place up a bit. But for all you know, it was the old owner trying to improve the look and feel of the site.
Why People Buy
There are a couple of reasons people buy a website that's already been created. Perhaps the largest reason is to generate cash through search engine page ranking. Internet marketers will take a site aimed at a specific niche topic or product, fill it with content that contains both advertisements and backlinks, and then generate income every time a visitor clicks on one of their moneymaking items. Buying already established websites allows the marketer to get more "skin in the game" without having to develop sites from scratch.
Some marketers buy websites simply for the mailing lists that they've generated. Mailing lists represent one of those most powerful direct advertising tools in the Internet marketing business. Yet most mail servers are very good at catching spam these days. Established websites, with mail lists requiring people to voluntarily sign up, easily make it past spam filters, giving a marketer access to thousands of new potential customers.
Finally, some people purchase websites simply because they want the domain name. Domain names are valuable if they remind a person of a product, personality, or topic that happens to be hot at that time. Just as an example, any number of websites with the Obama or Romney names will be hot commodities for the next couple of months.
Why People Sell
There are also lots of reasons someone would sell a website, too. For instance, sometimes a site has not met the expectations of its owner. That's not to say a new owner could not turn that around, but the current owner believes they have done everything they can. Many times these types of sites are affiliate projects or niche sites relying on advertising for income.
Another reason to sell website is the need to generate cash. Internet marketing is a business that ties heavily on the ebbs and flows of Internet trends. So it's easy for a company to spend a lot of money developing websites only to find that their cash flow dries up when traffic slows. They may sell some of their less lucrative properties to generate some cash.
If you're interested in selling or buying a website there are a couple of auction sites on the net that make it possible. Just be sure to do your homework before you choose one.